You should only be sedating a feral cat at home if advised to do so by a vet, who should be able to give you some appropriate medication. Oral sedation is often the easiest; you will need to gently open the feral cat’s mouth and push the tablet down its throat, ensuring that it swallows it. You can also use natural sedatives like catnip to make the cat more relaxed.
There are several methods by which you can sedate a cat, and you may find that you don’t need to use a medical sedative at all; sometimes, natural sedatives will be enough to keep the cat calm while you get it to a vet.
Are There Any Natural Cat Sedatives?
There are many natural cat sedatives that you can use if you don’t have or don’t want to use a medical sedative. Medical sedatives have many disadvantages, and you may not have access to them, especially when dealing with feral cats.
Medical sedatives are often dosed according to the cat’s weight, and may only be given after a vet has examined the cat – which could leave you with only nonmedical sedatives as an option when handling a feral cat.
Nonmedical sedatives are not as effective and may not last as long as medical ones, but they are often safer to use and are less likely to cause side effects when you give them to the cat.
What Are Natural Cat Sedatives?
Some common, nonmedical sedatives include:
- Valerian root
- Kava Kava
- Synthetic pheromones
- Body wraps
All of these are good options if you have a feral that you need to handle, and you don’t have the experience, medication, or training necessary for giving a medical sedative. You can choose any of the above, or use a combination of them.
How Do Natural Cat Sedatives Work?
Things like catnip, Valerian root, and Kava Kava will often trigger a cat’s interest and engage its attention. Not all cats respond well to these products, and younger cats may ignore them, but most adults can be captivated by any of the three, and will respond with either relaxed play or sleepiness.
You can get catnip and Valerian reasonably easily, and you won’t need a large amount in order to capture the cat’s attention – just a small sprinkling may do.
You might wish to do a trial run before you actually need to sedate the cat to check whether it is an effective method of sedation for the individual you are handling.
Synthetic pheromones can also be useful; these work by reproducing the smell that cats produce when they are happy, and this reassures the cat that everything is okay.
You can get pheromones on scented collars so that the cat stays relaxed constantly, or you can get sprays, which may help to keep a cat calm once it is in its carrier.
Spray the carrier before putting the cat in, rather than once the cat is contained.
Finally, a body wrap may work; you can bundle the cat into a towel, and this will increase its sense of security.
However, this can be challenging to do with a feral cat, so you may need someone to show you how, and it might take a bit of practice to master this method. It’s a good option if you don’t have other sedatives available.
Related Post: 8 Simple Ways To Get A Feral Cat Into A Carrier Safely
How To Safely Sedate A Feral Cat At Home
To sedate a feral cat at home, you will need to decide what sort of treatment method you are going to use, and get the product ready.
Next, work on winning the cat’s trust so that you can trap it; you can do this by feeding the cat, talking to it, stroking it, and spending time with it. Depending on how wild the cat is, this may take weeks.
If you are going to use a medication to sedate the cat, you will need to talk to a vet about your options; do not buy an over-the-counter medication and give this to the cat without proper medical advice.
Get something that is suitable and talk to a vet about the best application method.
Usually, medical sedatives given at home will be applied orally, so you will need to be able to handle the cat enough to get it into the animal’s mouth and down its throat.
This can be really challenging with a feral, but other sedative methods and an established bond of trust may help.
Use pheromone sprays, a body wrap, or catnip to calm the cat down, so you can administer the sedative, or depend upon them entirely for keeping the cat calm.
Related Post: How To Take A Feral Cat To The Vet?(Practical Tips)
Sedating a feral cat at home is not easy, and should only be attempted by experienced handlers.
If you are going to try it, make sure you get advice from a vet before you start, and understand the different sedative options available to you.
My name is Katie, and I have had different pets at home for as long as I can remember. While I can definitely say I love all animals in general, my heart belongs to cats and dogs. I know you are supposed to choose one or the other, but I could never really decide. I’ve also owned hamsters and fish when I was a kid, and they filled my childhood with very delightful memories.