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US Ex-pat w. new stray needs help - kitty won't eat! :-(

post #1 of 293
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone, this is my first post and it won't be my last.

I'm a US ex-pat living in China and my fiancee and I rescued a stray kitten yesterday afternoon.

It was not a spontaneous decision, we had been on the lookout for one (or two) for awhile, and were prepared. I have had cats before, she hasn't.

Our new kitten is ~6 months old, all white, has odd-colored eyes (blue & brown), and we're pretty sure she's deaf.

The problem though, is that she hasn't eaten a thing in the ~30hrs we've had her so far.

She's peed once (on the floor in the bathroom) and used the litter box twice successfully after that - both bowel movements that were a little too soft but not runny.

She's a purr-machine, but very sedate. She will slowly follow us around the apartment so that she can always see one of us (again, we think she's deaf) but doesn't *play* like a normal kitten her age would. She spends her time curled up here or there snoozing or watching us intently.

She has a bad case of conjuctivitis in both eyes that we're dealing with, and she had a pretty dirty butt when we rescued her so I think she's been having bowel problems lately.

Initially I tried to feed her Purina kitten chow, the best stuff I can locate here in China. Although she has been drinking water she hasn't touched the chow. Concerned, we made her a minced chicken hearts and rice slurry before we had dinner tonight and she was equally uninterested. My fiancee has since headed back to the store to get the ingredients necessary for a recipe for kitten formula we found online (goat's milk, yogurt, gelatin, mayo, a little pureed meat babyfood).

Our kitten is *very* skinny and as we live in China we do not have access to the quality veterinary care that an American would. There is an animal hospital 30mins or so away but they deal primarily with major accidents like broken limbs, or spaying/neuturing. Most pet owners here never take their pets in for regular checkups.

We will get her in to see a vet ASAP, but our primary concern at the moment is getting her to eat something, anything.

Any suggestions? We're getting pretty worried over here...
post #2 of 293
Welcome to TCS.
Thank you for taking in this little kitty.

It's still early here in the US but please keep checking, I am sure that members will have some suggestions for you soon.

Also, when you get a chance, I invite you to introduce yourself in the New Cats on the Block Forum...
you should received some useful feedback there too.

If you need help with the site, just send a message to me by clicking on my user name...
I will get back to you asap.
post #3 of 293
I've sent a pm to "Sharky" one of our advisors, because she should be able to offer some advice
post #4 of 293
You are right. She has gone too long without eating! They have to eat or they will go into liver failure! Do you have any white corn syrup? You could give her a little bit on the tip of your finger to boost her blood sugar and appetite. Do you have a can of tuna or cooked chicken you could warm up and try? You will probably need to force feed her the homemade formula. Use a medicine dropper or a syringe and hold her gently and insert the syringe filled with the food mixture, into the corner of her mouth and slowly feed her a little bit at a time. If you have neither of those, try dipping your finger into the food and seeing if she will at least lick it off. I have gotten cats to eat many times by putting a small amount in their mouth via my finger. Sometimes just the taste of that first little bit will encourage them to eat. I'm sure someone with more knowledge wil be along soon. I'm crossing my fingers and sending many eat right now to your precious new white kitty!!

ETA** links to read

post #5 of 293
We have some wonderful members here at TCS who really care about you and your little kitty so please keep us updated.
There will be more feedback for you a little later...
I hope that you can get your little one to eat.
post #6 of 293
SInce you have tried chicken and she doesn't want to eat, I think it's time to force feed. Wet her Purina with a bit of warm water, puree it then use a syringe to feed her, with small amounts at a time, at the corner of her mouth. Slowly, to give her the time to swallow.

If you have access to wet kitten food, try pureeing it maybe with a little water and syringe it.

I would try to feed her every 3 to 4 hours.

You are saying she has had a serious cas of conjunctivitis. Are you sure she doesn't have a cold as well? This conjunctivitis might be the companion of a discreet cold, and if it's so, she may have a fever hence no apetite.
post #7 of 293
Thread Starter 
Well, it's 11pm here in Shenyang and we're headed to bed. Alleykitty got her really mucousy eyes cleaned and 2 rounds of antibacterial eyedrops and perked up a little bit, at least enough to leave her bed and walk around the apartment once or twice and drink some more water from her bowl.

