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new mommy to a former stray with some serious concerns!!!! PLS HELP!

cherrypie826
December 27th, 2008, 02:21 AM
i am the brand new mom of a stray cat that found us the day before christmas eve. we have had him inside for 2 night this is # 3. I am a first time owner, so i feel like this is really a sink or swim situation. he eats all the time, but i have yet to see him poop, so i fear worms. he will urinate in the litterbox but he has yet to poo in front of me. (he spent a few hours outside xmas eve, but thats the only time i have not accounted for his whereabouts or whatdoings) we are having the full workup very soon, and plans to have him neutered very shortly after the first of the year, both thru the aspca or the humane soc. my main concern, (past the possible worms) is that he always wants to go outside at night. I really want him to be an inside cat, b/c we live next to a very busy main street and its not the best neighborhood. I'm also very scared that it is too much financial burden to take care of a possible sick cat, and if so, ive comitted to it now its too late. i cant cast him out cuz hes broken. so any advice on the crying to get outside, or how to help the "stray to domestic" transition is greatly appriciated, or any info on shelters or organizations that may help with George's (thats his name) health care is always a plus. any help i can get... im drowning here in my sink or swim situation. Ive only had him for a few days, but i already cant imagine living in my home w/o a cat sidekick. PLS HELP!!!!!!

MIA
December 27th, 2008, 02:41 AM
If you have house plants, check those for poops... That's where my stray went when I first got him!!! You can add mineral oil to his food, or give him some nice wet food/fresh raw meat to get the system going. If you do mineral oil, do 1/2 teaspoon twice a day until he poops but no longer than a week, also milk will help things move along.... He may have not been getting good nutrition or water before so yes he could just be plugged up. I would worm him anyway but don't panic yet, he's just not in the best health and it won't come back over night, but keep an eye on his rear end activity.

badger
December 27th, 2008, 03:21 AM
Thanks for taking this fellow in.

Stray cats will eat almost anything to stay alive and their digestion is often screwed up. Don't give him masses of food (particularly big bowls of cheap kibble) at once - small, frequent meals are better, even for a starving cat. Try to provide at least some canned food, which is about 80% water, that should help. DO NOT add mineral oil to his food; it is petroleum-based and not necessarily safe. Plus you won't know his real condition until a vet sees him and may do him further harm.

If he isn't neutered, he probably isn't vaccinated, so depending on his age, he will probably need a vaccination or two. He will definitely need to be wormed - I wouldn't even bother with the test, just get the meds from the vet (do not buy any over-the-counter meds, they are useless).

It won't necessarily be expensive. But even if you find a low-cost spay/neuter program in your area, keeping an animal is not cheap. Be realistic. If you can't care for him, maybe there's a rescue in your area who could take him. You would still have saved a life!

I don't have any suggestions for the night-time crying. You could try distracting him with a toy or putting him in a smaller space rather than letting him roam around from window to door to window. Don't physically restrain him or force him to do anything, just let him settle. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed he will be.

14+kitties
December 27th, 2008, 08:09 AM
Great advice as usual badger :thumbs up!
You could try pure pumpkin (not the pie filling) added to his canned food to try to get his bowels moving as well. Approx a tsp to a tblsp mixed in with his food. Pure pumpkin works as a laxative and for diarrhea too. Just make sure it's not the pie filling. That is something he can be on for quite some time without causing harm.
A good quality canned food will help him a lot more than any cheap kibble. Wellness, Evo, Nature's Balance, etc.. any food which is grain and corn free, meat based with NO by products is a good choice. Nothing you can buy in a grocery store.
Keeping lots of fresh water available to him at all times may help as well. The night you let him outside he probably found his favourite toilet and relieved himself.
As for keeping him inside....... harder to deal with. Once he is fixed he will settle a little. Not right away. He will still have that instinct to go wander/hunt/procreate for a while. Persistence, not giving in to him, putting up with the meowing and pacing will help.
And definitely worm him. Not with the over the counter crap you can buy in WM or other stores. They are not going to do the job and can potentially harm him. Some of them are absolute killers.
Are you absolutely sure he is a stray? Is it possible he belongs to someone who has decided cats need their freedom? :wall:
Thank you very much for bringing him into your home. I am sure once he is used to the new routine he will settle.

