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Old Sick Foster Kitty

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Okay, I've decided to foster some cats and no kill shelter had me pick up a VERY old kitty who had stopped eating days ago. I noticed that her mouth or tongue was hurting while I was in there, she kept opening and closing her jaw and rolling her head to the side and she let out a few yowls of pain. I decided she wasn't eating, not due to depression as the volunteers suggested but because her mouth hurts (or her teeth, something in there) so she is here and ate 1.5 jars of meat baby food with no problems. (shelter worker couldn't get in her mouth because she was getting mad) The shelter has an arrangement with local vets and her appointment isn't until Monday but I wondered if anybody had any ideas on what could be wrong with this kitty and any ideas to keep pain to a minimum. It does seem to be more her tongue than teeth just from the way she is rolling it in her mouth while she is trying to eat. The shelter said she is just real old and probably close to dying of old age but they wanted to make her last days pleasant here at my house as I had offered to take special needs cats. Poor thing, has arthritis and is so skinny and since she isn't my cat and I signed a paper saying this I don't know what I really should be doing to keep her comfortable until a vet sees her. Anyhow, any advice is appreciated. I will keep feeding her baby food but that's all I know to do! Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 15
Tongue tunors are very common in kitties. The outcome can vary greatly, so don't panic. Of course, it could be a tooth abcess, because these are also very common in cats. They are easily treated. Her age may work against her, though. Since she's enjoying the baby food I'd keep feeding her that and otherwise make her as comfortable as possible. Bless her little old heart.
post #3 of 15
Well, no advice on the kitty, but yay for you! That's so great you are helping out and no matter what the outcome, I'm sure that kitty is thrilled to have your love and care. What a great idea on the baby food - poor kitty was probably just ecstatic! You're an !
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi Alicat, we're neighbors...I'm in Bremerton!
I was scared to do it, scared of exposing my other cats to disease or making them mad because they all have their own space and seem content but I have a large house and figured this foster kitty would be more comfortable here than in her cage at PAWS.(PAWS seems excited that they get to fill my rooms that no cats have claimed, too!) So far so good, my son (20 yr old) offered to let her stay in his room so she is sitting on his bed rather comfortably now right by the heat register, but I'm sure hoping she doesn't pee on anything. I think she has some incontenance but she hasn't eaten or drank anything as far as I know for days (except the baby food I fed her today when we got home) so maybe when the time comes, she'll use the box or my son will probably be a little ticked. I DID warn him, though, and this cat climbed right on his bed and curled up near him while he was on the computer, which made a good impression on him and he wouldn't let me take her to my room. This is gonna be hard, especially if the vet sees he can correct the situation but PAWS doesn't want to do it because of her age BUT as a new fostering person I spose I have to accept their decision and I better get used to this stuff if I am willing to take special needs cats. This is a whole new experience, I do have a shelter cat I adopted but she is mine and she's healthy and I can spend and do as I please with her. I would love to hear from other foster parents about their experiences and how they dealt with these issues, does anybody else foster cats from shelters? Thanks for the replies, too, btw
post #5 of 15
I have just started fostering for Virginia Siamese Rescue Center (Dec. 2001) and we have mentoring system (by e-mail)where we can ask each other questions and concerns about our cats...

Your cat needs vet care asap!!! If she hasn't eaten in several days, she could have fatty liver disease. The shelter should have given you complete records on her, ie: is she neg for Felv/FIV, has cat been wormed?? (should have been twice, at least a month apart) any flea treatment?? and when last given...has had vaccinations????

Ever if the shelter has given up on her, you shouldn't!!!

YOU can force-feed a cat and give fluids sub-Q (the vet can show how to do this)
please keep us informed on how cat is doing!!!
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
The cat has been in the shelter for a long time and she's current on shots and is on advantage. I think they are afraid to do much with her because she is very old....I hope she is okay until Monday!
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
This morning she ate another whole jar of baby food, yay...she used the litter box sometime during the night and I found my tube of nutri-cal, I'm going to suppliment with that(got her to eat a little bit of it off my finger). She didn't seem in as much pain while I fed her today (I've been spoon feeding her) but she seems to be blind or close to it because she doesn't look at anything and her eyes aren't really "Open" and seems a little lost until the spoon is right under her nose. Maybe the combination of sore mouth and blindness made it hard for her to eat. Does anybody know how many jars of baby food (meat) it takes to keep a cat healthy?
PS Just wanted to add, I think PAWS watches their budget pretty close. They probably don't have a whole lot to work with and I can understand why they might not want to spend hundreds on this 17,18 yr old cat as opposed to a younger, adoptable cat. I know the guy who runs this one is very attached to the cats and wants to save them all. He almost changed his mind about letting me take her home because he was so worried but I figure I can give her more personalized attention and I have time to spoon feed her and pet her and it's gotta be better here than in the cage. All their cats have been tested for Felv and FIV when they are brought in so that's not a worry and I've been keeping my nosey cats out of the room the foster kitty is in as not to disturb the old gal and keep her stress to a minimum. I've never thought about shelter budgets before but now that I know, I will bring them my unused meds and anything else they might need donated so they can help save more cats
post #8 of 15
Hey there neighbor! It sounds like you sure are giving this kitty a grand ole time! I know how hard it must be, but just think of how much better a place a warm bed, with someone to feed you goodies must be other than the shelter. Like I said before, no matter what happens, she has had comfort from you. Kepp us updated on what the vet says and all your new foster mom adventures.

