How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

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How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by feralcatlover » Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:14 pm

Hello everyone... I take care of a colony of 10 feral cats that live in and around my garden..have been here for 11 years now and most of my fur babies are now very friendly. Over the years, I have trapped them all and had them all 'done', so no unwanted babies..and they have a lovely little shelter that my husband has kindly built them at the bottom of the garden.
Sadly one of my girls has become unwell. She developed a kind of cough, and I thought she may have had something stuck in her throat ?..she took her self off for a full day, then came back, and the cough didn't seem as bad..but she was wheezing and had a kind of bubbling sound in her throat ? Before I could bring her indoors, she ran off and was missing in the freezing cold for 2 full days..I went out searching for her, and eventually found her in a ball, in a very sorry state. I brought her indoors into our spare room..I had no option but to call the vet out as an emergency yesterday ( Sunday ), who thinks she may have 'snuffles' ?..an upper respiratory tract infection ? She gave her a long acting pain reliever and a long acting antibiotic..and said she should hopefully improve in a couple of days ? she was with us for about 10 minutes, and rang me today with the bill .. £174.50 !!! ..I just was flabberghasted..and am still in shock..I realise it was a Sunday afternoon..but I am so shocked.. I really don't know what to do..I paid it on my credit card..I dare not tell my husband ! but the vet said that if she doesn't improve, I need to take her into the surgery, and they will investigate further...which the vet said may mean x-rays to check that it is nothing more serious..and possibly put her on a drip if she doesn't eat ? I am dreading how much this will cost, as it takes most of my spare cash to keep them all fed ! ...I have tried everything..warm mashed tuna, scrambled egg, boiled chicken..rice..she has had a little drop of water this evening, but will not touch anything else. WOndered if anyone has any ideas what I can possibly offer her that I havn't done already ? I am desperate to get her feeling better, which she won't if she does not eat . also,if anyone has any contacts that may possibly know where I could obtain some help with her vet bill ? feelingso deperate..I cannot let her suffer by not having further treatment if she needs it..and equally cannot just have her put to sleep to save money ! any suggestions would be so gratefully received x

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by Mayday21 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:27 pm

Hi feral cat lover is there a possibility you could ask the vet to put a credit on your credit card & arrange a weekly instalment with them. Obviously you didn't expect that charge & just panicked & you weren't in a good head space to think of alternatives. Have you thought of putting her on a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel (make sure it's not boiling water in the bottle) may help her settle. These are just ideas & others will no doubt have other suggestions. Keep us posted on your fur baby. Vivian

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by Lilith » Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:30 pm

This is good stuff

https://www.viovet.co.uk/Nurish-UM_Vita ... ent/c2421/

I have bought it from Pets at Home too.

You just wipe it round the cat's lips and the cat has to lick it off; it looks like golden syrup and tastes of nothing and provides calories and vitamins while they're poorly and off their food. If she's snuffly she won't be able to smell food - warm food and extra smelly food like sardines may help as well. There is someone on here who found her cat responded to haddock fish fngers.

Other people on here will have more ideas but hope this helps for now and that she starts to eat soon. The meds will kick in and pull her round, in spite of the ouch! vet bill. Good on you for caring for this lot and all the very best :)

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by bobbys girl » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:13 pm

Can your local animal/cat sanctuary help with vets bills?

There have been two occasions when I have taken strays to our local vets for treatment. The cost was covered by our 'local' animal heroes Bright Eyes. They got treatment and were neutered at the same time. One of them ended up moving in with us - our lovely Tommy.

They probably can't help with the bill you have already paid, but they might be able to help with future treatment.

Good luck and let us know how you go on.

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by MarkB » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:31 pm

Our Lazarus started having respiratory infections and had a snotty, blocked nose. My vet suggested steaming (very carefully to avoid scalding the nose and airways) before I fed him. I used boiled water with a few drops of olbas oil in) amazingly, it did improve his appetite because he could smell a bit after a session.

