or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › I think we may return our cat to the shelter
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I think we may return our cat to the shelter

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
2 years ago, my wife saw a fat orange adult cat at an adoption fair and HAD to have her. We already had 2 cats, so I was hesitant, but once I found out that this cat had been there for nearly 3 years, I couldn't leave her there. So we adopted her. She has turned out to be the nicest, friendliest cat I've ever owned. But lately, in the last 6 months, she has been having recurring litterbox avoidance problems, and the vet and repair/cleanup bills have gotten too high. The last time she was at the vet, he was concerned that it may not be a simple UTI and could be kidney disease. We simply aren't able to keep paying the vet bills, and replacing carpet, only to have the same problem return a month later. I really don't want to do this but I'm at the end of my rope here. I'm trying to tell myself that returning her to the shelter is the best thing to do for her too, but I don't really believe it. I'm not confident anybody else will want her (she is 6 years old, obese, and has a badly misshapen eye from a head trauma), but the shelter says we must return her rather than give her to anyone else. so i don't know. Anybody have any suggestions for anything I can do?
post #2 of 17
There are low cost Vaccination clinics. If your shelter truly cares about animals, like mine does, they will cover your problems. Probably the last thing they need is another cat. Please talk to them about it before returning her.
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonlights mom View Post
There are low cost Vaccination clinics. If your shelter truly cares about animals, like mine does, they will cover your problems. Probably the last thing they need is another cat. Please talk to them about it before returning her.
Vaccinations aren't his problem here.

There are lots of people here with similar experience and solutions that I'm sure will be along shortly.
post #4 of 17
I don't think the shelter would be the best choice either. I know there are some organizations that can help if your pet has a chronic illness and you can't afford the vet bills. I can't think of the names of them, but maybe you can try searching or others can add on...?
post #5 of 17
To be honest, returning her would most likely be a death sentence for her.
If she's obese, she may have other issues contributing to her problems, I'd try a different vet, possibly try retraining her, a behaviorist or drug therapy.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaniMarie View Post
Vaccinations aren't his problem here.

There are lots of people here with similar experience and solutions that I'm sure will be along shortly.
I meant to say low cost vet clinics, sorry.
post #7 of 17
Honestly, from the "shelter's perspective", she would be euthanized shortly upon arrival. Think about it, she doesn't use the LB & you don't like that, who else would?

IMO, her weight is a huge part of the problem. I see a lot of "fat cats" who have behavioral issues. And while, no, not all problems can be blamed on weight, IMO, LB avoidance is affected by weight!
post #8 of 17
Yes, there is clearly a health issue here that can probably be solved over time -- please talk to other vets, look into low-cost clinics, and see if there are any provisions for help with the cost of her care.

Also, try different kinds of litter -- you may find something that encourages her to use the box more often. "Cat Attract" is worth trying, and also some of those with different textures. Maybe you can give her several litter boxes for awhile, each with a different litter, and see if she takes a liking to any of them.

You might also try some Feliway "Comfort Zone" diffusers -- in case anxiety is any part of what's causing this problem for her.

When the whole Chinese-ingredient cat food disaster happened, we switched our cats to a good organic food with very little grain (Merrick), and also cut out their packaged treats -- now we only give them a little minced plain turkey (people food) as a treat. There's still dry food out at all times, but it too is a higher-quality brand with less filler. And in just three months or so, the two cats in our house who were overweight have lost a good bit!

Please don't give up on your girl... you are her family now. Do research, make calls, track down every idea you can find on how to get her diagnosed and treated at a cost you can handle.

But if her condition turns out to be irreversible (heaven forbid), maybe you could create an attached outdoor enclosure running out into the yard from one of your windows, so she could live completely enclosed and safe, yet not actually inside the house. With the window open and only a screen to separate her enclosure from the inside, she could still feel like a member of the family.

But I hope she can be cured! Sending many good thoughts and high hopes for her...
post #9 of 17
First of all, if she was at the shelter for 3 years, it is probably no-kill so she may not be euthanised immediately.

If you can not care for her properly, I commend you for doing the right thing and putting the cat first, as someone else or the shelter may be able to better care for her. But, there are some other options that you may want to try first:

Like others said, try and find a low cost vet, or ask if there are any programs to help with vet costs in your area (the shelter may have one also) and try using some different litter, it could be that she just decided she didn't like that kind.

