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Cat with swollen abdomen

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I am desperately in need of help. I have 2 cats, both rescues, but I am a dog person, and know little about cats. Tabby moved into our garage and into our home over a year ago. She is healthy and beautiful. We fed her, got her shots, and everything just fell into place with her.

On Mother's Day I found a calico that appears to be younger than a year old. I found her in SuperPetz. Callie is what we named her. From what we know of her, she was in the ASPCA for "a long time". She appears to have been caged long enough for her hinde legs to atrophy, so she is unable to walk on her back paws right now, and instead walks on her back legs. She supposedly had a vet check up through the ASPCA and did get her shots, the vet check lists her as healthy.

Now the problem, Callie's abdomen has always been hard and round. Her nipples are visible versus Tabby's nipples which are not, so she could have had a litter at one time. But after a month of having Callie home with us there has been no change in her abdomen. It is swollen and hard, she is clearly not pregnant, what her abdomen looks like is that it is round like a ball, and hard to the touch. She still moves around and acts like a kitten, but is not as active.

I know many will recommend the vet, and I am taking her into the vet to try to find out what is going on with her on payday, but I was hoping there was someone on this board that had any idea what I could be looking at? She has normal bowel movements each day, urinates normally, her appetite is really good, she eats twice a day. She loses her hair in large chunks compared to Tabby's daily shedding.

Anyone have any ideas?
post #2 of 32
Firstly, welcome to TCS.

I would put my bet on a huge worm infestation. A cat walking on her back legs means she may have more going on than just atrophy as it is an indication of illness. She may also have ringworm if her fur is falling out in clumps. Is she spayed? If not, she may have Pyometria. Is there any way you can take her to the vet ASAP? I know some vets will do a payment plan with you when you explain your situation. Perhaps you can pay a small amount now and pay the rest when you yourself are paid. Callie sounds like she may be in pain with such a hugely swollen abdomen.
post #3 of 32
I would also not rule out FIP though usually the belly or the area where the fluid is built up is a bit more pliable and not so "hard." Also is the cat a gulper? Meaning swallowing dry kibble whole? That could also be the problem. But worms, or pyometra would be my first guess based on what you have told us about her history. Bless you for saving her.
post #4 of 32
Does she act like she is in any way uncomfortable with you feeling her abdomen?

My Vote is Peritonitis...NOT necessarily FIP.

Was she fixed prior to you adopting her?

Spotz
post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 
Oh thank you so much for answering so quickly. Callie was very anti-social when we first got her, so she hid a lot (inactive). Now she comes out when the dogs and kids are not around and socializes with my husband and me. Today she started actually talking to us. She is a dainty eater and takes a very long time to eat her kibble.

She is not spayed. She does not react as if in pain or discomfort when we push on her swollen belly. She has no diarrhea, her bowel movements have low odor, she was dewormed and vaccinated for Feline Corona Virus as well as everything else except rabies through the ASPCA.

She is playful at the same time everyday (0530), and sociable when the kids and dogs are asleep.

I will take her to our vet, the check up is affordable, its the blood tests etc. that will be expensive. We are scared of the costs because we had a Basset Hound that had a lot of medical problems and we made a huge investment in his vet.

Hopefully it is simple and treatable, we are also worried about that. I will update you when we know what is going on with her. She is still a kitten, she is half Tabby's size and they are both calicos.
post #6 of 32
Please, please please get her spayed. not only does it prevent more kittens coming into the world but unspayed cats have a much higher rate of cysts, mammary cancer and infections of the uterus. Sometimes a cat needs to be wormed more than once if there is a heavy infestation. She may need worming once a week (or fortnight, depending on the worming medication) for the next few weeks to get rid of them fully. She may be eating not very much and slowly because, if she has a large worm infestation, they could be in her tummy. Is it possible that she could be pregnant?

As for the cost, she may not need blood tests as the vet may be able to diagnose what's going on with just an examination and then give you the appropriate meds.

Good luck with her, hopefully you can get her to a vet soon.
post #7 of 32
I second Tania,

Please get this kitty fixed. If she isn't pregnant, she will want to be very soon.

An added bonus is that while the vet is spaying her, he can do a thorough abdominal exam, and determine a lot more about her tummy.

