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Trapping for 2nd time? - Page 2

post #31 of 447
Thread Starter 
Ok, I'm a bit freaking out a work, so I'm going to buy Feliway diffuser and various wet foods (baby food, sardines, salmon, wet cat food, treats) from the store and rush them to her. I don't want her to die because I brought her inside against her will. I feel really bad. Hopefully she'll give in to some of this food. I'll be doing this in a couple hours so hopefully then when I get home from work at night, she will have eaten something!!!

I do think she is drinking. She did use litter box again yesterday to pee. So at least I'm pretty sure she is hydrated.

Hopefully the Feliway will help.. I feel so bad for not doing something about this yesterday. I just kept assuming she would give in and eat at some point...
post #32 of 447
I think the "danger zone" with cats not eating is 4-5 days (adult cats, that is). There are definitely people who get very concerned about this because cats' (kidneys or livers?) do begin to shut down without food after some amount of time. But not eating in a strange place is pretty normal. We took our cats to boarding once for a week - they all lost several pounds and I suspect they barely ate at all that entire time.

I'm probably late to catch you leaving, but instead of looking for a high-protein kibble, look for a high fat one - that tends to be smellier and more "attractive" to a kitty that isn't eating. It's not the greatest food, and it's expensive, but if you can afford it, maybe buy Science Diet A/D from the vet. The A/D is high fat.

...or maybe try boiled chicken. Or mashed chicken livers. But whatever non-kibble food you put out, do it at night and check back in after two hours - don't leave it out. Put the wet food out and pick it up on a schedule so she knows when it's coming and when it's leaving - but make it during a time she would eat it (night).
post #33 of 447
...and since she's drinking water, maybe try putting out cat milk.

Or make kitten glop for her? Scroll down this page for kitten glop recipe: http://www.kitten-rescue.com/what_to_feed.html
post #34 of 447
OK - as long as they're drinking and staying hydrated, apparently they can go up to several weeks without eating. Developing the fatty degeneration of the liver is a risk, but is rare. More important, in the short run, is hydration.
post #35 of 447
Thread Starter 
Thank you Laurie!!! I am still here - I was crossing my fingers you or someone would write back with some advice before I run out to the store!!!

I'll get the Feliway and the food during lunch, then put out more non-spoilable food and plug in the diffuser. (She has dry food out already but I will try another type in addition.) Then after work I'll put out some wet food.

Should I put the food closer to her safe zone? The food/water is only a couple feet away from her.. but maybe she doesn't feel safe eating there? Litter box is much farther away and she's used that a couple times though, so not sure if my reasoning is right.

I will keep you posted! It should be pretty quiet at home now. Weekends are kinda loud (people are home, our pet birds can be loud, Batman is running around all crazy) so maybe during the day, it will be quiet and she will eat. I know she's investigated the room because there is evidence of the litter around the room (it's this organic corn type stuff that is more fine than normal litter - almost like dirt! - so it tracks a lot easier)

Thanks again for your help. I am crossing my fingers miss Patches calms down and eats!
post #36 of 447
Thread Starter 
Update - Got the Feliway diffuser put in her room during lunch hour. Also got some salmon, wet food, soft treats while out (didn't have time to look for Science Diet A/D yet).

In the morning, I had taken a handful of her dry food and put it inside the cardboard box she is in - it's big, so I didn't have to get too close to her to put it there. She had eaten all of the pile except 2 kibbles. So that is good!!! I put another small pile (with some treats) in that same spot. I realize I am making it easier for her to not have to go out of the box to eat, but I want her to eat something.

Will give her wet food tonight and start that routine.

Thanks again
post #37 of 447
That's great - everything's going to be just fine! I think leaving the kibble/treats just inside her box is OK - it'll help her associate your smell with food.

I think doing as much stuff as you can on a schedule for her right now will really help. The big barrier in socializing a feral/scared stray is that trust factor - and wanting nothing from them and meeting all their needs without requiring anything (including interaction) from them goes a loooooong way to crossing that barrier. Food is a HUGE motivator in that, and doing everything on as much a schedule as possible REALLY helps reinforce that YOU are the one providing for their needs without being scary or threatening.

