Finally Got Senior Feral inside - Need Advice and Support

havecats

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Hi, I have posted previously about some ferals in the neighborhood that I have been feeding and had done some TNR. I have an older feral cat that has lived in our yard for the better part of 15 years - most of her life. I had her trapped and spayed when she was a kitten 15 years ago and she is still here after all this time.

I was able to get her in a carrier today and then took her to our spare room and placed her in a really large kennel set up for her. The resident young male feral reacted with loud yowling. He is separate from the other cats because he doesn't get along with them although he would love to have some feline companionship. I was able to cover the kennel quickly and that helped calm him just before he dove behind a dresser. The sweet senior kitty sounded a little scared and disoriented but didn't react as strongly. I think she is just trying to get her bearings. Even with all the things I've been able to do to help her in this extreme heat we are having (110 plus) I think it's just too much for her to have to deal with the elements anymore. She deserves to have some creature comforts and rest but I'm not sure how this is going to work for the both of them.

I did bring them food and the male came out to eat a little and seemed much calmer. The senior kitty hasn't eaten much yet but perhaps she will eat and drink more a bit later.

She is used to patrolling the yard and her territory but is also very friendly and affectionate toward me. I think she is already appreciating being in a climate controlled environment and I can't wait to see how she adjusts. I'm so happy and relieved that I was able to bring her in finally. She seems calm and the male cat is perched above nearby watching the covered kennel with interest. He's still a little anxious though. I went in to check on them just now and he was purring and came near for me to pet him but when I started to talk to him he started to growl a little so I left the room. The senior seems calm, and is resting quietly.

I don't know if I should spend the night in there with them or not. Seems like it might be better to leave them be and I'm not far from them so I can just check on them if necessary.

I guess that's it for now. Thanks for letting me share.
 

Furballsmom

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Did you decide to just check on them rather than actually being in their room overnight?

You not being there could allow them a bit of time to continue adjusting at their own pace, since of course your presence changes the dynamics :)
 
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havecats

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Yes, I think I'm just going to check on them. The male starts to feel insecure and he growls. If I talk to him, she hears my voice and then starts to vocalize because she wants me to give her attention too. She cries in the sweetest little squeak meow. I gave her a little stuffed animal and a toy. I realized she isn't used to any of this so she is actually adjusting pretty well. The male seems torn between kind of liking that he has a kitty roommate and feeling threatened that he is sharing his space with another cat.

At first she didn't want to walk in the kennel and I figured out that she isn't used to walking on hard, smooth surfaces. She's just used to walking around outside in dirt, on concrete, sand, or grass. I put a soft little rug in there for her and she has been getting around on it. She's also been eating and drinking.

I don't think she understands about the litter box yet. I put her in it and was explaining it to her. I think if she sees the other cat go she will understand it better. She's used to going outside so a box with litter is foreign to her.

I put a little stuffed animal in there with her and a little toy. That seemed to comfort her. Which made me realize she isn't really familiar with the concept of toys either. After I gave her the stuffed animal, she started to relax and I could see her relaxing in her bed. Allowing herself the luxury of enjoying how nice and soft it is and how comfortable it feels. She was lounging, and stretching out a little. It's actually going better than I thought it would. I'm also thanking God for His help with all this and for keeping her safe out there all those years.

Thanks for your comment. :-)
 

Jcatbird

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It seems like they are adjusting okay on their own right now. Peace and time to explore their new surroundings may be what they need at first. Since your voice triggered a growl, I think your thought of allowing them a night alone is good. I also like socializing by sleeping in the room with kitties but let them sett the pace and take your cues from them. I would expect them to enjoy having you in the room as they get a little more secure in the new environment. Thank you so much for bringing them into a safe and cool place! It’s extremely hot here and I have the kitties all inside but I am seeing the wildlife searching out cool spots. It’s really intense this year and you have saved them much suffering. :clap2::redheartpump:

We crossed posts so I wanted to add, putting a bit of grass or sand or whatever she is used to as an outside potty into the litter box may give her the idea about where to go.
 

shadowsrescue

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Also if she pees or poops outside of the litter box you can sop it up and bury in the litter box. She will be attracted to her own scent.

