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I have been adopted by a cat!!

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Astro-Cat, Mar 29, 2011.


  1. Astro-Cat

    Astro-Cat PetForums Newbie

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    A neighbourhood cat jumped through my bedroom window where I work from a year ago. She climbs on the boat on the drive and then across the roof of the lounge extension and either comes in through the open window or meows at the window and I let her in. I thought she was feral and did't feed her for 6 months or so.

    At Xmas her owner checked that she was coming here which was a bit of a shock because I didn't know she had one!! The owner was happy for her to come here (she is/was three doors down and saw her on my roof often).

    By February the cat was here most of the time and the owner told my sister that she was moving with her family and we thought she said she was taking "Mowgli" which was a bit upsetting for me because by now I adored her (I have never had a cat). Me and the cat had bonded strongly but I was happy for Mowgli to stay with her owner and her children and did nothing to trap or keep her.

    When the owner left Mowgli stayed and so the owner must have actually decided to leave her here for the better.

    I wasn't looking for a pet and would not have even considered a cat before she came into my life. She adopted me!!

    So I would appreciate any help as I am new to cats and pets (I had a cockateil 20 years ago - lol).

    I feed her dry food 24hrs (purina one) and wet food (100g) once a day in the morning. I give her treats of whiskas temptations three at a time several times a day (60g in a box) and Tesco cat sticks - liver an chicken - 50g for 10 - one per day. I give her two pouch tuesdays and fridays as a treat because she seems to love the wet food - but really she likes both. I am recording what she eats and weighing her food. But I don't know how much she should be eating (weighed 5.22 kg today). She is outdoors a lot each day.

    Also she has a big belly and we don't know if she is pregnant but I have known her a long time now (one year) and don't think she has been pregnant during this time. She has fluffy sides but is not generally fluffy and this makes her belly look bigger. She does not appear - to my novice eyes - to be fat as such or big anywhere else.

    The previous owner told me she thought she was three years old and that was at xmas.

    In early feb she exhibited signs of being in heat and there were a few toms around her outside but I have not seen this behaviour since and the toms have not been back. I would not say that her belly is any bigger than normal for her and her last owner told me at Xmas that she always looks pregnant and would have told me if she was or had been I assume.

    So I hope I have provided enough information for some good advice. The photo in my profile is Mowgli and not me!!

    :confused:
    thanks in advance.
     
    #1 Astro-Cat, Mar 29, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  2. carly87

    carly87 PetForums VIP

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    I hate to tell you this, but it sounds as though you're gonna have more than one cat soon!

    If the girl was calling (in season), and shortly after that the toms backed off and there have been no more signs, either you're incredibly lucky and have beaten all of the odds, or, more likely, your girl has gotten pregnant and hasn't come into call again which is why you see no boys around. Sometimes you can see the pregnancy if you look at the nipples. They will appear a rosey pink colour 21 days after mating, and this is often the first sign that she's going to kitten. When was the last call that she had? Many cats carry kits so well that new owners don't know they are pregnant until the last few weeks, or in some cases, until they wake up and find a house full of babies. It's always a good idea to have any cat spayed or neutered if they go outdoors. Some people would recommend having her spayed anyway despite the pregnancy, but this notion sits wrongly with me as it kills the kittens and puts mum at more risk. I'd have her operated on as soon as possible once kittens are out of the way, if I was you.

    It would be a good idea to have her checked by a vet to confirm whether she's got buns in the oven or not.

    Do you know if she's had her vaccinations? Cats need to be vaccinated once a year to guard against all manner of very nasty diseases.

    It's better, if your cat will take it, to feed a wet food diet than a dry one. There is a sticky thread on here which deals with the A to Z of wet and dry foods, and it's excellent at stating which are good and which are bad. It's well worth a read, as you can feed your cat a high quality food for not much more than what you'd pay for Whiskas or Felix. I try to feed wet (madam doesn't eat much of it), but also leave dry down all the time as I find it prevents gorgeing which can lead to a cat putting on too much weight, but others don't do this because they then eat too much of the dried and put on weight anyway. you just need to work out what works best for you and your girl. Zooplus.co.uk is a good place to buy the food from, and they give feeding recommendations based on body weight.

