Anxious about new cat - any advice??

Linnatar

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Finding this thread was such a relief I made myself an accout so I could reply. I was desperately googling "my new cat gives me anxiety" and found this. Reading all your messages helped me a lot since I have been so alone with my thoughts. I hope you don't mind me replying here because I need some help and support.

After a long time and great deal of planning and considering I adopted a cat from a local rescue center. He's a beautiful 1 year old boy who had been apparently abandoned by the previous owner. I took him home a week ago and he seemed quite comfortable in my home and around me. I liked to watch him and play with him and he's been so sweet and well-behaved.

I have been living alone and on my own for many years and although I love animals and wanted to get a pet, I knew I'd need some time getting used to the feeling of sharing my home with another living being. I felt a little funny and uneasy about the new situation, but thought it must get better after a while. I thought both me and my cat just need the time to adjust.

Everything changed on thursday (it's now sunday evening in where I'm from). My cat got ill. I knew him to be a picky eater, but he stopped eating anything and refused to drink. His nose was runny, he was sneezing and then he became flegmatic and unresponding. I got worried and took her to the vet. He was dehydrated and the lab results showed he had some kind of infection. However, the vet couldnt tell anything more spesific. The acute dehydration was taken care of and I was told to give him antibiotics and give him water with a syringe. I've been able to give the water and meds relatively easily. He seems to be a little better, even eats and drinks a little, but he's definitely still very ill.

It's day three and I'm exhausted. I'm afraid because I don't know what's wrong with my cat and if he will get well. Taking care of the cat has drained me of all my energy. I'm just stressing, worrying and crying, and I, 've started to feel resentful.

I have started to feel like this was a mistake. Sometimes I have found myself regretting the adoption and I' m not sure I can take all this. For brief moments I find myself wishing I didn't have to deal with this at all and that I hadn't adopted the damn thing. I feel like an awful person and the worst cat owner ever because of this.

I have also found myself briefly considering giving the cat away. The truth is, however, I could never return the cat who has already been abandoned once. I think he's lovely. I really want to give him a loving home, but right now I don't feel I'm able to. I feel guilty even considering returning him for a brief second.

I'm just too overwhelmed by the whole situation. I'm still not used to even having a pet in a first place, and already I need to fight to keep him alive. I don't know what to think or feel.

The rescue center will cover the medical expenses, so money is not the reason I feel resentful towards owning this cat. The whole situation is just too much for me mentally and emotionally and I just wish I could back off and return to my relatively simple pre-cat life with no trouble like this.

I'm experiencing burning fits of guilt because of all this. Am I an uncaring person? Does this mean I don't deserve to own a pet? Would my cat be better off somewhere else?

I apologize for this rambling mess. I just needed to get this out of my system and I'm too ashamed to talk to my friends about my thoughts.
 

Laurafazz

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Hi L Linnatar ,
You’re not an uncaring person at all. It sounds like you’re a very caring person who is worried about your new cat’s health and well-being, and you’re taking all the necessary steps to make sure he’s ok! Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re doing the best you can, and as far as your new little boy knows, he’s found himself in a comfortable, loving home with someone who takes care of him. I hope the vet is able to figure out what’s wrong or that the antibiotics help. I’m super impressed, by the way, that you’re successfully administering antibiotics! Caring for a sick pet is exhausting. Don’t give up, and check in with us again soon. A little over a year ago I was the one freaking out that I made a huge mistake, and now of course I’m head over heels in love with my girls.
Take care,
Laura


Finding this thread was such a relief I made myself an accout so I could reply. I was desperately googling "my new cat gives me anxiety" and found this. Reading all your messages helped me a lot since I have been so alone with my thoughts. I hope you don't mind me replying here because I need some help and support.

After a long time and great deal of planning and considering I adopted a cat from a local rescue center. He's a beautiful 1 year old boy who had been apparently abandoned by the previous owner. I took him home a week ago and he seemed quite comfortable in my home and around me. I liked to watch him and play with him and he's been so sweet and well-behaved.

I have been living alone and on my own for many years and although I love animals and wanted to get a pet, I knew I'd need some time getting used to the feeling of sharing my home with another living being. I felt a little funny and uneasy about the new situation, but thought it must get better after a while. I thought both me and my cat just need the time to adjust.

