Saturday, February 4, 2012

Barn cat colony

So far four barn cats are fixed, and I have one waiting here to be done next week. I'll pick up two more this weekend.

Lucas has lice. From what I read, cat lice is specific to cats, they tend not to wander from the cat, and they die within a short while of not being able to get on a cat. So no real worries there, thank goodness. Much better than ringworm! The clinic veterinarian treated him with ivermectin, but my reading indicates cat lice don't suck blood, so are not well controlled with ivermectin. Frontline Plus is apparently the option of choice but of course they don't have boxes of expensive Frontline sitting around to dole out at high volume clinics. Cats should be treated on day one, and then again in two weeks. I assume since Lucas has lice, all other cats from the barn are likely to have lice as well, so I'll be cleaning with extra diligence and will bag up towels etc. for a week before washing.

Patti has been adopted! She was a recent arrival on the farm and totally friendly. (She was not exposed to the other cats, so lice are not a concern with her). The farm owner overheard a gentleman mention he was alone and was considering a cat. Apparently she stepped right into that conversation, and Patti was due to be picked up the night I brought her back (after she stayed her for a week to recover from surgery). I made sure she had medical records to pass on, but otherwise stayed out of the adoption.

You can see my feral cat recovery set-up here. Every cat gets a feral den to hide in or sit on top of. I use wire cages because the cats are less panicked in wire cages than solid dog crates (where the only visible route of escape is out the front door and right over the top of YOU). I use towels instead of newspaper because it is quieter and soaks up spills. I used one folded towel at the back under the den, and one folded towel at the front. I can then remove the front towel without disturbing the cat, shake it out in the trash, and put it back. If the cat knocks bowls over, I use Quik-Lock crocks instead. The den is at the back, and food and litter are at the front where they can be easily removed.

Cages are always up on tables. The cats feel less threatened, are warmer, and clean-up or taming is easier on the caretaker. Scared cats should never be in below-waist-high cages.

Weenie really ought to be in a home rather than a barn. She is also a sweetie. But the purpose at this point is to get all these cats fixed before there are more kittens. Once they are altered and vaccinated, the farmer can certainly work on getting the friendly ones homes, just like Patti.

I'll make a copy of the Frontline Plus box so she can start treating the friendly cats.

1 comment:

  1. Weenie is so beautiful! I like your feral dens. I have a rabbit hutch on a table but its good for only two who know each other at a time. It is in constant use for surgery recovery ferals. I have been meaning to make another. It's not very big though. 3 foot by 3 foot by 18 inches tall. I don't have much room.

    I use yoga pads for the floor, because I found some at a thrift store. I cut them to fit.