Spotz
post #8 of 32
Sorry if these questions seem a little redundant, but I'm going somewhere with this...

You rescued this kitty, correct?

They knew she wasn't Spayed, correct?

Did they require you to sign a document agreeing to have her spayed?

Spotz
post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
Yes I rescued this kitty from the ASPCA on mother's day. I had 30 days from the day I adopted her to get her spayed, unfortunately the vet that they use isn't much of a vet. I am also feeling very dumb because having given birth myself it never occurred to me that I adopted a pregnant kitty. We have had her for about 3 weeks now, the SuperPetz had her for an additional 3 weeks which means she became pregnant while in the ASPCA and prior to going to SuperPetz for a last ditch effort to get her adopted before euthanizing her.

Tonight Callie began to deliver her babies, so far we have 3 little kittens.

I am going to see if I can't get the ASPCA that we adopted her from to spay/neuter our new little additions for free, as well as Callie, and throw in the immunizations for the little ones. My husband is extremely angry with me right now because I have a history of rescueing dogs and then when I rescue our second cat she ends up being pregnant and forcing more furry ones on him! But he loves me and our daughters, and he has a soft spot for animals, its just not as soft as mine, so we will end up keeping the additional 3 kittens as well, and while he will fuss at me over it, he will be okay with it in the end.

I just feel so stupid. It never ocurred to me that I would get a young cat from the ASPCA that was pregnant and not have them tell me she is pregnant. I am floored by this. Thankfully mother and babies are doing good, Callie is doing what she is supposed to do, and her babies are doing what they should be doing.

Thank you for being there, I was so terrified that she had some disease that was going to kill her, and instead she brought more life into our home.
post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 
Now I need tons of advice. All my life I have had dogs, tons of dogs, and Tab was my first cat, and we have only had her for just under a year, Callie we adopted because no one else had adopted her and she was going to be sent back to the ASPCA to be euthanized.

What do we need to do with her and her kittens? Tab is spayed and has never had a litter, will she be a threat to Callie and her babies? How can I tell if she is going to be agressive versus just curious about these little ones and their noise? I have two dogs an older Basset Bosko a male that we rescued in October of 03 and Sam a mix that we rescued when he was a puppy (about 6 wks old). Both of our dogs are neutered. Tab is spayed and never had a litter. They are all very curious about this event, but what do I do with them? Do I need to separate Callie and her brood from the rest of the pack? How long should I do this if I do need to do this? How old do the kittens need to be for me to get them vaccinated? Are there any signs or symptoms in them that I should be aware of to indicate something is wrong with them?

I will call our vet in the morning and get them all into the see her as soon as possible, but in the meantime any and all advice would be appreciated. Callie does not appear to be in labor anymore, is there anything else that she should be expelling now? Any know how would be appreciated.

Thank you so much.
post #11 of 32
congratulations on you new additions! I read all the way through this, getting more concerned bout Callie as I went. What a happy ending! Thank you for saving Calli and for giving her such wonderful care! I'm glad to see you're already thinking ahead about spay/neuter for the babies as well as Callie!
post #12 of 32
It's funny, when I read your post I had a quick fleeting thought about pregnancy, but I figured that couldn't be it. I'm so glad it wasn't something serious wrong with your cat! Kittens are a lot more fun then worms or FIP! I hope you have a good camera to take some pictures! And I would definitely get in touch with the ASPCA about the alterations, vaccinations, etc. It is plausible that they didn't know the cat was pregnant when they turned her over to the SuperPetz, but they should help you out anyway.

Reading your post made my night!
post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 
I will start taking pictures as soon as I can. Callie appears to be done with her labor and is sleeping with her 3 babies. The ASPCA I got Callie from is not the same one that I went to to spay Tab and neuter our dogs, but I am hoping they will at least spay/neuter the kittens for free. Thankfully the Doc Williams SPCA that we used to get Tab and the dogs fixed is affordable, it was $45 for each of them to get the procedure. The rabies vaccine is only $8 through this same clinic, and we can order the combo feline vaccines from PetMed for $5 each, so the only major expense is going to be the spay/neutering. But we can afford it, we just have to work it into our budget, and we were not expecting 3 more cats, so it caught us off guard.

I guess that is why we ended up with Callie, God or some spirit knew we would take her and her extra additions forever. That or I am a big pushover for a sad story, LOL!