Everything changed on thursday (it's now sunday evening in where I'm from). My cat got ill. I knew him to be a picky eater, but he stopped eating anything and refused to drink. His nose was runny, he was sneezing and then he became flegmatic and unresponding. I got worried and took her to the vet. He was dehydrated and the lab results showed he had some kind of infection. However, the vet couldnt tell anything more spesific. The acute dehydration was taken care of and I was told to give him antibiotics and give him water with a syringe. I've been able to give the water and meds relatively easily. He seems to be a little better, even eats and drinks a little, but he's definitely still very ill.

It's day three and I'm exhausted. I'm afraid because I don't know what's wrong with my cat and if he will get well. Taking care of the cat has drained me of all my energy. I'm just stressing, worrying and crying, and I, 've started to feel resentful.

I have started to feel like this was a mistake. Sometimes I have found myself regretting the adoption and I' m not sure I can take all this. For brief moments I find myself wishing I didn't have to deal with this at all and that I hadn't adopted the damn thing. I feel like an awful person and the worst cat owner ever because of this.

I have also found myself briefly considering giving the cat away. The truth is, however, I could never return the cat who has already been abandoned once. I think he's lovely. I really want to give him a loving home, but right now I don't feel I'm able to. I feel guilty even considering returning him for a brief second.

I'm just too overwhelmed by the whole situation. I'm still not used to even having a pet in a first place, and already I need to fight to keep him alive. I don't know what to think or feel.

The rescue center will cover the medical expenses, so money is not the reason I feel resentful towards owning this cat. The whole situation is just too much for me mentally and emotionally and I just wish I could back off and return to my relatively simple pre-cat life with no trouble like this.

I'm experiencing burning fits of guilt because of all this. Am I an uncaring person? Does this mean I don't deserve to own a pet? Would my cat be better off somewhere else?

I apologize for this rambling mess. I just needed to get this out of my system and I'm too ashamed to talk to my friends about my thoughts.
 

di and bob

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What you are going through is perfectly normal, we have all been there at one time or another. It is what every new parent goes through......
Your cat is exactly where he is meantb to be. Think of him going through all this at a rescue center, just one of hundreds, no special care, noone to watch him close. Cats go through a LOT of stress at these centers, and stress lowers the immune system. He picked up a virus/ infection that runs rampant at such places, most likely feline herpes (NOT communicable to humans). He was also stressed from being introduced to your home and trying to fit in to a new life and routine. Just provide him with a quiet, calm place, encourage him to drink with several bowls of water set around, and tempt him to eat with deli shaved turkey and other treats. Most antibiotics can be opened and mixed in a small amount of tuna juice, liquids can be mixed right in. I have had luck with taking a tiny piece of pill pocket for cats and 'pasting' it tio a small piece of bacon, tehy gobble it right up.
Right now you are overwhelmed with responsibility. It is a lifestyle change, but try to remember, cats are one of the easiest pets to have around. They go in a litter box, they are solitary animals that can be left alone most of the day if the need arises, so try to sit back, take time for yoursel, and know things will get MUCH better in the future.
For now just try to get to know him, let things go and encourage him to get to know you. these horrible feelings will pass, and once you gain his love you will not want it any other way. please come here anytime you need, we will help you through this. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
 

rebelise1776

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Just found this thread and I'm pretty relieved also I'm not the only person to have post-kitty anxiety/depression. I'm experiencing it hardcore right now since right off the bat my beautiful fur baby, Lewis (named after Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark :D) had a rash on his head when I picked him up from his foster family. He's a 1 yr, 9 month old Russian blue kitty.

This is my first cat ever, my first pet I've gotten by myself--I've had dogs and bunnies in the past while growing up but I've been wanting a cat for as long as I can remember and my parents never liked them or wanted an inside pet. So I've never had an inside pet or experienced that. I just got my first apartment after graduating college in May and I thought it would be perfect to get my first cat in my new home. So at the beginning of August I found this cat and decided to just go for it.

My parents urged me to consider the pros and cons of owning a cat which I did, but reality is really different of course. The last three weeks I've been in and out of the vet because of his rash which he scratched at really hard and made himself bleed and we're thinking he has ringworm. I'm just so anxious and stressed and a part of me keeps wondering, "Is all this worth it? Should I just take him back?" but I want to ride it out. It's just such a huge reality check tbh, and I'm so used to being independent and just taking care of myself.