Obviously spend whatever time in the room you can reading out loud, napping, sewing, singing, folding laundry - whatever - just letting her get used to you being uninterested in her and non-threatening. Doing whatever you can down on the floor with your side to her will help.

But scooping litter boxes, filling kibble - leaving little pile of kibble inside of box, putting out and picking up wet food, cleaning water dish - the more of a regular schedule you can keep to for all of that part of it, the more quickly she's likely to come around.

Also, knocking lightly on her door and telling her you're coming in is good too. If she was out of her box, it's less scary for her than if the door just suddenly opens.

...and if she's eating the kibble, I wouldn't worry about the A/D. It's that expensive prescription food you can only buy at the vet, and she doesn't really need it (and it's not very high quality stuff to begin with, so definitely over priced for what it is).

OH! Get a couple of t-shirts really good and sweaty. Once you know she's eating, leave one under her kibble dish. When you leave the room, put treats down on the other one. This will help her associate your scent with something she loves even faster.

You're doing great!

...I know - it's impossible not to worry. But she's hydrated for sure, and starting to eat, so everything will be just fine!

BTW - I don't remember the beginning of the thread. She's already spayed, right? But did she get a check-up? Are you sure she doesn't have parasites or anything?
post #38 of 447
Thread Starter 
Thanks again Laurie

She tested negative for FLV/FIV at the vets and they gave me 2 dewormer pills (1 now, 1 for 2 weeks later) but I already wasted 1 pill (rejected in food) so I'm going to wait to put the 2nd pill in a treat once I'm sure she'll eat it. (Then I'll call and get a refill for that lost one in 2 weeks). I didn't have a poo sample for them to examine, but they assumed she'd have worms. I make sure I change my clothes/shoes if I sit down there with her so I don't bring anything to Batman. Batman (one of her babies we kept) and her can't interact under the doors either. They did apply Frontline on her for me - Batman has been on Frontline for several months and I might keep it long term for them both.

I was going to wait until her next vet visit to give them a poo sample, since I have that dewormer pill. Or should I just do it now in case there is more that needs addressed?

Yep she is spayed - we got that done in July but we were not ready to take her in at that point, but honestly it worked out for the best - she had a 4th baby outside she was taking care of that we couldn't find when we first took in the other 3 babies. That baby got trapped by us later and is now being fostered by someone - we got the whole family taken care of.

I agree I need to get back on a normal schedule like we had outside. I've been probably poking in too much this weekend.

It is nerve wracking but you're right - she's drinking, eating a bit, so should be ok once the silly human gets the routine right. I'm a worry wart!

Crossing my fingers! Thanks again So thankful for all the support and advice
post #39 of 447
You know if it's not a total hassle, you might just take one of her poop samples to the vet. If she doesn't have worms, no need to worry about it - if she does, it helps to know which ones. I'm assuming the pill you have is Drontal (the only one I know that comes in pill form). I believe it works for tape worm and round worm, the most common. But if she doesn't have any, then you don't need to sweat it. If she was being fed and relying on that for food, it's just possible she doesn't have any.

...but if she comes out with you there while eating in the not too-far distant future, if you can get Revolution on her, it's just like Frontline except it also handles the internal parasites - so no pills. Just a thought.
post #40 of 447
Thread Starter 
That's a good idea! I should go ahead and do that.

Checked in on her - she didn't eat that pile of dry food I put out for her around lunchtime and she had moved from her box to inside the cat carrier. She had pooped and peed in the litter box. After I cleaned up everything (as she watched), I did take a few photos - making sure to look at the camera, not at her, and trying not to use the flash to drive her nuts. Here is a picture:

This is her room set-up:

She's hiding out now in the carrier on the left. The past 3 days, she was living in that box across from it. I didn't want to put a rug down until after fleas/etc. are gone. I have another box coming from work soon that she can hide in. I'd like to have more hiding spots for her.
post #41 of 447
If you have a card table (folding table) - or any table you can grab from somewhere else temporarily, and put it offset to the middle of the room with a cloth of some type draped over it, it will help her feel not so exposed. We had a similar room set up for Ming Loy when we lived in a house but instead of the dresser it was a cedar chest - and she would squish herself down to get under it. We stuck a table in the room to help break up the open space, and she took to hiding under it instead.