    I've just re-read your thread and noticed the last call was in February, so hopefully you should be able to see the pinking up of her nipples by now if one of the toms has caught her.

    I really hope some of this helps. You're so lucky to be adopted by one of these wonderful creatures!
     
  3. Astro-Cat

    Astro-Cat PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Carly and thanks for your help. Her nipples are "normal" but I think they are puckered (I have never studied cat nipples - lol) and I am convinced that she is not pregnant but will take your comments on board. I did not want to take her to the vet until I knew more about her and had some hard data such as diet and excercise etc. and wanted her to get over the loss of her old family before taking her anywhere.

    I would appreciate some more input to my adoption by her from everyone including questions to ask the ex-owner once I can locate her so I can then go to the vet and do right by her.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. gloworm*mushroom

    gloworm*mushroom PetForums VIP

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    If she isnt pregnant you really need to get her spayed if she isnt already. Even if she is in early stages it is best to still get her spayed. It will increase her lifespan if you do, and the world doesnt need more kittens.
     
  5. MoggyBaby

    MoggyBaby PetForums VIP

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    I would suggest you ask the neighbours on either side of where the previous owner lived if they have contact details for them. I think it would be in your best interests to establish that the previous owners DO NOT want her and are happy for you to take ownership. I would not risk either vet fees or spaying until you have cleared this OR have covered all bases in trying to locate them.

    If the ex-neighbours don't have contact details, I would then suggest you write to them, at the old address, as they will probably be getting their mail forwarded.

    Be sure this cat is DEFINITELY yours to keep before you fall in love with her anymore.
     
  6. MissyMV6

    MissyMV6 PetForums Senior

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    I think that is good advice from the other members regarding contacting the owners (if possible) just to make sure that she is not wanted by them.I would then get her to the vets asap to find out if she is already pregnant.I couldn't have her spayed if she was pregnant because that would obviously kill the kittens but thats just me.If she is pregnant and you decide to let her have her kittens DO NOT let her out afterwards she can become pregnant again 2 weeks after the birth of her kittens:eek: And then once the kittens are old enough to be re-homed then have her spayed.

    Angie x
     
  7. gloworm*mushroom

    gloworm*mushroom PetForums VIP

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    Many kittens have to be put down in shelters because of litters like this. Not trying to get into a debate, but 'killing' these 'kittens' will not stop other kittens, older kittens, being put down.
     
  8. Astro-Cat

    Astro-Cat PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the responses - it is all very useful.

    If possible could I have some response to my request about what information I should try and get from the previous owner - who I think I will be able to get hold of. I think I need this for the vet? as well as generally useful info about her.

    It is now two months since the owner left her here and took the time to come here and tell us she was going and (we now think) telling us (my sister - not me ) that she was moving and probably would not take Mowgli with her. I was careful for the first three weeks because of exactly the problem of losing her but now I feel a lot more comfortable that she is here to stay. However the point is valid and I will specifically ask the ex-"owner" if she has left her with me and the street she was born on.

    I don't believe you can own a cat (and believe that the other material things you think you "own" can end up owning you!!) and so she will never be mine as such but I am happy to be her primary carer as long as she wants to stick around. I hope this doesn't sound stupid. I do not stop her from coming in and out at all (but would take the advice about if she gave birth then keep her in) and I treat her with the respect I would give to any living creature.

    We spend an awful lot of time in the same room despite her being free to come and go and she gives me such positive energy everyday. If I am dsitracted when I give her attention then she lets me know this is not acceptable and I have to pay proper attention and be sincere!! Ths is the most incredible stress relieving experience I have ever encountered - and it is freely available to anyone and requires no doctor or £100/hour therapist. I am an ex-Managing Director and would regularly suffer from stress.

    Last year this beautiful creature came to me - jumping through my upstairs window (I did not do anything to lure her or trap her or even encourage her etc.) and I have learned so much from her intelligence, elegance and calmness. None of the other local cats that I see walking by jumped in my bedroom, and there are lots.