Have you changed anything in the time she started to 'change' behaviourally. New surroundings, people, even moving the placement of her litterbox could do it, cats any little change can upset some cats a lot, if so try changing it back, and if that doesn't work, you could speak to your vet about something to help with her mood (they do have antidepressants for kitties)

Her litterbox problems may be due to her obesity. When we first adopted Scully (who was very obese), his stomach dragged on the ground when he walked. He had small open sores and a friction rash that made his tummy really red. When he tried to climb into the high sided litter boxes we had, it was hurting his tummy rubbing on the sides, so he just stopped using it. The vet recommended getting one with a cut out for him to step into, within a week he was using his box again. So try all the little stuff first.

Have you done anything about her weight since you got her? Obesity in cats leads to or contributes to many illnesses, and by getting her to lose some weight, you may find she is much healthier requiring less vet visits. There is info on dealing with an obese cat here
post #10 of 17
Have you checked with the no kill shelter to see if they work with a low cost clinic?? I know our shelter here works with a low cost clinic, that vets literally help the animals for peanuts.. Maybe if you tell them your situation, then they'll be able to help you???
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Whew. OK lots of questions and stuff to sort through. To answer a big one, we haven't done much about her obesity, because we just aren't sure what to do. Trying to keep her on special food or a low diet is tricky. There are 2 other cats who always try to eat her food. We had the same problem with another cat who had a UTI...we got him special urinary tract food and the other cats always wanted it too. Admittedly though, we havent made that much of an effort to control her obesity, so maybe if we put more into it we'd see some improvement. We're going to try locking her in the bathroom at feeding time and not letting her out until she's done eating and the other cats are done too.

Also, good news. I talked to the shelter about her last night, and they were willing to take her back but we talked for a while, and they offered to bring her to their vet and observe her for a couple weeks, then let us know what they find out. They would rather her be with us in a good home than go back to the shelter, and I totally agree with that.
post #12 of 17
That is good to hear that the shelter will assist you in what's going on.

I would check out the Nutrition forums here to get an idea of dealing with obesity. We have 4 cats and one (luna) is constantly stressed...she doesn't like the other cats. So once we placed her on a formula for sensitive stomach, then the rest of the cats when on that. There are weight control formulas out there too that will control weight for both obese and non-obese cats. Also check into possibly switching to wet food as there are less carbs.

How high is the little box? Perhaps it is too high for your cat to jump into and that's why s/he is going outside. We actually had to get a low to the ground litter box that is 4-6 inches from the floor. Beauty has arthritis and was going outside of the box because her arthritis prevented her from being able to get in.

Just some alternate thoughts to think about.
post #13 of 17
If you put all your cats on a canned food meals only regime, it will probably help her lose weight and won't hurt anyone. No more free feeding dry food which is a major cause of obesity.

I recommend the Cat Attract Litter. It really helped us here. Our out of the box peer, Peaches, is on prozac. For some reason, this med cured her. She no longer pees out of the box, but it is very difficult to get her to take her meds.

I wish you loads of luck with your girl. I do know what it's like to have this problem.
post #14 of 17
For the short term-- to save your carpets-- get those puppy-training pee pads and put them on the spots where she goes on the carpet. Then you can just throw those away instead of your carpet.

You've gotten some great advice, and I'm glad to hear the shelter wants to observe her and I think that would be a great idea. Hopefully what's best for your girl can be figured out!
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrElvisToad View Post
I talked to the shelter about her last night, and they were willing to take her back but we talked for a while, and they offered to bring her to their vet and observe her for a couple weeks, then let us know what they find out. They would rather her be with us in a good home than go back to the shelter, and I totally agree with that.
Wow! That's a great shelter you have there!

If you do let her stay there for observation, though, please go visit her and let her know she's still your baby.
post #16 of 17
I really wish that you could help at your kitty in the best way!
post #17 of 17
and PM me if you want to talk more on helping her obesity, my cat is down 13lbs and much healthier (and we did it without wet as one of mine is allergic to most wet foods and sensitive to all the others)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Cat Lounge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › I think we may return our cat to the shelter