I also bought one of these http://www.amazon.co.uk/5SI2-Steam-Inha ... am+inhaler

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by Kay » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:27 pm

if she has a fever she will not want to eat - if her ears feel hot she could have a raised temperature, which might be why she seems impervious to the cold - hopefully if it starts to come down she will begin to rally and want to eat

though I must say a long-acting antibiotic does not sound powerful enough given her symptoms - twice daily orally administered ones are of course more difficult to administer, but are more likely to work quickly

you clearly have a good heart, and I hope you will not be punished any more for it, by the vet or your husband

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by feralcatlover » Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:22 am

Thank you all so much for your replies..I will look into everything re: food and the product for her to lick off her lips .. I live on the Isle of Wight, and tried once before to get help from one of our local 'charities' ( there aren't many over here ) I was met with a resounding NO..the lady said that they do not help out with ferals !..tried to argue the point ( very politely ) that feral or not, I had a very sick kitten at the time..I had paid part cost to have her spayed, as I had with the other 9 , and a few days later she bacame very unwell..the vet that did the op refused to see her again ( they had not been happy to do the spay to be honest, because it involved a voucher for part payment from the CPL ) dont see what the problem was to be honest, she was tiny ( 5months ) and very handleable.. so I ended up, again footing a £150 bill with another vet , who thankfully helped her pull through her infection.. I am afraid that I have come up against such unhelpfulness here on the island regarding the ferals..had to fight tooth and nail to get any assistance with neutering, which seemed ridiculous as surely stopping 8 females from producing I don't know how many more kittens, was surely a good idea ! But time and time again, I whenever I have sought any help, I have met a brick wall., which really saddens me so much..feral or pedigree, they all deserve to be cared for and loved if possible. I have been caring for and feeding my colony for 11 years, which isn't cheap..but have been very lucky with regard to any illness with them, it's just these odd occassions when I have needed just a little assistance..but nobody here on the Island wants to help.. Anyhow, I will persevere..and I will let you know how Harriet gets on..and I won't give up on her... I really appreciate you all taking the time to comment, having this support really is very much appreciated.
xx Susie xx

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by bobbys girl » Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:45 pm

What a hero you are Susie, and what a bunch of unhelpful xxxxxxxx you have around you. I though things were bad in NI!

Sending you all best wishes in your efforts - wish it could be more.

Sue

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by feralcatlover » Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:40 am

Thanks Sue ( bobbys girl ) xx..
Yes, im afraid on the surface it's all " we're her to help' but when it comes down to it, I have been turned away time and time again..CPL were the worst culprits..to the point that I made an official complaint to their head office about the staff at our Island Centre..Then went to another highly publicised local charity..she was Ok until I mentioned that it was a feral..she literally turned her nose up !
Unfortunately Harry isn't much better after 3 days..I just rang the vet, who has asked me to bring her in ..they have suggested running blood tests initially ( £126.00 ) to see if there is anything that they can pinpoint, and then treat " more specifically".. and then if that doesn't pinpoint anything, to get her back in for x-ray to see if there is anything possibly stuck in her nose/throat/airway... put her on fluids, as she hasnt eaten for 4 days now..that will be one overnight stay..and they have given me an estimate of another £500....

I couldn't help myself and was blubbing on the phone..! as I was when she rang on Monday to get payment for the emergency visit I had on Sunday.. I explained that I was so upset because the £174.00 bill ( 10 minutes ) shocked me so much, was because I only bring home £160 a WEEK !

She said she will leave it with me for an hour or so to have a think and to ring them back...as "It's your choice how to proceded"

So. am sitting here in floods of tears, again.. just frantic ! What choice ? Leave my baby in discomfort ..miserable..not eating...I have no choice as they well know ! I can't just leave her.. I can't just take her in and say put her to sleep as if she's ' not worth spending the money' !!..but I don't have the money !! I have to try and help her..I can't NOT, can I ? They know that :o(

I am just going to have to take her in..and worry about how I'll pay later..no choice really.. or just hope that these blood tests pick up a specific thing that they can give her a specific antibiotic/treatment for ?

Thanks again for your kind support..means the world to know other people understand xx will keep you posted xx

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by Kay » Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:18 pm

I wish I could help more than by offering a probably useless suggestion

which is that taking out a new credit card with 0% interest for a fixed period can be a useful way to pay off unexpected bills on a monthly interest-free basis

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by bobbys girl » Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:51 pm

Can't promise anything and it may take a while to get an answer, but I have a cousin on IoW. He's retired now but used to work in farming and has connection with animal welfare. Perhaps he might know someone who can help. I can but ask.

