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Help with new adopted kitty

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am at a loss right now and I found this forum so I am hoping I can get some words of wisdom.

My fiance and I found a stray last wednesday and took him to the shelter. They said they'd hold him for 4 days and then assess his adoptablity. We called back Tuesday to check on him, and were told they were going to destory him becasue he was too old to be adopted (He's 8-10 yrs old). So my fiance and I have adopted him ourselves.

When we first got him from the shelter he was covered in fleas, matted and sick. We went to petsmart and got some flea spray (BIG mistake) he ended up having a awful reaction to it. So he was rushed to the vets and they gave hm a shot to counteract it and he also now has advantage for his fleas, and I've put it on my other two kitties, as well as medication for his cold and they shaved the matts out of him.

So that's my story long I'm sorry.. but I have the following questions that I am totally baffled by as I have never had to deal with a sick cat before.

1. He is barely eating. If I shake his food dish he'll lick the food in it, and if I put it on the floor he'll eat it. Now he is a Himalyaian and i am not sure if due to their scrunched faces they have a problem eating. I have lysine to put on his food but in the dry it just sifts to the bottom, and wet food is out of the question becuase he won't touch it.

2. How long do I keep him away from my other two kitties so not to infect them? Currently Oswald is residing in the bathroom so he is way from my other kitties.

3. He is obviously breathing poorly, poor guy is blowing mucus out his nose and making these awful hacking breathing noises. So I put the shower on to steam up the room cuz I know it helps me. Is there anything else I can do for the poor fella?

Thank you ahead of time for any of your help!
post #2 of 13
Hi!

I wanted to thank you for giving Oswald a loving home! It is heart breaking to hear that older animals are seen as disposable.

I always put a little flax seed oil in with my dog and cat's food because it is good for their coat, etc. and I wondered if that or another type of oil would help the powder stick to the kibble? It doesn't make the kibble mushy so he might still eat it.

I wish you the best with him!
post #3 of 13
First of all, what was the diagnosis from the vet? Upper respiratory? What was he prescribed?

There could be a few factors involved in his lack of eating. Try giving him some VERY smelly wet food, and offer a few flavors. He's an older cat too, so it could be that he's picky about what he eats. You might also try putting some of the water from a can of tuna on the dry food to see if that will tempt him at all. Did the vet check his teeth and gums? Dental issues often prevent cats from eating, and since he is older it would not be out of the realm of possibilities. Another idea...I know the shower helps us when were stuffed up, but it may be frightening the cat. If he's scared (new environment, new people, new noises, etc), that could also be a reason why he's not eating.

Is he drinking water? If he's not, you have to be very careful that he's not dehydrated. Pull up on the loose skin on the back of his neck - it should spring back into place. If it doesn't and he won't eat or drink, you may need to call the vet about IV fluids.


I would advise keeping him separated from your other cats for 10-14 days.

Oh, and I know you've realized the flaws in OTC flea meds, but you should always, always, always get any medications (flea, wormers, anything...) directly from your vet as there are MANY problems with the ones sold in pet stores.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteforest View Post
First of all, what was the diagnosis from the vet? Upper respiratory? What was he prescribed?

There could be a few factors involved in his lack of eating. Try giving him some VERY smelly wet food, and offer a few flavors. He's an older cat too, so it could be that he's picky about what he eats. You might also try putting some of the water from a can of tuna on the dry food to see if that will tempt him at all. Did the vet check his teeth and gums? Dental issues often prevent cats from eating, and since he is older it would not be out of the realm of possibilities. Another idea...I know the shower helps us when were stuffed up, but it may be frightening the cat. If he's scared (new environment, new people, new noises, etc), that could also be a reason why he's not eating.

Is he drinking water? If he's not, you have to be very careful that he's not dehydrated. Pull up on the loose skin on the back of his neck - it should spring back into place. If it doesn't and he won't eat or drink, you may need to call the vet about IV fluids.


I would advise keeping him separated from your other cats for 10-14 days.

Oh, and I know you've realized the flaws in OTC flea meds, but you should always, always, always get any medications (flea, wormers, anything...) directly from your vet as there are MANY problems with the ones sold in pet stores.
They did not tell me what he had wrong with him, but they did perscribe him Doxycycline. I have to give him 1ml twice a day of it.

He is drinking water, and I did the neck check he's find there. I caught him yesterday in the bathtub licking water off the tub and I turned on the faucet and he got right in there and was lapping away happily. So I don't know if this is a bad thing or not, I've never seen a cat do it before.

I turned the shower on to steam up the bathroom while he wasn't in it and then put him back in the bathroom when it was moister. So I don't think that's it... He's so laid back and chill it's really nice.

I will keep him from the other kitties for 10 - 14 days then..

