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Is my cat dying?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
This may sound like I am over reacting but I am so worried that my cat will die on me. She has had mats in her fur for some time now and every attempt I've taken to rid her of them, she's not been easy-coming. I took her to the vets for a checkup a few weeks ago and well...she is vicious to everybody except me so the vets told me that I am going to have to remove the mats myself at home. I have been trying to for weeks now but she gets so hostile towards me. Well today she was hissing and growling and acting upset. I knew her mats were driving her crazy. So I went and took the clippers to try and shave them out. She wouldn't let me. I got one mat out, but I am unable to get the rest out. I called the vets and now she needs to go under anesthetic for the vets to remove them. I won't be able to afford to go to the vets until Wednesday when I get paid...All day today Gemini (my cat) has been acting strange. She's been hiding in the closet, under the bed...When she does come out she is very upset and looks like she's in a lot of pain. I want to help but she won't let me. Can she die? I heard the skin can rot under the mats...I'm not sure if I should rush her to the vets and beg for them to let me pay later...Can you please give me soome advice on what to do to help her at this point? Thanks
post #2 of 14
I'd call your vet and discuss it with them. If you can give them a postdated check, the vets around here, at least, will accept that, if you need to go in.

Your vet will probably get on the phone and discuss it with you, and you should be able to avoid the argument of "just bring the cat in" if you tell them you're willing, but explain that you don't get a paycheck until Wednesday, when she's got an appointment, but that if they think you should take her in now, that you're willing to give a post dated check if they are amenable to that. Usually they'll find out what the vet thinks.

She may be hiding because she's afraid of you and the clippers, but I wouldn't rule out that something might be the problem. I know with my cat that I used to have, she'd occasionally get matts across her bum, so that when she'd poop it would get stuck coming out in the matts that were tangled across her butt. It could be a number of things.. but your vet should offer you some advice on whether they think it's necessary to bring her in now or not. If you're worried, you'll have more peace of mind if you take her in.

Good luck with her and keep us posted.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your response, CatsAreBetter. I know she is very mad at me right now and probably doesn't trust me. This could be why she's hiding. Everytime she comes out of the closet she is behaving as though her whole back hurts to walk. She hasn't eaten or drank anything today It's very hard on all of us to see her so upset and uncomfortable; as I am sure every loving cat owner would be. Unfortunately the vets is closed right now and tomorrow, so Monday will have to be when I take her in, that is, if they will accept a post-dated cheque. I hate to see her like this for the whole weekend. Maybe she'll feel better later on tonight when we are all gone out...I really hope she does. I don;t even want to go out when she's feeling this way, I'll be worrying about her the whole time. But maybe a break from us humans will ease her mind a bit. Anyway, thanks again. I will definatley keep you posted!!!
post #4 of 14
This is ridiculous. Not you for being concerned, but having to go through such worry for something like this.
Do you have groomers in your local area? Call them and explain the issue. many groomers work right in the same clinic with vets so they can sedate animals who give them a hard time. I can't believe a vet would make such an issue out of this. they should be prepared to handle an uncooperative cat. You do need to get those mats out. Your cat should know this is part of the regular grooming process.
I had a farm vet who would give us tablets of Ace for our housepets to keep on hand. Maybe ask around if there is a vet locally who can provide you with a sedative to keep in the house for when you need to shave your kitty down. Ace is really powerful and hard to calculate dosage, but when you have a diaster out in the boonies, it can be a lifesaver until you can get to a vet.

I now buy periactin online. It is an human OTC medication, common in Europe/Australia, good for calming cats. Most big adult cats take a 4mg tablet-some require only half. Start small! I don't use it much at all. But when I need it, boy am I glad to have it on-hand.
post #5 of 14
For now, I'd give her half a benadryl capsule broken open on her fav dish.
If she eats it, and calms, wrap her in a towel and carefully calmly CLIP (no electric shaving!) away the fur in bits as you can expose pieces. Talk to her normally, even if she gets a hand out and rips you open as you work.
Cat wrapping is an art-but practice will improve your technique regardless.
post #6 of 14
Originally Posted by rugthugs View Post
For now, I'd give her half a benadryl capsule broken open on her fav dish.
If she eats it, and calms, wrap her in a towel and carefully calmly CLIP (no electric shaving!) away the fur in bits as you can expose pieces. Talk to her normally, even if she gets a hand out and rips you open as you work.
Cat wrapping is an art-but practice will improve your technique regardless.

