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  #21  
Old 29 April 2013, 04:56 PM
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Beachlife! Beachlife! is offline
 
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Jolly Roger

That would have been truly tragic.
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  #22  
Old 29 April 2013, 06:14 PM
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Lainie Lainie is offline
 
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When I was in high school, a friend came to house to pick me up. I was expecting her to come to the back door, and had turned on that light, but for some reason she went to the never-used front door, which wasn't lit. Something brushed against her leg, and having heard me talk about my brother's new kitten, she bent down to pet it.

It wasn't the kitten (it lived with my brother, in his apartment). It was a baby possum. She saw the tail, thought it was a rat and started screaming. I turned the light on just in time to hear the screams and see her face pressed against the glass.
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  #23  
Old 29 April 2013, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
There's a long-haired black semi-feral* cat in our apartment complex called Trash Bag because it's caretaker once mistook a trash bag for the cat.

*It's more stray than feral, and the caretakers are working toward bringing it inside to live.
I hope they're able to bring it back inside. I'd think that a long-haired cat would be pretty miserable in the wild, once its fur started matting.
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  #24  
Old 29 April 2013, 11:29 PM
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I think they'll manage. She already knocks on their slider to be fed.
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  #25  
Old 01 May 2013, 07:51 AM
moonfall moonfall is offline
 
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There's a stray cat trying to come inside my apartment. The neighbors are feeding it, not me, but it seems to view all humans as food sources. My guess is that it was an abandoned pet or born into an unwanted litter. Has anyone here successfully litter-trained a stray/feral cat? If the neighbors don't want to take it in and my new roommates don't mind, I'm considering bringing it with me when I move at the end of the month.
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  #26  
Old 01 May 2013, 10:08 AM
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Hello Kitty

Is it male or female? Intact or fixed? In my own experience, it is difficult to get a male cat to stop marking by spraying once it has developed the habit, even after it is fixed. YMMV, of course. Most healthy cats do like using a litterbox, though, as long as it is kept clean, even if they started life as an outdoor only cat.
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  #27  
Old 01 May 2013, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horse Chestnut View Post
I hope they're able to bring it back inside. I'd think that a long-haired cat would be pretty miserable in the wild, once its fur started matting.
I should mention that another resident has been working with a trap/alter/release program, and Garbage Bag was trimmed of her mats when she was trapped and spayed. She hasn't re-matted since then -- she may be letting that family brush her.
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  #28  
Old 01 May 2013, 02:46 PM
katdixo katdixo is offline
 
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We brought in two feral kittens, and they immediately started using the litter box. We didn't have to do anything to train them.
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  #29  
Old 01 May 2013, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfall View Post
There's a stray cat trying to come inside my apartment. [ . . . ]. Has anyone here successfully litter-trained a stray/feral cat?
A cat routinely trying to come inside your apartment is a stray, not a feral. Ferals are wild animals, and are no more likely to try to move in with you than a fox is (though if you leave food out they may well routinely come and take it; but a feral will avoid interaction with humans in the process.) A stray that's been frightened by somebody, or was very shy with strange humans, might behave like a feral; but a cat who's trying to interact with you is not feral. -- I do know somebody who tamed an adult feral cat; and that cat used a litter pan, long before he was actually tamed. The taming process took years. Kittens younger than three or four months are usually easily tamed; the difference is really whether they've been handled by humans while they're young kittens.

Most cats are pretty much automatically litter trained; just make sure there's nothing else the cat can get into at first (such as potted plants) that could also be used as a litter box. If there's only one thing they can dig in, that's what will be used.

Some, but not all, toms; and some females; will urinate as a marking technique. This may, or may not, be eliminated by neutering; or may stop once the cat feels secure. Check with a veterinary* if a cat's urinating outside the box; the cat may have a urinary infection (usually easily treatable, but dangerous to the cat if not treated). If there's no physical problem, there may be treatments available to reduce anxiety, which might help.

But most likely you'd have no problem. Let the cat in, provide a litter box, don't provide access to anything litter-box-ish that isn't a litter box, and see what happens. -- Use plain unscented litter. Some cats object to scents or other additives.


*you should probably take a newly adopted cat to the vet. anyway, to get it checked over, and to get whatever inoculations are needed in your area.
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  #30  
Old 02 May 2013, 02:07 AM
moonfall moonfall is offline
 
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I believe my new feline friend has already been sterilized by the local trap-neuter-release program because she (?) is missing the top part of the left ear. They clip the ear to mark the cat as one they've already spayed/neutered. I'm not 100% sure the cat is female, but I looked up how to sex a cat, and she more resembles the female photos. If kitty IS male, he is neutered. The cat is friendly enough to be petted and even picked up, but I didn't get a very close looks because I was trying to avoid being scratched.

Then I started worrying about rabies, although I wasn't bitten and if the cat did scratch me, I can't find the scratch. (I had slight contact with a claw, the kind that happens when you accidentally brush against a cat's paw when the claws are not totally retracted.) *sigh* Why do I have to be such a hypochondriac?
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  #31  
Old 02 May 2013, 03:28 PM
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Moonfall, if the cat's clipped ear does come from a spay-neuter-release program, then a rabies inoculation was probably given at the same time. The inoculations don't last forever, though. I'd take the cat to a vet. and get fresh inoculations; rabies at least and ideally whatever else the vet. says is prevalent in your area that can be inoculated against. The vet. may also be able to tell you if the cat's been spayed; often they can find a scar left by the procedure.