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by feralcatlover » Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:16 pm

Thanks Kay..I have a bit left on my Barclaycard.. not sure If I would be accepted for a new card ? but may try..will see ..thanks for suggestion xx

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by feralcatlover » Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:30 pm

Hi bobbys girl..Thank you so much..anything would help , if possible..re: the animal welfare connection and your cousin.xx so kind of you to offer ..
Took Harry to the vet..saw a new one at the practice..very nice man. gave harry a tablet that 'may' increase her appetite, but was hard to get most of it down, as her little mouth was so dry..he squirted a little water in with a syringe, then it went all claggy, and most of it seemed to come back out to me ? gave her another pain killer jab...he said to hold off with IV fluids for couple more days as obviously this is getting into £100's of pounds with the hospitalisation etc..so suggested injecting fluids directly under her skin ?..he said most cats don't tolerate this proceedure too well..but little Harry took 8 large syringe fulls,,didn't make a sound, bless her..so he said this would help some, as she is so dehydrated. Also gave me some powder to sprinke into her water which helps clear mucus, but she's hardly drinking, so don't know how much that will do . Gave me a tin of high calorie mousse food, which can be watered down, so tonight I will try to syring a small amout into her mouth..hoping I can manage, and that once she gets a taste of it, it will get things going ? She did attempt to eat some of her favourite biscuits this evening..nuzzled at the bowl, but didn't actually eat..its sooo frustrating...but at least she is making some effort at last.

WHat a stressful , miserable day..massive headache..lots of tears & can only imagine how poor harry is feeling..she must be feeling very depressed on top of everything else, missing her mum & brother & the rest of the colony... off in to see her again for more cuddles and try to get her to have a little drink again..

Thanks so much once again..will keep you posted xx

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by greenkitty » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:33 pm

Having had a chronic cat flu carrier until recently I've been through this countless times... In my experience it can be 7-10 days before they start eating properly but you've got to keep trying. Get a 20ml syringe from the vet and put the watered down recovery food in there and syringe it into her, in between feeding do the same with water. The Bisolvon (powder they gave you) can be added to the food so mix it into the food to be syringed. The appetite stimulant is good and works within an hour, but she might need a couple of doses to get her back on track. Hang in there, it's a long haul but you'll get her through this x

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by greenkitty » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:34 pm

Should also add pilchards in tomato sauce is worth trying x

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by greenkitty » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:35 pm

One more thing try hand feeding her, put it on your fingers and let her lick it or smear it on her lips or paws, sometimes this helps!

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by bobbys girl » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:49 pm

Not heard back from my cousin - but he's not on internet everyday.

We had to syringe food and meds into Tommy. He struggled quite a bit at first but we got into a habit of wrapping him in a towel. I would cuddle him while OH gave him the meds etc. Tommy soon got resigned to it with a sort of 'oh alright, if you have to.' :roll: We'd finish with a fuss and a little treat. It worked quite well.

It does take time but don't give up. You are doing a great job.

Oh, and the pilchards went down well too.

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by feralcatlover » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:10 am

Hi everyone..thanks everyone for your suggestions....and yes, I have I tried everything suggested..trouble is, although reasonably tame with me, essentially she is feral, so will not let anyone else near her except me, ( OK at vets, but think she was just frozen with fear ?? !! ) even though she is so unwell, she see's my hubby and freaks ! and I have no one else to help me... I did the wiping food across her mouth..she just shook her head and it flew off everywhere..wrapped her up and tried to syringe the watered down high calorie mousse the vet gave me..did it very slowly in tiny amount, but she just wouldn't take it , and it's near on impossible on your own, trying to hold her and syringe while she's clamping her jaws shut !
she only had a couple of laps of the water with the anti mucus granuals in, and she just seemed to be going down hill, even tough the snuffles seemed a little better.. but I was at my whits end yesterday..not sleeping with the worry, and I just thought , if I leave it till today ( friday ) and she's worse this evening. I'm back into 'Emergency treatment' charges again...so I took her back into the vet yesterday..saw my usual vet Dan..who looks after my house cat Oggy...he checked her all over again..he said that it luckily didn't seem to be in her lungs, which was good..it was all 'upper tract...and that although she is severely dehydrated, all is not lost..he saw no point in x-rays , .and I said to not do the fiv bloods, as I had them all checked when spayed at kittens and were all negative.. they wanted £60 for just this one test ! so I said No...but he was very worried that she was not eating or drinking at all..so, I have just had to 'bite the bullet' and had her admitted yesterday afternoon..

