farm overrun with sick cats

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. My elderly (foster)parents have a 300 acre farm that's been in their family for generations. Except for a handful of sheep, they no longer farm. They have 40-60 cats, very few healthy, most are feral, all appear to have lice/fleas/mites, and many have cold symptoms (eyes matted with discharge, runny nose, cough). Those with the cold symptoms usually die, but they die a slow, painful death. I want to know if there is a painless way to euthanize the sick ones. Again, most are feral so can't be caught. Someone recommended using rat poison and they would bleed to death -- is that a slow, painful way to die?
     
  2. TexasMom

    TexasMom Member

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    It sounds kind of cruel, but actually I think I would shoot them, or have somebody do it. If done right, it is an instant death. Years ago I had an elderly aunt with a quite a cat collection - mostly feral. She had a mental breakdown and had to move in with relatives for her last years. We took the cats we could catch to the shelter, and one of the cousins shot the rest. Sad, but quick and I assume better than starvation or slow death from illness.
     

  3. Ardie/WI

    Ardie/WI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Much as I love cats, I'd have to agree with TexasMom. Trapping and shooting would be the way I'd go. Poisoning them is a slow death. :no:
     
  4. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Rat poison would be pretty gruesome and would qualify as cruel, in my book.

    What a horrible situation to be in. :( If they're dying slow, horrible deaths, I would guess they all have something like distemper --- ??? --- or ??? whatever that common cat disease is that they have to be vaccinated against.

    You don't happen to be friends with a compassionate vet, do you? If they all have that disease which I can't remember the name of --- ?? --- putting them down is definitely the kindest route to go. Not to mention, you'd want to do it to stop the spread of whatever it is, I'd imagine.

    Ithink I'd start looking for a compassionate, community minded vet who would either lend a hand for next to nothing or explain a kind way to do it. I know rat poison is a very bad idea. Wish I could be more help.
     
  5. lynpea

    lynpea Well-Known Member

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    What about calling animal control? They might have another suggestion.
     
  6. HeXeN

    HeXeN Guest

    Feed them poprocks & soda, and they will just EXPLODE!
     
  7. kitty32_z8

    kitty32_z8 Well-Known Member

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    What the cats have is a respritory desease. Those with it will eventually die. Dieing that way is not very humane either. If your parents keep any of the cats trap them and cage them for a week or 2 to see if they come down with the desease. It is a very transmitable desease. If one comes down with it and they insist on keeping it have a vet treat all you keep. IF you are going to take care of them without calling any agency ( such as ASPCA) to pick them up, the trap and shoot is the most humane. Also we have a local non profit agancy here that helps anyone with feral cats get them fixed for free at a local vets. You might call your local vets and ask if they have heard of such a group in your area.

    Kathy
     
  8. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    ok prep for a bad spelling...
    these cats have "terachial rhinophuminitis", I had an outbreak here of that once. it kills old, weak, and young, a FEW do recover but they die with sores in their mouths, choking on snot and blood, and it is VERY contagious. SHOOT every cat that shows even a sniffle, and bury or burn them. watch the rest of the kittys, they may not develpoe symtoms, some are immune and resistant. I advise you NOT to shoot the healthy ones, if they are there for mousing and rat catching, you do want some there. the ones that remain heathy out of this 40 will have kittens who are resistant too. I had only 2 healthy ones left out of about 13, and since I havent had another outbreak and all the cats I have are from those 2's kittens. if you see a cat with those symptom from now on and they are as you say kinda wild, shoot them, your doing them a favor, as few will recover, and they spread it to other homes and cats.
    you have job on your hands and speaking of hands pitchfork the dead ones, this disease can transmit to people sometimes. (my iinfo came from 3 vets I ask at the time, so i err on the side of caution).
    make a day of it, get a bonfire going that incinderates whatever you toss on the pile, and start hunting. Do it NOW, they suffer horribly sometimes, they cant eat or drink or breathe. Dont shoot the healthy ones so they pass on some resistance.
    I hate whacking cats but sometimes you just gotta do what ya gotta do.
     
  9. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    If you call animal control get ready to go to jail. Shoot them and don't tell anyone.

    mikell
     
  10. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure there is an animal rescue group in your area who can help you at least humanely euthanize the animals if you trap them. If you will post a state, I can try and find one for you.

    Cait
     
  11. Stray Cat

    Stray Cat Well-Known Member

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    Animal Control might make it an issue, then the next thing you know, your hiring a lawyer. Becareful.
    Anyone hear of Anti-Freeze killing a cat. Buckshots work well.
    Comfortablynumbs right, keep the healthy ones, otherwise you'll soon be seeing new cats moving into the territory. A thus, begins the romance...and not that I would know anything about that!
     
  12. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Antifreeze is a worse idea than rat poison. It causes all kinds of neurological stuff - seizures, etc - and there's no guarantee the cat wouldn't survive, except in an even more horrific state.

    I've seen it happen -- someone tried to poison my sister's dog with antifreeze. The dog had horrific seizures and survived, but now has neurological damage and liver or kidney problems. Very cruel. :no:

    A rescue or a compassionate vet who will either help for a reasonable price or tell you how to do it is my vote.