Is this an inside room, or is there a window we can't see? If there's a window, I'd figure out how to get something up to it so if she gets comfortable enough she can sit up on a cat bed somehow and look out. Maybe buy a bird feeder that uses suction cups to stick to the window. Cat TV. (And the squirrels often have fun taunting the cat ).
post #42 of 447
Thread Starter 
Great idea about the card table! I will look for one. I figured that wide open space is scary but just wasn't sure what to do about it.

The room has 2 windows - I put that bed-side table under one so she could jump up on it and look out the window, but it's soooo darn bright in the room, that I was keeping the blinds closed for now, to not be so sunny during the day. I can open that one up though so she can peek out, since she is getting more familiar. (We were all downstairs earlier and we heard a thump - like she had been on the dresser and jumped down.)

I went in a while ago to take away her wet food dish - she was back into the box. She ate 1/2 the food so that is good! Much better than before! So I am not panicking about her eating now!

I do want to get a stool sample to the vet.. I'm being really careful about shoes/socks/etc in the room to not get Batman anything, but I'd like to know what I'm dealing with instead of making assumptions. She did eat birds outside on occasion, so I figure she's got some nasties.

Thanks again
post #43 of 447
Your kitty is beautiful and it sounds like she is doing very good. I wish Pretty Girl had done half so well.
post #44 of 447
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by ink View Post
Your kitty is beautiful and it sounds like she is doing very good. I wish Pretty Girl had done half so well.
I just read your thread on that - I'm sorry to hear that, but that is wonderful you took in another kitty. Maybe it was meant to be that you were to adopt the other.

I don't think she's doing fantastic (I'm sure she's thinking 'what did I do to deserve this confinement????') but I'm glad she's eating/drinking/using litter box. She's not eating as much as she should, but it's getting better. Maybe the Feliway is helping.

Part of me feels guilty for doing this to her (because I know she's upset) but the other part feels great for doing this for her. I guess time will tell. I hope years down the road (or sooner) that she will be a relaxed inside kitty, and then I will know I did the right thing.
post #45 of 447
She is beautiful, and I'm sure you're doing the right thing! It just takes them a little while to understand what a wonderful thing has happened to them.
post #46 of 447
Thread Starter 
Today is day 2 of normal routine (since weekend was a bit wonky). She mostly ignored the wet food I put out at 7pm but she did use the litter box a couple times and nibbled on some dry food. Not a LOT of dry food though. It seems she's eating just a little bit...

I got another big box in the room and also this little hideaway cat bed thing (igloo like) but the room is still a bit bare.

I'm just concerned about the eating still. I figure it's ok because she seems hydrated (I'm pretty darn sure she's drinking, and she is using litter box) but she is not eating as much as she should.

Should I try harder to make her eat (putting out another food type if she ignores) or is keeping the routine ok? Should I ditch the food bowl itself and see if that's part of the problem?

Is it possible that she's associating her dry food with the trap too and not wanting to eat a lot of it? We did use this dry food as part of the trail of food - it's what we've fed her since June. She will not eat tuna anymore (that's what we used to catch her the first time) and I wonder if this is a similar thing.. or am I reading too much into it?

Should I wait until I add the routine of me sitting in the room at night until she is eating more regularly? I did sit with her a couple nights ago but haven't since because I wanted her to start eating more. For the past 2 days, I hop in the morning for fresh food/water/litter check, then after work for her wet food/litter check, then a couple hours later to remove the wet food. I need to add in hang-out time but wasn't sure if it was the right time since she's still on edge. She does watch my every move and does not hiss - just watches.

Sorry so many questions!
post #47 of 447
If you keep the routine she will probably settle down and eat properly after a while.

Does she have a name?
post #48 of 447
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by ink View Post
If you keep the routine she will probably settle down and eat properly after a while.

Does she have a name?
Patches. Not a very original name for a calico, but that's what I started calling her in June and it stuck, and it suits her.
post #49 of 447
Thread Starter 
Not sure if she ate anything over-night.. I had put a handful of kibble near where she was and she had ignored it, and I can't tell from looking at the dry food in the bowl if it was touched... This morning I put fresh food in both the bowl and also on the placemat itself and a few more kibbles in the very front of the (new) box she's hiding in now...

