How to Cure a Feral Cat With Upper Respiratory Problems

Curing feral cats can be a challenge.
Curing feral cats can be a challenge. (Image: cat image by Darren Ager from

Unlike many wild animals, feral cats are often fed by homeowners or cat owners who are concerned about the animals. When feeding feral cats, the humans feeding the cat might notice that the cat is suffering from various health problems, including potentially life-threatening upper respiratory problems. Curing the feral cat can be challenging, but it is worth the effort when the cat is able to live its life healthily.

Catch the cat. Curing the cat of problems like upper respiratory problems will require that the cat be on hand and able to receive medicine. The cat can be caught by hand or by using a trap. Traps are typically metal and need to have food placed in them to catch the cat. Catching the cat by hand can be difficult and can be potentially harmful, so use that method as a last resort.

Take the cat to a veterinarian who deals with feral cats. Many vets do not handle feral cats, but information about vets or services that do treat feral cats can be found at any local feral cat organization.

Get the cat vaccinated. Upper respiratory infections in cats must be vaccinated. Some types of infections will clear up with the medication while others will only be minimized but will remain.

Keep the cat in the hospital or in a home until it is cured. Some vets will require that the cat stay in the hospital, while others will give medicine to take home instead. When taking the cat home, buy or build a large crate that can easily fit a large dog, put a litter box and food and water in the crate.

Release the cat after it is cured. Most feral cats are spayed or neutered before being released to the original habitat. Feral cats are often unable to adjust to domestic life.

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