Dan said that he understands the 'money' side is a worry, and that he would do all he could, as 'cheaply' as poss ! so, they did the basic bloods, for her liver, renal etc, which came back normal, so luckily the not eating hadn't started to affect her liver.. but obviously they picked up the nasty infection..He has put her on a different antibiotic drip to target that particular bacterial infection..also heavy IV fluids overnight, and another appetite stimulant, and said that they would start to tempt her with some food this morning (not heard anything yet ..10am ) He tried to reassure me that they have had cats in before who were a lot iller than Harry, and a night on IV fluids has made a world of difference..

He seemed hopeful that having the fluids etc would perk her up, and hopefully get things going..he said that with the infection she has, had she been eating and drinking, she would be recovering slowly by now, but because she is so weak with not eating, she's got nothing to fight with ... SO, a very long, resless night.. now waiting , and hoping for some good news.

Thanks to everyone for all your suggestions and support xxxx ** Bobbys Girl .. no worries hun...thank you so much for trying..xx
Will keep you all posted as soon as I get news..

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by bobbys girl » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:25 am

A few years ago a very skinny, very sick cat came to us. We live in a rural area with no other cat owning neighbours, so almost every cat that shows up is a stray.

We took her to the local vet, the ones I told you about, they treated her free, (until we adopted her!). She was put on a drip overnight after being diagnosed with gastroenteritis. No one thought she would make it through the night, but she did and long story short, she went on to be a healthy, loving little girl. (we found her on 11 Nov, so we called her Poppy Hastings - as in Battle 'a')

None of us thought she would make it but she really wanted to live and she finally pulled through - it is NOT impossible.

Very best wishes with your little 'Battler'.

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by feralcatlover » Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:41 pm

Thats amazing Bobbys Girl..and what a lovely vet , to do that ! ..wouldn't get that kind of help over here...even from the charities..let a lone a vet !

Vet just texted... Harry took lots of IV fluids overnight..but has still refused to eat as @ 12.00 :( .. they want me to collect her at 5pm..are sending her home with new medication,,no doubt tablets, which will be a nightmare..but friend at work is bring me a pill pusher ?..thing that helps administering the tablet easier ??

So, getting Harrys room ready..electric blanket on..clean warm blankets..and just been to shops for chicken, ham, tuna, sardines, 'posh' cat food etc...just hope she feels better over the weekend and starts to eat.

xxx

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by bobbys girl » Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:53 pm

I should have said it was our local animal charity which covers the cost of emergency treatment for strays and works with the vet. But you have to really ask - they don't tell you!

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by feralcatlover » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:05 pm

Oh right..that's still amazing..as I say, have hit barrier after barrier over here...as soon as you say they are feral they don't want to know ! even when I pointed out to the CPL that they had a piece in their website about 'controlling' the feral population..trap neuter release kind of thing..they were helpful initially ( the local branch ) ..with the first 4 or 5..then when another one appeared and had kittens, I asked for help again and they were really awful..as I said, I ended up complaining to head office about the attitude I got..( and I used to be a home approval volunteer for them when I first moved down here ! ) .. I gave up in the end and paid for them myself.

RSPCA don't give a hoot about strays or ferals..unless they are badly injured, and over here are always full to capacity...and the 'friends of the animals' didn't want to know either..againe, even though I am a long time supporter...

Very disheartening..so I do it all myself..not really a problem usually..I can manage a couple of tins of food a day between them all and some biscuits..it's just something like this is just crippling.

I have just been asked to start doing talks to our local Townswomens Guilds about my job, and you usually get paid a 'fee'..but I am asking them to get together a hamper of cat goodies instead :o) ...

Am just leaving to pick my fur baby up from the vet... have got her room ready , all warm and clean blankets..every variety of food I can think of to tempt her...and have sprayed some Feliway about - hope that may help her settle a little.. XX

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by Marla » Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:18 pm

What an angel you are to look after this colony! I'm on the IOW and am disappointed to hear that the second charity you mentioned wasn't willing to help as I've seen them run appeals for dogs' vets bills. Did you speak with the top lady?