Now I'm constantly worrying about my cat and his health and whether he's peeing or pooping enough and litter box and diet and is he too fat and I know the worry will subside but it's just so much--a new cat PLUS this possible infection on his head. He's wearing a cone right now as the vet directed but I was sort of unprepared for all of this medical stuff and the different problems he came with, poor thing. And I'm all scared about his litter box attracting roaches (he killed one for me, thank heavens--roaches are rampant here in Texas :( and fleas and all the other bugs pets bring in and my family is happy for me finally getting a cat but they aren't exactly comforting since they tend to be anti cat and anti indoor animals.

And he keeps chewing on wires so I had to buy these wire protectors so he wouldn't ruin my TV cords and it's just sort of overwhelming me. I love love cuddling him and at night he sleeps with me (which is more awkward these days with his little cone on). I've never been a mom or anything, still single, so I'm just kind of inundated with all of these things to learn and look out for and I'm jittery.

He's such a smart kitty and he's so sweet and he seems happy in (our) new apartment haha but idk I feel like I bit off more than i can chew with adopting my first cat/first pet + plus his current health issues. I've had to take him in to get antibiotics and a steroid to prevent itchiness so now we're waiting for the ringworm culture and ugh...it's just a lot.
 

rebelise1776

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Finding this thread was such a relief I made myself an accout so I could reply. I was desperately googling "my new cat gives me anxiety" and found this. Reading all your messages helped me a lot since I have been so alone with my thoughts. I hope you don't mind me replying here because I need some help and support.
LITERALLY same, I just made a new account when I found this thread on anxiety, because I just adopted my first cat (just made a post about it) and he also has some health problems and it's a lot more than I expected to get when adopting my first cat. Totally feel that, and yeah the guilt is real! I've been having similar thoughts but then I think I just need to be patient and this is teaching me how to really be responsible (recent uni graduate struggle lol) and coping with adult life and also having another living thing around after living on my own, in my own space. Now I have this little creature following me around looking to me for all this stuff and it's freaky kind of but also adorable. Your cat is so lucky to have you and I see this post is from about a month ago but I thought I'd reply and give you a virtual high five and say, YOU GOT THIS, my dude.
 

coriejo24

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I’ve definitely been where you guys are. I can tell you with me and my Henry it has gotten so much better. He’s five months old now. When I found him he was estimated to be only 4-5 weeks. He was a sickly little thing. I bet I spent almost $800 on his little self up to now, but he’s healthy and playful. My anxiety has lessened dramatically. He was neutered and microchipped on Tuesday of this week, so I’m hoping no more vet visits for at least a year!
 

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rebelise1776 rebelise1776 , just wanted to add that if your cat doesn't turn out to have ringworm, it might be allergies. When we adopted Juniper, she had bitten off all the hair at the base of her tail and she started scratching above her eyes until she gave herself something that looked like a rash. It turned out that she was allergic to chicken, and once we eliminated it from her diet, her skin symptoms cleared right up.

I'm glad that you found this thread; I think it's been helpful to a lot of people who have experienced anxiety/stress/regret about their new kitties, and a lot have come back months later to post about how they got through that initial stress and now are overjoyed to have their cats. I hope having some positive experiences and some folks to commiserate with will help you get through the tough first few months.

And if you want specific advice on ringworm (if that's what your cat turns out to have) there are some helpful threads on the 'health' board.
 

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This thread has brought me back down to earth. I lost my best friend of 13 years to cancer a month ago. My resident cat and I have been adjusting to it just being the two of us... but then anxiety kicked in and I started hyper focusing on Peppers. After a vet visit... I mellowed out again. Yesterday, I was given the opportunity to bring home a tiny abandoned kitten from a friends house. I thought about it all day before taking the plunge. She was sweet and terrified. The three of us got no sleep last night. Kitten was scared. Peppers (resident) couldn’t figure out why she was locked out of the bedroom. I got 3 hrs of sleep. Regret, guilt, panic... but wait!!!! I saved a tiny kitten from a terrible situation. This is not my first rescue... all of my cats have come to me the EXACT same way. I am projecting MY feelings on my kitties. Then I exhaled. The cats are fine! I’m creating chaos in my own head.
After relaxing I had a great play session with Pickles (new kitten) receiving head bumps and kangaroo hops. I also had a fantastic grooming session with Peppers (resident cat) along with some cat nip. I have 5 days off. I’d rather spend those days enjoying my time with my kitties rather than being a helicopter MESS. My kitties aren’t freaking (they’re more annoyed) so why am I?
Again... I thank everyone posting on this thread. It was so comforting and helped me get to the point of letting all the fear go.
 

