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Newly adopted cat: adjustment issues

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello people! I am new to the forum since I adopted a 3 year old ginger shorthair.

Last sunday I picked up Edgar from his former home where he lived with another shorthair, tabby female. I expected some adjustment issues as I took him away from his BFF to a new home.

Now, were almost a week together. Edgar is under the sofa the whole time, nothing strange, at night he wanders trough the sanctuary room, exploring the new surroundings. I sit with him a couple of hours a day, doing nothing or watch tv and so once in a while I talk to him. So far so good. But, he doesnt drink and eat. I use different types of water bowls and I mark the waterline so I can see how much he drank. Basically nothing, he drank maybe 10cc per night and the day after I find a little ball in the litterbox the size of a pingpong ball. He didnt ear nor poo. Yesterday (day 5) I took him to the vet for a check up and to see how we could get him to eat and drink (more).

Now it turns out little Edgar has bowel disease, peridontitis and tested positive for FCoV. The bloodwork turned out fine, only his CK levels were a bit high. On the xray the vet made we could see he was heavily constipated so the vet decided to do an enima today. After 30 min still no poo, so the vet send me back home to let him poop in his litterbin. Well, the imaginary happened, he crapped in the travel basket in the car. His fur completely covered in poop. So I cleaned him with a wet towel and a dry one, I thought putting him in a bath would only cause more stress and the poor fellow has already a lot to cope with. So a bit of cat shampoo and a warm, wet towel did the trick. After I dried him, I brushed him. He seemed to like that as he turned on his back himself so I could easily reach for the messy bits of his fur coat, and did lay still the whole time, he didnt even want to jump off my lap to hide under the sofa again.

Also he told me to assist him with eating. I give him 60cc of liquid food mixed with a quarter cup wet food (Hill's digestive care) and warm water four to five times a day, I think he likes it cause he nearly eats the syringe with it. When its dinner time I lure edgar in to the travel basket he came in. Is this the right way? Or will he develop fear for the travel basket?

For the rest of the time Edgar hides under the sofa, but still doesnt come out to drink or visit the litterbin by himself.

I am worried that with the assisted feeding and all the unwanted attention Edgar has a suboptimal adjustment period in the first weeks. But if I do not assist him with his daily carbs and water he will be in deeper trouble...

Is there a middle road? Now he has eaten and pooped, wouldnt it be better to leave him alone, or should I carry on with assisted feeding/drinking? Also, he's on meds now for the bowel disease and peridontitis. On monday he'll get his second round of shots (antibiotics and steroids). So ill have to take him out of his sanctuary again.
post #2 of 11

Hi and welcome to the forums! :wavey: Sounds like Edgar is very very lucky to have such a caring owner. Judging by your description of how mellow he is, I bet he knows that too. :rub:


Constipation can be painful so it's great that he managed to relieve himself. What kind of bowel disease does the vet suspect? Did he or she mention any specific nutritional needs due to that disease? You're absolutely right that Edgar needs a daily intake of water and food (not necessarily carbs, but food). Obviously, if he can eat and drink on his own, that's better. Does he try to eat and drink on his own?


It's not rare for a cat to avoid food/water and consequently the litterbox when they are  introduced into a new environment. That alone can lead to constipation so hopefully there's not long-term problem with that. I hope others can chime in with their own experiences.

post #3 of 11

I do not have experiences of this nature, but am just posting to show support and express caring about Edgar, and to thank you, @edgarthecat , for your caring and devotion to him, which I am sure will be richly rewarded.  How much history on him was provided by his former caregivers?  The more you have, the more you can provide his vet and the better knowledge you will have to ensure he has the best care possible.  Please keep us up to date on his progress! 

post #4 of 11
My goodness, Edgar's dad. You are a wonderful human. Thank you for trying so, so hard to help you new furbaby. I just joined & I'm sure everyone here will try to help you.Keep us updated. God bless.P.S. I have a ginger boy, too . The most affectionate guy there is!
post #5 of 11
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
This morning i was in a bit of hurry. My visitors werd arriving way earlier then expected. I went to get Edgar and picked him uo too fast/unexpected for him. He bit me, quite deep. In the hospital now, hoping no ligaments or pierced.... or serious infections will occur. frown.gif

But he did poo this night! Whoohooo.
post #7 of 11

So sorry to hear he panic-bit you.  Hope you will be okay.  Cats are very sensitive, and their fight-or-flight responses are acute, for good reason.  Hoping you can earn his trust and that he will feel safe and calm with you in time.  Good on him for using his box!

