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worried about my cat

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

so I found my cat in april this year she was walking around my apartment with no coller and no ID's and she looked hungry and scared so I took her in my house ..later that day my mom went to take the garbage out and said that she found an empty cat cabby with a bowl of food by it near the dumpster....she let me keep her ...I took her to the vet and they said she was pregnant my heart broke..how could anyone do this to an animal? then our lives began a few months later she gave birth we kept the kittens until they were ready for new homes...they left and Sammy was quiet but she got more and more playful and m and she grew more she was doing ok on dry food but now she wont anything but wet food  and her fur is everywhere...ive never had\ a pet before so I don't know how often to wash her what to wash her with or even how...her nails are long and sharp and she scratches at everything and I don't know if I can get her declawed I haven't got her shots yet and she isn't spayed ...can someone please tell me what to do??? I have a bed for her she wont use and shes always hungry even tho I feed her 2 times a day and leave out dry food and water for whenever she needs it...someone please tell me how to care for her I worry im not doing it right and I don't want her to hate me :c

post #2 of 3

Thank you for taking care of this cat and kittens.

Four years ago I was going through the same thing:  a friend of mine rescued four kittens who lived in front of my condo building.  She took them home with her, I helped socialize them, and then I adopted Ritz.  First. Cat. Ever.  I read lots of articles online and checked out lots of books from the library.  And, joined this forum.

There are many many articles on how to take care of cats.  Here is a link to a lot of them  http://www.thecatsite.com/atype/46/Cat_Health.

Do NOT NOT NOT declaw your cat, this is equivalent to someone cutting off your fingers.  You should trim your cats claw (lots of videos online how to do this).

She needs to be spayed as soon as possible.  If she escapes, she will get pregnant again.  You should check around where you live to see where there are low-cost spay/neuter clinics.  Cats who are not spayed are more likely to develop female problems, including cancer.

The fur issue--well that could be allergy or some type of skin infection.  Again, she really should see a vet just for a general check up (and the vet will show you how to trim her claws).  Do you have scratching posts?  You can get inexpensive cardboard ones at stores like PetCo or PetSmart.  Or even the back of a carpet sample.

I'm a little confused--are you feeding her dry or wet food?  Wet food is much better for a cat than dry food, and dry food--because of the additives and ingredients--is somewhat more likely to cause a food allergy.

Also, what is the consistency of her poop?  Really soft mushy stools *can* mean a problem with worms, which *can* be the cause of her being hungry. 

Ritz is always hungry, in part because she literally didn't know where her food would be coming from for the formative years of her life.  (She and her litter mates were dumped--and survived a 20" snow storm).  So, sometimes hunger is behavioral.

Also, a friend (same friend who fostered Ritz) and I were fostering another cat.  We couldn't get an appointment to get her spayed for about a month, and she cycled in and out of heat every four to six days (it seemed like).  She lost a lot of weight, was always hungry, and developed a skin problem.  Being in heat takes a lot out of a cat.

Oh and some cats just don't like cat beds.  I've bought several for Ritz and she simply ignores them.  She prefers my lap as her bed :)

Good luck, and write back with any more questions.  Again, I strongly suggest you get your cat to a vet to be spayed and for a general checkup.

post #3 of 3

You have taken this cat in to your home and doing the best you can.  So far you are doing right as far as I can see, esp if you are asking for advice and looking to learn about what she needs and how to do it.


I share Ritz's views on declawing, which is not legal in most countries because of what it involves and the concern for long term pain and health concerns.  You do not mention how Sammy is with being touched or handled?  If she tollerates petting and being held at all you should be able to learn how to clip her claws without distress to her or to yourself.  As Ritz says, there are plenty videos that give instruction.  If you can't bring yourself to try it at least initially you could ask your vet to do it, and perhaps use claw covers for a while until she is more used to being handled and you feel more confident.  One of the first stages with claw clipping is getting your cat used to her paws being touched, and then gently held and pushing each individual toe/digit down so that the claw extends out.  If you can get her used to you doing this you could actually try to clip her claws one at a time without even holding her, just having her laying close to you in a position where you can hold her paw in one hand and reach her paw with the clippers and see where the quick of her claw is in good light.  You don't have to do them all at once as long as you remember which ones you still need to do!


With the fur everywhere, like Ritz says, it could be an allergy or nutritional thing, or some kind of infection so it is worth having a general health check.  You note that she hasn't been wormed yet and if she is hungry with worm infestation she might also not be getting the nourishment she needs for a healthy coat and body no matter how much she eats.  It might also be nothing more than that she needs a good groom and hasn't had one. Cats shed fur and the dead fur needs to be removed regularly, they will do this to a certain extent through grooming but regular stroking and brushing will help. Medium and long hair cats will be more noticeable but short hair cats shed too.  I can't advise on brushes and grooming for long hair cats as I have never had one but for my tabby girls who shed so much they had no business not being bald used to get a good going over with a wire slicker brush at least every couple of days followed by a stroking session with a rubber textured brush or hands dampened with water which helps to lift off loose straight barb hairs.  If you are brushing take care to be gentle: do not press hard in towards the skin or pull at knotted or matted areas, just go over them gently until the area clears as your cat's skin is very sensitive and if she is hurt when you brush her she will be reluctant for it to be repeated regularly or at all.  If your furniture has touch fabric covers the slicker brushes are also very good for lifting dander / fur from seat covers etc, as are damp hands!


There are some members who are lucky enough to have adopted cats that use their cat beds at least some of the time but all of my cats have resisted any attempt to keep them off human furniture, and I confess to wanting them on my bed and indeed would feel quite bereft if one decided not to join me there and keep my feat warm.  If you want your cat to use something the best advice I can think of is to use it yourself, it will probably become instantly desireable!


Cats don't usually need bathed unless they have got themselves covered in something nasty and smelly like if they have been incontinent, and if you just want to clean one area of fur say on the butt or one side you can use a wet towel or microfibre cloth to wet and rub the soiled area and then dry off with a towel - this is less distressing than emersion in water.  You can wash her with pet shampoo but I avoid this if I can as it does need emersion and thorough rinsing.


Feeding I would suggest checking with your vet when you see them about her spaying and general health.  The vet can check her weight, deal with any infections or parasites that might be affecting her, and then you can start to guage her diet on her healthy body weight as instructed by your vet and following the feeding instructions on the type of food you use.  I used to give my girls a portion of wet food in the morning and evening and leave some dry food for them during the day as I was not always sure what time I would get home at the end of the day.


I hope you find your confidence building, and that all the posts and information from members across TCS helps you with this.  Sammy's life must be so much safer and more comfortable than it was before you found her, and thank you so much for taking care of her and her kittens and giving them all a chance, that was a massive task for someone not used to caring for cats!

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