We made the goat-milk based emergency kitty formula and had no luck. I was able to get a little into her mouth with my finger though, we don't have a dropper and fiancee couldn't find one at the store.

We will go to bed with a small amount of dry Purina kitten chow, as well as the emergency goatmilk goo, out for her to sample if she pleases.

If they're both untouched in the morning she's going to get forcefed during my lunch hour whether she likes it or not.

This kitty will not die.

All suggestions, comments, and words of support are most welcome. I'm not sure if I'll be able to sleep tonight, worried as I am. I'll post again in the morning (+7hrs from now) with an update.

A big thank you to those who have replied thus far, and a thank you in advance to anyone who chooses to do so in the future.

post #8 of 293
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Studio224 View Post
SInce you have tried chicken and she doesn't want to eat, I think it's time to force feed. Wet her Purina with a bit of warm water, puree it then use a syringe to feed her, with small amounts at a time, at the corner of her mouth. Slowly, to give her the time to swallow.

If you have access to wet kitten food, try pureeing it maybe with a little water and syringe it.

I would try to feed her every 3 to 4 hours.

You are saying she has had a serious cas of conjunctivitis. Are you sure she doesn't have a cold as well? This conjunctivitis might be the companion of a discreet cold, and if it's so, she may have a fever hence no apetite.
This post went up whilst I was typing my last one.

I'm not sure she doesn't have a cold as well. She hasn't sneezed once or exhibited any other respiratory anomalies, just the badly swollen & pink membranes around the eyes and the near-constant clear mucous production.

How can we tell (if at all) if she has a fever? And if she does have a fever how do we treat it?

I guess I'll puree some Purina k-chow and see how much I can get her to take before bed (i.e., right now). We don't have a syringe, so it'll have to be delivered the old-fashioned way...
post #9 of 293
Antibacterial eyedrops? Or antibiotic? Please be careful about putting any drops in her eyes and only use what a vet would recommend. Serious eye damage can occur if used on cats with undiagnosed eye disorders.
post #10 of 293
Put a bit on your finger, open her mouth and "glue" it to the palate. Wait and see. If she eats it, good!! You will have to do it several times, of course.. At least she is drinking water...

The only way to tell if she has a fever would be by measuring it, inserting just the tip of a medical thermometer in her anus (jelly the tip first).

If she has more then 102.2 ºF, then she has a fever. You can also check the tip of her nose, is it dry or moist? If it's dry she may have fever, but to be sure you need to measure it.

If she does have a fever, only a vet can help you... He would have to make a diagnosis after examination.
post #11 of 293
You have already gotten some good advice, so please keep trying to get her to eat. The homemade kitten formula you made should work, so do whatever necessary to get it down her. A cat can go downhill very fast from not eating, especially if she is already sick.

Just be very careful how you medicate her, as many human medicines are poisonous to cats.

You might try calling a vet to see if they will give you any advice over the phone.

Please keep us posted and let us know how kitty is doing. Bless you for saving her.
post #12 of 293
This site is geared toward younger kittens but has loads of info


I would keep giving her the milk.. Do you have jarred baby food??? if so look at the meat one s and try those ( watch to ensure NO ONIONS and Garlic) .....

I realize the vets arent the same but can you call the nearest one and explain the eye issue and the possible URI??
post #13 of 293
Thread Starter 
Good morning everyone.

Kitten is currently stretched out on the bed next to my fiancee but still not eating. We gently cleaned another batch of mucuous from her eyes and then gave her some extra love.

She was up and about late last night, slowly walking around the house from time to time, and drinking water from her waterbowl and the bathtub (alleycat, and like a puddle I suppose).

Today, with luck, she will see a vet in the afternoon once I get off work. Unfortunately, it's impossible to take her sooner.

Didn't get much sleep last night, still worried sick about our little fuzzball.

Thank you for all your support, I'll keep you updated.
post #14 of 293
Thanks for taking the time to update.
I hope that you can get your little one to a competent vet soon.
post #15 of 293
Crossed fingers, and prayers from me,too!
post #16 of 293
Thread Starter 
Big Update:

"Slooty" went to the vet at 2pm today. I'm a teacher here in Shenyang and I canceled my afternoon class to do so. Normally my students, who are excellent and dedicated, would object to my canceling a class. However, one look at our sick kitty wrapped up in a blanket in her little cardboard box was enough to convince everyone to let me off the hook for class.

