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Possibly dehydrated kitty?

September 1st, 2008, 08:58 PM
A little back ground to begin with: I'm an engineering student who's recently moved back to college for her senior year. Back in May I adopted Jade from the local animal shelter with the intent that I would bring her back to school with me in the fall. Besides a slight respiratory infection that cleared up quickly she's been perfectly healthy.

Last Wednesday (27th of August) I left home with Jade in order to come back to school. It was a very long drive (9 hours) but Jaders and I made frequent stops for water and leg stretching and besides being ravenous when we were done (we arrived three hours after her usual dinner time) Jade seemed fine.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday she's been just fine, eagerly exploring the new house and getting to know my new roommates who adore her as much as I do (they're spoiling her worse then I ever did too). Then, Sunday she started to get a little grumpy and lethargic. She's always been a little bit of a grumpy gus, but she bit me pretty hard when I scratched behind her ears while she was dozing. It didn't break skin or even leave a mark, but it still surprised me. I decided to blame the heat since we've moved into a house with no AC and it was very hot yesterday.

This morning she was a lot better. She woke me up (as usual) at six AM demanding breakfast and ate it happily. Later, at about noon, one of my roommates decided to give her a special treat of tuna. He asked permission first so I knew about it, and we had given her tuna the other day and she'd been just fine with it. However, this time about two hours after she'd devoured the tuna she threw it back up again. She'd never vomited before, but she is a long haired cat, so as I cleaned it up I looked for hairballs, but it was only tuna. I figured that the tuna had disagreed with her (it was a day old, but refrigerated over the night) and so I threw away what remained of the tuna and that was it.

I really started getting worried at about 7 o'clock when I looked up from my textbooks and realized that I hadn't been bothered about dinner yet. My kitty likes her feeding schedule to be breakfast at 6 AM and dinner at 6 PM and she bothers me relentlessly if I'm slow about it. As I fixed her dinner she didn't appear and when I found her sleeping under my bed and dragged her out she didn't even look at her food before going back into my bedroom and going to sleep under my desk. At this point I began to really worry (this cat has never refused a meal ever since I've gotten her). Since today's been another hot one outside I checked her nose, found it was bone dry, and really really began to worry.

I tried bringing her water dish to her in hopes that she would take a drink, but she seems disinterested. I also had a roommate go to the store and buy some precooked shrimp (her absolute favorite treat) which I defrosted in hopes that she would eat it and take in all the extra moisture, but she won't touch that either.

Then, a couple of minutes ago, she vomited again. There was nothing in the vomit this time, just a clear flem like substance.

I called the local vet and checked the internet and found that the emergency vet is in Marquette which is about two hours away from where I am. As much as I want to get her to the vet tonight, I don't think a four hour round trip would help matters much. I've also checked the house all over and can't find anything that she may have ingested to make her sick. We have no plants, none of the furniture or carpets look chewed on, and I called our landlord to make sure the house hadn't been fumigated or had mouse poison put down recently and he said that there hadn't been anything like that.

Since she started getting sick and grumpy around 2 when it started getting warm inside again I'm really worried about her being dehydrated. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to get moisture into a cat when they refuse both food and water? And what about how to keep her cool? I know kitties have a higher body temperature then humans but I'm worried about her getting too hot. At this point I'm so close to desperate that my roommate's crazy and worried advice is starting to sound good. So does anyone have some good advice that doesn't involve shaving her or taking her into the shower with me? Because as much as I love her I don't want my face getting scratched off.

I'm definitely going to be taking her to the vet tomorrow, but still, any advice on what may help in the meantime would be MUCH appreciated.

September 1st, 2008, 09:30 PM
There's not much you can do at this point.

Was she tested for FeLV/FIV before leaving wherever you adopted her from? I mean.. it doesn't sound like that at all but I just figured I'd ask.

It's likely a return of the URI that is making her sick. I am having a brain fart right now and can't really explain it, but I can tell you I know what you are talking about and I think your kitty will be perfectly okay with a bit of fluids put in her and antibiotics.

All the traveling, moving into a new place, meeting new people.... that can stress a cat out! So that's what it probably is.

Umm hope that helps even though I wasn't really clear but I do know what you are talking about.