As for the room, at night I like to have at least a night light on. I also play soft music. Do you have a Feliway plug in? They work well to help calm the cats.

I would visit her frequently during the day if you are able. Just sit on the floor and talk softly. Offer some special yummy treats.

Thank you for rescuing her. She will have a wonderful life with you.
 

fionasmom

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It is so kind of you to bring her inside. It is not 110 here, but my cats definitely know that they are in a climate controlled house, including the two recently brought in ferals who spent last summer outside. One actually stand up on the entertainment center which is just below an AC vent to make sure that the cold air is blowing out. I think that your two will adjust and the female must be thrilled to have a comfortable place to rest.
 
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havecats

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Thanks for all your comments and suggestions. Thankfully, the female did understand about the box and used it last night and also today. They do catch on quick about that, don't they? I was so glad - I think she was worried about what was going to happen to it from there. She seemed relieved when she saw me coming in last night and then today to clean it for her. She got more food and I gave some to the male although he doesn't usually get canned during the day. He was feisty this morning but was acting more like his old self as the day wore on. The female is resting comfortably. The first day was rough and now she is starting to understand what's going on and is getting more comfortable. The male I've had for about four years now, I probably didn't clarify that. I had posted about him previously when I first took him in. He just isn't too keen about sharing his space with this new cat but I think he's feeling a bit better about this situation today. I kept giving him attention and telling him what a good boy he is. I was a little worried about the male because he hadn't eaten so I moved his food. It may have been too close to the new cat. I think that helped because I saw he did eat today. Now I'm looking ahead to how I can get to the point where she can be outside of the cage but without the male in the room. I don't want her to run under the bed and hide so I'll have to think about that for the near future. So, that's it for today. Thanks again for your support!
 

Furballsmom

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You have lots of time - she's inside now and you two have climbed the mountain of the first day/night together. You can relax for a little while, and maybe let her get her sea legs first before opening that cage door.

Your post above is incredible because I think she's doing fantastically as is your very good boy :).
 
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havecats

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This journey that began with so much hope has gradually turned into a nightmare. Initially the cat was just resting in a kennel enjoying her creature comforts and we were working on getting her out of it 24/7. (she was in a room with a feral cat) Unfortunately, the situation with the other cat began to deteriorate and he just would not accept her in his space and became more antagonistic as time went on. He would charge at her, bat at her, hiss and growl, etc. The stress of this situation took a definite toll on her health. She is now resting comfortably in another room away from him.

The first vet we went to was nearby and had an opening right away which worked because she had a UTI. The other clinic I wanted to take her to didn't have an opening until the following week. Bloodwork was done, they got a urine sample and put her on anti biotics. They gave us fluids to administer also. Was told her blood work looked pretty good, no sign of kidney disease. After she recovered from the UTI, I noticed she was having problems with allergies and sneezing. Long story short, the powdered mix prescribed that was put on her food eventually caused her to stop eating.

We had to change back to the other vet we wanted to go to initially because this first vet wouldn't really give me any protocol of any kind to follow with the cat. Even from the beginning. I had to ask several times how much and how often to administer the fluids. The vet was vague and said try x amount over a certain period of time. This was a new experience for me. Previously, other vets would at least give some details for me to write down and often a printout of instructions for the cat. I even called at one point to ask specific questions about the cat and was told to just bring her back in.

So, sometime after that we went to the vet I had been to previously and the clinic was really supportive and helpful. My cat had lost about two pounds and was starting to look boney and had muscle wasting. I have never dealt with anything like this previously and was becoming really anxious about her. This vet takes a lot of time with the patients and they are really kind to the cats. She ate really well while there and I was feeling hopeful. She was given sub q fluids, a vitamin B shot, convenia, and I think cortisol to help with pain/inflammation in her stomach. I had still been administering fluids at home as well. This vet looked at the original bloodwork done at the other clinic and did some in house bloodwork as well.

