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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9601
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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I have a 4 yr old cat that I can not crate to take to the vet.

Customer Question

I have a 4 yr old cat that I can not crate to take to the vet. My husband and I have tried for two weeks. Everything I can find on the Internet and facebook has not worked. She is a rescue as a kitten. But still does not like to be held. She started off leaving large clear circles with a dark edge around them where she laid, then it went to dark red blood spots, now its small clear circles with a dark edge. There is no odor. There is no blood in her stool. She acts her normal self, eating, drinking, bathroom habits. Her hair does look scruffy to me. She is not spade. She has always gone into heat but never any spots before. The one thing we did change before this started was food and litter. We have 3 cats (the other two are spade and neutered.), they are only indoor. One has a hairball problem so we have always used Iams Hairball food. The other two cats are 15 and getting fat (we do not give table scraps) so we switched them all to Iams Proactive Health-Weight Control and Hairball control. The young cat is not heavy. We also divide a Friskies Pate 5.5 oz. can of food among the 3 cats twice a day because the one has to take pills. I added Clump & Seal by Arm & Hammer to my usual Tidy Cat for the litter box that they all three use. Is there a sedative for a cat that can be put in the food to get her to the vet? I feel like this could be serious. It has went on for 3 weeks now. I just don't know how to help her.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb. I'll do my best to help you today.
I'm so sorry for this concern for your cat; I can understand how difficult it has been to get her in a crate, too, despite your best efforts.
To address your specific question about a sedative for her, unfortunately, such a drug would have to be dispensed by a vet with whom she has a client/patient relationship. This means that she'd have to be physically examined which I can safely say probably hasn't been done for a while given her feelings about a crate.
It would be illegal otherwise for a vet to dispense drugs for her.
You could try over the counter Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) which often has the side effect of sedation. This may make it easier to transport her if she's a little sluggish. The dose would be 1/2 of a 25 mg tablet about 1-2 hours before travel. I'd probably give her a dose first to see what sort of effect it has on her before scheduling a vet appointment.
Has your research on the internet suggested using a pillow case to transport her? I know this may sound odd but I've found it to be a fairly effective way of transporting a cat who refuses to be crated.
You don't even necessarily have to hold her to get her in the case but just scoop her up when she's sleeping or laying down. Tie the top of it with string or something similar and then you can put her in a box or laundry crate or an open-top carrier even while she's inside the case.
She'll be able to breathe just fine if you were worried about this.
There are articles and videos about using this technique if you want to google it since a video can demonstrate the procedure a little better than a written description.
I share your concern about her discharge since female cats don't have a discharge when they're in heat as you've noted. Since she's unspayed, I'd be worried that she may have an infection in her uterus (aka pyometra). This particular condition can be fairly serious if left undiagnosed or untreated since the kidneys may ultimately be affected or damaged.
Most vets recommend spaying patients with this problem and what I would recommend as well for such a condition.
I hope this helps and that you're able to transport her to the vet's office for evaluation. Deb