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Neighbor in financial/medical trouble any links for coupons or free cat food?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

My Neighbor has diabetes and her condition has been getting progressivly worse. She lost her job but has not gotten disability, so she is living on very little money. Due to her health and no help from anyone, even her house is in very bad shape, I feel really bad for her she is a nice lady but luck has not been on her side.  She was just hospitalized she is not doing very well her eyesight is going and her leg is looking very bad from the diabetes not allowing wounds to heal right.


She has 3 cats, 2 DS and one Maine Coon. Since her financial issues she only is able to bring her cats into the vet if its a dire emergency, and she had to cut the amount of food she feeds them in half. They have access to friskies dry food and water all day, and all 3 of them share a can and a half of friskies a day. Since she is in the hospital now since her health got very poor im the only one who is around to make sure her cats eat when she is away without me they would have to fend for themselves. Last year she was gone for a  month so I have no idea how long she will be gone for.


Right from day one the cats fight for the canned food when I feed them, I know they are not getting enough to eat. Her maine coon used to be at least 15 pounds he is not showing his ribs but he lost a few pounds in the past year he is mabye down to 9 pounds, he also has severe matts,hairballs, and intestinal problems and is loaded with fleas. Her other 2 cats seem to be in pretty good shape mabye a pound underweight. Her cats used to get 4 cans a day and the dry food she used to buy was fancy feast and her maine coon got plain turkey each day to eat.


I explained to her when she called to check in her cats were fighting over the food can I give them more and that her cat is loosing weight and im afriad they are all not going to eat since I cant stay around to see who eats what all day, she told me to only put a can and a half out, they have dry food to eat and if not they will eat the birds and mice outside. She claims the cats love the dry food and only like 2 flavors of friskies. When im feeding them they barely ate any dry food and fought over the canned food, so without telling her I brought other flavors of can food and got plain turkey and the cats literally demolished everything within an hour! Either she doesnt buy any other food becuase she cant afford it, or she got cheap. Obviously the cats do not like what they are eating or they would not be eating mice and birds and loosing weight! 


My neighbor was never like this it seems her illness has made her slightly bitter and financial issues no choice, I gave her these 3 cats, and 10 years ago she spoiled them rotten they got the best care, were groomed often, had unlimited food, and vet care always.  I understand she is sick, but its like they went from riches to rags and if something happens to her, the cats are as good as dead nobody can or wants to take them I legally cant help them since its not my property.


I dont have a job so I cant buy much to help, so is there any free cat food coupons or good deals so I can give it to her so she can feed her cats more so they dont fight over the food or she can buy better quality food?

post #2 of 16

I don't know of any but a lot of time, in this area anyway, food pantries will have pet food brought in as well.  Or you can take her plight to your church, or her church if you go to church and see if they can help.  Many church people are also animal lovers and will bend over backwards to help out furry friends before reaching in their wallets to help out a person.   I am sorry I can be of no help.  But hopefully I gave you some leads to look into.

post #3 of 16

Email the companies and sign your name/addy tell them you have a few cats and are thinking of switching. 

call local shelter and see if they can help out

ask a group at petsmart if they have any donations they won't use(some are pickier then others)  they may give you an adoption booklet with coupons. also ask the clerk or manager if there are any coupons

or petsmart and petco mark down dry food and some times wet food thats near experation.

ebay has coupons for friskies fairly often-usually .50 of a bag and 1 off 24 cans.



Do you think the drys old?  maybe it was a big bag that is going stale?  I would try a fresh bag since thats the cheapest option.  i find it hard to believe they are not eating the dry and getting that thin unless somethings wrong with the food.


eating mice/birds means high chance of worms and also there is always the chance of a eaten animal being poisoned and the cat will feel the effects.

post #4 of 16

I know this sounds bad but if she is in a state where she cannot care for the cats or even herself... And her house is unsafe, as you make it "sound", it may be the best thing to find out if there is really anyone out there that can take the cats in themselves.  As feeding them may help but in the long run, she can't do much for them... It's better for the cats and for her if she focuses on her and lets the cats go to new homes where they don't have to hunt or fight for food.  This is a sad situation and no one wants to be the bad guy that calls in help but in the long run you'd be doing all of them a life changing favor. 