After asking around we headed to a big city park that has a few vet offices nearby. We picked the cleanest one we saw, despite all of them looking more like Soviet gulags in Siberia than medical establishments.

Fortunately, the one we chose was run by an angel, who scooped Slooty up in her arms and gave her the total body workover.

Slooty has a bad fever, a concurrent eye infection, and is only 3 months old (based on teeth) to the 6 we had guessed. This kitten would absolutely not have survived a Shenyang winter - it's already in the low 30's during the day here and will be in the teens at night by the end of next week.

She gave her 3 injections to treat the fever and we will return tomorrow and Saturday for follow-up injections.

She thoroughly wiped her eyes and told us the antibiotic human eyedrops we had purchased in desperation were exactly what she would have given us, so that was nice.

She also force-fed her some sugar water and sent us home with a syringe. She said the pure goat's milk alone would be adequate, and to give her 5mL four times daily until she regains her appetite.

Before we left we asked if she had or knew of any unwanted kittens because we had always planned to adopt/rescue 2, being devout members of the "cats are better, healthier, and happier in pairs" club.

Sure enough, our angel vet had another all white, odd-colored eye kitten - ALSO 3 months - that she was trying to place in a good home.

So now we have 2 beautiful kittens, one is a healthy little monster that tears through kitten chow and scampers around the apartment, and the other is a sick-but-recovering purr-machine.

And, because I find it quite hilarious...
Slooty has a blue RIGHT eye and brown LEFT eye...
NewKitty has a blue LEFT eye and brown RIGHT eye...

Pictures below:

Slooty - still looking shabby but feeling a little better after her vet visit

NewKitty (as yet unnamed) - scarfing down Purina kitten chow like there's no tomorrow

A HUGE thank you to everyone for your love and support and prayers, I'll keep updating on Slooty as needed!
post #17 of 293
cant offer anything to the advice already given.
accept to say i hope the they are feeling better soon.

I am sure others will also be glad to see pic of them
post #18 of 293
Bless you for taking in another kitten!!! Both your babies are abslutely gorgeous!!

Now, did you manage to give Slooty some milk? When you use the syringe, put it in the corner of her mouth and gently squeeze a few drops of milk, not too quickly because she might choke and get some milk in her lungs which would be very dangerous (risk of pneumonia). Slowly and patiently try to give her all the milk that the vet has recommended and leave food at all time available in case she regains her appetite. When she gets better from the fever she should get back her appetite. And her new feline company should help boost her moral also.

My furry babies (Melisse, Thea, Sebastian, EvaLuna, Plic, Ploc, Juliette, Toulouse and Tomy) are sending you good vibes and may purrs...
post #19 of 293
Oh they are beautiful! I'm glad Slooty is on the mend too.
post #20 of 293
Oh my gosh!!! What darling babies!! Thank you for sharing pictures with us!!
post #21 of 293
You have two of the luckiest kitties in China.
Without you ....

Your vet sounds wonderful and so do you.
Please keep us updated about both sweetie pies

Mucho hungry vibes still going out to Slotty.
post #22 of 293
what lucky kitties you have, and beautiful! is your new one also deaf?

keep the updates (& pictures) coming!
post #23 of 293
Oh look at the little cherubs!

You angels for taking on another kitten like that, but i promise you, you won't regret it because they'll be perfect play pals together

I'm certainly looking forward as we all are at seeing these babies thrive with you both

More mega healthy on their way over
post #24 of 293
Thread Starter 
Friday Morning Update - 2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back

2 Steps Forward
Slooty was content to do nothing but lay in bed for the rest of the day after her big Vet visit. I wasn't too worried since I was confident I'd be able to force-feed her and she was getting shots for her fever, but my fiancee was troubled by Slooty's lethargy and her lack of purring when gently stroked.

I brought her waterbowl to the bed and she drank a little on her own, which was good. Before bed, over the course of a very patient hour with lots of breaks to let kitty relax, I managed to get 5mL of goat's milk into Slooty with the dropper. I also cleaned her face with a babywipe and gave her some more eyedrops before she was ready to go to sleep.

