Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Advice, please re possible previous abuse

bds1960to
January 11th, 2009, 12:31 AM
Help! I've traumatized my new cat.

I adopted a 9yo long hair domestic brown tabby from the Toronto Humane Society a month ago. In her life before me, she had 3 owners (two for four years each, at the end of both, return to the shelter. Third owner had her from Jan 07 to Sept. 08. I got her Dec. 08.

All was going well, but she was a bit hissy. I made the mistake this past week of trying to deal with her hissy-ness with discipline. Swatted her behind with a towel and spoke crossly to her. Now she's afraid of me and hisses any time I come near.

I've googled and realized my action was a mistake. I should have ignored her when she hissed rather than what I did. Her reaction has been so severe that I suspect previous abuse in her life.

How do I regain her confidence?

sugarcatmom
January 11th, 2009, 01:16 AM
How do I regain her confidence?

Oh no, poor kitty. I'd suggest trying some play-therapy. Do you have any fishing-rod or wand style toys? Even just a shoelace with a knot in the end that is tied to a not-very-big stick. Keeping your arm movements minimal (don't want to start flailing around and making her even more nervous), just gently flick the toy in her vicinity. Not AT her, but somewhere in her line of sight. Even if she doesn't want to actually play with it at first, it may provide enough interest that curiosity begins to replace fear. Do this for short sessions several times a day.

Also, treats can be quite useful. I'm not usually a fan of Greenies, but most cats find them irresistible. You could start by leaving a couple on a shallow plate in a room that you're both in. Keep talking to her in a soft, calm voice. If she likes them, periodically give her some on this plate, moving it closer and closer to where you are. Talk to her constantly. It may take a while for her to feel safe again, so be patient.

Oh, and thanks for adopting an older cat. I'm sure that with time and a bit of unconditional love on your part, she should eventually come around. Her life is in turmoil right now and she's probably feeling very insecure.

bds1960to
January 11th, 2009, 01:23 AM
Oh no, poor kitty. I'd suggest trying some play-therapy. Do you have any fishing-rod or wand style toys? Even just a shoelace with a knot in the end that is tied to a not-very-big stick. Keeping your arm movements minimal (don't want to start flailing around and making her even more nervous), just gently flick the toy in her vicinity. Not AT her, but somewhere in her line of sight. Even if she doesn't want to actually play with it at first, it may provide enough interest that curiosity begins to replace fear. Do this for short sessions several times a day.

Also, treats can be quite useful. I'm not usually a fan of Greenies, but most cats find them irresistible. You could start by leaving a couple on a shallow plate in a room that you're both in. Keep talking to her in a soft, calm voice. If she likes them, periodically give her some on this plate, moving it closer and closer to where you are. Talk to her constantly. It may take a while for her to feel safe again, so be patient.

Oh, and thanks for adopting an older cat. I'm sure that with time and a bit of unconditional love on your part, she should eventually come around. Her life is in turmoil right now and she's probably feeling very insecure.

Thanks. I adopted on older cat because mine of 18 years died and I knew older cats are harder to find homes for. And wht I am experiencing is part of the reason. Older cats have developed personalities and we adopters have to deal with their previous life experiences.

I guess my aggression frightened her all the more, being in a new home. Now I have to work all the harder to tell her that her new home is a safe place.

TacoGrl
January 11th, 2009, 03:25 AM
Along with the playing, try a bubble bath with candles (curiosity might bring her in)...try sitting on the floor reading a book either aloud or to yourself...try shaking a bag of treats...basically do something that might interest her curiosity...she may only sneak at peek at you, but that is a start :thumbs up

Tundra_Queen
January 11th, 2009, 09:23 AM
I'd be very nervous of the candles.

Love4himies
January 11th, 2009, 10:28 AM
Thank you, thank you so much for adopting a senior cat, you are right they are so hard to place :thumbs up.

I agree with Sugarcatmom. Play therapy with treats and soft talking and playing will probably be the best way to win this kitty over. I highly recommend with this cat that you allow her to make to first move to you.

Poor soul, she has been through so much and you are right, who knows what the previous owners have done to her.


I didn't see where anybody has requested pics of your kitty so I will so so now.

Pics please :D

bds1960to
January 11th, 2009, 11:44 AM
Here she is. Terra. And she's a big fat cat at 16-3/4 lbs. someone overfed her. Took her to the vet right after I got her and we've got her on a diet, although the doc says it'll probably take a year to get her down to right size. She seems otherwise healthy, except that she's so fat she can't clean her rear end and I'm having to do that for her every second day with a cotton ball and an iodine-like solution to prevent urinary infections.

sugarcatmom
January 11th, 2009, 12:18 PM
Here she is. Terra.

What a sweet face!


And she's a big fat cat at 16-3/4 lbs. someone overfed her. Took her to the vet right after I got her and we've got her on a diet, although the doc says it'll probably take a year to get her down to right size.

Yikes. I hate to ask this, but what kind of "diet" did the vet put her on? Vets really don't know a heckuva lot about feline nutrition, and prescription diets tend to be the opposite of what cat's actually need.

She seems otherwise healthy, except that she's so fat she can't clean her rear end and I'm having to do that for her every second day with a cotton ball and an iodine-like solution to prevent urinary infections.

Instead of the iodine solution, which might be irritating to her nether-regions, what about using something like colloidal silver? It has excellent anti-bacterial properties and is completely neutral, so it won't cause any stinging. I wonder if that's partly why she's being so hissy.

bds1960to
January 11th, 2009, 02:32 PM
Thanks.

