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Scraggly, old, stray cat

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by magpie, Aug 22, 2013.


  1. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    I have recently taken in what appears to be a fairly old, not very healthy, terribly skinny, little stray cat. She was brought into my vets on 1st August, and after two weeks of unsuccessfully trying to find somewhere for her to go, I decided what the heck, she can come home with me :) All the local rescues were full, and even if the RSPCA weren't as useless as a chocolate teapot, I honestly think they'd have put her down straight away.

    She doesn't walk very well, she is very wobbly on her back legs and stumbles a bit when she's trying to go too fast. Her coat was full of fleas and absolutely thick with flea dirt, her fur is also quite thin & patchy in places and her skin is a bit flaky. She had disgustingly dirty ears and her right ear had a lump in it and lots of puss from an infection. Hardly any teeth. She is very thin, her ribs, hip bones and spine stick out horribly. And finally she also has a fairly large mass of some sort in her abdomen :(

    To be honest, morbid as it sounds, I don't think she is going to be around very long, but I'm trying to make her as comfortable as I can for the time she has left. She was clearly a beloved pet at some point in her life, as she is extremely affectionate, and loves a bit of fuss. She eats very well, drinks plenty, and despite her mobility issues, manages the litter tray just fine.

    So really I just want to know if there is anything else I can do for her? I haven't had a cat since I was a child, so I'm a bit clueless! Is there anything I can give her, other than normal cat food, to fatten her up a bit? And is there is anything I can give her for the flaky skin? I don't know if you can give supplements or something to older cats? :confused:

    She doesn't seem interested in doing much, she sleeps under my bed for most of the day, comes out for a little wander, noisily demands food, and then goes back under the bed, but she seems content enough. I don't know how you can tell when a cat is happy, but she certainly purrs loudly enough when I give her attention!

    Any advice greatly appreciated, thanks for reading :)

    Oh, and I've named her Maggie :D
     
  2. j4nfr4n

    j4nfr4n PetForums VIP

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    Sorry can't give you any advice as my love is dogs and haven't had a cat in 20 yrs plus.
    Just wanted to say well done you for showing some compassion towards this little cat and giving her the love she richly deserves in her later years.
    Well done you :)
     
  3. lilythepink

    lilythepink PetForums VIP

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    I wouldn't know what else you could give her either but well done for doing what you have done for her so far.

    She seems happy enough, comes out for food and then back to a nice warm bed, no more fleas and somewhere nice warm and dark to go back to after eating.
     
  4. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    Thanks for the replies :)

    No one got any advice though?
     
  5. egyptianreggae

    egyptianreggae PetForums VIP

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    You could try her on a bit of raw food, if her teeth could manage it, I haven't got any experience of this myself but I'm told it can massively improve things like skin and fur condition. Hopefully someone more clued up will be along shortly!
     
  6. Figaro

    Figaro PetForums Member

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    Aw, well done to you for taking her on.

    From experience with old lady cats (mine passed away aged 17 back in June) is...they like to sleep a lot and not really do a lot. She might take a few days to settle into her new surroundings hence the hiding under bed. Our old cat wasnt interested in toys or anything as she got older. Is she quite bony? Be careful and slow picking her up and be prepared for a few vet visits as she gets on and buy a grooming brush as older cats coats get more difficult to groom and are prone to clumping even on short coats and also they like the feel of it.

    When the fleas and dirt go she will be feeling so much better. Any pics or description?
     
    #6 Figaro, Aug 23, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  7. spid

    spid PetForums VIP

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    Raw food is fantastic for building up muscle mass - try either Natural Instinct or Nutriment - ready ground so will be able to manage it even with few teeth. I would let her eat as much as she wants.
     
  8. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    There is a supplement called Yumega which is especially for dry and flaky skin...a friend of mine said it was very effective. Imagine you'll find it in Amazon. The fact that you are now giving her decent meals will improve her skin and coat enormously. Well done! Do you have a picture of her? It sounds as tho' she is really happy with you.:eek:
     
  9. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    Thanks, I will definitely try her with one of those! And already ground sounds ideal, as I don't know how she'd cope with anything too tough. At the moment she is having wet food in the morning & evening, and I'm leaving dry food down during the day. I know dry isn't the best, but I want her to have at least something to graze on when I'm not there.

