Cat Colony Rescue
ARF was recently asked to assist the Alberta Spay/Neuter Task Force (ANSTF) and AARCS with re-homing a colony of cats on a rural property in southern Alberta. Concerned citizens had reached out to us in concern for this colony because they all appeared to need medical assistance.In total, we spent about 10 hours trapping 14 cats and brought seven of them into our care with the others taken in by ASNTF and AARCS. The majority of the cats were found in the ceiling or under one main house, so it was quite difficult to trap them all. They are all semi-feral or feral, but ARF has the expertise to rehabilitate them and find them appropriate homes. They were all found with various health concerns and injuries requiring immediate medical attention.
- Felix: 1 year old male orange tabby. He is covered in scabs and wounds under his fur, very dehydrated and malnourished. Body Condition Score (BCS): 3/9 So far, Felix is doing the best out of all the cats rescued, both medically and behaviourally. He has already been neutered and is doing fairly well. He does have minor URV symptoms, but his wounds are healing quickly. He is still afraid of strangers, but is becoming very comfortable and easy-to-handle with his caregivers and is starting to solicit attention. He is quite nervous about being alone and has become very attached to Oliver. Felix is a lot skinnier than everyone thought, weighing in at only 1.5kg for an adult cat.
- Oliver: 2-3 year old male dilute orange. Covered in scabs and open wounds; hair loss; Upper Respiratory Virus (URV); broken nails; very matted with burrs and debris; very dehydrated and malnourished. BCS: 2/9. Oliver has been neutered and has been spot shaved to remove debris, burrs and matts. He is much more comfortable with people petting him now, with some of the matts removed. He does have mild URV symptoms and is on antibiotics.
- Victoria: 2-3 year old female orange and white. Covered in scabs and open wounds; hair loss; URV; broken nails; very dehydrated and malnourished; damaged right eye causing impaired vision and nystagmus (involuntary eye movement) caused by trauma. BCS: 1/9. Victoria is in the worst shape, physically of all the cats. She has several open wounds, her ears are torn and has eye damage. She also has very bad teeth and will likely require dental work at time of spay. When she is sedated, the veterinarians will look at her eye, but they don’t think it will have to be removed. Victoria also has symptoms of URV and a low-grade fever, she is on antibiotics and eating and drinking normally, so she is being closely monitored.
- Emily: 1-2 year old female torti. Covered in scabs and open wounds; hair loss; broken nails; very dehydrated and malnourished; very damaged right eye requiring removal. BCS: 1/9. Emily has been spayed and has had her right eye removed. The veterinarian said it was two or three times the size of a normal eye. Her face is quite swollen right now, but she seems to not notice her stitches and is recovering nicely so far. Emily does have mild URV symptoms as well, but is stable.
- Piper: 1 year old female calico. Covered in scabs and wounds under her fur, very dehydrated and malnourished. BCS: 3/9. Physically, Piper is in the best shape, but she is the most aggressive and can not be handled, even with gloves. She has been spayed and the veterinarians found a large ovarian cyst, which has been removed. We are hoping that this was the cause of her aggression and we will give her some time to recover from the surgery and a mild case of URV. If she can not be rehabilitated, Piper will likely be a good candidate for a barn placement.
- Zoey: 4-month old female orange and white. Covered in scabs and wounds under her fur, very dehydrated and malnourished. BCS: 3/9. Zoey has developed severe URV and is being treated by her caregivers. She can not be touched by anyone else yet and to prevent further sickness, the veterinarians felt it was best that she gets treated where she is. She is currently on antibiotics, NSAIDS and IV fluids. She is very attached to Victoria and they spend a lot of time together.
- Juno: 1-2 year old female orange and white. She was very pregnant, covered in scabs and wounds under her fur, very dehydrated and malnourished. BCS: 3/9. The stress of the rescue caused Juno to go into labour earlier than anticipated and she had four kittens. Unfortunately, the kittens were premature and with a very sick mother, they sadly did not make it. She is currently being monitored for pneumonia, getting hand-fed and is receiving antibiotics, NSAIDS, IV fluids and supplements to help with hydration and immune strength. She is being cared for in her foster home – because she is completely feral the vets were worried about moving her, the stress could cause more medical issues and she is not comfortable with people around her or touching her.
All cats will need significant behavioural work since they are all feral or semi-feral. Several have already received injectable antibiotics for their wounds and several are being treated for URV. A few will need to be shaved under sedation and at least one will need an eye removal – the others will be assessed under sedation while being spayed/neutered.