When feral cats get sick for extended periods of time you need to provide extra space for them to recover safely and humanely. I’ve run into that situation a few times this past year, and the Feral Cat Recovery Cage has been a lifesaver, literally, for the cats. My TNR friend, Dave H, invented this set-up, and actually ended up donating it to me. I am indebted to Dave’s ingenuity and generosity. The cats are lucky to have him working so hard for them, and I really don’t know how to thank him enough.
This set-up is so swank that I actually call it the Feral Cat Recovery Lounge. It’s a two-doored dog crate with a Tru-Catch trap attached to another opening cut out on the side. You can attach a standard-sized Light Duty Animal Trap or Fat Cat Animal Trap. This is what the lounge looks like covered, but you can see the door of the trap is lined up to the cut opening to the crate. The door is kept open with a secured stick.
The trap is attached securely to the crate with these removable springs on both sides.
The cat can go freely from the trap to the crate, and vice versa. You always place food and water at the end of the trap for the cat. That was s/he is acclimated to going into it, which makes it easy for when you’re ready to transport the cat to the vet, back outside, etc.
Zombie Cat was in the lounge first earlier this year. She was very sick with an aggressive URI and lived in the lounge for about six weeks, receiving three rounds of antibiotics, and visiting the vet several times. Here she is in the trap, ready to walk into the lounge area.
Once I opened the trap door, she walked right into the recovery crate, which has a litter box, cat bed, and room to stretch. Here she is on the cat bed looking from the trap end.
And here she is in the cat bed looking from the crate end.
She also had a choice of a cat bed on an elevated platform in the crate. The platform frees up even more room to stretch out in.
The lounge is once again occupied, this time by Dice, one of the cats in my yard from the James Gang Colony. Dice had a dental earlier this year, before I had this set-up, and frankly recovery was very stressful for him. We kept him in a crate, but had to prod him back into a trap when we needed to. This eliminates the need for such interaction.
Frankly Dice is so sick right now that he is allowing human handling, but the recovery lounge is a great place to keep him contained safely, and is easy to open up if I want to pet him, administer medicine, or pick him up. He has been sleeping non-stop – I doubt he could jump up on the second floor of the lounge because he is so weak.
I am so happy to have this recovery lounge at my disposal because Dice got sick very fast. I wanted to re-trap him earlier and take him to the vet, but he was still being evasive. When I came home last Friday from being out of town all week, I found him in the garden with black mucus all over his face, and meowing at me. I placed him easily into a trap and took him to the vet. He is not doing well – he is severely dehydrated, underweight at four pounds, his face is bleeding from the mucus, and he seems to be defecating and urinating uncontrollably. At the same time, he is seeking out food and seems to appreciate the care given to him, so this is not easy to figure out what to do. He received fluids and is on antibiotics for now. Please keep your fingers crossed him. At the very least, he is comfortable right now because of this lounge, and there is no stress involved in moving him.