I have never seen newborn kittens before, I am so blown away by this. Callie is so young and I can only imagine what it must be like for her to be going through labor and then taking on the task of motherhood. The kittens are so tiny, and they all look just like their mommy. What a night this has been!
post #14 of 32
Congrats on the new and unexpected family!


What do we need to do with her and her kittens? Tab is spayed and has never had a litter, will she be a threat to Callie and her babies? You should keep mom and the babies sequestered in a warm room, in a large box away from any open drafts. It is possible that the dogs and the other cat will harm the babies. You should really keep them with mom alone until they are weaned.

I would suggest a great book by Amy Shojai called Complete Kitten Care- it has everything in it you will need to know as these little ones grow up.

Just make sure that all the kits are nursing and that mom is attentive to their needs. If you walk into the room and find a kitten alone somewhere in the room I urge you to get that kitten to a vet immediately! Chances are it is sick. Momcats sense when their kits aren't healthy and will abandon them for the sake of survival of the rest of the litter. Doesn't matter that she is indoors, she is just following instinct.

Keep mom indoors, she will go into heat after delivery and could get pregnant again.
post #15 of 32
Thread Starter 
Oh lord how soon can I get Callie spayed? She has not tried to escape to the outdoors, but if she goes into heat she will probably be crazed to breed again? Can she be spayed right after this delivery or is there a time frame?

We are okay with her having this litter because it was just a fluke, but we don't want a repeat.
post #16 of 32
You can get her spayed almost immediately. Just make sure the vet knows the situation.

It is generally safer to wait at least a few weeks, but if you might have problems keeping her inside, I would definately consult with a vet you trust.

Spotz
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by msfitz
Yes I rescued this kitty from the ASPCA on mother's day. I had 30 days from the day I adopted her to get her spayed, unfortunately the vet that they use isn't much of a vet. I am also feeling very dumb because having given birth myself it never occurred to me that I adopted a pregnant kitty. We have had her for about 3 weeks now, the SuperPetz had her for an additional 3 weeks which means she became pregnant while in the ASPCA and prior to going to SuperPetz for a last ditch effort to get her adopted before euthanizing her.

Tonight Callie began to deliver her babies, so far we have 3 little kittens.

I am going to see if I can't get the ASPCA that we adopted her from to spay/neuter our new little additions for free, as well as Callie, and throw in the immunizations for the little ones. My husband is extremely angry with me right now because I have a history of rescueing dogs and then when I rescue our second cat she ends up being pregnant and forcing more furry ones on him! But he loves me and our daughters, and he has a soft spot for animals, its just not as soft as mine, so we will end up keeping the additional 3 kittens as well, and while he will fuss at me over it, he will be okay with it in the end.

I just feel so stupid. It never ocurred to me that I would get a young cat from the ASPCA that was pregnant and not have them tell me she is pregnant. I am floored by this. Thankfully mother and babies are doing good, Callie is doing what she is supposed to do, and her babies are doing what they should be doing.

Thank you for being there, I was so terrified that she had some disease that was going to kill her, and instead she brought more life into our home.
Technically it is illegal for them to adopt out a sexually mature animal, including a pregnant one. Especially if they knew this. It was probably just an honest mistake, but if you are unsatisfied with the resolution, I would definately get in contact with animal control, and seek a different form of resolution.

Unless she was examined more than 2 months ago by a veterinarian, I find it hard to believe that the vet missed her being pregnant. If she got pregnant in the ASPCA, then they need to reexamine their housing policies for intact animals. Girls with Girls...Boys with Boys.

You will be fine with the kitties, but you shouldn't have been put into this situation. The ASPCA and SuperPetz needs to learn from this, and adjust their policies accordingly. Especially examining their choice of vets.

We will help you out however we can, just ask.

Spotz
post #18 of 32
Thread Starter 
So I guess whether or not the SPCA knew depends on when she would have been showing? She was at the SuperPets with a swollen belly when I got her, I looked at my paperwork and I got her on May 8. She went to SuperPetz 3 weeks prior to May 8, before that she was at the SPCA shelter till Mid-April. She must have become pregnant at the shelter, the SuperPetz kept her apart from the other cats in her own cage.