I am really quite furious with Petsmart. I have never had cats with fleas so I didn't know the best way to go about treating them. When I asked petsmart i they were good/effective safe they were like "yeah they're all about the same". Come to find out how toxic they really are made me mad so I will definitely consult with the vets afte this experience.
post #5 of 13
It is likely to be an upper respiratory infection based on the symptoms you described, and roxycycline and L-lysine are often used together for URI's.

It's good that he's drinking water, and yes, many cats like drinking from a faucet! Especially since he is so congested, he may have a difficult time eating. And if he cannot smell the food in his bowl he probably won't show much interest. A lot of cats are driven by their sense of smell when it comes to their food.
post #6 of 13
Sometimes it helps to make sure the wet food is warm; cold food doesn't appeal to some cats.

Also, some cats like the "chunks in gravy," some like the "hash style" cat food. Try both.
post #7 of 13
I'm so happy to hear you adopted this kitty!

hmm, perhaps he has appetite loss due to the antibiotics he's on. I've heard many times on this forum that appetite loss is a common symptom with antibiotics, though I'm not sure which ones are worse than others.

I know that when I have a bad cold and my nose is stuffed up, I can't taste/smell anything. Maybe food just doesn't taste or smell good to her right now.

I hope she feels better soon.
post #8 of 13
Bless you for rescuing and adopting this little guy! As many have said previously, it definitely sounds like he has an upper respiratory infection (URI). The steam from the shower will help him immensely! Also, try the wet food, the stinkier the better! Poor guy probably is so congested he can't smell his food. Mix the lysine in with the wet food. Also, warm it up for about 10-12 seconds in the microwave or about a minute or two in hot water. (I have one kitty who will NOT eat cold wet food!) Warming the food enhances the aroma, which entices kitty to eat. If you can rig it, put a vaporizer in the bathroom with him to help keep the air nice and moist for him. Visit him often and talk to him and love on him. That will really help him feel better, too.

Stephanie
post #9 of 13
2 ideas for the lysine - the kibble i feed has it as an ingredient [Royal Canin Special 33]. i've also been know to add it to the water in the fountains. [my Pixel has herpes - the kibble seems to keep her maintained, but during a flare-up i'll add it to the water in the Drinkwell - she prefers that fountain exclusively to the freshflows.]
congrats on adopting Oswald, & many "get well soon" & for him!
post #10 of 13
I am glad you saved him.
post #11 of 13
Thank you for taking him in and then rescuing him again.

Be aware that the nasal congestion is preventing him from breathing though his nose. It makes it hard to eat - try holding our nose and chewing food.

It is very important that he eat or he will develop other issues. Try some baby food, no garlic or onion in it, and offer it on your finger. Many cats like Fancy Feast.
If he doesn't like any of those, you will have to "force fed." Mix water in with some of the water food and put it in an oral syringe (or a baby's medicine syringe) to give by mouth. Others can give you advice on the best technique. 5cc = 5 ml = 1 teaspoon Give 1 ml/cc at a time. Allow for several breaths inbetween each attempt so the cat can relax.
post #12 of 13
Lots of good advice above, Whiteforest in particular has a lot of experience with this sort of thing. I'll just add a couple thoughts:

If she is on a complete hunger strike then after 2 days of not eating she either must be hand fed (semi-force fed) or seen by a vet to prevent a very dangerous reaction in her liver. Two days no eating is the max before intervention must begin or her life becomes at risk. If you need instructions on hand feeding PM me or talk to your vet. Its not as hard as it sounds.

Flat dish for food (especially wet food) because of a Himalayan's flat face.
Definitely start trying a variety of dry and wet food flavors and brands. She may be holding out for the one she is used to. Try everything including junk foods.

Try human baby food stage one chicken, stage one only as some cats will go for that.

You can further loosen the congestion in her nose by getting non-medicated saline spray and giving a gentle squirt up each nostril 2-3 times a day.

Remember, she must be eating within 2 days. Note that the liver problem, hepatic lipadosis not only is dangerous, but will further prevent her from eating making it a cycle that can't be broken without a feeding tube implanted in her at a vet.

Don't worry about the l-lysine so much at the moment, it takes 30 days to have any real affect, its a long term aid for *one* type of URI, feline herpes.

Get her eating.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for all your great advice. I am going to go out today and buy him a variety of wet foods and I will try the warm up method for it. He IS eating though it's not a whole lot so that is atleast a small thing that makes me happy. He is drinking plenty of water though so that atleast is something. I am currently giving him his medication by syringe and it's a struggle everytime, lots of growling and annoyed glares from him.

I am going to keep with the steam for him to help him clear his nasal passages.

But he is a lot more perkier and alert today then he was when we first got him so that is a good sign that he is making improvements.

And as for rescuing him, I couldn't live with myself if I didn't. I know it'll be an adjustment for the kitties but they'll get used to him
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