It's not idoine, it's something called Betadine that the doc said has the same disinfectant effect but without the sting.

She's on Royal Canin Indoor Light 40. Filling but lo-call.

The doctor I see at the vet's specializes in cats and I have complete confidence in her. She was my other cat's vet for 5 years.

I'm seriously thinking Terra was abused or at least harshly handled at some point. As well as being hissy and reacting quite extremely to my spanking her with a soft rolled up newspaper page, she also hates brooms. So there's something there that causes that fear of them. I'm thinking she was either shooed with one or hit with one.

I'm her 4th owner. She's a hard luck story. First owner of 4 years surrendered her to the Toronto Humane Society where she stayed for a month. Next owner for 4 years brought her back because of allergies and she stayed for 2 months that time. Last January a 3rd owner had her just until September when he/she returned her to the THS because he/she was moving. I brought her home 3 months later on Dec. 6. I figure she has reason to be distrusting, too, just by virtue of being uprooted so often, especially the last time.

sugarcatmom
January 11th, 2009, 03:21 PM
She's on Royal Canin Indoor Light 40. Filling but lo-call.

Ugh. That's what I was afraid of. Here are the ingredients:

Ingredients: Chicken meal, corn gluten meal, corn, wheat gluten, pea fiber, natural chicken flavor, rice hulls, brown rice, chicken, chicken fat, dried beet pulp (sugar removed), dried brewers yeast, calcium sulfate, sodium silico aluminate, anchovy oil (source of EPA/DHA), salt, ground psyllium husk, ...


That's a ridiculous amount of carbohydrate for an obligate carnivore, and all that extra fiber (pea fiber AND rice hulls AND beet pulp AND pysllium husk!!) has great potential to irritate Terra's digestive tract. This food is basically diabetes and/or IBD in a bag. The other thing is, cats get fat because of excess carbs. They're designed to eat only about 2-8% carbs, not a whopping 30-50% like most of these so-called "diet" foods. Please read these 2 links for some pretty thorough info on why a high carb, dry food diet is the last thing an overweight cat should be eating:
http://www.catinfo.org/
http://www.catinfo.org/feline_obesity.htm

Low-carb wet food is the only way to go.

The doctor I see at the vet's specializes in cats and I have complete confidence in her. She was my other cat's vet for 5 years.

She may indeed be an excellent vet in many aspects, but nutrition is definitely not her expertise. The education that vets receive on this topic is pathetic, and is almost always provided by the big pet food companies like Hill's, Purina, Medi-Cal/Royal Canin. Along with the fact that they have a vested interest in selling these foods, it's a huge conflict of interest. More reading on this subject: http://naturalcathealth.blogspot.com/2007/08/for-many-years-like-majority-of-pet.html


I'm her 4th owner. She's a hard luck story.

Poor baby, she's really been through a lot. I despise people that think pets are disposable, as clearly her past owners have. Allergies, my @ss. :rolleyes:

bds1960to
January 11th, 2009, 03:52 PM
Thanks. I'll do the reading and then some comparative reading.
What do you think about Wellness wet? That's what I fed my last cat.

sugarcatmom
January 11th, 2009, 04:14 PM
What do you think about Wellness wet? That's what I fed my last cat.

I think it's a great food, and makes up a large portion of what my cat eats.

Some cats start losing weight by just merely switching them from dry to canned, but sometimes a bit of calorie-counting is required. Very roughly, cats need around 20-30 calories per lb of ideal body weight, per day. The key is to not let a chubby cat lose weight too fast, or there is a risk of hepatic lipidosis developing, so there should be a gradual reduction in calories. This link from the catinfo website above has more details: http://www.catinfo.org/feline_obesity.htm#Consider_Calories,_Not_Just_Oun ces_

Soter
January 11th, 2009, 04:16 PM
I'm not a big expert on cat food (though i agree with scm, too many carbs)

Cute cat, :D
gr8 for adopting a golden oldie.:thumbs up

bds1960to
January 11th, 2009, 04:40 PM
I read your links, thanks, and I've gone to the Wellness website: they have a healthy weight dry food and this one called Core that addresses the concerns you raised. Animal not plant protein and no grain at all.
http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/cat_wellness_dry_core.html

I'm going to give it a try. Dry food is a convenience I need, so that I can leave her with food overnight if I'm away for a night.

chico2
January 11th, 2009, 05:23 PM
bds,she looks like a beautiful kitty,poor little girl,hopefully with time and lots of love,she'll lose her insecurity.
BTW,one of my cats,who has never been hurt,is terrified of my broom,so it's not always from abuse.
Thank you for rescuing her,hopefully yours will be her forever home:cat:

sugarcatmom
January 11th, 2009, 06:54 PM
Dry food is a convenience I need, so that I can leave her with food overnight if I'm away for a night.

Using dry food sparingly or intermittently, such as when you go away, is fine, but I still urge you to feed wet instead of dry on a daily basis. You can leave canned down for free-feeding, which is what I do. It doesn't go bad even if left out for up to 12 hrs.

Problem with ALL kibble, even CORE or EVO or Orijen or any of the higher quality grain-free varieties, is the lack of moisture. Cats evolved in the deserts of North Africa, where their only water source was the prey that they caught. They have an extremely low thirst drive and by the time you see a cat drinking water, it's already dehydrated. This constant low-level dehydration can result in bladder and urinary tract issues, and possibly even kidney disease. It's extremely important for cats to get their moisture requirements met from their food.