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di and bob

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I love the way you talk yourself into a better place! I need to practice that... You'll be fine and so will they. It just takes time, one day at a time...
 

MazzyJill

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I love the way you talk yourself into a better place! I need to practice that... You'll be fine and so will they. It just takes time, one day at a time...
Just taking deep breaths when needed. It will all work out. ☺
 

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This thread has been so useful to me! I just adopted a cat last week from the shelter and I've been feeling really stressed. The shelter spays the cat on the day you pick it up, so it's been a stressful week of trying to make sure she doesn't bite the stitches/giving her antibiotics and pain meds/etc. all while adjusting to having a new cat.

I've been wanting a cat for years and grew up with cats, but Winnie is the first cat I've ever had on my own. I just feel so stressed with her and terrified that I'm not giving her enough attention (I'm in grad school) or not being affectionate enough with her and it just feels like a lot of responsibility. I keep feeling like maybe getting a cat was a mistake and that I should have waited or that maybe I liked cats, but wasn't ready to own one.

At any rate, seeing this thread has been really comforting because I've felt really alone and bad that I associate this new cat I brought into my home with stress and anxiety. I'm hoping that in time we both learn to adjust to one another because she's a really sweet, affectionate, and cool cat and I think if I can calm down and give us time that we'll have a good life together.

Sorry this was really rambly!
 

Etarre

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S sassysnape , I'm glad that this thread is helping calm your anxiety about adopting Winnie. I can definitely understand how having a new cat AND taking care of post-op care is overwhelming! Please consider sharing some pictures of Winnie with us to celebrate her adoption. It might help you focus on her amazing qualities and we always love kitty pics.
 

sassysnape

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S sassysnape , I'm glad that this thread is helping calm your anxiety about adopting Winnie. I can definitely understand how having a new cat AND taking care of post-op care is overwhelming! Please consider sharing some pictures of Winnie with us to celebrate her adoption. It might help you focus on her amazing qualities and we always love kitty pics.
It's definitely been a bit hard to do the post-op stuff, but in a week she'll finally have the stitches out! It's hard to get good photos with the cone on, but here is the lovely Winnie in all her glory! I didn't mention before, but she's a 2 year old tabby!
2019-08-30 16:47:11.670.JPG
86116A69-2CE6-4E1F-8D7D-724EC685F224.jpg
 
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Etarre

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Aw, what a cutie! I love her white 'ruff' and she has beautiful eyes. I hope the week goes quickly. I bet you'll both feel better and happier once that cone comes off.
 

MazzyJill

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As an update... Peppers and Pickles were out free while I was at work today. I’m still anxious... but I was greeted at the door with Pickles running through Peppers legs to greet me.
That being said... how do I know if Peppers is happy Pickles is here. There isn’t any fur flying, Pickles (kitten) jumps on Peppers to play constantly, but Peppers continues to growl and hiss when Pickles gets too close. And turns around and lays close to Pickles like in the picture. I guess I’m just looking for reassurance. Thanks all ☺
Pickles is on the books... Peppers lays right in front of her like so. Pickles backs off when Peppers hisses... so I’m guess they’re ok?
 

Annoellyn

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I get that way honestly with every new pet that I adopt. I think it's normal, just a realization that this little life is depending on you. I view it as a good thing, that I am taking this responsibility seriously.
 

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Hi everyone. I am grateful to find a forum like this. I adopted two cats this past weekend (both 1 year old). I had a cat for 16 years who past two years ago. I told myself I wouldn't ever get a cat again just because she was my one and we had gone through a lot together. Of course, the pull of a cute friend kept coming. I wanted a dog but I knew the amount of work was probably too much for just me who has a job. I met a the pair who were listed as bonded and thought maybe it was time. One looked a lot like my last fur friend. I pulled the trigger but now I am so anxious. I think, "what have I done. I said I wouldn't do this again." My anxiety comes from looking back. My Madison (the last kitty) really struggled. We had a good relationship but she was nervous and I moved almost every year. I also went through a lot personally over the time I had her and I think she was right there with me in my stress. We went through a couple years where she was so sick and there wasn't an answer. Peeing and pooping outside the box. Learning to pill her (which was stressful). Vet visit after vet visit. Thousands of dollars in vet bills that nearly killed me. We right sided but once she got the peeing outside her box as an option when....well...who knows why, that became out life. I am not sure about anyone else but having your stuff ruined through scratching and peeing really breaks you down. I was so resentful and angry. I loved her little face and her love for me but at times, I just wanted to give her away and have my life back.