I would hope that before you take this advice, you call a vet first to see if it is wise! Without knowing the health of your cat, her weight giving her anything without checking with her vet could be hazardous to her health.

Mats are quite painful for cats depending on where they are located. You can use a seam ripper- work sideways not up and down, when the cat is resting and relaxed. The seam ripper will safely pull the hair, not the skin. You can also sprinkle cornstarch into the mat and work it in with your fingers. This will help loosen the hair. Your vet can sedate her and shave her- probably a good idea based on your post. But don't get the mats wet that just makes them bind tighter. You can also use a large pair of nail clippers to work the hair out. Not as scary as the scissors.

Please don't dose your cat with Benedryl without calling her vet first. He knows her, knows her health and her weight etc..
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
There are groomers in our area, actually there is a dog grooming place right below us. However, they only do dogs...idiots! lol But yes there are groomers at our vets. The only thing is that now I have to wait until Monday to talk to them.

I know it's rediculous to be so worried about my cat...especially my fear that she'll die. She is just behaving so strangly that maybe there is more going on than meets the eye. But lets not go there right now...

For tonight, she is way too upset for me to try anything else with her. Hopefully she'll be feeling better tomorrow and I can try and use some of the suggestions you all have given me. But I will definatley speak to the vets on Monday about it and get them removed ASAP.

Thanks all for helping me with my concerns.
post #8 of 14
No no, the person that posted that didn't mean you were being ridiculous for worrying about the cat... she meant that it's a ridiculous situation for you to be put in, where you *have* to be stuck worrying about your cat because your vet has effectively put you in this position. I think the ridiculous was more directed at the vet response than you worrying. And actually, I agree that the vet could have been a little more .. um.. helpful.

It's actually you being a very good kitty parent to be a.) aware enough to know that she's acting strangely, and b.) care enough to be worried about it. You'd be surprised at how many people just don't have a clue. If there's another vet clinic, in a nearby town, or even in a town several hours away that you could simply call, it might ease your fears a little.. just tell them that you live far away and all the clinics in yoru area are closed, and you're really worried. Most of them will give you a run down. I don't see any reason why you can't call a vet that's long distance (provided that you have long distance), to get information. Most of them will provide it, and if one doesn't, try a different one. Someone will eventually give you information, signs to look for, potential problems, etc.
post #9 of 14
I'm sorry you're having problems getting your cat groomed. I don't usually suggest this but find a vet that will sedate your cat so they can shave her. If your vet won't do it, then you may have to call around. If she is that badly matted then it's going to be a challenge anyway because the mats are probably tight to the skin. I sure hope you can get this taken care of soon. For your sake and for your cats sake!
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
I just want to let everyone know that Gemini is going in to be shaved tomorrow. They are sedating her...I will be so relieved to have her feeling better. She'd been so upset lately. From now on, no matter how much either kitties hate it, I am brushing their fur. I have read lots of tips online on how to brush them, when the right time to brush them is, etc. I am just so happy she'll be feeling better soon. Though, I know she's not gonna like me for a day or two after this trip to the vets lol. My boyfriend and I are looking into pet insurance as well, for both the cats. They are both getting up there in age and I want to be prepared if either of them need and operation or medication. I mean, it is costing us $125 just for anesthetia and a shave. But as long as it gets done right, that's all that matters.
post #11 of 14
Friday gets moody over mattes. Fortunately, we haven't been in the situation you are in and I truly hope you are able to resolve it soon. One maintenance thing I do is check him for mattes and either cut them or comb them out (depending on severity) while he's sleeping. It takes some time but if they get bad it takes both my husband and I to hold him while I trim. Sending good vibes your way for your kitty.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks, howtoholdacat. I really appreciate your good vibes
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
OK, well Gemini is back from the Vets with her shaved back hehehe. I just have a question about feeding. The vet told me not to feed her too much for 24 hours or she could get sick. But the thing is, she hasn't eaten or drank anything in going on 18 hours, or more. I bought her her favourite food for when she got home and when I let her out of the carrier she ran right over to her dish and gobbled up the little amount I left her. Now she is meowing like she is still starving. I know cats can go days without starving to death, but if she is really this hungry I want to make her feel satisfied. Afterall, she has had a rough day and I would think the comfort of her favourite food would ease her troubles. So should I let her have a little more or what? I'm getting upset myself from hearing her give me this sad little meow and looking at me like I'm depriving her.
post #14 of 14
Some cats don't handle the anesthesia well and can't keep food down. My Abby was unable to after her spay. Can you wait a bit and see if she has any problems and if not then give her a little more?

Glad it went well.
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