Love4himies
January 12th, 2009, 09:22 AM
I have to second everything sugarcatmom has stated. Any overweight cat should be on a quality canned food, it is much lower in calories and gives them the water they need.

My daughter's cats were overweight and she changed them to Wellness grain free canned(from Iams indoor weight control). They naturally lost their weight over a few months.

My Jasper was slightly overweight when I first got him and up until this last summer. I changed his food from Orijen kibble to Instinct canned and a raw diet. He lost his weight too (almost too much), but has stabalized to a PERFECT weight.

http://maxshouse.com/feline_nutrition.htm

Love4himies
January 12th, 2009, 09:23 AM
Your kitty has such beautiful eyes :lovestruck: :cloud9:

ancientgirl
January 12th, 2009, 09:38 AM
Congrats on your new kitty, and thank you for adopting a senior cat.

Innova also has a low fat wet food you might want to look into as well.

My last adoptee is a former stray. When I took her in she was really afraid of toys and had no idea what to do with them. She gradually began playing with a feather teaser when I'd hold it slightly far from her and wiggle it around.

It sounds like your girl has had it a bit rough so she might feel the need to be constantly on her guard. I'm sure with some patience from you she will come to realize she's safe in your home.

bds1960to
January 12th, 2009, 02:39 PM
Two Things:

I understand the sense you're imparting about wet food. I'm hesitating because I know from experience that once a cat's gone wet, it won't go back. So if I go away overnight, as I am doing on a business trip this week, away from home from Wed 8 a.m. to Thurs. noon, if she were used to eating wet, she'd not eat dry if I left it out for her.:frustrated:

That entails bringing in a pet sitter for Wed. dinner and Thurs breakfast feedings and we're taqlking $25 to $40 a visit in Toronto depending on the sitter. On a business trip, my employer will cover that cost, but when it's a personal trip, it can really start to add up.

Second, Terra's been more friendly in the last 24 hours. I spent most of Saturday evening on my computer, so basically away from and ignoring her. that's when I wrote my first post here. Sunday after sleeping for the morning and the first part of the afternoon in another room, she actually came over and gave me a head butt in the leg. Good sign! And she's letting me pet her more. I'm taking it very gently to re-establish trust.

sugarcatmom
January 12th, 2009, 04:06 PM
I understand the sense you're imparting about wet food. I'm hesitating because I know from experience that once a cat's gone wet, it won't go back.

Hmm, I'm not sure I agree, especially in the case of a cat that has probably eaten mostly dry food her whole life. It's terribly addicting stuff and the usual scenario is a cat reluctant to eat canned food rather than the other way around. I feel very strongly that we as a society are doing our cats enormous harm by feeding foods so completely inappropriate for them on so many levels.

Second, Terra's been more friendly in the last 24 hours.

Excellent!! So glad to hear it. :highfive:

bds1960to
January 12th, 2009, 04:45 PM
Called the vet. They've got no problem with my deviating from their recommendation and going to wet food. Suggested I try to find a light wet food. Wellness doesn't have one, but 3 of its canned foods are under 1,200 kcal per kg.

chico2
January 12th, 2009, 05:23 PM
bds,the"light"food is mostly a myth,just get regular Wellness cans,without the grain it will not make your kitty fat.
I keep dry food around for my cats,but they eat very little of it.
I am so glad she's coming around,you are doing it right,let her come to you at her own pace:cat:

bds1960to
January 12th, 2009, 07:30 PM
bds,the"light"food is mostly a myth,just get regular Wellness cans,without the grain it will not make your kitty fat.
I keep dry food around for my cats,but they eat very little of it.
I am so glad she's coming around,you are doing it right,let her come to you at her own pace:cat:

Well, she got a 5.5 oz can of one without grain tonight and wolfed it all down in three sittings (back and forth with two breaks over 90 minutes). I guess I'm lucky she didn't turn up her nose.

Recommended feeding on the can says one can per day per 6-8 lbs. of cat. Hmmmm, two cans a day (or one big one) $3.40 a day for cat food!

ancientgirl
January 12th, 2009, 07:34 PM
Yeah, it's expensive, but in the long run they are healthier for it.

I manage to feed mine Innova in the 12.5 oz can. I find it at a small pet store for $1.96 a can. Look around and price compare. Petco will price match, so if you find teh Wellness less expensive somewhere else you can bring them the receipt and they will give it to you at that price. At least that's what the Petco I go to does. Ask and see if where you are buying it also price matches.

TeriM
January 12th, 2009, 08:02 PM
I find that the food sizing they give on the cans is quite high compared to what cats really should eat. I personally think one can would probably be enough and what I do is supplement my food (raw) with a kibble "snack". My cats get 1/8 cup each of kibble in the morning and then raw at night. I buy the premade raw and found that the portion size available was just a bit small for splitting (or to much if I added a second) so added that kibble and everyone was happy :thumbs up. I also find that this way if I need to leave kibble for any reason it is not a shock to their systems.