    The beauty I refer to is on the inside and is much more special than just physical beauty - whether human or animal.

    To be honest I don't think I can love her anymore than I already do and I never intended this to happen. I was deeply in love with her 6 months ago or more and so the heartbreak of losing a loved one was already in play before the owner moved. Mowgli adopted me - I even didn't feed her for 6 months but she still came often. But I will definately seek clarity on her ex-"owner's" intentions.

    Loved the quote about the snooze button because even though I give her 24hr dry food she sometimes swooshes my face with her tail to wake me gently in the morning for her wet pouch!! But she is also very patient.

    Hope this post is not too soppy, I am a man after all!! lol.

    thanks again for the help and advice so far.
     
  9. kerfuffle

    kerfuffle PetForums Senior

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    The previous owners of the house I bought had two outdoor cats, and for days they couldn't catch their cats to transport them to their new house. So it's not 100% that the previous owners didn't want the cat anymore, sometimes it's just a matter of "the cat wasn't there come moving day". Please try to contact the previous owner before you do anything else. If you get no response or if the previous owner is willing to relinquish ownership to you, then get the cat to a vet to a general health check, which will tell you if she is pregnant, if she is overweight or the correct weight, and if she is microchipped. You can also get the vaccinations done as well to protect her against certain viruses.

    If she is pregnant and the vet thinks it's inadvisable to go ahead with spaying, you may just have to play feline midwife, let her have the kittens and either keep them or try to find suitable homes for them, and then get her spayed afterwards. But if she isn't pregnant, get her spayed as soon as possible to save yourself the hassle of toms lurking in the area fighting and cost of kittens in the future!

    Regarding feeding, different cat food has different feeding recommendations. Wet food feeding recs can range from 250g-450g per day for a cat of 4-5kg. Obviously if you're feeding dry food as well, wet food should be reduced to compensate. You're definitely not underfeeding her if she gets access to dry food 24/7 (assuming she eats dry and it's not just left there), but be careful with free-feeding because some cats do overeat and make themselves overweight. Monitor her weight carefully, and like I said, a vet should be able to give an indication if she is overweight. Also make sure there is fresh water available at all times as this is particularly important when you feed dry food.

    If she prefers wet food, it's healthier for a cat to eat primarily wet food (as long as we're talking about complete wet food of some quality and not complementary "treat" stuff). Unfortunately, it also costs more to feed wet food only, and you have to be around to feed it regularly. Dry food is more convenient and cheaper for us humans to feed, but has no particular benefit for the cat. Convenience food for cats is about as healthy as convenience food for humans - it'll do in a pinch.

    Purina One is an okay dry food, but it's not the best. A lot of these things are down to companies marketing their image as healthy for cats but are made up of some cheap ingredients. The ingredients for Purina One Adult Chicken & Rice is as below (taken from purinaone website):

    As you can see, it contains quite a lot of grains, which cats don't really need in their diet. Rice, maize and wheat aren't actually necessary for cats (some may even argue grains can be harmful) but they're added to bulk up the cat food and perk up the calorie-content of the food. High up on fantastic dry cat food are grain-free high-meat-content ones, but they also cost more than the normal supermarket-found brands of Whiskas/Gocat/Iams/Purina.

    Another note on commercial cat food - most of them doesn't clean a cat's teeth well which may lead to dental problems in the future (but this also depends on the cat's genetics). You may want to brush the cat's teeth with pet-friendly toothpaste if you feed so inclined, or give the cat a treat of raw meat/chicken once a week so she has something to really sink her teeth into. Read raw-feeding threads for more information if you have concerns regarding bacteria/parasites/etc in raw meat because certain meats are okay to feed straight and others are preferably frozen beforehand.
     
  10. carly87

    carly87 PetForums VIP

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    Astro-cat, you already sound like the perfect cat slave. Keep up the good work!

    Seriously though, I agree with everything you've said. Cats touch that deeper part of me as well in the same inexplicable way. They bring comfort without really trying, they give peace by just being. I think that's why so many of us love them.

