Part of what we do in Ubi for stray cats is medical care when needed. If you have basic cat first aid supplies in your house, you can do the same for stray cats you meet that need help.
The main problems the strays we meet run into are fever, dehydration, cuts and wounds.
Fever is noticeable by a few symptoms, most prominent of all is the ‘third eyelid’, where the cats’ eyes’ inner lining becomes swollen and covers part of their eyes even when they are open. The important thing is not to give cats Panadol/paracetamol no matter what – paracetamol is dangerous for cats. You may also notice the cats not eating as well, or unable to swallow food.
Dehydration may be linked to fever. The symptoms are similar, and also, you may find discharge coming out from the cat’s eyes and nose. Apart from fever, dehydration may also occur because of diarrhoea or vomitting, which we so far have not witnessed happening with the Ubi strays.
Wounds and cuts and resulting infections are common especially among male cats, as well as female cats that have just been sterilized because of their stitches. If the wound is infected, the skin around the wound will look raised, and it may still be bleeding. Some wounds may be around the eyes, as cats when confronting one another might receive blows to their face.
To take care of cats having fever, an anti-inflammatory, such as Danzen (available from vets, or pharmacies – it is an OTC medicine humans take for sore throats) will help.
For dehydration, glucose mixed with water applied with a syringe will help. If the cat is having both dehydration and fever, you can pound the Danzen tablet into powder and mix it with the glucose water, as the cat might have problems swallowing pills if his throat is inflamed.
If the cat is wounded, you need to clean the wound with a hydrogen peroxide solution and apply either antiseptic powder (available from vets) or antiseptic cream. This will disinfect the wound and stop the bleeding.
If the cat’s eye is swollen, normal eye drops used by humans for sore/tired eyes will provide some relief.
If you are not familiar with the cat’s toilet habits, do not administer antacids or other vomit/diarrhoea medicine as you will need to monitor the cat’s excretions to see how sick he is, and if he gets better after the medicine.
SPCA has an animal clinic. If the cat is severely sick or wounded, or if you are unsure of what to administer, do not hesitate to give them a call to attend to the stray cat that you have found.
Additional reading: First aid for bruises