Jim Hall
January 12th, 2009, 08:03 PM
also she may eat a lot less i foud the better the food the less they eat

dry is ok in a pinch if you can get good dry mif anyone around carries merrrick before grain (Bg) dry

sounds like kitty is doing good


hissing is usually form being scared just stay still and talk to her whats her name btw ?

bds1960to
January 12th, 2009, 09:18 PM
also she may eat a lot less i foud the better the food the less they eat

dry is ok in a pinch if you can get good dry mif anyone around carries merrrick before grain (Bg) dry

sounds like kitty is doing good


hissing is usually form being scared just stay still and talk to her whats her name btw ?

Her name's Terra.

Well, now she's developed a new tick, but not a harmful one. Her food dish is at the side of the microwave cabinet and she's taken to pawing (claws in) at the side of the cabinet as if trying to bury the little bit that remains in her dish. Cute more than worrying.

She's all smiles and playfulness tonight. Not a single hiss but welcoming lots of attention. Maybe my being away all day at work made her more glad of my company when I came home. Plus, I think the food may have something to do with it, too. She's more lively tonight.

I'll probably cut her down to one can a day -- half at breakfast, half at dinner. That's what my last cat got. And Terra does need to lose weight, afterall.

All of which is good to see considering she spent 3 months in a 2X2X3 foot (my estimate) cage at the humane society. You know, there are some cats who've been there a year and a half or more. They have a no-kill policy that I have very mixed feelings about. I asked if the long-timers ever get out of their cages. "Well, some of them may get to wander in an office once in a while but mostly, no, they remain in their cages." That just makes me cringe.

She's definitely not going back there, no matter what problems might develop. I'd hate myself for putting her back in one of those cages for who-knows-how-long this time.

ancientgirl
January 12th, 2009, 09:23 PM
My Kiska also does the pawing thing when she eats. I'm not too sure what that's about, but i don't think there's any harm in it. Kiska has been doing it since I got her as a kitty about a year and a half ago.

Jim Hall
January 12th, 2009, 09:23 PM
good for terra and you she sounds like a good natured cat my DU who was also an abused kit does that with her food too and to my other kits manda's also :goodvibes:

chico2
January 13th, 2009, 07:38 AM
IMO,2 5oz cans/day is way too much for one little cat:confused:
My 3 large cats(12,16 and 17 lb's) eat one 12,5 oz can/day and are perfectly satisfied.
I really do not read the manufacturers feeding-suggestions,only the ingredients.
When you get to know your cat a little better,you can judge how much she needs.
Some cats will just eat as much as they can get,I have one of those(Vinnie):cat::laughing:

sugarcatmom
January 13th, 2009, 07:58 AM
I'll probably cut her down to one can a day -- half at breakfast, half at dinner. That's what my last cat got. And Terra does need to lose weight, afterall.

You want to make sure she doesn't lose weight too rapidly, or there's a risk of hepatic lipidosis developing. Using a rough guideline of 20-30 calories per lb per day, let's say we want to get her down to 15 lbs as a short term goal (to be readjusted as she goes along). 20cal x 15lbs = 300 cal/day minimum. Depending on what flavour of Wellness you feed, it's 33-40 cal per ounce. So if you're feeding Chicken (40 cal/oz), she would need at least 7.5 oz/day, but with the Turkey & Salmon (33 cal/oz) she should probably get approximately 9 oz/day. Then when she hits the 15lb mark, you can recalculate her daily calories for the next target weight. If she hasn't lost weight on this amount of food after a few weeks, that at least gives you a starting point and you can gradually reduce the amount until she does.

Here's a chart with the calorie content of various canned foods: http://www.geocities.com/jmpeerson/CanFoodNew.html

She's definitely not going back there, no matter what problems might develop.
:cloud9::lovestruck::angel:

Love4himies
January 13th, 2009, 08:44 AM
Her name's Terra.

Well, now she's developed a new tick, but not a harmful one. Her food dish is at the side of the microwave cabinet and she's taken to pawing (claws in) at the side of the cabinet as if trying to bury the little bit that remains in her dish. Cute more than worrying.

She's all smiles and playfulness tonight. Not a single hiss but welcoming lots of attention. Maybe my being away all day at work made her more glad of my company when I came home. Plus, I think the food may have something to do with it, too. She's more lively tonight.

I'll probably cut her down to one can a day -- half at breakfast, half at dinner. That's what my last cat got. And Terra does need to lose weight, afterall.

All of which is good to see considering she spent 3 months in a 2X2X3 foot (my estimate) cage at the humane society. You know, there are some cats who've been there a year and a half or more. They have a no-kill policy that I have very mixed feelings about. I asked if the long-timers ever get out of their cages. "Well, some of them may get to wander in an office once in a while but mostly, no, they remain in their cages." That just makes me cringe.

She's definitely not going back there, no matter what problems might develop. I'd hate myself for putting her back in one of those cages for who-knows-how-long this time.

From people I have spoken to it is quite common for cats to get more active once they are on a quality canned food. Just think of how you feel when you are chronically thirsty and eating junk food?

Glad to hear she is coming around :thumbs up.

ancientgirl
January 13th, 2009, 09:32 AM
IMO,2 5oz cans/day is way too much for one little cat:confused:
My 3 large cats(12,16 and 17 lb's) eat one 12,5 oz can/day and are perfectly satisfied.
I really do not read the manufacturers feeding-suggestions,only the ingredients.
When you get to know your cat a little better,you can judge how much she needs.
Some cats will just eat as much as they can get,I have one of those(Vinnie):cat::laughing:

I agree. It took me a while to figure out what works best for my gang, and now I think I've got it down. I feed them (my five) one 12.5 oz can in the morning. That gives me 2 tablespoons for each, depending on how full the can is, I get a little more or a little less. They eat a little bit, then go about their day and come back for snacks throughout the day. When I get home I do the same thing all over again. Now, I know they will go from plate to plate, so there is probably a couple that eat more than the others, but it works out well I think. None of them seem to be starving or anything all the time and they are all maintaining a good weight.