I'm discouraged about this lack of eating and worrying about it again. So the plan tonight is to try again a different type of wet food again (I'll try the canned salmon) and then go get a totally different type of dry food as well. I wish she would eat. I understand this is going to be a long process but I want her to be eating so she is physically handling things. I do think she ate a very small amount of dry during the day at least (I saw some of her fur in the food dish).

I read in a thread about those drops you can put in their water to help calm them down - is that something available in a pet store? I don't think I saw them at PetSmart but can look harder and try another smaller store.

Cross your fingers she starts eating more soon. I don't want to do her more harm than good. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease eat soon, Patches!!!
post #50 of 447
Maybe try warming up the wet food in the microwave? In mine it only takes 5-10 seconds to get it just warm enough to where my cats are all over it.

Also do you have a room divider? If you can set up her food in such a way where she feels protected she might eat more. She might not want to eat out in the open. Also putting it next to a bed between a bed and a wall will have the same effect. Putting it in a box will probably not work for her because of trap. I mean like leaving 2-3 feet of room from the bed and the wall. If your room isn't set up to do this easily it is probably an extremely bad idea to move the furniture around and cause a racket. That would just give Patches a heart attack. From what I've seen you might be able to move that big box over and use a box as the barrier for the food, so she can hide behind it while she eats. So put the food next to the box.. I don't know. Do you get what I mean? If she has a place to hide AND eat she might eat more.

It sounds weird but this is how I got EG to eat during the day when I was home. I think he thought I couldn't see him so he would eat. To this day he wont eat if you watch him but he will eat out in the open now. Who knows it might work for Patches.

Sending Patches vibes to eat more. We are trying to save you from the harsh outside.
post #51 of 447
Don't switch up food too much on her, it may just upset her stomach and make her feel less like eating.

I'm with ink on this one - just keep up the routine and let her settle down. She's not a skinny kitty that needs to gain weight, so I really would try to not fret. The only thing I would consider, at this point, is maybe boiling some chicken (in nothing but water, nothing added). Give her a small bowl of shredded warm chicken in slightly warm chicken water. You can also try some chicken baby food (Gerber's - it's just plain with nothing added).

I would also add a little "spend some time in the room ignoring her" time. Let her get used to you being non-threatening.

Hang in there! She's going to be just fine. She IS nibbling, after all, so it's nowhere near an emergency.
post #52 of 447
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by LisaR View Post
She might not want to eat out in the open.
From what I've seen you might be able to move that big box over and use a box as the barrier for the food, so she can hide behind it while she eats. So put the food next to the box.. I don't know. Do you get what I mean? If she has a place to hide AND eat she might eat more.
I see what you're saying. That makes total sense! Maybe it's not the food after all but just the open-ness and insecurity of where I placed the food. I'll move some stuff around tonight (as quiet as possible) and make her food area somewhere more hidden and see if that helps. I unfortunately don't have a room divider but there's a long coffee table I can bring in the room and turn on its side to work as a divider-ish, now that I think about it... hmmmm.

Thank you

Also if anyone is interested in the backstory, I went and posted on the photo area of forum a photo-with-story, starting with how we found the kittens in June to where we are now. http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...10#post2762210
post #53 of 447
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
She's not a skinny kitty that needs to gain weight, so I really would try to not fret.
My husband likes to make fun of her weight, saying she has enough fat on her, that she could go quite a long time without eating She put on several pounds since her spay! But I look at myself and I've put on weight too the past few months without a medical reason

I'll try rearranging things to be more secure feeling for her and won't go too crazy with the food switch. Very good point.

Dumb question probably but I grew up feeding only dry - is having different types of wet food (chicken, beef, seafood) an issue on the kitty's belly? Or is it more the switch up with dry foods? (One day farther down the road I want to ideally be feeding both cats mostly dry and then wet food at dinner time as a treat - Batman's been getting wet food as a treat when I get Patches' wet food ready, but he is a dry only boy for now.)