chico2
December 27th, 2008, 08:39 AM
Thank you for rescuing this little boy,it often does not take more than a day to fall in love:lovestruck:
You have gotten some great advice from 2 of our cat-gurus,there is not much they don't know about cats,so I really have nothing to add,just :fingerscrhe will quickly adjust to a warm loving home:fingerscr

cherrypie826
December 27th, 2008, 04:29 PM
oh my goodness, im so overwhelmed by these responses! thank you so much!!! This is so much more than I expected! :thankyou: People on other forums like yahoo ques are so mean!!! This and the info i have recently received by you all and my soon to be vet have made me feel so much better! we are gonna keep an eye out for litter time activities and make sure the meal times get balanced out. we may try the pumpkin or the organic squash baby food to see if this may help, but not right now. we will wait like the vet says, until monday. she says it can be a slew of different things including stress, bad diet/and or eating something bad before he found us. We are 100% sure that he is a stray, he has a few battle scars and some that are fresh, one in particular around his neck. He narrowly escaped something potentially bad before he found us. We are so grateful he found us, he has made out lives happier even in these 3 short days. It makes me so happy to be able to take on the task of "domesticating" George. (wow i feel bad for that comment almost). so heres to hoping with a lot of love and attention and patience. :fingerscr and together i think my boyfriend and i can work it out. :highfive: You guys are the best!

Love4himies
December 27th, 2008, 05:03 PM
Cats who are stressed may not poop for a few days, but allowing the kitty to go longer than that is not good.

You have gotten good advice, canned food would be best for your kitty right now, dehydrated kitties who eat kibble can get constipated. You may even try feeding some raw chicken or beef for a treat. Adding pumpkin or squash is an excellent idea and easy to purchase. At quality pet stores you should be able to purchase Wellness (try the grain free varieties, grain gives many kitties diarrhea):
http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/cat_wellness_can_index.html

Other less common quality ones are: Natures Variety Instinct:

http://www.naturesvariety.com/instinct_cat_can

Organics by Nature:

http://www.bynaturepetfoods.com/productpages/catmain.php

Over the counter worm pills are a waste of money. The vet should have Drontal which is an excellent wormer pill that will even take care of tape worm.

The other thing is the kitty may not like to poop in the same box as he pees in so you may want to try another box.

Last but not least, your kitty may have a home somewhere. I would report him as being found at your local shelter and if possible have him scanned for a microchip.

Good luck and keep us updated

chico2
December 27th, 2008, 05:06 PM
Awww Cherry,we wish you best of luck with the little guy,what have you named him???
If at all possible we'd love to see a pic of him..:lovestruck:
We have lots of members who have taken in outdoor strays,it might take a little time,but soon he'll realize how lucky he is to get a new home.
Please,keep us posted..

Tundra_Queen
December 27th, 2008, 10:17 PM
Thank u for taking in George, that was a very loving thing u did. I hope he will be ok.

Debbie

14+kitties
December 27th, 2008, 10:31 PM
oh my goodness, im so overwhelmed by these responses! thank you so much!!! This is so much more than I expected! :thankyou: People on other forums like yahoo ques are so mean!!! This and the info i have recently received by you all and my soon to be vet have made me feel so much better! we are gonna keep an eye out for litter time activities and make sure the meal times get balanced out. we may try the pumpkin or the organic squash baby food to see if this may help, but not right now. we will wait like the vet says, until monday. she says it can be a slew of different things including stress, bad diet/and or eating something bad before he found us. We are 100% sure that he is a stray, he has a few battle scars and some that are fresh, one in particular around his neck. He narrowly escaped something potentially bad before he found us. We are so grateful he found us, he has made out lives happier even in these 3 short days. It makes me so happy to be able to take on the task of "domesticating" George. (wow i feel bad for that comment almost). so heres to hoping with a lot of love and attention and patience. :fingerscr and together i think my boyfriend and i can work it out. :highfive: You guys are the best!


Just as a warning up front - the vet may/will try to get you to buy the food that is in their office. Usually Science Diet/MediCal etc. They may even try to get you to buy the dry. Please do George a huge favour and stay away from that food as much as you can. It is very expensive and not the best for kitties. The reason they push it is because they make a big profit on the food they sell. Please do some research on our food forum. We have some wonderful food gurus here that will answer all of your questions. Even ones you don't know you had. :D

Good luck. Sounds like George is in good hands.

kiara
December 28th, 2008, 11:46 AM
Stray cats that live outside usually have fleas, worms, ear mites and ringworm (which is contagious to humans). He may already have pooped outside but you have not seen it. Otherwise he would burst by now if he is always eating. Your vet will give him a check-up and vaccines and will see the state of his health. A cat that is used to living outside may not be able to be "changed" to become an indoor cat. I guess if you force him to stay in, it may work ? Since this cat has been involved in fights, he may be ready for a peaceful life inside. I think that unnutered males fight. If you pet him a lot you may make him into an indoor cat. Even feral and semi-feral cats can be changed into friendly house cats. Many years ago we got a tiny kitten at a pet shop (of course I would never do it again, rescues only now). We used to live in the city next to train tracks and she was an indoor-outdoor cat. She survived city life and traffic and lived to a ripe old age of 21. You are doing such a good deed and he will thank you forever.