Heck, even though Vlad is 17lbs, he looks trim and they are all quite active. I credit their health and activity to the quality food they get. I'm fully convinced that if you spend just a little more, even though it's hard on your pocketbook, in the long run you will have a healthy pet.

bds1960to
January 13th, 2009, 12:09 PM
You want to make sure she doesn't lose weight too rapidly, or there's a risk of hepatic lipidosis developing. Using a rough guideline of 20-30 calories per lb per day, let's say we want to get her down to 15 lbs as a short term goal (to be readjusted as she goes along). 20cal x 15lbs = 300 cal/day minimum. Depending on what flavour of Wellness you feed, it's 33-40 cal per ounce. So if you're feeding Chicken (40 cal/oz), she would need at least 7.5 oz/day, but with the Turkey & Salmon (33 cal/oz) she should probably get approximately 9 oz/day. Then when she hits the 15lb mark, you can recalculate her daily calories for the next target weight. If she hasn't lost weight on this amount of food after a few weeks, that at least gives you a starting point and you can gradually reduce the amount until she does.

Here's a chart with the calorie content of various canned foods: http://www.geocities.com/jmpeerson/CanFoodNew.html


:cloud9::lovestruck::angel:

OK, so that's just under one large can a day.

sugarcatmom
January 13th, 2009, 01:02 PM
OK, so that's just under one large can a day.

Or one and a half of the 5.5oz cans per day.

catlover2
January 13th, 2009, 01:14 PM
Thanks so much for adopting an older girl...Tara's absolutely beautiful! Continue to go easy with her and give her as much affection as she wants, but it sounds as if she's warming up to you nicely. Now you know that she's a very sensitive cat, perhaps not surprising considering what she's been through.

To eliminate cleaning her dirty bum, get some blunt-nose "moustache" scissors (available in most drug stores), if you do not already have them, and trim the fur as close as possible at least 1" width from anus. It's easier to do this if you have her standing up---another person holding her & petting her will make it easier. If she protests, just do very little at a time and have a treat handy and say "good girl" and offer treat right after you clip her. You want her to be very accepting and comfortable with this, as it will be an ongoing service you will have to do for her for a while until she can clean herself. Let us know how things are progressing with your lovely Tara.

bds1960to
January 13th, 2009, 07:35 PM
Well, I left her a 5.5 oz can this morning and she ate half of it through the day. So I've given her just half a can tonight. She loooooooves the stuff! Stands up on her hind legs, paws on my leg as I open the can on the kitchen counter. And she's become almost frisky and playful. She even got up out of her favorite chair and came to met me at the door when I came home tonight. sugarcatmom, you could be right that the kibble wasn't sitting well on her stomach.

catlover, thanks for the tip on the mustache scissors. Worthwhile idea. Wouldn't replace the Betadine, tho. That's used to keep her urinary opening clean, because she's so chubby that it's hidden behind fat. So until she drops some weight...and there's just me here to do it. She hates it but I have to hold down her head at her neck and rub her bottom with the other hand. Hisses and spits but, surprisingly considering why I started this thread, she gets over it quite quickly if I leave her alone for half an hour or so.

Well, now she'll get to miss me for a while. Business trip, off at 9 a.m. Wed., back about 2 p.m. Thurs. She'll get wet breakfast tomorrow and I'm putting down dry food for Wed. dinner and Thurs. breakfast plus lots of water.

Speaking of which, it's so funny. Here's this big 16-3/4 lb longhair that's two armfuls to pick up and...does she meow? No. She lets out quiet little chirps and squeeks. I guess she thinks she's being dainty.

ancientgirl
January 13th, 2009, 07:48 PM
I'm glad she seems to be taking to the wet well. One of my cats rarely meows. She chirps and coos. It sounds very cute.

chico2
January 14th, 2009, 08:04 AM
WOW,from the pic,what we can see,she does not look like 16+lb's.
I am glad she's coming around,getting comfy around you:thumbs up
We always leave the radio on for our cats when we go anywhere:cat:it must be a human thing,but I think they'd feel less lonely that way.
Not that we ever leave them for more than a few hours.

Love4himies
January 14th, 2009, 08:08 AM
Well, I left her a 5.5 oz can this morning and she ate half of it through the day. So I've given her just half a can tonight. She loooooooves the stuff! Stands up on her hind legs, paws on my leg as I open the can on the kitchen counter. And she's become almost frisky and playful. She even got up out of her favorite chair and came to met me at the door when I came home tonight. sugarcatmom, you could be right that the kibble wasn't sitting well on her stomach.

catlover, thanks for the tip on the mustache scissors. Worthwhile idea. Wouldn't replace the Betadine, tho. That's used to keep her urinary opening clean, because she's so chubby that it's hidden behind fat. So until she drops some weight...and there's just me here to do it. She hates it but I have to hold down her head at her neck and rub her bottom with the other hand. Hisses and spits but, surprisingly considering why I started this thread, she gets over it quite quickly if I leave her alone for half an hour or so.