As much as she may love them, it's an illness not to be able to acknowledge she is hurting them and herself by the way they are living. 

post #5 of 16

Can you separate the cats when they eat canned food so they don't fight over the food? Put them in separate rooms and give them equal amounts. I would also start calling around to local shelters and rescues to see if they know of a pet food pantry or can help with food. Some get food donated that they can share. I would definitely try to get a hold of a new bad of dry food, maybe a different brand like Purina Cat Chow. If the cats aren't eating the dry food they have there must be something wrong with it. It's not only that they don't like that particular food. They wouldn't go hungry if it was just a matter of not liking Friskies. And I do think that fighting over the wet food means that they are hungry.

As suggested you may want to call around to local stores to see if they have some damaged bags or cans that they could give you or give you a discount on. Walmart gives away a lot of petfood. One 16lbs bag of Purina Cat Chow is only about $13 and for three cats it should last a while. Remember to not leave out more than they will eat in a day as it will get stale if it sits out. Also make sure to keep the bag sealed after it's been opened to keep the food fresh.

It's cheaper to buy the big 11oz cans of Friskies than buying the smaller can. I think they are about 90cents at Walmart. One and a half to two of those a day should be fine for three cats.

Also try contacting Purina themselves to see if they can give you some coupons.


I'm curious, is there any way the cats could stay with you while your neighbor is in the hospital? That would of course make the situation much better for them. Also, is there any way you could groom the long haired cat to get rid of the matts? Sometimes those matts can hurt if they pull the skin.


This is such a sad situation for everyone but at least the cats have you to care for them. I do agree with the above poster that the cats would be better off finding new homes but with 10-year old cats that may be easier said than done. However, six pounds of weight loss and severe flea infestation is not okay so something has to be done for these cats soon.


post #6 of 16

I have a few coupons for cat food that I would love to mail to your friend.


Here is a coupon scenario that I do often:


3 lb bag of Purina One $5.97

3 cans of Purina One wet food

-$1/1 Purina One bagged cat food

- Buy one bag, get 2 cans free

-Buy 2 cans get 1 can free


It comes out to $4.97 for a bag of cat food and 3 cans.

post #7 of 16
Subscribe to the area Sunday paper for her. They'll have lots of coupons for cat food (they are done on a national basis).

There are lots of couponing sites that can help her get great deals; here are a few that I use:

Coupon divas is the best IMO, there are many more out there. They break it down and tell you exactly what to buy every week, which coupons to use, and where to find the coupons.

Good luck!! vibes.gif
post #8 of 16

Have you tried posting on CL or Kijiji and seeing if anyone will donate some food? Just write out what you've written here and post it, lots of people have cat food that they've tried to feed their pets and find out that they don't like it. Shelters usually won't take opened bags and, surprisingly, a lot of people don't bother to return the bags. A lot of people are usually willing to donate a few cans or something too. 


You can also call a few pet stores around you and see if you can put up a can to take donations for food or donations of food. 


I don't know what it's like there, but here we pay a deposit on liquor bottles and cans. On garbage day there are a lot of people that walk around and pick up the bottles and cans that people just throw in their recycling. We went last night and got about $20 worth of bottles/cans in about an hour. Areas where students live are the best for that. You can also pick up cans and take them to a recycling depot, you don't get very much for them but it's something. There is a rescue here that will go around once a week and collect cans from people (they have an ad out and you just call them when you have a bag). They get quite a bit of money that way. 

post #9 of 16

Any news about the neighbor's cats?

I offered the OP to send her flea and worm medication for the cats two days ago but I haven't heard back. It sounds like these cats are loaded with fleas and worms and I'm sure that has contributed to one of the cats almost losing half of his body weight. Why not take help when it's offered?

post #10 of 16

The shelters here won't give out any food they have!!! They are always asking for donations and having fund raisers to be able to get food for the animals.  But, maybe you can try your local grocer?  Maybe if you explain to the manager(s) that you shop there all the time and the situation, they might be willing to "donate" some pet food to you?  They are willing to help in this area, you just have to be willing to ask for it.  As for the flea treatments, maybe you can explain the situation to your vet and ask for a donatiion there as well?

post #11 of 16

The shelters here only use one type of food to feed the animals. Anything else they have they give out to people who need it, they have all sorts of stuff stored in the shed, not just food. It cant hurt to tell your shelter what is going on and see if they have anything to give you.