cherrypie826
December 28th, 2008, 06:15 PM
day 4 of no poo. And there is less urination. My heart is breaking. We did the baby food, organic butter nut squash, and picked up pumpkin puree as well. We are keeping out fresh water as well. He ate a teaspoon of squash in his food at noon today. He hoovered it up, every bite. So we are waiting still on that, we will do it again at dinner time. (ps. does it HAVE to be organic?? I went to 3 stores in 2 cities to find it, just to find out the only difference in ingredients was the word "organic". Squash and water... pls forgive my ignorance, but whats the diffrence to the cat?) so moving on... He was especially whiny last night and would practically mow you down to get to the door. He is kinda lethargic today, but not as much crying. I fear that there may be another owner, but i cant imagine an owner that would let their cat be out on the street for 3+ days with no care to his wounds or food. he had all kinds of scabbed over battle wounds from a fight or multiple fights with something that was possibly bigger than him, and his hair was still matted from the salivia of the animal that got to it. His pads are dry and cracked and his nails are dull and broken. And not to mention, he was starving!! I really hope he just misses whatever he does or whatever other cats he hangs out with outside. (we are fighting a bit of a humping issue at night, (blush) :eek: but that is a minor problem totally secondary to his health. Also we are confident it will not be a problem not too long after the neutering to come very soon) So we will continue to stand strong and not let him outside. We do not reward that whining behavior that happens by the door. We simply wait til the crying subsides and then try to distract him, with toys, catnip or lots of love and attention. We hava an appointment on 1/2/09 to be seen by the vet, but they saud if theres no poo by monday, we could have a problem. So we believe that we could be in the vet sooner than the second. We cant thank everyone enough, MIA, badger, 14+kitties, chico2, love4himies, Tundra Queen, and kiara, for all the advice and support. We are very confident that this is our baby and we are determined to help him. We are very hopeful that this is what we need to do to help him, no matter the cost. We will continue to do the best we can. :fingerscr :thankyou:

cherrypie826
December 28th, 2008, 06:44 PM
This is our George. Sorry the pics are so ginormusly HUGE...

14+kitties
December 28th, 2008, 10:17 PM
George is a sweetie! Adorable as all get out!
As to your question - the squash does not have to be organic. Any squash as long as it has no added ingredients is good. Definitely no onion, salt or garlic. If he is taking the pumpkin that's good. There is also Slippery Elm which you can find at any good drug stores. It comes in capsule form (or at least the stuff I found does). You can take it apart and add a small amount to George's food every meal. Just a small amount does the trick. It is something he can be left on to make his bowels move regularily.

He needs to see a vet before Friday if at all possible. You are looking at a very sick kitty if he doesn't have a movement before then. If you can get him in Monday all the better. Hopefully he will surprise you tonight. Have you looked in every place available for him to use? Even under the couch?

As for the crying....... after he is fixed he will probably settle. It is possible to make an outdoor kitty an indoor. It just takes lots of patience and quick reflexes to get the door closed before kitty gets out.

TacoGrl
December 29th, 2008, 12:23 AM
George is certainly a sweetie! :lovestruck:

I just wanted to chime in on the indoor/outdoor thing...when I brought my Mooki home 14 yrs ago, she was a stray who was trapped by the SPCA and boy oh boy did she NOT like being inside all the time!!! After almost a month, she stopped staring out the window whining...I did have another cat (Jaeger) at the time, but they didn't get along well at first...anyway, Mooki would take every chance she got to run away and I would be frantic! I would search for her and search...I would find her curled up on the stoop or laying on a tree branch looking into the house through the window! This went on for almost a year! I got smart though and found ways to distract her (as others have mentioned) so I could get out the door first...then halfway into the second year, she stopped trying to run away. 14 years later, she would stick her nose out the window to the balcony and if it was too cold, she would look up at me and turn around to lay on the sofa.