Well, now she'll get to miss me for a while. Business trip, off at 9 a.m. Wed., back about 2 p.m. Thurs. She'll get wet breakfast tomorrow and I'm putting down dry food for Wed. dinner and Thurs. breakfast plus lots of water.

Speaking of which, it's so funny. Here's this big 16-3/4 lb longhair that's two armfuls to pick up and...does she meow? No. She lets out quiet little chirps and squeeks. I guess she thinks she's being dainty.

I am so glad to hear she is taking to the canned food :thumbs up.

Awwww, she does look like she will be a tiny dainty kitty when you get her weight under control. Bet she will be so much happier too :thumbs up

bds1960to
January 15th, 2009, 05:05 PM
So, I'm home. After 15 hours, including overnight, away. When I arrive, does she run to me? Nope. Lying in her fave spot in the bedroom where she can see the front door. She looks up like, "Oh, it's you" and stays put. But is all happy to see me when I come to her. So, that's good.

I'm going to start a new thread about fat cats, because owning her now for a month has raised a question in my mind. But you'll have to find that thread to see what the question is. (hint: it's intriguing and will be in the cat health forum.)

Love4himies
January 16th, 2009, 09:33 AM
So, I'm home. After 15 hours, including overnight, away. When I arrive, does she run to me? Nope. Lying in her fave spot in the bedroom where she can see the front door. She looks up like, "Oh, it's you" and stays put. But is all happy to see me when I come to her. So, that's good.

I'm going to start a new thread about fat cats, because owning her now for a month has raised a question in my mind. But you'll have to find that thread to see what the question is. (hint: it's intriguing and will be in the cat health forum.)

Found it :laughing:.

Maybe she is a princess and feels you should be going to her. :D

krdahmer
January 16th, 2009, 12:21 PM
Ah ok now I see.... food has been covered! And she is so gorgeous btw! What a pretty girl!:lovestruck: I too have a big cat, he's currently tipping the scales at just over 19 lbs... and also on an all wet diet, although not dropping lbs like we'd hoped. He has no troubles cleaning etc though, because he is a tall and long cat as well who could probably carry 15-16 lbs just fine. He's also full of muscle and very active so a bit different situation.

I love what you said about giving an older cat a chance... I too plan on only adopting older cats from here on in. :thumbs up

bds1960to
January 18th, 2009, 05:37 PM
Well, she's been on the Wellness wet salmon & turkey for several days now, and she's settled into wanting about 4 oz breakfast and 4 oz dinner. And we play with string while I watch tv or while dinner's cooking. So between the food and the exercise, I'm hoping to see slow weight improvement. Meanwhile, only the occasional hiss now -- except when I attend to her bottom when it's guaranteed (and understandable!)

bds1960to
January 21st, 2009, 08:03 PM
Happy Update:

Terra's over the terror I inflicted upon her. Thank goodness my mistake did not have long-lasting consequences.

She's gaga over string play, is sleeping the night on my bed again. Wanted to be picked-up and cuddled when I came home tonight. I tended to her bottom last evening and she hissed and was very unhappy, but I think is getting used to the personal indignity. Last evening, instead of hiding under the bed afterwards for an hour, she took off there at first but came back to her fave chair in the livingroom after about 15 minutes.

She's also exploring parts of the apartment she hasn't previously investigated.

Now, another question, if I may:

When I first took her to the vet after adopting her, the doc told me her teeth weren't in great shape and that I should set aside money to attend to it. Had to do that with my last cat. About $350 for asleep kitty teeth cleaning.

Here's my question: Terra not only loves a good long chin scratch, but also loves rubbing her chin against the hard arm of a chair. Could that be a sign of tooth irritation?

ancientgirl
January 21st, 2009, 08:20 PM
Sounds like she might be getting used to the butt cleaning.

Is she scratching on her chin or like the side of her face? My little Maks rubs his chin and the side of his face on darn near everything, and in his last exam which was about 2 months ago his teeth and mouth were given the outstanding. :shrug:

Can I suggest something you might try though to help your girls teeth? I have to also take Czarina in for a good teeth cleaning. She is a former stray so her teeth and mouth aren't in the best of shape. My vet recommended something called Biotene. You add it in their water daily and it helps keep their teeth and gums healthy. Mine don't like having their teeth messed with so this is another option for brushing. I've been using it for a few months, and Czarina's mouth has improved. It's a little pricey, but lasts a pretty good while.

This might be something you can consider so that her mouth doesn't get worse. Talk to your vet about it.

bds1960to
January 21st, 2009, 08:50 PM
Sounds like she might be getting used to the butt cleaning.

Is she scratching on her chin or like the side of her face? My little Maks rubs his chin and the side of his face on darn near everything, and in his last exam which was about 2 months ago his teeth and mouth were given the outstanding. :shrug:

Can I suggest something you might try though to help your girls teeth? I have to also take Czarina in for a good teeth cleaning. She is a former stray so her teeth and mouth aren't in the best of shape. My vet recommended something called Biotene. You add it in their water daily and it helps keep their teeth and gums healthy. Mine don't like having their teeth messed with so this is another option for brushing. I've been using it for a few months, and Czarina's mouth has improved. It's a little pricey, but lasts a pretty good while.

This might be something you can consider so that her mouth doesn't get worse. Talk to your vet about it.

Thanks for all of that. No, she doesn't try to scratch her chin with her back claws like there's an itch -- unless I rub her a lot myself and that starts a back leg going. Much like rubbing a dog's tummy gets a back leg going.

