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There is a semi-feral cat that lives, by all indications happily, in my yard. I feed her mainly dry food and sometimes treats. Today I went to get the food bowl and there was blood on the rim and then when I gave her a few treats she likes (crunchy) she meow-cried and didn't want to eat them at first. But then did. Pretty obvious what happened.

For something like this, let's just treat it like going to the vet is not an option at all. She's not approachable enough to be crated. And I can't afford a kitty dentist regardless.

This cat survived outdoors in subzero (subzero in °F, which means below -18 °C) temperatures a few years back, as well as surviving a 90 °F (32 °C) heat wave this summer which another "cat from my yard" apparently did not, because I have not seen him since. She's way tougher than you, me, or anyone else who is going to see this ;) and she probably is not out there going "I wish he would give me an aspirin". But still, I want to help her if I can.

As for food, I had some wet food which I gave her and she was able to eat, but it's going to be impractical not to mention slightly uneconomical to feed her wet all the time. For tonight I ground up some dry food in the blender. We'll see what's left in the morning.

Did a quick readup on dosing cats with aspirin and it sounds "safe" as long as you do the math correctly. I'd say she's 10-15lbs, maybe a bit more, but to be on the safe side let's say 10lbs which = 4.5kg = 45mg dose of aspirin (10mg per 1kg of body weight) every 48 hours should be safe, i.e. half a baby aspirin. This is in-line with what I have seen on some other forums, as well as what a vet told me a long time ago when I took one of my cats (RIP) to them for ... I don't remember what ... but I can still hear those words "you can give her half a baby aspirin, but the trick is getting her to take it" ;) Also, she's ear-tipped (though not by me) and so I presume she is not and will not become pregnant.

As for how I would dose her: I'd grind it up in the wet food. Note that a vet will advise you against this for important meds as there is no certainty that the cat will eat it all, thus may not get their meds, but this cat will eat it all, trust me. :)

I am also clear that aspirin is aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), and not Tylenol, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, etc.; all those things are dangerous for cats and I'm not going to give her any of those.

I am an animal lover but also a "let nature take its course" kind of person (by the way, an ex-roommate started feeding this cat against my strong advice, and now look who's left with the situation) but ... dang ... it's going to be a cold winter and she needs to eat, not to mention do other cat things to stay warm and I don't want this complicating things for her. (She has decent shelter and is super fluffy and in general she seems fine in the cold, but still.)

Bottom line: I'm going to make this decision and you are not responsible, but any advice/insight from anyone who has good experience in a similar situation would be helpful. Thank you.

P.S. Stack Exchange is prompting me with "similar" questions and it's nice to see others are out there taking care of ferals and semis-. <3 kitties.

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  • Hi and welcome to Pets SE, I did a little cleaning of your post for clarity to get more attention for your question, I changed Tylenol to be capitalized because Tylenol is brand name (and the active substance in Tylenol is acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol). We have at least one professional veterinarian active on the site, but I don't know whether this person will visit during Christmas, so it may take some time for a reliable answer.
    – lila
    Dec 24 '20 at 1:41
  • You can dampen dry food to make it into cheap soft food. Water works or you can use flavored liquid (check for cat safe ingredients) to make it more enticing and add some calories. If you eat meat at home or know someone who does, you can use unseasoned scraps to make safe bone broth (and it keeps in the freezer, if you make a larger batch). Let the dry food sit for a bit so that the liquid soaks to the middle of the kibbles, and then set it out for her to eat right away before it gets soggy or dries up. She will probably need significantly more food if she can't hunt. Dec 24 '20 at 17:05
  • 1
    Can I give my cat human medicine?
    – Mazura
    Dec 25 '20 at 1:18
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As a veterinarian I would caution against this. Obviously nobody wants this cat to be in pain, but I do not feel that aspirin will provide much benefit and could actually cause some harm.

First, although you seem confident that your cat broke its tooth, I do somewhat question the diagnosis. Unless there is significant trauma leading to the broken tooth, in most cases you won't see a lot of bleeding with a broken tooth. There are a number of other reasons why a cat might have blood in its mouth – recent ingestion of prey, other injury in the mouth (e.g. tongue laceration), vomiting of blood, clotting disorder (such as secondary to rodenticide poisoning) to name a few.

If this cat has blood in its mouth from vomit or from a clotting problem, then giving a dose of aspirin could be actively harmful. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories in general can be hard on the stomach, and if there is a clotting problem would make it even harder for blood clotting to occur and thus make bleeding more likely.

Veterinarians do not now generally prescribe aspirin for pain in cats for a few reasons. There are much much better and safer pain medications for cats. Cats do not metabolize aspirin well.

If you can be confident that this is a broken tooth, or other relatively minor trauma in the mouth, and that this cat is otherwise healthy, a single appropriate dose of aspirin will likely be safe. If you cannot touch the cat, never mind get a look at its mouth, I would not give aspirin empirically.

This single dose of aspirin might provide some mild pain relief in the short term, but a broken tooth will likely be a source of ongoing discomfort as long as it remains in the mouth. I understand that extraction of a broken tooth may not be in this kitty's future, but really is medically the only appropriate treatment (presumably excluding restorative options such as a root canal). You can check with your local shelters or rescues to see if they can help, in some cases they can offer financial assistance or other resources to get much needed veterinary care.

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I just took mine in for an extraction because they were sitting there with their tongue sticking out, drooling, and I noticed a missing K9, otherwise I'd of had no idea. I have a bottle of Tramadol but I didn't even bother because I know they won't eat it. Might as well be fed and in pain, and not just in pain.

By the time I could get to the vet a week later, behavior had returned to mostly normal, and the +$400 quote became a ~$200 bill; I suspect it was completely gone already and didn't really need an extraction, but they said they did some stitches and it was worth my piece of mind.

If this one's tooth totally fell out, it will heal. If it didn't, it won't heal and this cat will be in pain from now on, and unless you're going to commit to giving it pain killers for the rest of its life, indeed: let nature take its course.

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