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will take care of a senior cat... need info!

August 6th, 2006, 01:37 AM
an 80 year old neighbor went to the hospital after being found on her apartment floor for 2 days by my dad... (she fell) :( i do not know how long she will stay there but i made a promise to her that i will take care of her cat. her cat is a senior(?) cat and is above 12 years old, i want to know all the basic things i need to know on how to take care of the cat, like its diet, litterbox, etc... and if you have any suggestions on products, please do share. i want to take the best care of the cat. he is presently at the vet right now getting a check up and vaccinations... i will ask the vet for more info but i thought i can also ask on the forum. also, i am worry... i am moving soon to the next town, so the cat will have to come with my family and i... until my neighbor is well again... perhaps, the cat will stay with us permanently depending on my neighbor's state... i am worry that the cat will get anxious and stress because of the new environment... how can i reduce the stress, if any? already, he'll be without his owner for awhile... :( thank you!

August 6th, 2006, 02:06 AM
You need to ask your neighbor what she was feeding the cat, so far as food is concerned. If you have access your neighbor's house, look around a bit and you should be able to find out what kind of food and litter the cat is used to. If you can, take the litter box and food dishes. This will give the cat something familiar. Maybe a small blanket from the couch that smells like the owner.

The cat is probably going to be very stressed. Just let him be and he will adjust at his own speed.

August 6th, 2006, 02:11 AM
like its diet, litterbox, etc

What kind of details you need? Basically right now he should be fed whatever diet he was on with his old owner, if you dunno this information, Dick Van patten makes about the best affordable line of catfood you can get. If you're looking for an easier to find brand that's a bit cheaper, Chicken Soup for the Soul is the easiest storebrand to find that actually has pretty good ingredients. The vet should determine how healthy his teeth are so you know whether or not you can feed him hard food or he has to eat soft (though a diet of soft or a combo of soft/hard are the best choice to me). If he has other problems the vet can recommend what types of food he should be eating.
Litterbox - all he should need at the moment is a simple litterbox with cat litter (I use scoopable 'cause it's easiest and stays the cleanest), and you have to clean it EVERY single day or more, 'cause some cats will go on the floor if not. Some cats also like covered litterboxes the best 'cause it gives them more privacy.
If you want to reduce the stress as far as moving, do not let the cat have roam of the whole house (though some cats are fine anyway). Introduce him one room at a time. First I would keep him in the room the litterbox is in (make sure he gets lots of attention and petting as long as he's receptive to it; if he seems nervous and doesn't want attention just leave him alone for awhile) and then when he seems comfortable and friendly, and at least a bit content let him go into another room etc, and keep this up until he acts comfortable in each room.
If you need to ask more complex questions don't hesitate, because no one here minds answering questions, we all love animals (that's why we're here :) ) , and I've had lots of kitties so I like talking about them anyways, lol.

August 6th, 2006, 02:14 AM
I'm glad the cat is getting a check-up, especially given his age. If he is not neutered, I recommend having it done, he will be more settled and less likely to take off.
12 is more middle aged than senior, but if he has spent all his life with your neighbour, he will be set in his ways. Take it very slowly.
Start by keeping him confined to one or two rooms. Smaller spaces are more comforting for an animal that is stressed and confused. He'll need a litter box and his food, maybe a few toys, a radio turned low for company. If you can get any of his stuff from the neighbour's house - for instance, if he has a bed or a banket he is used to - all the better, but it isn't essential. So you keep him in there, visit him regularly, play with him if he is willing - always let him take the initiative. As he relaxes and seems to be getting more attached to you, expand the space he has access to, always leaving the door a little bit open so he can come and go to his 'safe place'. You didn't mention if you have other animals.
Don't worry, animals do adapt, respond to love and kindness.
When you move, either move him first to a room at the new place, where he can be confined until the worst is over, or leave him until last and then transport him. Just make sure he doesn't escape! Then slowly integrate him again.
There's plenty of knowledgeable people here so feel free to ask questions.
And thanks for taking this guy in. He's a lucky boy!

August 6th, 2006, 02:15 AM
Oh yeah, and like lavender said, if you can find any of his stuff from his old home like toys, litterbox, food bowls, food, blankets, etc., it would help.

August 6th, 2006, 02:54 AM
Since the OP is only taking care of the cat while it's owner is hospitalized, I think it would be highly inappropriate for her to have the cat surgically altered! I know that if something happened to me requiring hospitalization and my neighbor altered my dog without my permission I would be FURIOUS!

August 6th, 2006, 03:15 AM
If someone had my animal fixed (not that they wouldn't be anyway) I would just be happy I didn't have to pay for it. I think I'm slightly abnormal though :o

jesse's mommy
August 6th, 2006, 07:45 AM
Oh, and don't let the cat outside. Cats should not be let outside in the first place, but some people do anyway. If you let the cat out, he will try to find his way home, even after you move. Just make sure you keep the cat safe and inside.

August 6th, 2006, 08:30 AM
Lavenderott, of course you're right, although I think in the circumstances it would be a small thing. However, if a 12-year old cat - who probably would be euthanized if it weren't for the kindness of the OP - started spraying in her house, I wouldn't bet on his chances of sticking around.
In the end, I guess it all depends on whether or not the neighbour returns. But even then, I think she would be extremely grateful that her cat had not only been sheltered but brought up to date health-wise.

August 6th, 2006, 03:30 PM
If you let the cat out, he will try to find his way home, even after you move. Just make sure you keep the cat safe and inside.

That's true, a friend of my parents moved in next to us and her cat got out. She looked everywhere and finally went to look at her old house (which was about 7 miles away) and the cat was there.

August 6th, 2006, 06:10 PM
a lot of what i was thinking to answer has been said, but i want to let you know that youre an :angel: for taking that cat over your house and looking for infos on the web and bring her to the vet. I wish you the best with the cat and hopefully you will post pictures of that furbaby
Dont hesitate to ask more questions if you feel like it, people here are very nice and appreciate your actions toward this cat :thumbs up