Thanks everyone. I am a spazz.. I just hope she eats soon! Food is her friend.
post #54 of 447
From my experience if the kitty isn't allergic to one of the ingredients, then it doesn't matter to much with the wet food flavors or even brands. One of my cats is allergic to everything that is the IAMS brand of food for some reason, so obviously that will upset her. Otherwise she'll eat pretty any brand with no problem, Changing dry food out a lot upsets their stomach really bad for some reason.

Try to keep the changes to the room to be simple and not a lot of loud moving furniture. I'm thinking she probably just wants to hide, which is pretty normal for a stray.
post #55 of 447
Thread Starter 
Cool, that makes sense. Thanks!

Well, I'll just be moving around some cardboard boxes when I feed her her wet food on schedule - shouldn't freak her out too much. But of course if she's in one of those said boxes, then I have to delay her room "remodeling". I think bringing in that table will help too - I probably can put it on its side with two legs up, then throw a towel over those legs sticking up perhaps so it almost acts as a cover and a pathway. We'll see if it works out as I envision...
post #56 of 447
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

I think things are getting better. I've been on a good schedule with her during the work week (will try to drag myself out of bed early on the weekend to keep it up) and I did re-arrange some of her furniture (boxes.. a table) so her eating area is more hidden - but still easy for me to access and know where she is (so I don't freak her out).

She was quite active last night - we could hear her jumping off the furniture and exploring the room (or... trying to get out of the room?) for a while. She did eat more yesterday than the previous day, so I think I will calm down now officially. She still has a ways to go with eating a normal amount, but she's getting there I think.

I will keep you all posted. Thanks again for all the advice!

(PS - She will get in my signature too once things are better and I can get photos of her without freaking her out!)
post #57 of 447
Eating and jumping around are both good things! Feels good, right?

Don't know about the trying to get out.... she hasn't made a mad dash at the door or anything while you're going in or out. Every single one of the kitties we've rescued has NEVER tried to get out. They hate the door.
post #58 of 447
Thread Starter 
Thank you!

She hasn't tried to dart out - she just quietly sits in a box or carrier and watches me. She was craning her head a few times last night to watch me as I was doing my kitty chores in there. She seems alert. Hasn't hissed or anything at me but I am keeping my distance.

Our neighbors said they first saw her outside 2 years ago - so I really have no idea how long she has been living the outside life, but she seems to be doing ok so far. I made good progress with her outside - in June, if she'd see me, she'd bolt to another yard!! In October, she was eating a foot or two away from me, I could talk quietly, and she was somewhat approaching us when we pulled in the garage (she'd walk towards the car, sit down and watch us - would run away if we got too close, but she still was showing interest). I understand that was on her terms so she felt more comfortable, but we'll see what the future holds.

I'll keep you all posted. I drink a lot of coffee, as you can tell and talk a lot
post #59 of 447
The cat that got us involved in rescue probably got left behind in the RV park when it was time to leave and she'd gone missing - she was pure bred and had apparently just been spayed, because the scar was so messy the vet wasn't sure it was a spay scar, poor baby. So when we encountered her she'd been on her own from probably around 6 months old and she was over a year, closer to 2. She bolted for months. She went to being nervous being fed. When she finally was OK with a pet, her trust came very quickly from there. She became a lap cat, and was happy to come inside when raining.

...so my guess is that after a couple of weeks (though it may take longer) - especially if you let her come to you, rather than trying to go to her - once she makes that move, she "remembers" people and inside and love are good, and it all moves pretty quickly from there. When socializing rescues, it's often 3 steps forward and 1 or 2 steps back - but when they're strays and not ferals, often those steps back just don't happen.

Now that she's eating, you might want to sweat up a t-shirt and leave it under her food dish.
post #60 of 447
Yay I'm glad Patches is doing better! Jumping around on things is definitely a good sign. Shes getting used to her little room now. Soon she'll realize that inside is warm and safe and not want to go outside unless its just to play in the grass.

I've never had a cat try to run away after being rescued either. My older kitty Isie was originally an outside cat so she tries to go outside a lot. However when she does get out I have an orange furball at my door meowing within a few hours. So shes not trying to run away just rolls around in the grass some. The other kitty will stare at an open door with big eyes like a deer in headlights. He is so scared of the outside he can barely approach an open door. Each cat is different though.
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