After my novel LOL! my point is that it will take patience and a little learn as you go (I didn't know about this website back then), but George will become a housecat...safe, happy and loving. :thumbs up

cherrypie826
December 29th, 2008, 02:20 AM
WE HAVE POO!!! :D I am the proud mama of a litter box full of poo!!!! I have never been so happy over ***** in my life! He looks like a changed cat!!! His weight was a concern of mine, when he first came about. I thought, hes fat for a stray! maybe he has lots of "surrogate mothers", I thought... caring people like i was, they care enough to put out food, but not enough to take on the full time responsibility of a cat. Now I see, he is 2-3 pounds lighter! (there was a LOT of poo in the box) so YEAH!!! POO!!! :laughing: He seems so much more happy, or content. Now we can be seen on the 2nd and get it all in line!! Now the question is, do i continue any treatment now that he has had a rather large bowel movement? or will things move along on their own? Maybe take into consideration the slippery elm, just a tad to every meal? like metamucil, keepin him regular? These are all things I will talk to the vet about on the 2nd. Thanks you to all, you have no idea how much all this support means to David, George and I. We feel as if we are part of a community now. :thankyou: I AM SO HAPPY! :cloud9: You guys are just aces! :highfive: HOORAY POO!!! :clap:
THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO POSTED HELP AND SUPPORT! YOU MADE THIS SO MUCH EASIER! YOU WERE SUCH A TREMENDOUS HELP YOU HAVE NO IDEA!

chico2
December 29th, 2008, 08:27 AM
http://bestsmileys.com/happy/7.giffor poop,:thumbs up
Nothing as exciting as poop,especially among us:laughing:
He is a beautiful shiny boy and very lucky,:fingerscrthat the vet will give him a clean bill of health:cat:

14+kitties
December 29th, 2008, 08:39 AM
Yay!! for Poo!! It's amazing how happy we get when we see results from a kitty who wasn't doing well before.
You can talk to your vet about keeping him on pumpkin or slippery elm but be aware that a lot, maybe not yours but a lot, of vets may not agree with that type of laxative/binder. I sound like I am badmouthing vets but I am not. I absolutely love my vet. Wouldn't know what to do without him. But, I am realistic. I know that's how they make money.
We have a few members here who have done tons of research on food, meds, etc and what is the most help to their cats. I am sure they will show up and talk to you if you stick around. Please do. :thumbs up And keep him on whatever you are using. The pumpkin, squash, slippery elm (about 1/8th of a capsule in his food per meal) will do him no harm and may keep things moving well.

Remember - a tired cat is a happy cat. Give him lots of toys to play with. Interactive ones are great. Even a string that you walk around with that he can chase is terrific. Laser lights are something kitties love. Just don't point the light at his, or your, eyes. They will play for hours trying to catch and kill that light. I guarantee you will get tired before he will. But please don't tucker him out too much.
Just the fact that he is actually using a litter box shows me that at one point he was probably a house kitty. :sad: Again, thank you for taking him in! :thumbs up

badger
December 29th, 2008, 09:16 AM
Oh good. In the pictures he looks reasonably healthy, bright-eyed, shiny coat. You should definitely feel encouraged!

ancientgirl
December 29th, 2008, 02:58 PM
OMG George looks exactly like my Vlad. What a sweetie!

I'm sorry I didn't see this sooner, I'd have told you it may take him a few days to poo. I took in a stray that was outside for about 3 years and it took her about 3 or 4 days to poo in the litter. She doesn't cover her poo, but hey at least she poos in there.

I really hope the vet gives him a clean bill of health. It looks like he's adjusting well by those pictures!

Do you have other cats? If you are committed to take care of him, you can buy him good quality food for good prices, look around. As for litter, same thing, lots of people here find great deals.

I'm looking forward to more pictures.

Tundra_Queen
December 29th, 2008, 08:33 PM
YEAH he pooed!! :highfive: :clap: That is great news!!! I hope he gets a clean bill of health from the vet, umm no pun intended. :laughing:

Debbie

Jim Hall
December 29th, 2008, 08:41 PM
lol you are no officilallt part of the happy poop club for kits gawgs and other mammals the happy poop dance is bend , squat. scoop a lot and go yeahhhhhhhh!!!!!!

Longblades
December 29th, 2008, 09:37 PM
Oh my, he's black. My special weakness. I agree, that's a healthy, shiny looking coat. Have you made enquiries to find his owner? It's hard to tell from just a few photos but I'd guess he is not a year old yet and he could have strayed from his home. Might not be such a good home though.

