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What to feed a new adopted shelter cat?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm new here and am stumped at what to feed my new cat. She's been here 2 days and has turned her nose up to everything I've fed her except tuna from a can. Today she ate the whole 6 oz can by herself at one sitting. I have 2 other cats who eat a Costco brand premium food (dry)with a little wet food at night and that is what she was on at the shelter. I've tried several different types of canned food (5 different flavors/brands) and I don't know how long just tuna can be nutritious enough. I brought her to the vet today to make sure she was healthy (I had a favorite kitten die of FIP a few weeks ago and it was heartbreaking so I'm PARANOID at this point) and found that this cat was seen by my vet while at the shelter for generally not feeling well and my vet remembered her and said she was acting MUCH better but this was several months ago. I also found out she was rescued somewhere near where I am because her owner committed suicide and left several cats behind and the woman who died and her cats weren't found for several days. I don't know if any of this has any bearing on her eating habits, but she seems really healthy but slender. The shelter had her for 3 months and had her on the same food I feed my other cats. Every other cat at the shelter was REALLY fat, maybe because they are caged and don't get alot of exercise but there was definately a difference between the way she looked and the other cats at the shelter. The vet and shelter worker both feel she is approx 1.5-2 yrs old and she is VERY loving, she has slept with me since the first night here and licks and rubs my face whenever she sees me. She comes running to sit with me whenever I go into my room but she is scared to leave my bedroom. Is this all due to new cat behavior or is there something tastier I could be trying to get her into eating regular meals? I forgot to mention that I leave a bowl of dry food out in 3 places at all times but she hasn't seemed interested in the one I have placed in my bedroom where she is. Any help/suggestions would be appreciated
post #2 of 13
Cindi - this poor creature has been through sooooo much in a relatively short amount of time. I would give her a couple more days and she should start to eat. You are an angel for taking her in and giving her a good home. Others will have better advice I am sure - but I wanted to welcome you and thank you for helping this litte love bug out!
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
This is my second shelter cat, the first was the one who died of FIP and I ALMOST swore off shelter kitties (to avoid the heartache and infecting my other 2 cats, a kitty whom I stole from some abusive kids 7 years ago at a yard sale and a persian 8 mos old). I was ready to pay $500 for a pedigreed Maine Coon but there is no way to know if any kitten will have ill health someday down the road & there are just so many cats who need homes. I am glad I gave the shelter a visit and found my new baby. My cats are spoiled rotten and I never thought about disease or things they could get as they are all indoor cats and I have always vaccinated them so the FIP incident was a big suprise and something I knew absolutely nothing about until I was faced with it. I hope I never have to worry about things like that again but statistically most cats live a long normal life so I think I did the right thing in adopting another cat. She looks just like the other cat (long black haired female) and has the sweetest personality. I wonder if anybody else has found black cats to be super sweet...maybe it's a coincidence, but every black cat I have ever met has been super sweet. Thanks for the welcome and I hope my new kitty settles in fast
post #4 of 13
I too would give her a few more days. It's alot for one kitty to take on in a few days. I would try giving her something other than the tuna though. It's not enough for her body to survive. You can try the KMR milk replacer and see if she will drink that.
With black cats, hmmmmm I have 3 of them but it's hard to say. The 2 of them are Manx with tails and they are a little skiddish by nature, but very sweet when not running. My other black one is just a doll face
post #5 of 13
Well, this is a biased opinion, but I think black kitties are super-sweet too My Onyx is the sweetest guy in the world. Incidentally, he was rescued from a horrible situation as well. Maybe its not so much the fact that hes a black kitty but because hes very grateful to have love and affection finally Hes my baby
post #6 of 13
I have to agree here with the "black cat" theory. My Sunshine is all black and is very easy going and affectionate. She is one of the kindest cats I've ever come across.:tounge2:
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
My cat is now eating, yay! She wouldn't eat the sophisticat cheaper food in any flavor (I've tossed 4 not touched plates of food out so far and all of this brand except the 1 can of nine lives, weird, but not a big deal) but will eat anything expensive (nutro, Iams, Authority, etc) so I guess I am destined to buy food at Petsmart forever but my baby is worth it. So far she's doing really well and adjusting to her new home. Thanks for all the help
post #8 of 13
I agree with the black cat theory too. Your new cat sounds very similiar to my cat, Midnight, who went to Rainbow Bridge in August at the age of 14. Midnight was a slender all black cat who was always very loving, and adopted from a shelter. In Midnight's case, I was told she was slender, and always would be, because she was a Siamese cross. Could it possibly be that your new cat is also slender because of her breed?