Unfortunately the liver values were off so we were looking at the beginning of Fatty Liver Disease. It seemed promising because it was the beginning. I had already been syringe feeding her and was hoping to get her to eat on her own again soon. But it hasn't worked out that way. I don't think I've been feeding her enough from what I've been reading. Also, she had a URI setting in over this last weekend that wasn't yet evident. She had congestion in her lungs and I didn't realize it. So after I gave her fluids, she was struggling to breathe and I thought she was going to die. It was horrible. I've paid hundreds of dollars we didn't really have to get help with this cat and we're running out of options (and money). :-(

I'm trying to get in touch with the clinic to see what can be done for her. I was even thinking that I could go to an aquatics store to get antibiotics for her so she can have something right away. But don't know if that would be a good idea since I've never done that before. Has anyone tried those in the past and how has it worked?

Also, has anyone here ever dealt with Fatty Liver Disease and what did you do? Did the cat make it?
 

fionasmom

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I agree that you need to have some expert advice here. Fatty liver disease is sometimes handled through a feeding tube and I sense that you have been instructed to do so orally which could be tricky. Nutritional support is vital and the clinic really needs to help you. Tell them it is an emergency if need be.

I have know GSD people who use the aquatic antibiotics but have never done it myself and never with a cat.
 
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havecats

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Hi,
Thanks for your replies. I've spoken to the vet. When I called the last time, the tech went right back to talk to the vet and she called me back right after that. I was able to go over my concerns with her and she talked to me about what we could do for now and in regards to her feedings what amount would be best for her daily. (I wasn't too far off on that which was a relief) I was able to go tonight before they closed and pick up the injections for the cats abx, Vitamin B12, and something to help with the inflammation. The vet feels strongly (and I agree) that she may have IBD but at some point we need more diagnostics to confirm.

I already gave her the B12. It was a little messy, a small amount came out as I pulled out the needle. But I could feel she got most of it so that was good. Such a relief! I was so worried and it was so good to talk to the vet and I appreciate how she much has helped us.
:cool:
 
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havecats

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P.S. I spent much of the day crying and praying and wanted to thank God that we were able to get through to the vet and that we were helped.
 

katieh

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Hi there, just wanted to let you know my 9 year old cat Elmo had fatty liver from when we were forced to stay with my older sister for a month when I was fifteen. My Mom finally brought her to a vet who diagnosed fatty liver because she wasn’t eating due to stress. I ended up syringe feeding her for about a month and she recovered and lived until she was 16. I would recommend a feeding tube though since it’s less stress in the cat(and you as well) but at the time that was my only option because my mom wouldn’t pay to have one put in.
 
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havecats

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Thank you for sharing about your experience with your kitty Elmo. How great that she recovered and lived to be 16. :cool:

I think this kitty has still been adjusting to being inside, and her immune system has been showing the stress of that and having to share space with another kitty that did not get along with her. She now has a comfortable space on her own where she can recover in peace and she is doing better.

I've been syringe feeding my kitty for about two months. In the last five days she has started to eat on her own. So thankful to God and to our wonderful vet. I've been praying and fighting for this for weeks. She has still needed the fluids but not as much. She's pretty much eating on her own now. Some days it's all day eating. (not gorging, I'm giving her smaller portions throughout the day) She's probably getting about 2-1/2 to 3+ of the 3oz cans of canned food. I'm basically giving her as much as she wants. It's so great to see her eating hungrily! She only wants canned food now, she hasn't shown any interest in dry. To be honest, as she has aged she was eating less of the dry and more of the canned. Now she just needs to put on some weight and she will be looking and feeling more like herself - but better! Thanks again!
 
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