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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3921
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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She got out and was gone for a week or so. She came back

Customer Question

She got out and was gone for a week or so. She came back with really bad matting on her back. I need to groom her but she's a feral cat that is still pretty skittish. She's spayed and weighs about 10 lbs. I think she needs to be sedated for me to trim her. What can give her for this.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the veterinarian can help you. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Her name is Tuxy. We don't know her age. She was feral. She's full grown.
JA: How old is Tuxy?
Customer: We don't know. She was full grown when she showed up at our door.
JA: Is there anything else the veterinarian should be aware of about Tuxy?
Customer: She seems healthy and gets along reasonably well with the cats we already had. She has long hair. When she first arrived her fur was matted but not this bad. I was able to brush out most of it and cut the rest. This is so much worse that I don't think she'll keep quiet for it.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

There's nothing potent enough over the counter that will suit your purposes. A prescription benzodiazepine such as alprazolam (Xanax) might be of value but I have to inject my ferals with a dissociative drug such as ketamine before I can shave away those mats. Please let me know if you a benzodiazepine or a human tranquilizer/anxiolytic drug at home and I'll see if I can give you a dose for it.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
We have is Diazepam at home.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

Thank you. Unfortunately, there have been sporadic reports of cats developing idiosyncratic (peculiar) hepatic failure after receiving oral diazepam. It's best not administered to cats unless given intravenously.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
My husband is quite good at handling her as well as animals in general. Is there anything available OTC that we could try to see if he could get her to just relax enough to work on her coat a little at a time? When she first showed up on our property I was able to get her cleaned up once she was fairly well socialized. I just want to be sure we don't poison her.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

Many caretakers will see if the sedative effects of an antihistamine such as chlorpheniramine (Clo-Trimeton) dosed at 2 mg will be enough for your purposes. Unfortunately, it rarely is.