September 1st, 2008, 09:31 PM
How do her ears feel? are they very hot?

A dry nose is not really indicative of any health problems, the cold wet nose = healthy animal is a myth.

A brushing would help to remove some dead fur, shaving should only be done by someone experienced with shaving cats.

Take a wash cloth or a hand towel wet it with cool water *not cold or ice cold* place it on her head/shoulders/back area to attempt to cool her abit - you do NOT want to make her cold fast it will cause shock.

A cool/lukewarm sponge bath would be okay, I would not give her a full bath - again you don't want to cause shock.

If you have a fan you can place it in front of her to blow air on her but not if she is wet.

If you have a syringe you can gently squeeze a bit of water in her mouth. You can try tuna water in her water dish.

You can tempt her to eat with a bit of melted butter on her canned food, or tuna juice

Have you talked to the receptionist at the emergency clinic - what did they say?

September 1st, 2008, 09:42 PM
She tested negative for FeLV/FIV so I'm pretty sure it's not that.

Her ears feel a little warm, but not hot.

The emergency vet up here is not a true 24 hour hospital per se, the UP of Michigan is too unpopulated for that. It's a group of vets that you can page at all hours and they'll open up the building for you so I never got to talk to a person when I called them.

If I can coax her out from under the bed I'll try both the washcloth and the melted butter. She got mad when I pulled her out to feel her ears and has retreated far enough back that I can't reach her.

September 1st, 2008, 09:52 PM
Animals do tend to get grumpy when they are not feeling good. And will usually not eat much when they get too hot. Do try to take her in tomorrow just for a check up especially if she is still not back to normal or if it is still going to be a hot day.

You can also add a teaspoon of warm water to her canned food this will make the smell abit more appetizing. If there is an unresistable treat she loves (cheese, chicken etc) you can top her food with that for extra temptation.

Put an extra water dish in the room she is in now, even under the bed if there is enough room might tempt her to take a drink.

September 1st, 2008, 10:22 PM
Mhm.. yeah I'm going to stick with my original idea of it's stress related. I wouldn't call this life threatening at all, just make sure you get her to the vets tomorrow morning to get an IV in her to re-hydrate her and it will help. Then some bloodwork and a quick exam will get you on the right track.

Ummm try just heating up some cat food or people food (meat) and make it nice and smelly. And probably best to stick it on a plate that has some water on it and that would be good to start. Cats usually get mad when they don't feel well.

September 2nd, 2008, 04:33 PM
Well I just got back from the vet. Turns out my kitty cat had a pretty high temperature of 104 degrees and when the cat was being felt up by the vet she growled when he squeezed her stomach.

Dr. Tom figured that she had some sort of gastrointestinal infection. To treat it he gave her a shot of Baytril and Methylprednisolone (an anti-biotic and a steroid, the first to get rid of the infection and the second to work as an anti-inflammatory and to help her be more hungry), gave me some Baytril in pill format and I also got some Hill's I/D so that when she does get hungry her stomach won't be upset.

I'm crossing my fingers that this will work! He said her fever should break within a few hours and hopefully then she'll be starving. :cat:

September 2nd, 2008, 04:55 PM
That sounds like an appropriate treatment! We are all sort of anti-Hills here but otherwise sounds like your doc got it down right.

Keep us updated! Hope she feels better soon.:pawprint:

September 2nd, 2008, 08:44 PM
It's amazing to me how fast she's feeling better. I had to drag her out from underneath the bed in order to take her to the vet and now she's quite happily sitting back on her favorite window sill and sitting on the backs of our easy chairs.

She still isn't eating as much as usual, but I managed to coax her into eating some of the Hills stuff, her regular cat food, and some shrimp.

I have great hope for her speedy recovery now. :cat:

September 2nd, 2008, 09:24 PM
I'm glad she's feeling better :thumbs up Thank you for taking her in so quick :)

Did the vet ask for a poop sample to run a fecal test to rule out any parasites she might've gotten from the tuna?

Speedy recovery :goodvibes:

September 3rd, 2008, 09:16 AM
You have told your roommates not to feed her.

Tell them again! More forcefully, "NO SNACKS!"