If the tablets the vet gave you happen to be Synulox, maybe Harry will eat them out of your hand like our cats do. Every other pill is difficult with ours, but that one they all think is a treat for some reason.

Sending positive vibes to Harry to take her tablets and start eating again.

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by feralcatlover » Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:35 am

Hi Marla..thank you for your kind comments hun.. :o) .. Hi ...Im in Bembridge..

Yes, I spoke to the 'top lady '..(the one that goes around fundraising with the dog) .. was extremely dismissive when I asked for a little help before .. she's always somewhere 'shaking a tin'.. am afraid I just walk on by now...yes, I think she is definitely more a dog person !!

Vet has given me Veraflox liquid , to squirt into Harrys mouth - just once a day...and can go onto food....

Good news is...Got Harry home and settled in. she was extremely cuddly and super affectionate ( thought she may ignore me after what I'd put her through ! ) ..put down some minced fresh chicken..minced ham..and some finely chopped richmond sausage....immediately she started nibbling her way along the lot ! ..and then a few little biscuits, I've been in with her most of the evening and have been encouraging her towards the feeding bowls every now and then, and she is eating a little bit of each at a time...SOOO relieved I can't tell you.. I actually cried my eyes out !

She is not wheezing or rattling at all, and the snotty nose seems to have virtually gone too..she is generally much perkier.. Vet said that once she has eaten well for 3 or 4 days and had meds for same amount of time, I can let her back out into the garden, so she can reuinite with her mummy, her brother and the rest of the gang...can't wait :o)

The vet did an x-ray of her and didn't charge me for it ( amazing ) and so thankful..was all clear...total bill for 24hrs hospitalisation..IV fluids, blood test and antibiotics = £275.00 ..so total so far is £505.00 !!

Horrific..I will be paying this off for I don't know how long..( all on the credit card ) ..but.. knowing she is well and hopefully over this horrible infection, and may hopefully go on for many more years is well worth it... my friend said " all that , for a feral cat ??? ( annoyed me no end ) ..feral - stray - pedigree..what matters is that she is a beautiful cat that was in great distress...a cat that I have taken responsibility for since I saw her poke her head out from under our garden shed when she was a tiny kitten 11 years ago..who is now ( fingers crossed ) well, happy and who would have died had I not stepped in and paid that money.. so despite all my tears..all the sleepless nights..all the worry about the money...I will get over it ..it will get paid off in the end...and I feel pretty good going to sleep tonight knowing that my gorgeous Harry is well again.

Thanks to Bobbys Girl for her kind words, offer of help etc..xxx ..and to everyone else for their suggestions and support..has meant so much when I was at my wits end ! Love to you all from Sue & Harry xxx

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by bobbys girl » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:54 am

That's really good news, I am so pleased for you both. :D I will still keep trying my cousin, I'm sure it would come in handy to know there is somewhere to go for help if you need it in the future.

Sue

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by Kay » Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:38 am

it's so much easier when there is a good outcome after all the tears and worry, isn't it - there's a price to pay, alas, for a soft heart, but those who can walk on by and ignore suffering in others are not, I believe, happier for it

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by Mayday21 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:50 pm

So glad Harry's recovered. As for the cost when we love & get love in return that's priceless. You'll find that you'll receive something special for what you've done for your little Harry. Take care. Hugs for all fur babes. Vivian

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by Marla » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:13 am

I'm so glad Harry's feeling better! :)

Have you ever spoken with this island charity?
http://www.felinewelfareiow.co.uk/feral ... the-island

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bobbys girl
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No. of cats in household: 5
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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by bobbys girl » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:36 pm

Hi Sue,

I have just heard back from my cousin and have sent you a PM.

Regards Sue

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Re: How to get very unwell cat to eat ? Help please ? x

Post by sunnyme_123 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:44 pm

I've just read all of these posts today, so glad it has a happy ending! How wonderful of you to help your little pride of cats.
I have two I adopted who were semi-feral and have been with me for 8 years now. They are gorgeous and happy characters, but whenever it comes to treating them for anything their feral tendencies present themselves again! I have now started to do a little 'training' every day, like they do in sanctuaries and zoos to make health checks and treatments easier when they need it, so looking in their ears, and then giving them a little morsel of something tasty as a reward etc etc.

All the best, I think you're a star!

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