An addition to her water won't work. Since I put her on Wellness salmon and turkey, she does not drink water that I can notice.

Meanwhile her bowel and urine movements are regular once a day and without note.

sugarcatmom
January 21st, 2009, 08:57 PM
Here's my question: Terra not only loves a good long chin scratch, but also loves rubbing her chin against the hard arm of a chair. Could that be a sign of tooth irritation?

Cats have scent glands in their cheeks and chin which release a "happy" pheromone (that we can't smell). They will rub this scent on stuff when they're feeling good, so no need to worry.

ancientgirl
January 21st, 2009, 09:04 PM
Thanks for all of that. No, she doesn't try to scratch her chin with her back claws like there's an itch -- unless I rub her a lot myself and that starts a back leg going. Much like rubbing a dog's tummy gets a back leg going.

An addition to her water won't work. Since I put her on Wellness salmon and turkey, she does not drink water that I can notice.

Meanwhile her bowel and urine movements are regular once a day and without note.

The Biotene comes in a gel you rub on their gums and teeth. If she is okay with you messing with her mouth, that might be another option. :shrug: I do the water because Czari won't let me mess with her much. She's not used to lots of fussing with.

bds1960to
January 21st, 2009, 09:06 PM
Cats have scent glands in their cheeks and chin which release a "happy" pheromone (that we can't smell). They will rub this scent on stuff when they're feeling good, so no need to worry.

Thanks. I also know that they mark their territory with the head-related glands

sugarcatmom
January 21st, 2009, 09:30 PM
The Biotene comes in a gel you rub on their gums and teeth.

Biotene is a good product, although I much prefer the gel to the additive or the mouth wash, both of which contain sodium benzoate (which has potential to be toxic to cats).

ancientgirl
January 21st, 2009, 09:39 PM
I didn't know that. My vet recommended it to me and she uses it on her cats. I'll talk to her about it. I just can't use the gel on Czari, and she's the one that needs it the most.

bds1960to
January 22nd, 2009, 12:07 AM
Terra is not drinking from her water dish since I switched her to wet food.

sugarcatmom
January 22nd, 2009, 08:00 AM
I didn't know that. My vet recommended it to me and she uses it on her cats. I'll talk to her about it. I just can't use the gel on Czari, and she's the one that needs it the most.

Ya, it's in a lot of veterinary products. While usually the amount is pretty negligible, I don't trust AAFCO to know what's safe for cats. The fact that Czari is drinking it every day might be a factor to take into consideration. Dental health is also very important so if it's helping her, you have to weigh the pros with the cons.

Cats have a significantly lower tolerance against benzoic acid and its salts than rats and mice.[5] Sodium benzoate is, however, allowed as an animal food additive at up to 0.1%, according to AFCO's official publication.[6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_benzoate

Love4himies
January 22nd, 2009, 08:23 AM
I keep going back to the pic you posted of your kitty. She is just beautiful, l love her eyes :cloud9:, but does not look like a 16lb cat, she looks like a tiny 8 pounder.

ancientgirl
January 22nd, 2009, 08:43 AM
Ya, it's in a lot of veterinary products. While usually the amount is pretty negligible, I don't trust AAFCO to know what's safe for cats. The fact that Czari is drinking it every day might be a factor to take into consideration. Dental health is also very important so if it's helping her, you have to weigh the pros with the cons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_benzoate

I'll cut back then. I think I'll add it once or twice a week then. I can also just put it in her bowl, since she's the one that needs it the most. After I have her teeth cleaned I might not use it as often then. It's funny, I have three bowls for them, the two I had for the original Fantastic Four, and the bowl I had when Czari was in the kitchen by herself.

I still keep Czari's bowl in the kitchen, only because I figured I'd spread the bowls around the apartment, but Czari ONLY drinks out of the bowl in the kitchen, her bowl.:D

bds1960to
January 23rd, 2009, 12:35 PM
I keep going back to the pic you posted of your kitty. She is just beautiful, l love her eyes :cloud9:, but does not look like a 16lb cat, she looks like a tiny 8 pounder.

We wish! Maybe by next year.

This pic is obviusly not her, but it's an approximation of her size when I brought her home. I do think she's lost a little bit in the 6 weeks she's been with me.

http://beaut.ie/images/fatcat.jpg

Love4himies
January 23rd, 2009, 12:53 PM
We wish! Maybe by next year.

You can always post more pics of her, we won't mind at all :D

bds1960to
January 23rd, 2009, 01:08 PM
You can always post more pics of her, we won't mind at all :D

Would do but only have the one, that the vet took on the exam table when I first brought her in.

bds1960to
February 6th, 2009, 07:06 PM
Two updates on Terra with questions attached.

Hi gang.

Have had Terra on Wellness no-grain wet for a while now. Was using the large cans (12-ish oz) and giving her 1/3 for each of breakfast and dinner. She was leaving a bit. So now I've gone to the 5.5 oz cans, giving her half each meal. She eats pretty well all of it at one sitting and finishes off the remainder with an hour or so. She doesn't complain between meals and is definitely hungry at mealtime. I'm thinking this is a good thing, considering I want her to slim down. What do you think? Too little?

