J.H.A., Mystic, CT
Tags: cat CT Mystic
Dec 27, 2010
About 10 years ago, a young, semi-feral shorthair female cat selected me to be her provider at a small marina where I am employed. She is mild-mannered but easily spooked and comes to me only. She remains an outdoor cat by choice, but I provide a doghouse shelter, fresh water and three “squares” a day. Her appetite is good, and she grooms herself well.
Recently though, I noticed that her coat was visibly thinning along her spine, about 1-1/2 inches wide from mid-back to tail. There is no wetness, no scabbing and no flea dirt. It’s much like a man’s balding.
I want to spare her the trauma of an animal carrier and vet appointment, but mostly I want to preserve her trust. It was many years before she would allow me to pet her. I would appreciate your advice.
J.H.A., Mystic, CT Dec 27, 2010
I truly appreciate your spirit of the Good Samaritan caring for this cat. You have clearly established a bond, which could be subsequently re-established. I would trap her in a humane and effective box trap and have her condition evaluated by a veterinary cat specialist, carefully coordinating the trapping of the cat with an appointment set up ahead of time. She probably needs to be wormed, and the veterinarian will probably insist on vaccinations. You do not know if she has been spayed, and I would not agree to an exploratory operation to see if she needs this operation because she is getting on in years and her breeding days are probably over.
I doubt she will lose trust in you. She should come around quickly once you release her into her familiar terrain. Perhaps you should seriously consider making her a live-in companion. Unable to escape from a suitable room or indoor enclosure, many cats settle down and come to feel safe and secure, especially when paired with an outgoing, socialized cat.