You've had lots of good responses so I will just address the wanting out at night. When we've taken in ferals we've found the same thing. Cats are often largely nocturnal by choice. To help them adjust we try to play them out in the daytime. I've litterly dragged string around the house most of the day sometimes to wear them out so they are too tired to want out at night. It really does help.

cherrypie826
December 31st, 2008, 01:46 AM
I cant thank everyone enough for all the support and love. Yes, he is so loving I do fear the thought of him being someone else's. but you should have seen him the 3 days he was roaming before we took him. I didnt see him the first day, my boyfriend did. He almost hit him on accident. That was 12/22. We saw him again on 12/23, he came right up to us and fell at our feet, as if to say PET ME!!! We gave him water, but we had no food suitable for a cat to eat, so we let him back out for the night. I was secretly heartbroken. So in secret hope, I hijacked a can of fancy feast from out work cat. we went all day 12/24, hopping to family events and seeing friends, very late that night, we were hauling in our load of gifts and with little more than a squeak, he appeared from behind the door. He looked awful still. so we said "ok, this is your test, you pee on anything youre out buddy!" its history ever since. i work for an answering serving in portsmouth virginia, usa. we took in a feral there and he is the most amazingly loving cat, but i think it has a lot to do with the fact that he was litterally on deaths door. You could count his ribs and he was so weak. After 2 weeks of secretly feeding hima nd sometimes letting him in at night, we convinced the boss that at the very least, he was our responsibility and all he was to him was free pest control. the success we have had with Houdini is the entire reason we decided to take in George. More and more everyday he makes me so happy that we decided to take him in and not buy from a pet store. David, George and I (Rachel) thank you all so much. I feel kinda bad, b/c Im a first time owner, you have all been so good to me, and i have no guru-like knowledge to share. lol Well this is not the last you have heard from me, im hooked. George has a lot of milestones ahead and David and I have made a few-what we feel-are important decisions. We have decided to sparingly start to use a squirt bottle dicipline method. We have also decided to forego a visit to a conventional vet until there is a true need or emergency. We will utilize the low cost facilities that the spca has to offer. We feel much better our with our money going into a valuable program that needs help in our community. We have also decided to start to introduce some dry food targeted towards indoor cats, so Im sure there will be some questions for the resident gurus. I have never been a part of such a loving and interactive community! Thank you all so much! :2huggers:

krdahmer
December 31st, 2008, 01:53 AM
Well a little late here... but welcome and congrats on being adopted by George! And congrats on the poop.... (all of us cat people have been known to get overly excited about poops now and then... :rolleyes::laughing:). Hope his appointment goes well and that you all have a wonderful new year! :goodvibes: And thank you again for taking in this little fellow.:lovestruck:

chico2
December 31st, 2008, 07:59 AM
Cherry,I am glad George has found his way in to your heart:cat:
:fingerscrfor a clean bill of health,he certainly looks healthy.
I don't think neutering came up,that is something that has to be done to a male kitty,or he will start spraying.
I am assuming he still has his jewels:laughing:
As for food,I am sure you'll be advised against dry food,especially for a male kitty,good quality dry or raw is your best choice.
My 3 cats are gungho on Wellness grain-free canned.

ancientgirl
December 31st, 2008, 10:03 AM
I'm so glad you've decided to keep George for good. I second Chico's suggestion for neutering him. You don't want him to start spraying, plus the health benefits will be great. I'm sure the SPCA has an inexpensive neutering program.

I'm feeding my 5 Innova Evo, and Merrick. I found a small pet food store that sells the 12 cans at a great price and doing the math, it costs me less to feed them this high quality food than to feed them any supermarket brand.

Canned is certainly better for him.

14+kitties
December 31st, 2008, 10:33 PM
We have also decided to forego a visit to a conventional vet until there is a true need or emergency. We will utilize the low cost facilities that the spca has to offer.

That's great if your local SPCA can offer you a complete workup and a low cost castration for him. You want to make sure George is healthy.

We have also decided to start to introduce some dry food targeted towards indoor cats, so Im sure there will be some questions for the resident gurus.

Foods targeted towards indoor cats mean you are feeding him dry food. Canned food really is the healthier choice for George. Males have a greater tendency of developing crystals in their urine as they age. A lot of this happens because they don't have enough water in their diet. Canned food gives him the added water he needs. Believe me, in the long run canned is a much healthier option. Dry food is often left out for cats to graze on during the day. This tends to lead to overweight, unhealthy kitties.

Also, the pet food manufacturers are very smart people. Targeting food specifically toward indoor cats/outdoor cats/overweight cats/ etc means diddly squat. All they are doing is playing with our heartstrings and trying to make us feel we are feeding the best possible food possible for our cats. Works very well.
This is a terrific and very informative site which will give you some great information about the pet food industry and what the better food choices are for pets.

http://www.catinfo.org/

glasslass
January 1st, 2009, 07:36 PM
He's gorgeous! Just a helpful suggestion - when you scoop that poo, take a sample of it to your vet tomorrow. They'll want it to check for worms or other parasites.