Feral Cat Information
|What is a feral cat?A feral cat is a cat that exists in a wild or untamed state. Human contact is very stressful for them so they often become aggressive or extremely fearful. Some young feral cats can be tamed with a great deal of patience and willingness to allow the cat to approach you on their terms. Feral cats can sometimes be dangerous animals and should all be handled as such with care and respect. Our policies are in place with the safety of the cats and our staff in mind.|
How do I get a feral cat trap?
You can purchase a trap at any hardware store or rent a humane trap at our clinic for a deposit of $50.
How can I make an appointment for a feral cat?
Please call our clinic at (901)324-3202 and we can schedule an appointment during one of our regular surgery days. We also accept feral walk-ins Tuesday – Thursday between 8:30am and 9:30am. If we are unable to fit them in that day, we can house them overnight and perform the surgery next day.
Policies regarding feral cats:
- All feral cats must be brought into the clinic in a humane trap.
- All feral cats must leave the clinic in a humane trap, not in a carrier.
- One feral cat is allowed per trap; traps holding more than one feral cat will not be accepted.
- Transferring of feral cats is not allowed on the property.
- The left ear of every feral cat will be tipped. Each feral cat will receive a free Rabies vaccination.
- You can make an appointment to borrow a trap from the clinic with a deposit. Call the clinic for more information about the program, (901)324-3202.
Why do you cut off the tip of the feral cat’s ear?
Ear tipping is the universal sign for sterilization and lets everyone know that the cat has been sterilized.
Feral Cat Post Operative Instructions
These post-operative instructions apply only to feral cats and should not be applied to domesticated cats for any reason.
Today your feral cat was spayed or neutered, vaccinated for rabies, and his/her left ear was tipped straight across. The Mid-South Spay & Neuter Services’ veterinarians also made every effort to treat cats that have other injuries as noted during the procedure (ex. wounds are clipped and cleaned).
Leave male and female cats in the same carrier/trap you pick them up in at our clinic. Keep the doors firmly closed and locked. Do not transfer the cat from the trap. Allow the cat to remain in the trap until fully recovered and ready to release. All cats should be kept 24-48 hours in a temperature-controlled area. A garage may work if the weather is mild (not too cold or hot). Cover trap loosely with a large towel or sheet for shelter and warmth. Make sure to leave some space through which the cat can get fresh air. Throughout the evening, monitor the cat for breathing and possible bleeding. Do NOT stick your finger through the trap or try to touch or handle the cat. Feral cats are not vicious, but they are recovering from anesthesia and are not accustomed to people, noises, their environment, etc. You could be seriously injured by a scared cat if it bites or scratches you. ALWAYS wear sturdy, protective leather gloves if you feel that you must handle the cat. All animal bites are serious! If you are bitten seek medical attention and do NOT release the cat. The cat must be quarantined. Contact your veterinarian for quarantine instructions.
You may offer the cat water and 1/4-1/2 amount of a regular diet tonight as long as they are awake/alert. If the cat is still sedated/groggy, withhold food/water until alert. The cat may choose not to eat tonight due to post-operative nausea or being nervous in their surroundings. Do not offer them table scraps, milk, etc. Most traps have a plastic feeding dish that may be attached inside; water and food can be placed in the trap without having to open the trap. Do not over feed or over water the cat as this may cause vomiting.
Cleaning the Cat’s Waste
Place newspapers or plastic on the floor UNDER the trap to catch urine, feces, and food that may fall from the trap. The trap may be carefully placed on bricks or suitable objects to be elevated from the floor so that the cat is not lying in its own waste. It is very important, if you elevate the trap, to use good judgment so that it does not topple over when the cat moves around.
Incision Area: A small amount of redness and swelling is normal. Excessive swelling or drainage is not normal; you should contact either the Mid-South Spay & Neuter Services or your regular veterinarian to determine treatment. Opening of the incision or excessive bleeding is considered an emergency; you should seek immediate veterinary attention. Feral cats often pant, vocalize, roll, and may even beat their face on the trap; this is not an emergency and can be ‘normal’ feral cat behavior when they are confined. Fresh, red blood coming from the rectum of males and abdomen of females is an emergency.
Ear Tip-Occasionally, the left ear may bleed after being tipped. This bleeding should not persist.
- Please call the MSNS 24-hour Emergency Line first with any emergency concerns: (901)488-2955
- Mid-South Spay&Neuter Services (901)324-3202
- Animal Emergency Center on Summer Ave (901)323-4563
- PetMed Emergency Center on Germantown Pkwy (901)624-9002
Releasing the Cat
Once the cat is alert, clear-eyed, and shows no signs of illness he/she may be released. Only released cats that are fully awake! Male cats can often be released the morning after surgery; female cats may need to be kept for an additional day. Keeping/confining a feral cat longer than 48 hours creates increasing stress for the cat which will prevent proper healing of the surgery site. However, if bad weather or extreme temperatures are present, use good judgment to weigh the risks/benefits of keeping the cat for another day. Always release the cat where it was trapped. Relocating cats is strongly discouraged due to reports of high mortality. Cats released in a new place will not know where food, water, shelter, or area predators are. When releasing the cat, remove the cloth cover, open trap gate, and back away. Patiently stand back and allow the cat to leave at its own pace, usually it will run away immediately. Leave fresh food and water at the drop site.
- Deworming: The feral cat was dewormed for roundworms and hookworms.
- Flea/Tick Treatment: Frontline Plus topical treatment was applied to your the feral cat. This will give them coverage for one month.
- Ear Mite Treatment: If the animal had ear mites, it was treated with a topical medication to treat the condition.
- Tapeworm Treatment: If the feral cat pet had visible tapeworms today, it was treated with an injectable medication to treat the infestation.
Mid-South Spay & Neuter Services is not a full-service veterinary clinic. We are equipped to perform sterilization surgeries and not to diagnose/treat illness. We do not provide diagnosis/treatment for other illnesses or injuries of any animal. Please notify us with any post-operative concerns that you may have, we will advise you on the most appropriate course of action.