    When it comes to the old owner, you need to ask when she last had her vaccinations if at all, what she was feeding her, whether she had any medical conditions. Even without this data though, you can still take her to the vet. If there's doubt even about the vaccinations, they'll simply give her a booster to top her up to be on the safe side. i know you don't want to keep her in, and you'd rather she was free, but if she's not pregnant already, then you risk not only producing kittens, but exposing her to incredibly dangerous diseases every time you let her out and there's the possibility of a tom having his way with her. FIV is only the beginning of those, and kittens aside, even if there was no risk of pregnancy, I wouldn't expose one of the ones I loved so much to a risk that size. Please don't think I'm guilt tripping you. I'm not. But this is the reality of the situation. It's better to keep her in for a little while and prolong her life than it is to allow her her freedom and have her die years before she should have.

    you've never studied cat nipples before? Well, man, you've never lived! Just wait another few months and you'll be studying cat poo and everything!... We've all done it at one time or another. Such are the joys of being owned by one of these super little people.
     
  11. MissyMV6

    MissyMV6 PetForums Senior

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    It was just my personal opinion I couldn't have a cat spayed knowing she was pregnant but I know other people could and I am fine with that.
    Angie x
     
  12. Astro-Cat

    Astro-Cat PetForums Newbie

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    Mowgli has been gone for over 24 hours and I am really suffering and do not know what to do.
     
  13. carly87

    carly87 PetForums VIP

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    If her last call was in early Feb and she got pregnant as I advised you she may have done, this would be about the right time for her to be giving birth. You may find that she has hunkered down somewhere she thinks is safe to do just that, and if so, you may not see her for a good few weeks, that's if she chooses to bring the kittens to you. I did warn you that she might be pregnant and advised a check up. If this had been done, you could have kept her in and ensured that both she and the kits were safe at this most vulnerable time.

    Either way, I hope you manage to find her soon.
     
  14. Lulus mum

    Lulus mum PetForums VIP

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    Any news?
    Maureen
     
  15. Astro-Cat

    Astro-Cat PetForums Newbie

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    Mowgli returned on Tuesday nightish and then gave birth to three beautiful kittens mid-afternoon yesterday.

    She gave birth next to my bed against the wall where I had placed a chunky jumper just in case she was pregnant - despite my inability to know she was. I did not know for sure until the first one started coming out. It is dark and warm and they all seem fine. I will get the vet in tomorrow.

    Gobsmacked really and delighted that she was happy to have them in our room (me and the cat's room).

    I Feel privileged and humbled by bearing witness to new life.
     
  16. momentofmadness

    momentofmadness PetForums VIP

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    Well firstly congratulations..
    And please what ever you do.. Don't let her back out .. As she will mate again.. and realistically even if the owner came back.. i think this cat believes she is with you.. :)
     
  17. carly87

    carly87 PetForums VIP

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    I'm so glad she came back instead of having them outside. You need to get her spayed once she's stopped suckling the kits. I'd also advise getting her a box with a lid on and a hole cut in the front. This will satisfy her nesting instinct, and help her feel more secure with the kittens. Do you have low litter trays and kitten food? You'll need these in about four weeks' time. Kittens shouldn't leave mum until they are 12 weeks old, so you're going to have fun for the next three months! Do make sure mum stays in though, no matter how much she wants to go out.
     
  18. MoggyBaby

    MoggyBaby PetForums VIP

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    Hi Astro,

    What wonderful news - twice over!!! :D

    Sooooo glad that Mowgli came back hom in time for you to help her with her babies. She DEFINITELY considers you to be her slave so I don't think you should worry too much about the previous owners now.

    Good luck with the kitten rearing - you're gonna have a lot of fun!! :D

    Don't forget the pictures when they are old enough.....

    Cheers :D :D
     
  19. Lulus mum

    Lulus mum PetForums VIP

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    Only just caught up with this and Im so happy that its turned out this way .Please keep us up to date on what happens -and as another post says-please make sure she doesnt get out
    Good luck-Very happy for you
    Maureen
     
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