But I thought the SPCA spayed/neutered all their animals as soon as the animals were old enough? So I wonder why they didn't spay Callie before sending her to SuperPetz? That makes so little sense, unless they thought no one would adopt her because of her back legs not working, so didn't want to spend the money on her?

Callie was so small when we adopted her, her belly just stood out, I can't believe we missed pregnancy?

I called and left a message with the SPCA, they open in a few more minutes, but hopefully they will maybe give us a reduced price to spay/neuter Callie's litter at the very least.

The good news is that Callie is doing such a good job mothering her little ones. I had to cut the cord/placenta away from one of them this morning, but she had chewed away the sack on the other two, and ate one of them. We put a pillow in a laundry basket and folded a blanket on top of that for them to rest in, and we put a towel over the top of the laundry basket to cocoon them. The runt was the last one born and seems to be the cranky one because he/she is always fussing, but Callie puts her/him under her chin and that seems to calm it.
post #19 of 32
Thread Starter 
Her vet certificate says she was examined on 4/1.
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by msfitz
Her vet certificate says she was examined on 4/1.
I would definately try to resolve this issue in a friendly fashion, however if you are dissatisfied with anything, please don't be afraid to get animal control involved.

Why do I say this?

Because if it happened to you, just think of the other animals and owners that this might happen to.

As to why you missed the pregnancy, and why most of us didn't suggest it? We ALL presumed that she was already S/N, therefore pregnancy wasn't possible. Being almost 2 months ago, the vet could have missed it...however the vet should've also been able to determine that she was plenty old enough to be spayed. Why she wasn't S/N is a very good question. Especially when the law specifically requires it.

Please keep us all posted on your kitty and her kittens, we will help you through this.

Spotz
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by msfitz
I am desperately in need of help. I have 2 cats, both rescues, but I am a dog person, and know little about cats. Tabby moved into our garage and into our home over a year ago. She is healthy and beautiful. We fed her, got her shots, and everything just fell into place with her.

On Mother's Day I found a calico that appears to be younger than a year old. I found her in SuperPetz. Callie is what we named her. From what we know of her, she was in the ASPCA for "a long time". She appears to have been caged long enough for her hinde legs to atrophy, so she is unable to walk on her back paws right now, and instead walks on her back legs. She supposedly had a vet check up through the ASPCA and did get her shots, the vet check lists her as healthy.

Now the problem, Callie's abdomen has always been hard and round. Her nipples are visible versus Tabby's nipples which are not, so she could have had a litter at one time. But after a month of having Callie home with us there has been no change in her abdomen. It is swollen and hard, she is clearly not pregnant, what her abdomen looks like is that it is round like a ball, and hard to the touch. She still moves around and acts like a kitten, but is not as active.

I know many will recommend the vet, and I am taking her into the vet to try to find out what is going on with her on payday, but I was hoping there was someone on this board that had any idea what I could be looking at? She has normal bowel movements each day, urinates normally, her appetite is really good, she eats twice a day. She loses her hair in large chunks compared to Tabby's daily shedding.

