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Help with emaciated cat.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Firstly let me say how much I dislike the human race and am sad to be a part of it at this moment.

Today whilst riding with friends we came across a orange tabby cat just laying in a heap in the grass. It looked to me like it had been hit by a car, skinny and it's hair was thinning badly but it was alive and staring at us. I got down off my horse and went over to it and it stayed put. I picked it up fully expecting it to be broken up but it was not it was completely emaciated and so dehydrated it skin did not even snap back in the slightest... It struggled to get free from me but I held on.

Anyway, I have talked to my own vet about him but need extra advice I think.... the more advice the better right now for him.

He is eating like there is no tomorrow... I gave him some wet food ( wellness ) and dry... I have limited his eating at the moment because I am afraid he will gorge himself and get sick ... I could not get him to drink so I mixed wet food with lots of water and he drank that easily. He is resting now quietly...

He was shivering ( no idea why ) it is not too cold here but not hot either. I think he has a fever not sure he seem very warm to touch. His eyes are watery, he has thinning hair and small abrasions on his skin. I looked for fleas but did not see any and I looked for lice but could not see any... I do not think nor does my vet that it is mange as the hair loss is even.

I want him to survive, he was obviously dumped by some stupid idiot who thinks a house cat can survive on it's own. He is so painfully skinny and dehyrdated that it just makes me cry to look at him.

I also have 5 cats of my own that I am concerned about if this cat may be sick. So any advice on feeding this guy to help him get stronger and also anythng else I could be doing ? Also on keeping my cats healthy?
post #2 of 15
Bless you for saving this cat ! I have rescued an emaciated dog and nursed her to health. What I learned from the vet and other rescuers is to feed small meals about 6 times a day for a week then start to increase meal size and decrease frequency.

Putting lots of water in the canned food is great. Maybe feed some canned food then a separate taste of the watered down food. You can try a little tuna juice in the water to flavor it or maybe a little broth in the water. I also used clear pedialyte found in the baby section of the grocery. Mix this half and half with the water.

Dry food is probably difficult to digest and requires more energy to digest.

Keep him/her warm. It's probably hard for their body to regulate it's temperature.

Keep him/her separated from your cats and keep a pair of old shoes and an old shirt to put on when you go in the room then take them off at the door. Wash your hands after. A trip to the vet when that is possible should answer any of the questions about diseases that could harm your cats. Keeping everyone separate should be fine for now.

Hang in there and hoping things get better very soon.
post #3 of 15
OMG that poor cat....bless you for helping him....I don't have any advice but I have found a few sickly strays in my time and have been lucky enough the vet has taken them in and nursed them back to health....Good Luck....some healing vibes for kitty
post #4 of 15
I'm not a fan of "prescription diets"...but, this is one of the rare occasions when I would strongly suggest that you stop by the Vet's and pick up some Hills a/d (link). This is a high protein and fat, high calorie wet food, highly appropriate for situations like this. (The Wellness is an excellent food, but in this case you really need to provide much more protein, fat and overall higher caloric content.) As you have been doing, add extra water. Then, a trip to the Vet ASAP. I'd be concerned about a condition commonly called "Fatty Liver" - this occurs when (only in cats), in the absence of nutrient intake, the liver resorts to drawing on body fat, draws more than it can use and the liver itself becomes fatty. This can be a fatal condition...but it can be overcome. If you receive a recommendation from the Vet for euthanasia, come back here before making any final decisions.
post #5 of 15
^Exactly. This cat needs to be at the vet and feeding needs to be done very carefully.

Please don't be surprised if this cat is FIV or FeLV positive. In my experience abandoned cats will usually do their best to find a meal and while they'll be thin they don't end up in that bad of condition unless something is seriously wrong.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLAISE View Post
I'm not a fan of "prescription diets"...but, this is one of the rare occasions when I would strongly suggest that you stop by the Vet's and pick up some Hills a/d (link). This is a high protein and fat, high calorie wet food, highly appropriate for situations like this. (The Wellness is an excellent food, but in this case you really need to provide much more protein, fat and overall higher caloric content.) As you have been doing, add extra water. Then, a trip to the Vet ASAP. I'd be concerned about a condition commonly called "Fatty Liver" - this occurs when (only in cats), in the absence of nutrient intake, the liver resorts to drawing on body fat, draws more than it can use and the liver itself becomes fatty. This can be a fatal condition...but it can be overcome. If you receive a recommendation from the Vet for euthanasia, come back here before making any final decisions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
^Exactly. This cat needs to be at the vet and feeding needs to be done very carefully.

Please don't be surprised if this cat is FIV or FeLV positive. In my experience abandoned cats will usually do their best to find a meal and while they'll be thin they don't end up in that bad of condition unless something is seriously wrong.
Sending a prayer your way
post #7 of 15
Bless you for helping this poor baby! Praying he'll do well with your care and love.