Second, she still seems to like only a bit of petting and scratching. I can tell when she's had enough. It's when the tail starts twitching. And, yes, she will still hiss to let me know, too. Perhaps she's got a personality that doesn't like too much handling. But I'm more inclined to think she's not used to it. So, I've decided to get her used to it. I pick her up out of her fave chair every night after dinner, sit on the floor with my legs stretched apart, her inbetween, and groom her. Talking to her all the time and petting her gently around her neck and head as I groom her. Oh, she will start low growling. Dislikes the lower half of her being groomed. Hates it when I roll her over to comb her tummy. But I figure if I make this a routine, she'll get used to it. What do you think about my approach?

(a good sign is that when I finish with her, she doesn't run far away. Just back under her fave chair (which is on tall legs). If I tease her with string, she forgets it all.)

Also, when she hisses at me to tell me she's had enough petting, I'm not responding playfully with her before leaving her alone. I'll give her head a playful gentle shake/scratch and say in a playful voice "Oh, big tough cat." Purring and hisses seem to becoming more closely intermixed.

Oh, and a funny anecdote about the food decrease. (Now, remember, she's almost 17 lbs.) I started it at supper two nights ago. While she's taken to sleeping on the bed at my feet, something woke me that night at about 5 a.m. I opened my eyes. Looming in the darkness halfway up the bed was this big triangular hump with a cat's ears atop it. Not doing anything, not saying anything. Just staring at me. LOL.

(she's slept through the night since then.)

ancientgirl
February 6th, 2009, 07:32 PM
Cats usually let you know when they're done allowing you to pet them.:D They easily get over stimulated and when you don't stop, they respond by hissing and nipping at you.

Czarina is the only one who will sit on my lap to let me pet her. But, after a few minutes her tail will start to go nuts and if I don't stop she'll start to growl then hiss and jump off. Oksana will also respond to rapid tail twitching when she's had enough petting, but shell usually run away, not hiss at me.

chico2
February 7th, 2009, 09:54 AM
bds,sounds to me like you are doing great with Terra,she's a lucky girl:thumbs up
I think many cats do not like their bellies brushed,I know mine don't(except Vinnie).
What she is showing towards you,seems like typical female-kitty behaviour:cat:IMO
Also not all cats are lap-cats and if they are,they'll let you know when they've had enough stroking:cat:
As for the food,not everyone agrees,but my 3 cats split 1 12,5oz can of Wellness/day in 2 meals.
If they are still hungry,I give them a small can too,but most of the time they seem satisfied and leave a little for my fatty Vinnie,if I am not fast enough in clearing the dishes:cat:

ancientgirl
February 7th, 2009, 12:45 PM
Yep, mine split one 12.5 oz cann of Innova Evo in the morning and another one at night. On the days I feed Merrick, they split 2 5oz can's between them all.

I have 5, so it works out about the same as what Chico is feeding her 3, give or take a spoonful or two.

bds1960to
February 12th, 2009, 11:04 AM
We've had about 4 days now of stool that comes out in a puddle. Terra's squeeking a tiny bit as she does it. This morning I temporarily put her back on dry food, since I know it results in a firm dry stool. I had, a few days ago, started giving her the turkey Wellness wet food. Anyone know if some cats might be sensitive to turkey?

bds1960to
February 20th, 2009, 07:01 PM
Well, this thread kinda morphed into one about nutrition. Here's something back to it's first intention...

I've had Terra for just over 2 months now and I'm still thinking there's abuse in her background. As she slowly comes around to be more trusting of me and her environment, she still has a quirky little habit. When I approach her, her eyes dart back and forth to see where each of my hands is. Never seen a cat who is as ease do that before. Seems to me to be a distrustful response, like, "OK, there's one hand coming to pet me but where's the other one? What's it going to do to me?"

ancientgirl
February 20th, 2009, 07:10 PM
It might also be she's just cautious. :shrug: I've had Oksana since she was a little over 8-12weeks old, so I've been her only mommy after her kitty mommy. she will now and then do that as well. I'll pet her and when I bring the other into sight she'll jump slightly.

bds1960to
February 20th, 2009, 07:22 PM
It might also be she's just cautious. :shrug: I've had Oksana since she was a little over 8-12weeks old, so I've been her only mommy after her kitty mommy. she will now and then do that as well. I'll pet her and when I bring the other into sight she'll jump slightly.

Yup, and there some difference between a cat you've raised and an adult you've adopted. I figure there must be a reason why Terra's cautious.

Certainly having had 3 owners before me in her 9 years of life -- the last one for only 8 months -- is reason for her to be cautious.

I've worked as a volunteer at a horse rescue farm that took in abused and/or abandoned equines. Through that, I've learned that body language means a lot. A horse who's head-shy was likely roughly treated around the head. A horse that welcomes women but turns away from men is indicative of one treated poorly by a man. And so forth.

I'm still reading Terra's body language as she spends more time with me. I note where and when she's getting a bit more bold, or a bit more trusting, and where she's not. And this eye-darting thing tells me there's something in her past that makes her do it.

ancientgirl
February 20th, 2009, 07:45 PM
I think the longer she's with you the more comfortable she'll get and realize you aren't going to hurt her. If there was abuse in her past then you can't blame her for wanting to be sure about you.

chico2
February 21st, 2009, 08:53 AM
bds,females often are a little more jumpy,not all females,but it often is the case.IMO
Poor Terra,I should not say"poor Terra",she's now in a good place,but not comfortable with hands,she could have been hit before.
If people did not love her enough to keep her,it's quiet possible she was abused:evil:
She seems to be doing great strides though,trust takes time,but I am sure she'll soon realize she is in a loving home.
Just like AG's Czarina