    Aw, sorry to hear about your girl, but it is reassuring to know that it's fairly normal, old-lady behaviour :) She is pretty bony, yes, poor thing! Probably going to take her back for the vet to recheck her ears at least, after the lump removal. She's also had a bath, as the flea dirt was just too much to brush out, though she doesn't seem to mind being brushed, which is good!

    Ah, I've heard of Yumega before, might give that a try, thanks!

    This is when she was still at the vets:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Scoffing down some food at home, and showing off her spine :(
    [​IMG]

    Please excuse the mess under the bed!
    [​IMG]
     
  10. moggiemum

    moggiemum PetForums VIP

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    aw bless her and you too for caring , i bet she has a few stories to tell,...her eyes look lovely and bright,hopefully her condition will come back a bit and she can get some well needed uninterupted sleep without the annoying fleas,you are so lovely to offer this lovely lady a home ,to not have to spend the winter outside has probably saved her life , wish there were more people like you , please keep us posted on her recovery,me maggie too:)
     
  11. Figaro

    Figaro PetForums Member

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    She is so lovely. Her poor spine reminds me of last cat and the feeling when stroking her.
     
  12. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    Aw, you're going to make me cry! :eek:

    It's funny, we've had lots of stray kittens and all sorts abandoned at the vets, but she's the first one that I've really felt like 'I have to take her home'. I suppose it's because she is old and was in such a state. It's easy enough to find new homes for kittens, but an old lady like her... much harder :(

    Bless her, all she wants is a safe, warm bed and some good food, it's not like she's any trouble :)
    And Benji-dog is fascinated by her - she's the first cat he's properly met!
     
  13. CharlieChaplin

    CharlieChaplin PetForums VIP

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    Ah she looks like my dads cat when he found her - tho with more hair!!

    It's so lovely of you to take her in, she will have the love and care she deserves now! She is a lucky cat to have met you.

    Once you feed her up with some great high meat food she should get her fur and skin sorted. There are some great foods on zooplus and the happy kitty company you could try. Is she eating ok without some of her teeth? I would feed her little and often building up to bigger meals - If she wasn't used to eating much that is! She will soon get some meat on her bones :) keep brushing her and she will get there :)

    Bless you for taking her in :)
     
  14. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    Thank you for the pix...I see why you had to have her. She is going to be a pretty little thing after a few weeks of decent food and what a relief she has somewhere safe and warm before the winter sets in!! The thing is, these little old strays ask for so little to change their lives.
    If the forum awarded Gold Stars you would get at least one for Maggie!!
    Don't forget, we've had the 'before' pix...we shall want the 'after' ones in a couple of weeks.;)
     
  15. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    It does make you want to cry...her eyes TBH are very clear and bright and she is looking with such trust at the photographer - you - that you just want her to survive to have a bit of love and care which I imagine has been missing for a long time!!
     
  16. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    Thanks for the advice :)

    Yes, she is eating fine, despite only having a few teeth left! She seems to have no trouble eating dry food, but of course prefers the wet ;)

    Lol! You're very kind, and don't worry, I will endeavour to keep you all updated with her progress :)
     
  17. spid

    spid PetForums VIP

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    Glad she prefers the wet - ditch the dry - useless stuff
     
  18. Paddypaws

    Paddypaws PetForums VIP

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    her eyes do look very clear....none of the age spots that i would expect in a truly elderly cat, maybe she is younger than she looks right now.
    What does the vet think the mass in her abdomen is? Would you be able to get blood tests done at cost price to check for thyroid etc?
    She is very sweet and beautiful, bless you for being so kind and taking her home.
    Foodwise I would also stick mainly with wet or raw, offering her frequent meals even if you have to disturb her beauty sleep to do so. Even a few slithers of whatever meat you are going to cook for your self would be a good boost to her calorific intake.
     
  19. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    I know, I know! :eek:

    I just like to have something that I can leave down all day, as she scoffs down her wet food really quickly and if I'm at work I can be out of the house for almost 12 hours. And I didn't want her going so long between meals with her being so thin... :)

    EDIT: Quick question, does she have to have EITHER wet OR raw, or can I give her (for example) mainly wet but with the odd raw meal? Don't want to go upsetting her stomach.
     
    #19 magpie, Aug 24, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  20. CharlieChaplin

    CharlieChaplin PetForums VIP

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    Thought about an automatic feeder? I haven't used one myself so can't recommended one. But you could get a duel one to open 2 separate times and she gets 2 meals whilst you are out!
     
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