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HELP or my cat will be finding a new home!!! - Page 2

post #31 of 42
Wow, it sounds as though this one needs an awful lot of thought. I'm very sorry to hear about your poor Cleo, and the difficult and unloved life she had before she came to you.

Does the vet say that there is a possibility of treating a suspected kidney disorder without having to do all of the expensive tests? As you have clearly demonstrated, you are willing to do an awful lot for your kitty, but I do understand that although you factor in vet costs this is a big blow, $500 isn't the kind of money people just have lying around.

Perhaps your vet would allow you to work out some kind of payment plan if you decide that is the way you want to go? Most vets are good like this, and you say your vet is excellent.

I think time will provide you with the answers, in the meantime I understand your anguish but I still hope that you perservere with this cat, as she sounds like she's had a pretty miserable life and needs very badly to live out the rest of her days, as long as they may be, with a loving family to care for her.

And I disagree with her behaviour problems, I still feel from what you have written that they stem from deep-seated insecurities and issues, especially if she is older than you first thought, and that they will dissipate in time with good health, love, care, and a strict routine.
post #32 of 42
Sorry to hear about these added difficulties. Bless you for sticking out with this poor kitty. Cleo sounds like she has had a rough life and I am sure that she appreciates the care even if she doesn't know how to show it.

If she is older than you were told and she was on her own that long or bounced from here to there, that would explain a lot of her behaviours. It will simply take time and a committed heart for her to settle into a home and family routine.

Some cats aren't really great at showing love, affection, or appreciation. Especially ferals or semi-ferals. If she was on the streets for years then it is amazing that she is as loving as you described.

She must really have been a lovey dovey kitty at heart to stay that affectionate toward humans. I pray that you will be able to give her a good home until the end; however long that may be. May God be with you.
post #33 of 42
How sad! I am sorry she may be facing serious medical problems!

For the behavior, it sounds to me like fear of abandonment. I think having her own room is a great idea, because in time she will see that it is her safe zone. Be sure to give her a blankie or something of yours to cuddle with. I would also suggest a "good-bye" routine, like you would use dropping a child off at the sitters. Always say the same things, and do the same things when she is put in her safe room. Also use a coming back routine when you come home, and let her out. Then she gets the message that it is a short good-bye, but learns that you come back. I would add some short periods in the safe room when you are not actually leaving the home or going to bed. Once or twice a day, put her in her room for 2-5 minutes, then greet her and let her out. This will reinforce to her more quickly that you always come back to get her.

Best of luck with Cleo. She is lucky to have such caring parents. I hope her health problems are treatable, so you can enjoy her for many years to come! It sounds like she is a very loving cat.
post #34 of 42
I had the same problem with Phenom. She was an angel during the day and a spazzy pain in the neck at night. She wanted attention. She wanted in the bedroom with us, which was not an option. She is a good girl now that she knows we are not giong to let her in no matter how much scratching and whining she does. Make sure she has a comfy bed(i use a wicker baskets with a fleece throw and some towels and she loves it) and plenty of food and water.if she scratches and spazzes out, go to her, pick her up, tell her NO sternly but dont yell, and put her in her bed. repeat until she figures out that it is bed time.
It will take time but the love she will show you in return will make it all worth while!
Good luck to you!

I am also sorry to hear about her health problems. Atleast you can give her a good quality of life for now.
post #35 of 42
What is the word on Cleo today?
post #36 of 42
Mike you are angel, do NOT give up. All my kitties have been rescue or stray and I can honestly say it can take up to a year to adjust. My little Saba (middle photo) has been with me one year exactly. She was an abandoned, emaciated, hairless mess that was outside for a really long time. She took 9 months to finally accept Eric and learn to play with letting herself relax.

I do feel VERY strongly that the Jekyll/Hyde behavior of sorts, for lack of a better analogy, is her internal struggle that is deeply rooted in abandonment issues as well as learning to let her guard down a bit. Her vocality and scratching are territorial markers that she is exercising to "the world" - in this case it happens to be the world inside your home!

She WILL settle down with proper medical care and your continued love and support. You might think about regular play sessions with her at the same time each night. All it takes is 15 minutes. Try different types of play but keep it regular, and give her a little bit of a good workout. She needs this outlet, and play bonds you to her.

We are all here for you. We don't quit. We will listen and read and support and be with you every step of the way, but don't give up. Continue being an angel, please
post #37 of 42
According to her, this is attributed to partial kidney failure, which is common with older cats?


Mike - if your cat is in fact diagnosed with CRF, you should check out this web site: http://www.felinecrf.com. It has a wealth of information of what CRF is and how to deal with this disease. You may also want to join the CRF support group that is connected with the website (on the left-hand side menu, under communication, click Feline CRF Mail List). There are many, many people there who offer support and answer questions. I believe that group is also moderated by a vet.