Anyone have any ideas?
Usually, when a cat has a swollen abdomen, it is one of three things. First of all pregnancy, but you've already ruled that out!, Secondly FIP (Feline imperitinitis), but the cat would normally have more ill effects, ie off its food!, and last but not least WORMS!!!. It sounds like she's not been kept in the best of conditions in the past and if she was in a rescue centre, they may well have had fleas, which cause worms. Sometimes, the cats abdomen becomes crammed with worms metres in length! (pretty disgusting eh?), but thankfully easily treated with a worming tablet (the ones from the vets are better than the shop ones), so it looks like a trip to the vets anyhow. Good luck and hope it is something as simple as that!!
Fleur
post #22 of 32
[color=Orange][color=Orange][font=Comic Sans MS][size=7][size=7][quote=fleur]Usually, when a cat has a swollen abdomen, it is one of four things. First of all pregnancy, but you've already ruled that out!, Secondly FIP (Feline imperitinitis), but the cat would normally have more ill effects, ie off its food!, Thirdly liver trouble but again there'd be ill effects and last but not least WORMS!!!. It sounds like she's not been kept in the best of conditions in the past and if she was in a rescue centre, they may well have had fleas, which cause worms. Sometimes, the cats abdomen becomes crammed with worms metres in length! (pretty disgusting eh?), but thankfully easily treated with a worming tablet (the ones from the vets are better than the shop ones), so it looks like a trip to the vets anyhow. Good luck and hope it is something as simple as that!!
Fleur
post #23 of 32
fleur, great advice (FIP stands for Feline Infectious Peritonitis) but if you read the whole thread, you'll see the question has already been answered in quite a definite way LOL.
post #24 of 32
Hi sieras's mommy, I have a female cat that looks just like yours. She is declawed and we assumed she was spayed. We are going to take her in soon to get checked. We found her in our neiborhood. She has been throwing up alot and we think spraying all the kids bedrooms. We also have a boy orange tabby who is fixed. We are not possitive which cat is spraying the rooms. The girl princess has been hiding alot and seems like she has a swollen belly she is about 2 years old. They both always want to eat. What kind of cat is she? A Tabby? Do you think she could be pregnant. We dont' feel a scar and her nipples are pink and slightly pointed but we still have to search her fur to find them. Do you think she is sick?
post #25 of 32
Hi sieras's mommy, I have a female cat that looks just like yours. She is declawed and we assumed she was spayed. We are going to take her in soon to get checked. We found her in our neiborhood. She has been throwing up alot and we think spraying all the kids bedrooms. We also have a boy orange tabby who is fixed. We are not possitive which cat is spraying the rooms. The girl princess has been hiding alot and seems like she has a swollen belly she is about 2 years old. They both always want to eat. What kind of cat is she? A Tabby? Do you think she could be pregnant. We dont' feel a scar and her nipples are pink and slightly pointed but we still have to search her fur to find them. Do you think she is sick?
post #26 of 32
Zoey, as I was saying to fleur, Callie was indeed pregnant and had kittens. As your cat has been vomiting a lot, is possibly spraying and has a swollen abdomen, she is ill and you should take her to a vet as soon as possible. She may have a big worm infestation or may be pregnant.
post #27 of 32
Thread Starter 
I tried to post pics of Callie and her babies but can't get them to cut/paste. How do you do that? I have to say I am relieved that Callie's swollen abdomen was just a pregnancy. I talked to the ASPCA the day after she gave birth and they said that she had been a stray, feral caught behind a store that backed to woods on 4/1. Basically, I don't know the short life Callie has had, but she is still skittish around humans, my husband and I are the only exception, and even with the increase in mobility she has had since coming to us on Mother's Day she still has to drag her back end along with her.

Her babies have all survived! I couldn't have handled a death. The runt is the male, and he is the one my hubby wants to keep, because he is the curious/social one, the two girls are the larger of the three by far, the largest is a girl that is white with black spots, and then her sister has the calico coloring of her mother black/red/white.

Now that the 3 little ones are mobile and have their eyes open I would love to post more pics of my surprise adoption, so if anyone can tell me how to do this that would be most appreciated.


Zoey, I really hope your cat is going to be okay. Get her to the vet as soon as you can. There are vets that can give a discount on price or will just to help you out. Our vet has been that way with Callie and her kittens. Sometimes you just get lucky. If the meds through the vet are expensive going to PetMedExpress online can give you some financial relief. Just provide the vet name and contact info and then you can order the meds through them. We get all of our vaccines except the rabies through them because we pay $5 per pet for the full series compared to the hike of the vets.

I am so glad that you rescued a cat from the street. It seems that for people cats are so easy to abandon, and you have given one of too many a home. Everywhere I have lived I have seen cats trying to survive after their family just moved away and left them. That is what happened to Tabitha our first cat. Her owners sold their house, put her outside one day, and moved away without her. She was more persistent in finding a new family than some I think, because she moved into our garage and to this day we have no idea how long she had been there before my daughters found her and snuck her into the house.
post #28 of 32
If you e-mail the pics to me at tania@kitten-rescue.com I will post them for you. You have to have been a member for a cetain amount of time and made a certain number of posts to be able to post pictures.
post #29 of 32
And here they are!

Callie


Black and white female


Black and white male


Almost a Callie lookalike


All 3 kittens




Not sure why the camera thought it was 1/1/2000 LOL.
post #30 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thank you for posting the pics of Callie and her babies for me : ). I am too lazy to change the date on the camera, so every picture for the last 2 years has said Jan 1 2000 on it.
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