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
It could be a part siamese thing but shes rather long and seems like she should be a big cat. She weighed 6.25 at the vet's office. She's eating pretty well now, though, although she is FINICKY, which is something I've never had in a cat. If she likes it, she can't get enough but if she doesn't, she turns her nose up and sits there looking at me. Fancy Feast seems to be her favorite. I wondered if cats CAN get depressed. She was at that shelter for at least 3 months but she's so loving and all, it seems like somebody must have played with her and paid attention to her and with her owner committing suicide and ending up in the shelter after having a "normal" life, maybe she got depressed? The vet saw her shortly after she was at the shelter for being lethargic and he said when he handled her she just laid there. He saw her again when I adopted her and told me how different she was, she was complaining and trying to get away from him while he was checking her over. Now she screams bloody murder if you pick her up or try to restrain her (had to clip her nails, she screamed her lungs out just from me trying to hold her) although as soon as she seems me, she is in my lap and wanting to be petted. Very strange cat. She won't leave the bedroom even though the door is open and she is alert and plays, but still very skittish about household noises. I am scared to vacuum my room, that would probably really freak her out. Maybe I should wait awhile. Oh well, hopefully most of this skittishness will go away when she is used to "here" but even if it doesn't, she's a really sweet cat and as much as she likes to be petted, I certainly am getting enough kitty love.
post #10 of 13
Cindi - your fur babe sure fell into the right hands when she came to you! May God bless your efforts to make her more comfortable and for being so tolerant of her. YOU ARE AN ANGEL!
post #11 of 13
Wow! So many things in this thread caught my attention. My Archie is 8 months and still so tiny- but she eats like crazy. I have often wondered if she could be part siamese. My husband found her behind his work when she was a month old!!! She however, loves at her own desire...my other kitties are lovers and cuddlers, but she isn't.

I think that cats can get depressed. I had a friend in college that when he went away his dog crawled under a bed and refused to eat- starved himself to death. My cats show many emotions- and when we returned from our visit, it was evident that my babies weren't too happy with us.

Bless you for taking in this stray. Regarding the FIP/FIV thing- that is the 1st thing I get checked out before working the stray in the home- I keep them separated until that test is done. Best wishes and prayers!!! Keep up the good work!
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
My sister had a rott who starved herself after she moved out on her ex. She went to say goodbye before they put the dog to sleep and she decided to take the dog home just as a last ditch effort and low and behold, the dog started eating and lived another 6 years with my sister. I think her ex was abusive to the dog, he was abusive to my sister for sure...but I think the dog was depressed and got happy again when she went to live with my sister. Regarding FIP, you can't test for it, only the corona virus antibodies which is really common (among shelter cats at like 70-90%) and I had never heard of it until my kitten got it. From what I have read, FIP is a mutation of the virus that causes corona and nobody agrees to actually what causes the mutation, but my vet feels it's probably genetic. My kitten was the sweetest thing, she played fetch with us and came running to her name like a dog. One day I noticed she was lethargic and I picked her up and she was really hot to the touch so I took her to the emergency vet. Her temp was 103.6 and they gave me some amoxycillin and tested her for FIV and FELV (which were negative) and I really expected she would get better. She was still feverish 3 days later so I took her to my regular vet and he is the one who asked if I'd heard of FIP, which I hadn't, and he ran the blood test for the titer count. I had to wait 24 hours for them to come back, VERY tense night. I spent the whole day online reading about FIP and asking questions on the usenet groups and he warned me that a positive titer count only means she was exposed to the corona virus, not that she definately has FIP and he was mostly testing to help rule it out more than rule it in. The titer count came back REALLY high (6400)and her fever wasn't any better but I begged for prednisone and stronger antibiotics and did whatever I could to make her comfortable. We still were hopeful although I was still feeding her baby food on a spoon and she pretty much sat on my lap or on the couch for the next week execept to drink and use the litter box(or once in awhile, the couch...yuck, but she was sooo sick). 2 weeks after the trip to the emergency vet I noticed one of her pupils were dilated and the other was very very small and milky and she couldn't move the back part of her body. My vet said this was a pretty sure sign of nerve damage and he was sure it was definately FIP at this point and although I was willing to spend and do whatever it took to keep her alive, I promised I would put her to sleep if the quality of her life ever suffered too much...which I felt at that point it was. I had to put her down, I cried for days and I miss her very much. The moral of the story I guess is that FIP is a very deadly and serious kitty disease but the % of cats who gets it is small. My only concern with getting a new cat was the exposure to my 2 other cats who are for sure going to be corona antibodies positive but the statistics are with me, fortunately, and everything I read says cats over 1 are less likely to get FIP. I hope and pray I never hear of this disease again!! One thing I did hear that let me feel SOO much better was this: I have a friend who works at a zoo as a volunteer in the cats department and I had him ask the zoo's cat vet about FIP as the zoo had it go through their big cats 2 years ago and only about 2 got it out of about 70-80 cats so the statistics are really small. Sorry for rambling!
post #13 of 13
Wow! Thanks for the info on FIP. I really appreciate it. I am always so worried about bringing a stray in, but I can't find it in my heart not to either. I am so sorry to hear about your kitty though
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