So here I am with two new guys and freaking out. Can I do this again? What if I get resentful again? What if I don't love them enough? Will they be happy? I am also learning they really aren't a 'bonded pair'. They came up from the south together and the shelter ended up housing them together. The 'get along' because there isn't much in terms of interaction. They just co-exist. I guess that also scares me because I got them to have each other. With my last one, I wondered if me not being home made her stressed so this time I thought a pair could help me and them. One is active, playful and loving. The other is quiet, enjoys some affection and not playful. Mr Active (Figaro) gets a lot of attention because he goes for it. Ms Quiet (Bean) follows me and likes pats but Fig usually gets involved. I worry about the one not playing even though I know there are cats that probably don't but I worry about weight and general happiness. I worry about going into work and if they are going to be OK or if it will cause problems (I am a worrier). I did take a step to give them the second floor as their domain. Food is there, they have their own bathroom- it's my office and sitting room. I decided to keep them there at night - close them in so I can sleep as I didn't want to start them sleeping with me as I know how that can go - it can be good and bad and I wanted to establish boundaries. I was so stressed to do it since I let them out and about the rest of the day so they have free reign of my two floors so I wasn't sure if closing them off at night would be OK. So far I think it's been OK and I figure, it's like the shelter where they go to 'sleep' but now in a much larger space.

They are cute little buggers and I am grateful to be able to have them. I know I shouldn't worry so much but I guess I still bare the scars of the last kitty.

Thanks for listening.
 

coriejo24

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I was right where you are earlier this year. I lost my sweet Lucy in November 2018 and said I wasn’t ready another cat. Then, in May of this year my parents found a tiny kitten under their house and brought him to me to see if I could find him a home. I ended up keeping him and then had so much anxiety about the decision. What was I thinking? I wasn’t ready. Now he’s almost 8 months old and I can’t picture my life without him. He’s so different than Lucy. She wasn’t really a snuggler. Henry constantly wants to be held and loved on. You’ve got this. This group really helped me when I was struggling with my decision.
6B503706-34E0-4F49-B5B8-4CC204619E4D.jpeg
 

mmmccabe

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I was right where you are earlier this year. I lost my sweet Lucy in November 2018 and said I wasn’t ready another cat. Then, in May of this year my parents found a tiny kitten under their house and brought him to me to see if I could find him a home. I ended up keeping him and then had so much anxiety about the decision. What was I thinking? I wasn’t ready. Now he’s almost 8 months old and I can’t picture my life without him. He’s so different than Lucy. She wasn’t really a snuggler. Henry constantly wants to be held and loved on. You’ve got this. This group really helped me when I was struggling with my decision. View attachment 318685
@ coriejo24 coriejo24

Thank you for your message and what a cutie. I am hoping that talking with others will help me get past my own issues. So many people have cats so I know I am not alone. If I can give them a good home and we all bring each other some happiness then that's the best thing I can do.
 

di and bob

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M mmmccabe , I have found out in my great age that almost 99% of what we worry about DOES NOT COME TRUE! For only having your cats a week or so, I think everything sounds fine! As for Figaro being more playful, that is very common in a male, as being more reserved is for a female. They co-exist because they are a family unit (been together) and they most likely have already established their heirarchy and know where they stand with the other. As you know, cats absolutely HATE change and here they are in a new home with all it's stresses. Everything will work out in time. One day at a time.....
You have known a cat's love and your heart wanted more. To pass on the love of past cats is a great honor and a tribute to their love. They will continue to live on through this love. You will be blessed for opening your home and your heart to these little ones who so desperately needed you. Your love will grow and your fears will calm in time as you all learn a new life's order for yourselves. Life is too short to worry needlessly, enjoy them and share your problems and your joys with us here at this site, you are not alone!
 
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