Last Thursday I received a text from one of my neighbors asking me to come see a cat they found on their driveway. Of course I immediately went. The sweet little tortoiseshell kitty was very thin and a bit wobbly on her feet. We tried to feed her treats, cat food and tuna. She refused it all. Her eyes were full of gunk and her nose was also running. I knew she was sick. One of my other neighbors had seen her under my deck two weeks previous. So she had been around the area. Without really thinking, I went home and got my cat carrier. I knew I had to help her. She easily went inside. I then took her to the spare bedroom and did my best to get her to eat. She sneezed and sneezed. I posted to our neighbor social media site that adjoins 12 or more neighborhoods in my area. I also checked the local Pet Fbi for lost/found pets. I could find nothing.
I decided to call my vet and schedule an appointment for the next day. Fortunately they could see me immediately. She weighed just under 6 lbs. The best news was that she is already spayed!!! I had her tested for FIV (feline aids) and FeLV (feline leukemia) She was negative for both!! I also had her wormed. It was suspected she had Feline Herpes which takes form in the respiratory system of cats. She was prescribed antibiotics and eye drops. Otherwise she seemed pretty healthy. So back home we went.
She was an angel taking the liquid antibiotic as well as the eye drops. She has been very weak and cannot hold her head up well. Also her back legs wobble so she has trouble standing. She ate only a bit on Thursday night so by mid day Friday I was worried. I needed to start syringe feeding her. She did so well. I had been told if she and I weren’t covered in food, I wasn’t doing it right!! I could tell she was hungry as she was so willing to eat. Cats often will not eat what they cannot smell. Since she was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection, her sense of smell was compromised. I did the syringe feedings 3-4x each day. Each time she ate about ¼ of a can of the prescription AD cat food. It is full of nutrients for sick cats. I also started giving her Nutri-Cal high calorie dietary supplement to beef up her calorie intake. Once she got a taste she really liked it.
By Sunday her sneezing had stopped and her eyes were not as runny. She had perked up just a bit. Yet, she was not using the litter box. She had peed on the floor 2x. I had 2 litter boxes in the room each with Dr. Elsey’s Litter Attract. I also had buried a paper towel with her urine on it in hopes of attracting her. Yet without being able to smell, neither idea worked. At least she was urinating. The problem then became she did not poop. Nothing at all. I tried belly massage a few times, but nothing.
By Sunday evening she was holding her head up better and even licked some of the food off a spoon. This was progress!! I continued to syringe feed her as watching her try to eat, I could tell it was difficult for her. She did not fight be at all on the syringe feeding. She sat nicely in my lap. Also we decided to name her. We are calling her Sadie.
Monday morning arrived and when I went into her room I smelled pee. Ugh.. I found it right away. The room is covered in towels, old throw rugs and puppy pee pads. Yet still no poop. I called the vet and I was able to drop her off. Of course once I left and she was waiting in the carrier, she pooped!! Thank goodness. Fortunately the vet could then do a fecal test. It was negative for parasites and bacteria. Another plus!!! Her neurological exam showed no neurological problems. Yet her muscles are very weak. She needs food to gain strength. An appetite stimulant was prescribed so she will want to eat. I am hoping she will be strong enough soon so I don’t have to syringe feed her much longer.
The vet suggested placing her in a large crate with a litter box in hopes she will use it. So I set up the crate with litter box, comfy bed, food and water. It is a nice large crate for a large dog. At first she seemed fine, but then she got nervous. She was pawing at the crate and pacing everywhere. Thirty minutes later when I checked on her, food and litter were everywhere. There was litter in her food and food in her litter. Of course she had peed, but not in the litter box.
So the room was rearranged to make it smaller. I used the cage to help seal off a portion of the room. I blocked under the bed too. I now have 4 litter boxes in the room. I cut off a portion of the pee pad she had peed on and placed a bit in each box hoping she would smell her scent. I am also using straight Litter Attract. If she pees on the puppy pee pads or towels tonight, I will have to confine her to the bathroom. I am hoping this is all part of the illness and her weakness and not that she doesn’t know how to use a litter box.
Today ( Tuesday) I went to check on her first thing in the morning. I figured she must be hungry and also I wanted to see if she had used the litter box. She was hungry and happy to see me, but nothing in the litter boxes. I have a indoor wireless camera in the room so I can watch her. She paced the entire night. I mean all night. I think it is a reaction to the appetite stimulant. Ugh. It seems she just cannot get over all of the hurdles. It is so hard to watch her incessantly pace. She is eating on her own which is good. Yet another call to the vet is warranted.
She is the sweetest cat. She loves to be pet, held, brushed and she will even play a bit. Someone must have loved her. She is just too friendly and loving to have been without a home. I will continue to look for her owner, but she will stay if I cannot find owner.