    It needs to be done, though, as those kitties are going to die anyway and are spreading the disease. CN's right about incinerating, too. I adopted a cat once years ago who had this stuff and it's very very nasty and contagious.
     
  13. Kirk

    Kirk Well-Known Member

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    I dont consider myself an animal rights activist and I hate cats. That said, should we also do the same to the old and sick in our society?
    Kirk
     
  14. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Kirk, these cats have a very contagious and deadly disease. CN gave a name for it, but I know it by another name that I can't remember -- I once adopted a cat with it -- I think, if memory serves me right, most cats are vaccinated against it.

    In any case, they're dying. And it's not a technicolor peaceful movie death. It's a painful awful death and unfortunately, there's nothing that I know of that can save them.

    Just as important, it's contagious, which is why she needs to incinerate them after death.
     
  15. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Cats are picky and suspicious eaters. Don't waste time trying to poison or trap them. Rat poisons are formulated for rats and mice. Chill on the antifreeze. I agree with the need for quick action. The problem is bigger than the cats. If it were no risk to others, empathy or sympathy would be in order. Killing the sick and disposing of the dead cats is only the first step. If you have fleas, feces/urine and other cat problems, it has just begun. Perhaps those who suggest you have compassion could come and take away your sick cats. Otherwise, get busy.
     
  16. Annie in S.E. Ohio

    Annie in S.E. Ohio Active Member

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    There is a simple and humane solution and you first need to get in touch with the nearest Humane Society type organization, they will help you live trap the wild ones ( using a Hav-a-Hart trap) and decide which can be saved and which need euthanized, at little or no cost to you. You can get the number of such organization through the local vet most likely, and there is NO chance you will be in "trouble" with any laws or other organizations if you use the Humane Society people, don't use Animal Control!

    The cats have rhinopneumanitis, it is not terribly serious in normal, healthy cats, but can be deadly to run down, weak, wormy and malnourished cats, I have rehabilitated many, many rescued cats with this disease and it is not a big deal to handle the infected cats nor is it communicable to humans of other pets. It is vaccinatable against, it is a cheap vaccine ( less than 2 dollars a dose)the vet can teach you to do yourself for any cats that become tame enough to handle in the future.

    After the most ill members of the feral pack are euthanized, the rest should be fed regularly with a decent quality dry food (like Friskies, Dad's is not recommended) and allowed to regain their health, the ones that are the healiest after a few months should be all neutered, again the Humane people will have a no-cost or low cost program you can use for this.

    It takes very little effort on your part to do the "right thing" for these cats, to let them just continue their suffering is inhumane and unethical.
     
  17. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    There are cat rescue places, true, and some places, esp. in larger cities and along the coasts, for feral cats. Not so many in rural areas, though. She might have to do some serious looking around.

    That's it. The cat I adopted with it was from --- somewhere, I can't remember. :confused: I was a kid at the time. All I remember is he didn't live very long and it was not a pleasant death. It can also be very nasty in healthy cats, however --- one of my sister's cats got it and never fully recovered. Very nasty disease.

    In any case, whatever happens needs to happen quickly.
     
  18. RoyalOaksRanch

    RoyalOaksRanch Royal Oaks Taxidermy

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    I dont see how anyone can diagnose a cat without actually seeing it and taking some blood, cultures etc. Could just be the common cold that alot of feral/barn cats get in wet cold weather. Some of mine had it and they all got over it... Sneezing, some runny icky eyes, congestion, and they look and feel miserable. Sorta like when we have a cold...Vet said "simple common cold" theyll get over it.. Sure enough those that had it did, and the rest didnt "catch " it...
    At any rate a 22 (Or shotgun depending on where you live) and a good aim does wonders for solving such a huge problem. Animal Control would basically come in and trap/kill them anyway. A humane society would come and get what they could but then THEY would be saddled with the bills of trying to get them all healthy and then trying to tame them down for adoption and thats only if you can find such a society that would agree to undertake such a progect.
    Sad to say but whatever the cats have wrong with them could be everything from a common cold to some highly contagious desease... Who knows, unless you want to trap some and take them in for testing you wont know for sure...
    I agree with shooting them, its fast and painless if done right... and about the easiest method to fix the huge problem you have...
     
  19. mizattitude

    mizattitude Well-Known Member

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    wellll...if you call a rescue or animal control..you can bet your boots that your ma and pa will be accused of animal neglect and branded a "hoarder". Could get ugly...and cost alot of money in fines

    Shoot them and keep quiet..
     
  20. jerneeon

    jerneeon Well-Known Member

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    My parents had some wild cats that took refuge on their property, and many started getting the disease. My mom had been feeling sorry for them and had been feeding them. She put some golden seal in one of the bowls and all the cats who ate out of the bowl with golden seal survived and overcame. Those who didn't get the golden seal all died. Also, putting brewers yeast into their food every now and then keeps the bugs off them. Fleas, etc, hate yeast.