post #8 of 11

Hi. I'm new to this site and to cats too and I have pretty limited experience in this stuff. But I recently adopted an adult male cat and one of the tricks I used to get him out of his shell quickly is to try to play with him. So my cat hid under the bed and the floor on the opposite wall and read a book or watch a video or something. He'd just sit under there and stare and me. One way I got him to come out is to take a DaBird type of toy and play with it in his plain sight. I'd wiggle it around and run it around like it was a prey having a party. He'd get curious and move a little forward but didn't come near me. That was during the first 24 hours. When I'd leave him alone in the room, I'd leave a catnip mouse with feathers in a 'hiding' position and by the next time I'd come in, the mouse had moved. He had come outside to look at it. I think if you can lure him to come out and look around he'd start adjusting a little faster. 


Also try to keep the environment quiet. For the first 3 days even the TV was almost muted in out house and we kinda whispered to each other. I don't know if this works for all cats but I actually closed the bedroom door to give him privacy and a sense of security so that he had the confidence that I couldn't sneak up on him. He also wouldn't be overwhelmed by the activity in the rest of the house. He used to litter box within those first 24 hours and I think it was because the room was closed and everything was quiet. 


And I'm sorry to hear that he bit you. Next time when you need to hold him, I think it's best to lure him out with a treat, lightly pet him and then hold him so that he doesn't panic and knows what is happening. 

In the same vein, scatter a few treats around the room if you can to get him to explore?


A small disclaimer: I think my cat adjusted to my house very fast. He started eating, let me pet him, showed me his belly, explored the rest of house, all within 30 hours after he came home. One of the reasons for that, I think, is that he is pretty sociable. Even at the shelter, when I went to see the cats, while all the cats were crying at the staff for food and looking at me and my mom curiously, he came over to me and started rubbing against my legs. So I think he didn't need that much of an adjustment period to begin with.


But your cat has got a lovely human on his side and I think that your hard work and affection will pay off. Hope everything turns out fine.

post #9 of 11


I think you are a wonderfully caring person to take on the responsibility of Edgar and I hope that in time he comes to adjust and become affectionate.  Perhaps one of those toy mice or birds which make corresponding sounds when touched by a person/cat would lure him out.  That might work but as the saying goes "trust is a slow-growing thing" so give him time and be patient.  I think he will soon learn that isolating himself is not rewarding and he will overcome his fear.  Good luck and I hope you make progress with him.  

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the flattering words ;-).

The cat bite turned out to be quite severe and I had to stay in the hospital for a couple of days due to a pasteurella infection. At least I am on par with my knowledge on the cat's bacteria cultures.

He seems to be eating now but I think he is drinking to little. About 1 to 2 pingpongball sized pee balls in the bin, poop is once per two days and looks to be okay. He eats about a handful of dry food a day, wet food is a no go, he smells it, and walks away. Fresh chicken though.... . Considering the water, could it be that cats are not really fond of water with a heavy chlorine smell? Unfortunalty the water is quite hard here and it smells like chlorine (if I smell it, how strong must it be for the Edgar Allen Pus?).

He's still under the sofa and only comes out at night. Yesterday he sneaked in to my bedroom and started punching the duvet and started meowing (for the first time!). It was a bit of a sad meow, or at least that's how I interpreted it. Well any how, I got to play a bit with him and a laser pointer, he was running around the whole room and it looked like he was relaxed, even got a little sniff at my finger and smelly feet at the end. I think he is opening up a bit and it will take some time for the little one to warm up.
post #11 of 11

Slow and steady, with lots of patience and love!  It sounds like you are making some inroads, which is great.  


As for the water, I always "season" the water I give to my potted plants by keeping it in watering cans for several hours before using it.  The chlorine evaporates, to some extent at least.  For my cats, I have a fountain that I maintain for them.  I also have several bowls of water around the house for them.  Cats in the wild get most of their moisture from their prey, and cats in our care should be encouraged to eat high-quality wet foods or, some say (but I don't), raw foods with the proper dietary supplements.  If possible, keep offering him a variety of types of wet foods to find some that he likes and will eat.  The dry food can be used as a snack, but I wouldn't advocate feeding nothing but dry.  Yes, he does need to drink some water every day if he's eating dry food almost exclusively!


So sorry about the incident -- since cats' teeth are so sharp, they do tend to penetrate pretty deeply, which is why infection can result and be serious.  We all have harmful bacteria.  I hope this does not happen again.

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