Friday, February 4, 2011

Caturday--Things We Keep On Hand

Working with ferals over the years have taught us to keep a few things on hand at all times. 
Nutri-Cal is a must for cats who are malnurished or weak. It helps them to start eating again. It's also good as a hair-ball remedy.
If your tube of Nutri-Cal ends up going through the washing machine as mine did last week, light corn syrup can work in a pinch for cats who are weak and need a quick boost.
Apple cider vinegar is good for giving cats a quick bath, especially for those who have ring worm. Use a 1 TBSP to 2 Cups of warm water and dab on affected areas. This works as good as the bleach solution, without the side effects of bleach.
Olive oil is also a necessity. It's perfect for treating earmites, soothing areas affected by ring worm, and for a quick hair ball remedy to get the gut moving.
Baby food chicken or turkey are excellent nutrition starters and are handy to have if you have a sick cat. The baby food can be diluted down with Pedialyte or KMR to provide a nutritious slurry. 

A great milk replacer for unwweaned kittens, pregnant and nursing mothers. It helps them by giving them added nuttrition. We have occasionally used it to help nurse sickly cats back into health. It's not meant to give to cats as part of their regular diet when they get older. It also goes bad quickly after opening. We try to keep one can on hand in case of emergencies.   
Unflavored Pedialyte is excellent for combatting dehydration if the cat can drink on it's own. We mix it with baby food chicken or KMR. If the cat can't drink or eat on it's own, please see your veterinarian.
Cotton cosmetic pads and QTips work well for dabbing on apple cider vinegar mixture or adding olive oil to the ears. They come in handy for so many uses, like cleaning, adding topical ointments, or giving kittens something to play with.
Flannel nursing blankets and fluffy towels are necessities for wrapping cats up after bathing, keeping them warm, or for "burrito" purposes. Please do not use that heirloom baby blanket--tending to sick cats means getting messy stains. Don't use your good, expensive towels either. We find our supplies at the thrift stores or yard sales.  
We've tried to use blow-dryers for drying, but we found a space heater in the bathroom works very well at keeping the room warm enough for kitties that are ill, wounded, or recovering from surgery. Small space heaters also will help dry a bathed kitty, along with fluffy towels.  
And finally, some excellent books that offers information, knowledge, and ideas in dealing with ferals. The books do not replace your veterinarian's expertise and knowledge but they can help you save some time and money. They are  reference books.


  1. thanks for sharing this info..some i knew and other tips are new , like the pedialyte
    iodine is also a ring worm killer..and Tea tree oil but it's aroma is very strong.
    other handy items..betadine

  2. Thanks for the tips! I like to use natural remedies when I can for me and the furry kids.

  3. Hi, Cathryn,
    These are all great tips. I fed Bella the turkey and chicken baby food when I got home after school. (When she was living with us and was sooo sick. I wish I had thought to offer her the Karo syrup!!

    Happy Weekend ~Natalie

  4. Wonderful list of tips and advice to care for a kitty that is slightly distressed.

    My NYC daughter, Wendi, fostered 3 little kittens this past summer and unfortunately they came with ringworm, a very resistant strain of the disease. So she and all her roommates ended up with the fungus plus most of them have cats of their own so there was a houseful of 5 young ladies, 4 cats, 2 dogs and 3 kittens battling super resistant, mutant-ninja ringworm. Stripping beds every couple of days and washing towels and bedding frequently, vacuuming and trying to keep things as sanitized as possible plus bathing all those cats and kittens with a medicated fungicide wasn't enough. They finally had to go to stronger medications, trying about 3 different prescriptions before they found one that worked against this fungal demon. Took them over 3 months to totally eradicate it. After the kitties were all well and their bald patches were pretty much filled in with healthy fur, Wendi was able to put their photos out on the adoption website. The kittens were quickly adopted, they were so sweet, Wendi knew they'd find homes quickly. When the animal rescue center offered Wendi a couple more cats to foster, she declined saying she really needed a break for awhile. Don't think I blame her.

  5. Wow, what wonderful cat information. Great stuff and great work you do.

  6. Great info ! I am a licensed Vet tech and got many kitties dumped on our doorsteps at work!

  7. I love the idea of olive oil! One of my boys gets skin irritations from some sort of allergy every few months. I honestly don't know what to do for him other than a steroid shot when they get bad. Maybe some more oil or protection on his vulnerable skin areas will help. Thanks for the idea!