It does happen more commonly with older cats (my 15 y/o has it), but can happen in younger cats as well. If properly treated, cats can live for years with CRF. Believe me, I know it is very overwhelming at first, both with the vet expense and trying to keep your household under control, but it gets better. Once you have your diagnosis and have a treatment plan, the vet expenses should level off. Then it's mostly about proper food and supplies, and there are a lot of cost-effective ways to deal with that.

Good luck, and hang in there.

post #38 of 42

I feel your pain. When I got my first kitty ever this past September, Bootsie, she had all kinds of problems. She was also a little goon at night, every night zooming around and jumping on the bed and scratching the sheets with me under them! She did this for about a month and then it started to die down when I started just ignoring it.

Her vet visits also got REALLY EXPENSIVE. I got one of those regular customer discount plans and that helped a little but in the end I needed more money. So I took up tutoring part time. My life is a bit more busy because of having to work extra hours but when my little sweetie is sleeping in my lap all contented and happy that makes it all worth it.
post #39 of 42
Originally Posted by MustangMike
All of this aside, I took her to the vet this morning and things are not good. This vet is VERY good, she has come recommended by many and we actually used to take our dog to her (the dog had to be put to sleep at 15 years of age just last year). She thought Cleo was completely healthy initially. I explained all of her behavior issues and the vet agreed a UTI couldn't be ruled out but she highly doubted it based on what she was seeing/I was telling her. She did the urine test anyway just to be sure. I got a call back with the results after I got home. Negative on the UTI, no issues. What IS of issue is that her concentration of urine is extremely low compared to what's normal for a cat. According to her, this is attributed to partial kidney failure, which is common with older cats? I obviously told her that we were told that the best guess was that Cleo was 4 years old. The vet said this type of problem normally only shows up in cats that are 10+ years old. The youngest that she had only ever seen/treated was one single cat that was 6 years old! She explained to me that the shelters basically make a guess as to the age of the cat when they get a stray - based on the condition of the cat's teeth and health/size/activeness overall. She admitted that it's a guess at best, and seems to think that Cleo is a good bit older than we first thought.

Bottom line - Cleo is in no pain as of right now. The Vet confirmed her belief of kidney failure when she asked how much water Cleo drinks (up to 2 small bowls per day). She said this is typical of a cat with kidney failure. She (the vet) wants to do more bloodwork to try to determine how severe this kidney failure is - I'm going back with Cleo on Friday for that. As it relates to how this thread started - the Vet is completely sure that this is having no affect on Cleo's personality - she believes that Cleo's behavior issues are just who Cleo is. We can try to work with it but it may be tough to overcome.

I haven't really got into asking what's next, if in fact they confirm kidney failure and it's severity. She warned me that the blood test will only confirm a rather severe case, and that the urine test would actually pick up less developed cases - but she thinks the blood work is the place to go next. She also warned me that ultrasound and xrays would be the step after the bloodwork, depending on what they find in the blood. Here lies another problem - all of that work could cost $500+ and that is only to diagnose it! On top of that, we have a cat with behavior issues that we've only had for a month, AND we're now being told she could be 10+ years old! As I mentioned, we're a young couple just getting started and we certainly don't have the money to put into this, knowing that the bills could get to be insane after the diagnosis costs.

Need I say more? We're going to talk to the Vet more on Friday, but I'm a mix of in shock, sadness for Cleo, and uncertainty of how to handle what may be next. It's tough to ask for anymore help after all of the great info you've all given to us already, but does anyone have any comment as to what we should do now? We want to keep her, but not if her behavior does not change - but we can't give away a sick cat - but we can't afford all of the bills and treatment! What a situation!

Thanks again for everyone's help!!
My almost one year old has been diagnosed with kidney failure as well so I understand your concern. This was the first time the vet has seen it in a cat so young. But it does happen. So your cat's age may actually be correct.

I would keep her. I know the vet bills can add up but since the vet didn't catch this the first time she was in there, maybe you can work out a payment plan with the vet.

My girl has improved drastically. She is on a special diet but that is about it. Check-ups more often as well to make sure she never gets dehyrated
post #40 of 42
Some ways to encourage her to drink more water-

Look into pet fountains- PetMate is a good one-
Float ping pong balls in large glass bowls of water. Put colored rocks in the bottom of the bowls
Put her on wet food with low ash content
dribble tuna juice, sardine oil or mackeral juice into her water bowls.
post #41 of 42
How is Cleo doing? Is she still with you?
post #42 of 42
I assume since you haven't answered anyone on here that CLeo is no longer with you. Please let us know what happened to her. We do care!
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