#25 Medicating Feral Cats and Kittens

Question: I had been making fantastic progress with a feral cat I had rescued from the street but then I had to give him some really vile tasting medicine for giardia. Is there something less traumatic we could have done? Two of us holding him down and pilling him was nearly impossible but we did it since he wasn't aggressive. Now he won't come anywhere near us. What should we have done?

Answer: I had this same experience early on when I started taming cats and it is very frustrating. Over time I've compiled a list of the easiest ways I've found for medicating ferals. Most of the common ailments that need treatment are included. Here's the direct link to that list on the socialization page of our website: urbancatleague.org :


It will take time to get back to the comfort zone and trust you had worked so hard for with the cat, but you will get back to it in time. Give him some space and start with play at a distance and treats one at a time by hand or tossed to him. With time, cats are very resilient and he'll realize you are his friends again. Similarly, sometimes 2 cats that haven't gotten along will forgive and forget and suddenly will be friends. You'll be forgiven, you'll just have to wait it out. Be non-challant about it and don't over compensate with gushing attention, or that will make him nervous too. Best, Mike


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  2. I am having the same issue as this poster. My semi feral had an ear tumor removed yesterday. She is very distrustful of me now and won't come out from under the bed. I put food and water out and she came out and ate and drank until I made a move towards her. I'm suppose to be giving her pain mediation (Buprenex) in her mouth...not her food. The thought of her in pain is very distressing. Any suggestions?

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  8. I have not read the above comments but what I do if I can feed and touch a feral cat is I ground their pills to a fine powder, mix it in butter and wipe it on their nose and face.
    I will also give them medication free butter at times so they learn that they love it.
    I really think the above is a much better idea than holding a feral cat against their wishes and trying to force medication on them that taste terrible.
    I also worry that you are putting yourself in a position to be bitten in the hand. Just in case you don’t know “any cat bite to the hand needs immediate ER evaluation and minimally one to two doses of IM antibiotics plus at least 7 days of PO antibiotics” this is a serious bite!
    I have spent many a night in the ER getting antibiotics
    Good luck to you and Thank god for you and your caring


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