Here in the States we have a product called Pedialyte that's given to babies and young children when sick to help keep them hydrated. You could add that (the plain variety) to his wet food. Also, check out the Kitten Goop in the kitty forum for extra protein and nutrition if you can't get A/d. That A/d is awesome stuff and I've not met a kitty that wasn't drawn to it like crack! Additionally, you can boil some chicken breasts, shred the chicken and add to his food. Use the broth in place of the water. If you have some canned tuna, you can put a bit of the tuna juice in a small bowl of water and see if he'll drink that.

How's he doing otherwise? Is he pottying well? How's his hydration level? I'm surprised the vet didn't want you to bring him in and be put on a drip.

Let us know how he's doing!
post #8 of 15
Sending prayers and for this poor kitty to recover.
post #9 of 15
I would even hesitant to do anything that would affect electrolyte levels at this point without this cat being under vet supervision. If his kidneys are bad off they won't be able to filter anything properly. Even potassium and sodium can be deadly.
post #10 of 15
I agree that this kitty needs a vet checkup, but until tomorrow (and I would consider him an emergency that needs to be seen the first day your vet is open), keep him warm, with small meals, water or plain chicken broth (plain as in homemade with no salt or garlic or onions added) mixed in with the wet.

I would fully isolate him - have a pair of socks or shoes to wear only in the room he's in, and leave them in there as you leave, good handwashing, and frankly, I'd have a set of clothes - sweats and a tee shirt ie. to wear only in there.

If his kidneys are in trouble, he's more likely low on potassium, not high..the best you can do until blood work is done is to keep him fed and hydrated as best you can, imhnon-vet opinion.

I've had a number of kidney failure kitties, and cats for years...the most rewarding rescue I ever did was starving when we took her in, on point of death..she was an angel who gave us so much...hope your guy does *not* have fiv/felv, and can pull through.

I applaud your caring enough to stop and give him a chance.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanietx View Post
Bless you for helping this poor baby! Praying he'll do well with your care and love.

Here in the States we have a product called Pedialyte that's given to babies and young children when sick to help keep them hydrated. You could add that (the plain variety) to his wet food. Also, check out the Kitten Goop in the kitty forum for extra protein and nutrition if you can't get A/d. That A/d is awesome stuff and I've not met a kitty that wasn't drawn to it like crack! Additionally, you can boil some chicken breasts, shred the chicken and add to his food. Use the broth in place of the water. If you have some canned tuna, you can put a bit of the tuna juice in a small bowl of water and see if he'll drink that.

How's he doing otherwise? Is he pottying well? How's his hydration level? I'm surprised the vet didn't want you to bring him in and be put on a drip.
Let us know how he's doing!
That was my FIRST thought! That bad he should be hospitalized. Can you afford to do that? Would the vet take him in as a charity case since you found him near death out in the wild?
post #12 of 15
April07, you've gotten some great advice already. I agree that small, frequent meals are best and hydration is very important. If you have a small syringe, you can use it to give water. Do 1/2 cc at a time, slowly. Aim for the side of the mouth, not directly down the front, since you don't want this kitty to choke. If he'll tolerate it, try to do 2 teaspoons of water several times per day.

As others have said, a vet visit ASAP is in order. Bloodwork would be very important as it's one of the least invasive things the vet can do that will yield helpful information. Have them check his heart carefully. Sub-q hydration would, in all liklihood, be extremely beneficial to him, but they need to make sure his heart is ok before doing that.

Just some small details here, but if the vet gives fluids (sub-q hydration), ask him/her to use a 20 gauge needle. Most vets will use an 18 (a bigger needle), but this poor little guy is so thin and his skin is in bad shape, so the finer the needle, the less pain and discomfort he'll feel from it. Ask also for the fluid to be warmed before they give it - it's worth waiting an extra few minutes for them to do this as it will be much more comfortable for the cat.

Give him a small, cat-sized box turned on its side that's lined with soft towels or blankets that he can curl up in. Anitra Frazier in her book "The New Natural Cat" calls this a "snug retreat". It's comforting for ill kitties to be able to feel like they can get out of sight a little bit. It'll help him stay warm and feel safe.

I agree with the member who said that this kitty may have a serious health condition which, at least in part, is causing his skinniness. He may also just be an older kitty who was ill-equipped to fend for himself. I truly hope that it turns out to be something that can be treated successfully.

You have 5 cats of your own, so you know how much they respond to a loving touch. As long as it doesn't seem to cause him distress, cuddle and pet this poor kitty as often as possible. A loving touch is so important to an ill cat. Feeling loved can help speed healing.

You are this little guy's angel, without a doubt. Thank you so much for all you are doing for him.

All good thoughts for you both.
post #13 of 15
Anything new on this kitty ?
post #14 of 15
I just wanted to add to the chorus of thank-yous and bless yous for taking this fella in. I hope he is recovering.
post #15 of 15
I was hoping for an update, too. Fingers crossed that this little guy is improving.
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