The dilemma of care vs trauma

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KatScritch

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Even if she isn’t eating much, as long as she is eating something she should be okay. Have you tried Churu’s with her? Most cat seem to love them so you could squeeze some on top of her food or mix it in.
Thank you for reminding me. No, I have not tried Churu yet. There is a Petsmart 5 min around the corner from my normal feed store. I will go there tomorrow, if they're open.
 
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KatScritch

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My girl Cosette rubbed her ears until she got the ointment out. She had it all over her head. Yes I believe it's possible.
Thank you. I am not doubting some ointment got out but I last applied some ointment Monday and the eye/nose discharge didn't happen until Friday. Do you think the discharge thing would onset so suddenly 3 or 4 days later? I am not being argumentative as much as I am just curious :)
 
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KatScritch

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If she's not eating, I'd offer her anything she'll eat. She needs to get through this.

As for her not going number two, don't worry too much. Cats can hold off on the bathroom for a surprising length of time.
I'm not trying to make excuses, but this morning she figured out that she can hang out on top of my dryer all day. She has meows sometimes when I come in the bathroom but since she is on top of the dryer, I can't get close enough to put food or a water bowl up there without her getting frightened. Also, she got behind my dryer a week and a half ago when I was trying to towel-catch her for a vet appt, so she knows it is an escape route. I just have to hope she comes down and eats or drinks something overnight.
 
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KatScritch

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Hi. Please, go ahead and rant away. We are all here to support each other and that goes along with ranting about vets.

I completely understand your frustration. Because, stress does play an important role in whether or not a cat gets better, and their general heath.

I worked for many different veterinarians over the past 3 decades. Specialty, emergency, internal medicine, surgery and feline only hospitals as well as GP. One thing that I know from that experience is that nobody knows your cat better than you. Often times the cat parent’s concerns or insight are disregarded. That is so irresponsible in my opinion. After all, every animal is an individual with their own habits, patterns and responses to different situations. Who better to know that cat and their inner workings, than the person that lives and loves them. So, I do know how frustrating this can become.
Thank you so much. I've been foruming for years but only last week did my therapist reminded me that feline forums do exist.

So, is it a fact, pattern with her not to eat after the stress of a vet visit?
Yes. Furthermore, she stops eating any time I catch her regardless of vet visits. I'm checking my calendar and including catching her for gabapentin, to apply ear ointment, and vet appts themselves, I have had to catch her 6 times in 10 days. I have never caught her prior. The only other time I took her to the vet, I chased her into the carrier after strategically placing it in my bathtub.

What do you think is going on with her appetite?
Please see above ^

What do you think she needs?
I think you are correct that I need to minimize negative interactions. I think each day goes by that I don't catch her, she may start eating a little more.

What do you think would be the best course of action with her?
I adopted her in December. Upon doing so, the medical history they gave me mentioned hunger striking as recently as September 2023. The shelter had to force feed her for 4-5 days. So she does have a history of this type of behavior. I am more concerned about fluid intake.

This evening I discovered that my good friend's wife is a former vet tech. She mentioned that cats can go longer without eating than fluids. My previous kitty got kidney disease and I gave her subcutaneous injections for a year. I don't think that would be possible with this cat without gabapentin and another person. She seems to be eating a little bit at night but I don't think she will drink with that collar on and not currently eating wet food.

I am not a veterinarian and don’t hold any license in veterinary medicine. All I can do is tell you what I would do if she was mine. Provided I didn’t think there was something entirely different going on with her. I would:

Stop any interaction with her that she doesn’t enjoy.
Take the darn e-collar off because it is hard enough to get a healthy hungry cat to eat with an e- collar, let alone one that doesn’t want to eat.

Ask the vet for a prescription of Buprenorphine because, I have had an ear infection before and it hurts. Also the buprenorphine for oral use is a tiny amount that you give, 0.2cc on the gums and it has no taste.

Try to back away from trying to get her to eat. Other than warming whatever canned food you have up slightly do she can smell it.
Get a digital baby scale. I got mine for $10 at a thrift store. And I would weigh her every couple of days, after she decompresses.

That is what I would do.

Also, unless the vet is going to place a feeding tube or give fluids, I am m be of sure of the benifit of another visit.

You can ask your vet for a SQ fluid bag set up so you can give her fluids at home if she needs it.

Do you know how to check for hydration? Skin turger ( how fast the skin snaps back when gently pulling the scruff up)
Eyes, do they look sunken? Are the third eyelids up?
Gums, are they nice and moist to the touch, or do they feel dry and tacky?
Anyway, this is all the input I have right now.
I know how to check the skin for hydration but doing that and checking gums would require me to catch her.

She is your cat and I know what you think is best for her probably is.
I am sorry you are going through all this with your sweet cat.
Thank you so much for your input. My friend's wife also told me to try to relax because my cat can feel my energy and sense my anxiety. Well, here's to removing the collar and hoping she drinks something tonight.
 

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You might want to consider investing in a cheap video camera so you can watch what she does at night, just to make you feel more comfortable she is doing okay. I would also set water bowls in every room, including the laundry. These aren’t meant to be permanent, just temporary until she calms down and finds a bowl she considers to be in the ”safest” place.
 
