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Help much needed with rescue cat

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Kirstd78, Jan 22, 2021.


  1. Kirstd78

    Kirstd78 PetForums Junior

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    Just before Xmas we adopted 2 rescue cats, a tortie mum (estimated at 2-3yrs) and her ginger son (estimated 7months) they were taken off a farm that was overrun and spent a month in a cattery until we had them. The kitten is settling in well and finding his feet, eating well and is bright, playful and curious, but we are struggling with mum, and need some advice as we are new to cats. She spends all her time in a cat bed in a corner of the kitchen, she doesn't come out At All in daylight hours when the house is busy as we have 3 children homeschooling currently, but the are not noisy and silly, they leave her alone. At nightfall she will come out and sit on the sofa next to her bed and she will dart across the kitchen to the utility to use her litter tray. So feeding wise we are having to put her bowl in her bed and even then she has very little appetite at all, only nibbling at things and drinking a bit of cat milk, I've offered her good quality wet food, biscuits, raw chicken, poached chicken, steamed fish, raw sardines. You name it! Still v. Little interest. And if we fed her in the utility with her kitten she would not eat a thing? She's been up to the vet who says she's very underweight at just 3kg but has been checked over, wormed and no obvious health issues. We don't know what to do with her at all. Shes not nasty and will accept a little stroke in her bed, she just won't come out!
    Any advice much appreciated we don't want to give up on her but she seems listless, scared and just a bit lethargic
     
  2. Lunarags

    Lunarags PetForums Member

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    If you think shes unwell then obviously a trip to the vets is essential, otherwise it sounds like shes just a very timid cat still struggling to feel comfortable in her new home. She may have been through more than you know so try to be gentle and calm around her, stay nice and quiet and perhaps try slowly moving her food further away from her corner. Lots of mum cats wont eat around their kittens because they put their kittens first and want their kittens to eat it instead. Encourage her out when the kids are in bed. Lots of fuss but no more than she wants. Sometimes play is a good way to help them as it distracts them. We often use the lazer toy when we introduce a new cat. Just keeo showing her that you're gentle and kind and youre going to look after her. If shes feral, which it sounds like she is, then she has probably had to be on high alert for any danger her whole life, particularly bringing kittens up in the wild. It will take her a long time to unlearn this so continue to be patient and show her love, i expect you will reap the rewards when she is ready.
     
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  3. Kirstd78

    Kirstd78 PetForums Junior

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    Thanks so much for the advice, we won't give up on her so are willing to be patient and care for her just was unsure if we can do anymore to help her become well frankly less petrified, I've already had her checked twice by a vet when she's been vaccinated and we're up again on Thursday when the vert said he will check her over again but her temp was fine, her eyes bright, she wasn't dehydrated (not sure how as I've never seen her drink) but he just said she was very underweight but not sure how we're gonna tackle that as she doesn't have much appetite unlike her son! We will hang in there for her as we're very attached already and she really is a beautiful petite little thing x
     
  4. Lunarags

    Lunarags PetForums Member

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    My moggie used to get quite underweight when she was pregnant and we gave her fatty offcuts of pork which she LOVED (she became a bit of a snob actually and decided she would only eat it raw) and that helped. Kitten food is also good for weight gain as its packed with calories and nutrients to help them grow
     
  5. Jenbob21

    Jenbob21 PetForums Member

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    This sounds very similar to our girl ( we also adopted a mum and son combo), she was so much more timid at first, and used to hide away, sleep on the floor etc!
    Slowly and surely she came around, we pretty much left her to it but gave her a fuss if she came to us, tried to play with her when she was out etc. It took her a while but once she braved the cat tree she seemed alot more relaxed, so maybe ensure she has some high spots to hide in, and also places away from the main family area. Our Zola wouldnt even let us stroke her but is absolutely lovely now. I guess we dont know what has happened to these girls in their past life, so just be gentle and talk to her and I'm sure she will come around. I'd say it took Zola a good 4 months to properly settle in, and we have since moved house which tipped the boat slightly but fortunately have both settled back in nicely :)
     
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  6. Kirstd78

    Kirstd78 PetForums Junior

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    Thanks so much, think I needed to hear a success story, we will give her all the time she needs. Can I ask how did your girl eat, ours just has such a small appetite and will only eat in her basket which I don't feel is ideal as her son comes over and starts scoffing it!
     
  7. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    It would be best if she had her own microchipped feeder, so you could leave it near her bed and only she could access it, not the kitten. I assume the mum cat is microchipped now?

    Otherwise you need to shut the kitten out of the room while mum is eating and then remove the dish. Having her kitten push in on the food is likely to make mum hold back and eat less. It would be her instinct to let her kitten take her food if he is hungry.

    I wanted to say - I adopted a rescued semi-feral cat nearly 20 years ago. It took me about 6 months to get her to come into the house, and a further year before she would let me stroke her. Even then she always "rationed" me to a couple of strokes at a time. She never allowed me to pick her up. She always remained distant with my OH. But she became a sweet companionable cat and I grew very fond of her. She had a calm aura about her which I found very soothing.
     
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  8. Kirstd78

    Kirstd78 PetForums Junior

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    Thanks its a funny relationship between them, I've tried feeding him in the utility but he won't eat unless by mum, so I end up taking both bowls to her basket then he will tuck in, eat his and then hers ill look into the microchip feeders as they are both microchipped yes, can you recommend any that won't break the bank?
     
  9. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    The Sure Petcare is the only make I'd recommend. It is sturdy, well made, reliable and easy to set up. I have had them for my cats for 8 years and would not be without them. They are excellent.

    There is a 20% special discount on the feeders at present through Cats Protection in partnership with Sure Pet Care [to raise money for the charity.] .

    https://www.cats.org.uk/shop/other-ways-to-help/surepetcare

    Click on "Shop with our partners"

    The microchipped feeder is the one with the hoop over the top. The price comes down to £64 instead of £80, which is the cheapest I can find at present.
     
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