She perked up a bit after all that, and gave us a little listen to her purr-motor before bed.

1 Step Back
NewKitty, who has been named Luna, went face first into her Purina kittenchow when we brought her home. 90 minutes later the first round of vomit began and the chow ended up on the floor.

Luna vomited periodically all through the night and has had a little diarrhea as well. We called the Vet after the 2nd round of vomit and the Vet said it sounded like she just had too much to eat, too quickly - and not to let her have any more food that night.


Slooty will be back to the Vet today for another round of shots to treat her fever and a thorough eye-cleaning. We will call the Vet before going to update her on Luna's vomiting and see if she wants to have a look at her as well.

Despite their health difficulties, both kittens felt well enough to join us in bed last night. We've got a very comfy box for them with a nice big blanket inside for padding and a space heater nearby radiating warmth, but they climbed up onto the bed to be with us and that's where they stayed.

Slooty in the foreground, Luna in the background.

More updates as they happen...
post #25 of 293
Well I hope that Luna only have an upset stomach! That's a thing that can happen in cats that have been hungry, they eat too much, much more then their body can take it. Just feed her less quantity but maybe more often.

About Slooty, 5 ml doesn't seem enough for a cat that age ( I have had cats, 4 weeks old, drinking 10 ml...). Is that the amount of milk the vet prescribed? I think you will have to try and give her more... or like for Luna, more frequently.

Keep us posted! and some going your way....
post #26 of 293
Oh my....Slooty and Luna are beautiful kitties.

I wonder if your vet could suggest a food that is not so rich for Luna right now? Be sure to check out Sharky post above.
The link she posted might be of use to you.

I imagine that they will both need worming when they are stronger, but one thing at a time.

You are taking such good care of your little sweetie pies.

Thank you for keeping us updated....
Slotty and Luna
post #27 of 293
Awwwww look at them, bless their little hearts They look like siblings!.

More mega healthy coming over for them both, and i hope Lunas tummy settles down and Slooty starts eating and drinking properly soon
post #28 of 293
What beautiful kitties!! I hope they are feeling better real soon. With all the love they are getting I'm sure they will come around in no time!
post #29 of 293
They are beautiful little babies. I think they wanted to sleep on the bed with you because -even at their tender ages - they have already bonded and know that you are helping them.
post #30 of 293
Your kittens are beautiful, but they should not be together. URI are very contagious, and without proper antibiotics for both kittens, this strain could turn harmful. They will pass this infection back and forth and as much as it may break your heart Andrew, they should both be isolated from each other until they are healthier.

If they start to fade on you-do you have access to coffee? If so, make up a strong batch and give the kitten fading a syringeful of coffe.

To help them breathe better create a steam bath in your bathroom (if that is possible) I am not up to what a traditional bathroom in China is like, but hopefully there is a shower. Run the water as hot as you can until the room fills with steam. Wrap each kitten in a warm towel and each of you carry the kittens into the room. Stand with them so their head is closest to the steam without coming into contact with the hot water.

The kitten may not be eating because it can't smell. Be sure that the nostrils are clear of any discharge, and if available, get some baby nose drops and put those into their noses several times daily.

Thank you for caring for these two kittens when doing so is such a hardship. We in the west have no idea how lucky we are with so many vets to choose from and stores stocked from floor to ceiling with products to help sick kitties.

You can reach me via email if you have any other questions, and I will do all I can to help you. My email is [email="miller478 @ comcast. net"](no spaces of course)

Kitten-rescue is my website that i share with another kitten rescuer and I have been working with bottle babies and sick and abandoned kittens for over twenty years. Keep your kittens separated if possible, keep them in a dark room with quiet and just go in and spend quiet time with them. They need to recover, both of them. I am not sure what diseases are rampant in your country but they should be tested for whatever is. They look pretty sick and you have a long road ahead of you. You will experience set-backs that is normal. You can only do your best and hope to God it is enough.

You have no idea what these kittens ate or went through before they arrived in your care. Your one kitten could be vomiting because of what the kitten ate before you got into the picture. Feed very small amounts several times a day, not a large amount all at once. Steer clear of dry food for now, and feed canned meats, or cooked meats with no spices.
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