PAWS is really a great organization and they do a lot of amazing things. They also work with wild animals. Yes, they, like every other shelter, have big time budget problems. They do what they can. PAWS is the same place that is trying to help that horribly maimed and tortured cat in California (see thread in CatSOS but beware it is EXTREMELY disturbing).

I've never been a foster mommy but would love to do it. My boyfriend is allergic to cats, although that's not the main reason. He says he just can't handle giving them back. We have to compromise on some of this animal stuff.
post #9 of 15

Your foster kitty may have a bad case of gingivitis and/or some abscessed teeth. Is her gumline red and inflamed looking? A vet really needs to see her. Another thing you could feed her right now is homemade chicken soup. The broth is very nutritional. You could also try bland minced chicken and rice and grind it fine. Good luck and I hope this has been helpful. I hope the kitty is better soon. And hurrah for you for taking her in and making her comfortable. We need more folks like you!
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Tomorrow is her vet visit, Hopefully it won't be anything serious so they won't say she needs to be put to sleep. I like having her here and she's a sweetheart. She's been real good so far and she seems better than when I got her here but I would imagine just having food that doesn't hurt her mouth she can eat would make all the difference in the world. I'll update tomorrow
post #11 of 15
I'm so glad the kitty has a kind soul like you to look after her. I'll be thinking good thoughts and sending positive energy her way. She will probably need a few days (weeks?) of consistent feeding before she starts to look herself again. She has a big food deficit to make up for. My fosters take a while, and most of them don't have as many difficulties as yours (advanced age, etc).

Hopefully the problem will be treatable. If it isn't, though, take comfort in the knowlege that you gave the kitty had a few days of love and happiness in a home . She's a lucky kitty.
post #12 of 15
Ceiler - what a good thing you are doing for the little one - thank god there are people like you in this world. How is she doing?
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, the vet said she had black tonsils, he described them as 2 black jelly beans. She had a blood profile recently and he said the test results are showing kidney failure on one test and not on the other, He's not seen anything like it and her gums are infected. They have her marked as a mean cat and boy did she hollar when I got her to the vet, she knew exactly where she was (she was crying in the kennel the whole time). The receptionist knew exactly who she was, too....she said she was a mean cat. They took her in the back so I didn't see what she was mad about, but she was very upset and she's part siamese and you could hear her bellowing all over the office. Their office cat came running to the front and then went and hid in his cage after he heard Holly (my foster kitty) screaming. They did another Felv and FIV screening, which were negative and gave me some antibiotics, Hills A/D, a syringe and sent me home with her. She eats real well off a spoon so I haven't had to syringe feed her at all, I hope I don't either, that's why they put her down as a mean cat (her fighting and clawing while they tried to syringe her). I think it's difficult for her to bend over to eat so that may be why she wouldn't eat at PAWS, they just put the food in with her but she needs more assistance and they probably don't have that kind of time with so many cats there. With her having a sore throat, I've been heating the food up so it feels good going down. She's doing real good today, she pigged out on the Hills (I mixed in a little baby food to trick her but I think she likes the Hills stuff just fine by itself) and even groomed herself. She's old and PAWS won't spend alot of money on her but I will keep her here until I can't get her to eat anymore, then I am to bring her back to PAWS and they will decide what to do from there. It is very rewarding to help this cat, though, I don't regret it so far but it might be very traumatic if she dies while she's here...I hope that doesn't happen!
post #14 of 15
I know it will be traumatic for you to have her die at your home, but wouldn't it be so much better for her to embark on her journey to the bridge in a loving, warm, comfortable home with humans who love her, than from a cold shelter cage, without love and comfort?
post #15 of 15
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