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Sorry I have not replied back fast I have been busy but reading the posts.

With my money I bought a tube of frontline that will last a month on him, I brushed him with the Furminator brush to remove his Matts most which are due to his limited mobility to reach certain spots, he only has a half of back leg so he can't scratch behind his neck and grooming some areas is impossible. The fleas started falling off right away.

There is a chance he has internal parasites and I forgot to mention raccoons and opossums get in her house sometimes and eat from the food bowls, though the main issue was limited food as he is eating like a pig now that I bought 2 weeks extra supply of canned food he is eating great and I have not seen any digestive issues. On top of that the bowl my neighbor put the canned food in is only inches bigger than the can food since she doesn't chop it up, this makes it difficult for them to get the food out, I have been chopping up the canned food and put in a larger bowl and they have no trouble eating it all now, I told my neighbor this months ago but she still continued not putting it in a larger bowl.

These are all temporary solutions since when my neighbor gets home it will be back to less food and the dry food they hardly eat, I guess they are picky eaters the food is fresh and not expired.

Plus she faces her own issues, health issues from her houses condition I'm afraid when she comes home shell just get sick again. And the house condition is bad outside if she doesn't find a landscaper the town can fine her or even evict her her property is overgrown and full of trash.
post #13 of 16

Bless your heart for taking care of these cats. Is there any way you could take them back, considering she won't be able to take care of them (and even could face losing her house)? It sounds as if things are not going to get any better. She might feel better knowing they are cared for, too.


If you need help yourself, you might check out this thread:

One of the members has compiled resources for food/vet care.


It's clear that you love these cats . . . I hope there's a way that they don't have to go back to the bad situation they were in.


post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 


Originally Posted by catmom5 View Post

Bless your heart for taking care of these cats. Is there any way you could take them back, considering she won't be able to take care of them (and even could face losing her house)? It sounds as if things are not going to get any better. She might feel better knowing they are cared for, too.


If you need help yourself, you might check out this thread:

One of the members has compiled resources for food/vet care.


It's clear that you love these cats . . . I hope there's a way that they don't have to go back to the bad situation they were in.



We live on Long Island, NY all those low cost and food banks are by New York City or upstate NY which is nowhere where we live. Know any for Long Island? My neighbor doesnt have a working computer so any information i'll have to print out for her.


As for the cats they first came from a bad situation, they were very ill when they were given to her I got them from a so called "friend" who severely neglected them and at the time my neighbor had a lot of money and time and she was in good health when I gave her the cats they were spoiled rotten. But now except the fact they are friendly, because of there age, being used to hunting outside, and they are not litterbox trained, would make them very hard to adopt in a new home. They are all black and white and there are no No Kill shelters here unless a miracle happened they would be not very adoptable. cant take them I have 2 cats of my own and cannot have any more than 2.

post #15 of 16

I know it's horrible situation and a tough position to put you in... But, you have to be realistic, too.  She is not able to care for them properly, according to what you've said.... Them going back to her is not an option.  She may lose her home because it's in such bad condition that she can't even live there without getting sick!  They can't stay with you.  I would put their situation on Petfinder.  Perhaps you'll have better luck finding them homes because right now, the only option is a kill shelter and no one wants that!!  And even if you have to go outside your area, I would still be looking into other options because right now, this isn't working.  She can't have them.  You can't have them.  They need vet care.  I'll see if someone is willing to help you out on the other cat site I am a part of.  Perhaps they can think of something, a real solution rather than what is going on right now. 

post #16 of 16

My friend in the Long Island area says that it is not true that there are no non kill rescues in the area... Perhaps if you contact some of these and tell them the situation, they may be able to help the kitties?


She may have more options later... But the top one and the last one deal with older cats and sickly cats. 



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