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4 Sick Cats at Home

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,
I have 3 cats (that I've had for approx.2 yrs, indoor only). Christmas Eve we adopted 2 other cats. One came with diareah (which I was told he had been treated for and was fine now). Shame on us for not keeping the new cats segregated from the others for very long at all (when the hissing stopped, we allowed them out to run which was only a matter of hours). What a nightmare. Long story short, after a few Vet visits the 3 original cats are suffering from upper respiratory infections and the new one with diareah has been isolated because of diareah all over the place and a condition we were told is called Giardia. (I've done a lot of research on the Giardia and it's not good; the vet says with the meds he's on he should get better and with any luck the others won't get it; but it is very contagiouos)
They gave us some meds for it as a preventative measure for the other 3. My question is that my 3 original cats are really really sick with the upper resp. I have to force feed the ragdoll most of the time. The other two I have to mix wet food with water to get them to eat (they have always been dry food eaters and ALWAYS been healthy). This seems like an awful long time to be so sick. I got the impression from the vet that it has to pretty much run it's course and the important thing is to keep food in them to keep them hydrated.
Any ideas on how to keep them interested in food. I got the Hill's AD but even that doesn't entice them sometimes. I still have to force feed. Vet says between the sores in their mouth and the inability to smell properly they don't want to eat. Also, being sick, just like people they simply lose their appetite. Does anyone know whether they will just go to their dry food bowl when they are ready to eat again or will they develope a taste for the wet and not want to go back? If anyone can answer any of these questions I would appreciate your feed back. And yes, once again, shame on us for not isolating the new cats for very long. No good excuse except we never did with the other 3 and I guess we were just lucky.
post #2 of 6
In my opinion, Hills A/D is not stinky enough to break through their clogged up sinuses. Try a good quality food with some fish products. If you can find Wellness Sardines, Shrimp and Cod, or Chicken and Herring, or Salmon and Trout flavors, they are particularly strong smelling. Don't worry about getting them back on dry afterwards. It is more important for them to eat right now than to worry about switching them later.

Sometimes URI's will last a long time. I will "steam" my cats by bringing them into the bathroom when I shower, or turn on vaporizors or humidifiers for them. It helps our sinuses when we have colds and it will help them.

Giardia might be ugly, but it is easily treated with the right medication. Sterilize the litter box of your isolated cat on a regular basis so that you don't reinfect him.

Don't beat yourself up on this. It is a very good thing that you are helping 2 more formerly homeless cats.
post #3 of 6
Hi there:
My cat just got over her URI. I was in the same boat. I introduced a new kitten, kitten was sick, didn't isolate kitten long enough, my older cat of 14 years got really sick. She had a terrible time. I had to force feed her for three days. I gave her baby food mixed with chicken broth. After three days that it got a little bit better. I brought the food directly to her bed and put some baby food on my finger and spread it around her mouth. After that she started licking it off my finger. You might try that. When cats are really sick they really like baby food. It took her a good week to eat and drink normal again. You must keep your kitties hydrated. My vet gave me a bag of fluid which i injected in her back every day. That really helped since my kitty wasn't drinking at all. My cat is on day seven now and is eating and drinking normal now but she is still sneezing quite a bit. Good luck to your kitties. Things will get better.
post #4 of 6
Been there, done that with new kitty.

Vaporizer, humidifier, and/or steaming in the bathroom will help tremendously.

Warm up the wet food to enhance the aroma. If all else fails, try meat baby food (Stage 2 without garlic/onions) or a mixture of boiled chicken and broth. Give smaller portions since the appetite is decreased. Leave the dry food out for them to eat if they get hungry. (I have one who detests any type of wet food...)

Add L-Lysine to everyone's diet. This really does help boost the immune system. You can get the tablets at Wal-Mart in the vitamin/supplement section. Crush one between 2 spoons and mix into food.

When my kitty was very, very, VERY congested, I put a dab of baby Vick's on the top of her nose out of the reach of the tongue and it helped open up her little nasal passages.

Make sure you wash your hands with an antibacterial soap after handling the infected kitty and its litterbox. If you get sneezed on or something like that, change clothes to help prevent spreading the germs.

post #5 of 6
I rescued a cat that had giardia upon arrival. The others did not get it. It does take a couple of weeks to kick it though. Your strategy is good to isolate it, at least that will make it easier to clean his box.

Baby food that is just chicken or just lamb or beef is good. Like others have said, make sure you read the ingredients. No onion powder, onion or garlic or garlic powder. No ham either.

I keep the baby food on hand and occasionally give it to the cats just in case I have to use it as a vehicle for medication, or to get one to eat.

Heat up the food briefly so that it's warm to the touch, make sure you stir it to get the hot bits mixed in. Warmed food smells stronger and might be more enticing to a cat that can't smell it otherwise.

The lip smearing is a good idea to get the cat interested.

Don't worry about the cats getting a taste for wet and not going back to dry. My cats eagerly eat both.
post #6 of 6
I have heard that if your cats are ill and not eating you should try to get a really stinky food. Like fancy feast or MeowMix something like that that stinks to high heck!!

Good Luck To you and your kitties!!
Sometimes URI's take forever to get rid of!! Mine have had theres since long before christmas!
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