I don't think rabies is commonly transmitted by scratches in any case -- I think it's in the saliva and blood, and is more likely to be transmitted by bites. (But please don't panic if the cat does nip you! Some cats play bite, and they don't always realize that humans don't have fur to cushion against play bites and play scratches.)
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  #32  
Old 02 May 2013, 05:26 PM
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crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
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Yeah, rabies is, to the best of my knowledge, a blood-born pathogen. It's theoretically possible to get it from a scratch if the cat had the blood of another animal that was a carrier on its claws when it scratched you, but the odds of that are pretty remote.

Cat scratches are no laughing matter, though. They can transmit a number of other diseases, some of which are pretty nasty. Bartonella henselea aka cat scratch fever or cat scratch disease is one of the most common. They can also carry a few others, though, including, I believe, tetanus (though this is also rare). Make sure to thoroughly wash any locations you get scratched.
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  #33  
Old 02 May 2013, 05:30 PM
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Lainie Lainie is offline
 
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Deep cat bites are serious, too, especially on the hand/fingers. There are nasty bacteria on those teeth.
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  #34  
Old 02 May 2013, 06:10 PM
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Too true, I have known more than one person who got a serious infection from a cat bite or deep scratch.
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  #35  
Old 02 May 2013, 06:17 PM
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Yes, it's embarrassing to go in for treatment of an infected bite wound and have to admit it came from your own cat.
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  #36  
Old 02 May 2013, 07:25 PM
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All of that about the possible dangers of cat bites and scratches is true, but it's also possible to get hundreds or thousands of cat scratches and nips* with no problems resulting. I get minor scratches all the time and often don't even put a bandaid on them. (I do watch for signs of infection, and if they do show up use a bit of antibiotic cream and a bandaid at that point.)


*ETA: not all at once! hundreds of scratches incurred all at the same time I expect would need treatment even if each one was individually minor. I must have accumulated a total somewhere in four digits over sixty years, though. Maybe five digits. Which is what I have per extremity. A cat may have fewer. -- this post is getting somewhat out of hand. Maybe I should scratch that last bit.
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  #37  
Old 02 May 2013, 07:40 PM
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Lainie Lainie is offline
 
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There's a reason I said "deep cat bites" and not nips. Through years of cat ownership I've been scratched hundreds of times, too, and often nipped as well, and managed them the same way you do.

But when my daughter's cat (unintentionally, I think) sunk his teeth into my finger to the bone, I went to the emergency room.

ETA: I did consider waiting until morning (it happened around 2 am) and calling my doctor, but when I called my health insurer's 24-hour nurse line, the nurse advised me to go to the ER, based on what I told her about the depth and location of the wound.
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  #38  
Old 03 May 2013, 03:06 AM
moonfall moonfall is offline
 
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I called the trap-neuter-release program, and they said the clipped ear does mean they have neutered (in this case, spayed) the cat in question and given her shots. Someone is supposed to call me back, but they told me that the cat has likely been vaccinated sometime in the past few years, and shots last for several. The "scratch" didn't even break the skin, and I can barely see where it is, but I washed with soap and water and put on antibiotic ointment as a precaution.

The downside to taking in a cat is that I'm moving soon, and finding a place that allows pets but doesn't have expensive pet fees or roommates who already have too many animals is difficult.
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  #39  
Old 03 May 2013, 01:44 PM
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Moonfall, while the rabies shot (at least as given around here) is good for three years once they've had two of them, the initial shot is only considered good for one year. I'd still take her to the vet. (who can also check for such things as ear mites; generally easily treatable, but can cause problems if not treated.) -- around here there are free clinics for the rabies shots, but they don't do anything other than that; but that's better than nothing. Take her in a carrier, in either case; a panicky cat can jump out of your arms into traffic.

I very much doubt the cat is rabid, even if she's not inoculated. But if she did bite somebody, and you couldn't prove her inoculations are up to date, at least in New York State you could be required to either have her euthanized or have her kept caged in isolation (possibly at the vet. at your expense) for what if I recall correctly is two or three months; which is hard on both the cat and the pocketbook. I don't know if this is the law where you are.

Good luck with the apartment hunting.
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  #40  
Old 05 June 2013, 04:58 AM
Mimi Mimi is offline
 
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I hate when people let any of their pets just wander about unsupervised. The pet could get hurt or hurt someone or another animal.

I took my cat New in off the streets in February of 2012. He showed up on my doorstep one day. I have no way of knowing if he came from someone's house (I put up posters and received no response) or if he was born on the street or what.

I took him to the vet and had him fixed and given his shots. He was also tested for FiV and leukemia, which were both negative. He had ear mites but the vet put some sort of cream or something on his ears to take care of that. His ears were filthy and he had infections in both so I had to use cleaning drops (which he really seemed to like when I rubbed in his ears) and antibiotic drops (which he really did not like). About ten days after the vet visit, he was sitting in the windowsill when a stray cat tried to get at him through the screen. I went to move New to close the window and New went nuts all over my face and fingers.

There was blood everywhere. I had to get ten stitches in my chin, had cuts all over my face and a deep bite wound on my right index finger which they left open because they didn't want it to get infected. Before then, I never knew that Cat Scratch Fever was a real thing. The funny thing is when I went to the ER they said my blood pressure was dangerously high and my thyroid levels were at zero, and they kept me overnight in the hospital. I knew about both conditions but they weren't being treated.

Anyway, short story long, other than that one incident, New has been a sweet, cuddly kitty who never misses the litter box.
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