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You might want to consider investing in a cheap video camera so you can watch what she does at night, just to make you feel more comfortable she is doing okay. I would also set water bowls in every room, including the laundry. These aren’t meant to be permanent, just temporary until she calms down and finds a bowl she considers to be in the ”safest” place.
Thank you for the suggestions. I already do the water bowl distribution but I will consider a camera.
 
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So with the advice of S silent meowlook , I removed my kitty's cone last night. She did not like being caught for that but I think she figured out that it was for her benefit. She cleaned her food bowl overnight and left me a nice pee clump in the litterbox. This is a move in the right direction. I think we just need to continue taking it one day at a time.
 
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So with the advice of S silent meowlook , I removed my kitty's cone last night. She did not like being caught for that but I think she figured out that it was for her benefit. She cleaned her food bowl overnight and left me a nice pee clump in the litterbox. This is a move in the right direction. I think we just need to continue taking it one day at a time.
She ate all of her wet meal this morning. I'm not going to throw a party yet but I am pleased that the cone removal made such a positive difference overnight. Thanks again everyone for your support.
 
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Quick update:
My kitty has been eating all of her meals since I last posted on Monday. While I am thrilled that we are back on a regular eating schedule, I am still not quite ready to celebrate. Monday, June 3 is our follow up vet appointment to see if the ear pack from the emergency vet worked. So if the ear cytology comes back negative for both ears, we will be very close.

Her habits are to eat the next meal or two after the vet appt, but once the gabapentin wears off, back to not eating. At least now I kind of know what to expect and I also know the fasting should only last a day or two, so no need to panic.

I was talking with a vet tech last week about catching her and he suggested I could try something a bit larger than a bath towel, like a blanket or something. Well I have the throw that is smaller than a blanket and larger than a towel. It has fake fleece on one side. My only reservation is that I worry it might be too thick, which may cause me not to be able to control her body as easily as I wrap her up. I think I would catch her with the green side and the fleece on the outside. Do y'all think something like this would work for the gabapentin catch?

20240531_111607.jpg
 

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I think that could work. Would an extra day or two of gabapentin help do you think?
 

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Yeah I've used a blanket to trap Cosette. That looks like it should work fine.

I wouldn't try extra Gabapentin. All it would do is delay the anger by another day. Healthy cats don't lose much with a day or two of fasting. Best to let her get it over with.
 
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Thanks y'all. I did previously consider extra gabapentin but opted out because the doses would be extra times I would have to catch her. They may move slow on the gabapentin but I'm sure they still remember being picked up against their will. My goal is to put hands on her as few times as possible.
 
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Well we made it to the other side and I only got bit, and subsequently cellulitis, once. But that was 3 weeks ago.

On Monday we had our vet appt to follow up from the emergency vet and the ear pack they applied. Primary vet said all is well. She ate a wet meal a couple of hours after the vet appt but she always does that while on gabapentin. I kept her in the bathroom overnight and in the morning I placed her wet food bowl outside the bathroom door, popped it open, and walked away. Came back later to a clean bowl and she hasn't missed a meal since.

That was Tuesday morning. Last night, Friday, I got out her evening snack and sat on the floor. She walked up and plopped down with her head on my hand for skritches. After nearly 3 weeks in the bathroom and being caught 10 times (gabapentin, vet appts, and meds), she came for pets in just a few days. Prior to 3 weeks ago, I had never had to catch her. Both previous vet appts I chased her into the carrier.

The vet thinks the main culprit of all this could be seasonal allergies. So the towel catching may not ever get easier but at least we both know we can do it and still be friends later.

I wanted to once again thank everyone in this thread for helping so much. I was at my wit's end 3 weeks ago and it was in this thread that I learned it would be a good idea to keep her in the bathroom, I learned about the ear pack here, and y'all helped calm me down when she wasn't eating and I thought she would starve to death. Thank you Alldara Alldara , susanm9006 susanm9006 , VAMama VAMama , Caspers Human Caspers Human , S silent meowlook
 

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So the towel catching may not ever get easier but at least we both know we can do it and still be friends later.
Have you ever tried putting a crocheted or knitted blanked on the floor to catch a cat?

When a cat walks across such a loose-knit item it will usually catch its claws in the weave. Once that happens, you can just throw the rest of the blanket over and roll the cat up. You might have to unhook the cat's claws when you try to get her out but that often happens with regular towels or blankets, anyhow.

The cat might get wise to the trick after the first couple of times but, even if it only works for a short time, it's worth a try. Right?
 
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Have you ever tried putting a crocheted or knitted blanked on the floor to catch a cat?

When a cat walks across such a loose-knit item it will usually catch its claws in the weave. Once that happens, you can just throw the rest of the blanket over and roll the cat up. You might have to unhook the cat's claws when you try to get her out but that often happens with regular towels or blankets, anyhow.

The cat might get wise to the trick after the first couple of times but, even if it only works for a short time, it's worth a try. Right?
That's a good idea, thank you for the suggestion.
 
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KatScritch

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Everyone I know has needed IV antibiotics for it.
I ended up going to the ER last night and they said my finger had to be swollen to a certain size, be a certain color, and have a specific range of motion. My finger was swollen and in pain but didn't meet their criteria for an IV drip. They prescribed two different antibiotics and referred me to a hand specialist. If this comes back a third time I'm going to have to raise my voice louder at these doctors.
 
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