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Old 02-04-2013, 11:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a feral barn cat. She will allow me to pet her, but not hold her and NEVER pick her up. I've worked for nearly a year just to get her to let me pet her while she eats.

This morning while at the barn I noticed she had a string wrapped around her tail. She is a long haired black cat and the string is white. It looks like the string that is used to seal feed sacks. It's about an inch from the tip of her tail. The string is long enough that it drags behind her.

While she ate her breakfast, I started petting her. She'll let me touch all over her body, so I just worked my hand back to her tail. I couldn't tell if it was tied or wrapped. My error was I stopped petting her and held the string in one hand and made a failed attempt to untangle it from her tail. She jumped, I pulled her tail and off she went.

The string is a light weight type string. It'll break easily. So I'm not as concerned about her getting hung up, as I am about the string getting tight on her tail.

So, after much thought, I think I have two choices. One), I can trap her in her kennel (she'll go in for tuna) and take her to the vet. They'll sedate her and remove the string. Or Two) I can throw a blanket/towel over her, hold her tight and remove the string myself. At least that would be the plan.

She's a rescue that has been spade. So she has been sedated before, but I don't have record of if she had any complications. Having said that, I hate to sedate her just for string removal.

Any cat folk out there have a better idea to attempt to remove the string? My daughter is in town, so I'll have an extra set of hands. But the cat won't come near her (as she doesn't know her). I did pull her breakfast (after she ran) to make sure she'd be good and hungry tonight. I'm 99.9% sure she'll be in for dinner.

Just a note: There is no possible way that anybody 'tied' the string to her tail. She won't allow anybody remotely close to her (but me during feeding). So I think the string is wrapped and not tied.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think the blanket idea is good, but just know trust can be broken with a feral pet. I had a feral cat that I tamed up a bit, and during the summer decided to put some flea preventative on her. Just the stuff between the shoulder blades. She would never come near me again after I did it.

Do you think the vet would really sedate her? Or would they just pull the string off? I don't know that the vet would want to sedate unnecessarily if the string can be pulled off fairly easily.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaneyB View Post
I think the blanket idea is good, but just know trust can be broken with a feral pet. I had a feral cat that I tamed up a bit, and during the summer decided to put some flea preventative on her. Just the stuff between the shoulder blades. She would never come near me again after I did it.

Do you think the vet would really sedate her? Or would they just pull the string off? I don't know that the vet would want to sedate unnecessarily if the string can be pulled off fairly easily.
Because it's a feral, NORMALLY the vet sedates while the cat is still in the kennel to do any vet work. But I'd have to call and make sure they'll do it for string removal.

I've had feral cats for the past 20 years or so. I haven't had a problem with them forgiving me in the past. Especially after trapping them in the kennel. It might take a week or two, but they'll eventually forgive me. I haven't had one leave..yet. This cat is a young cat. I haven't trapped her yet. I think that's why I'd rather try doing it myself. Save the kennel trap for an emergancy. I just don't want this to turn into something ugly (cutting of circulation). She is a really long haired cat, so I can't tell if it's tight or not.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I was going to suggest the same thing cover her and then attempt to get the string off just be sure to cover yourself up as well and having your daughter around would be the way to go as they can tend to be a bit fiesty when restricted, and if all fails then go to the vet. Best of luck with the task at hand
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would do the crate capture then blanket and get it done. Less stress .

Definetely make sure to take the crate to a small closed room before opening it, we've made that mistake before and had to start at square one And heavy gloves!
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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See if your local animal shelter has an animal trap. Smaller than a kennel and you should be able to get at the string while she's in it.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauri & The Gang View Post
See if your local animal shelter has an animal trap. Smaller than a kennel and you should be able to get at the string while she's in it.
Ah!!! Didn't think of that. We have a small animal trap (I don't 'do' possums). Hmmmmm
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Just a quick follow up regarding the great cat adventure.

Daughter (who is visiting from out of state) went out to the barn while I was at work. She tempted the cat with a can of tuna. When the cat came up and started eating, she snatched it by the neck and squished her to the ground with one hand and removed the string with the other.

Luckily the string wasn't tight. Luckily the cat didn't take her hand off.

Kids...geesh.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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oh well - I was going to suggest a very small amount of tuna with some oral ace in it from the vet...letting her go in a crate with the tuna, closing the door and letting her fall asleep in it, then taking off the string....

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Old 02-05-2013, 10:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm glad it worked out so well. Feral cats are so vulnerable. We used to keep several at our barn until the coyotes got so numerous. We brought the last three into the house and made them pets.
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