Sunday, August 31, 2014

When To Euthanize a Mature Cat

When it is time to put euthanize your cat it is not easy to know the signs because a cat tends to hide sickness, pain and suffering from their people.  However if you have socialized feral cats in your home then these cats will hide from you when they are ill; in the closet, under the sofa, under the bed or other furniture.   People who have a close relationship with their cats usually know when something not quite right, but sometimes the cat will dodge their owners and keep their illness a secret.

An example my 18 year old rescue cat Gracie never changed her routine; she ate, drank, used scratching post and littler box, entertained me by being playful but I suspected that something was not right because she would stare at the wall as if she was in a trance. 

I made an appointment with the veterinarian for a wellness checkup and blood screen.  I suspected maybe a cat stroke or thyroid.  I did not expect the veterinarian to say it was time to euthanize my cat.  It never dawned on me that my cat would not be going home with me. 

The veterinarian told me that my cat was legally blind, that her vision was like looking through wax paper and that she had a mass in her abdomen , that was cancer. I could not believe what I was hearing because this cat did not act blind, we had no idea.  Cancer in her abdomen, Gracie was always fussy about us touching her there, we rescued her when she was nine year old and respected her wished to brush her fur but to not touch her there. 

There were other signs of illness that I should have been aware; Gracie lying in the metal sink; the coolness of the metal relaxed her.  We did not expect illness,  we thought she was just being adorable.  But our veternarian said the cool metal on her belly comforted her and eased her pain

Looks can be deceiving, as cats hide illness from their people my cat
Gracie photo taken nine months before she was eutanized.

When it comes to caring for a mature cat I would recommend that you take them to the veterinarian every six months for a preventative checkup. Gracie had yearly checkups, but the signs of illness were not observed  because her cancer and hypertension came on quickly.  

Gracie hid her illness from me and the veterinarian said she was suffering.   Learn more about my cat Gracie here: Rescued Cat Comforted me Before Euthanasia  

Friday, August 8, 2014

Cats Get Grumpy if NOT Fed on Time

When it comes to feeding your cats it is best to keep on schedule because if cats are hungry and no food is available then they will get grumpy, grouchy and pick fights with other cats.   In short a hungry cat is not a patient cat.
Feral Cat eating cat food

Many of the rescued cats and kitten that I have taken in had gone without meals and were starving.  These cats seemed overly anxious, and their behavior was aggressive with each other as well as destructive behavior; scratching on sofa wood baseboards and or rug and not their cat scratching post.   In addition cats will vomit when they are hungry.  If you provide the cat with food then this will calm them.
Happy feral cat eating cat food

I recommend feeding cats two meals a day.  My schedule is every 12 hours for my cats.  Basically I will mix Friskies special diet canned food with Goodlife chicken recipe kibble. This food is made by Mars and contains no corn, soy or wheat.  I will then add two tablespoons of water and mix the food well.   I will put the portions for each cat in their food bowls and allow them all to eat.  If any food is left over after a half hour I will remove the food to prevent snacking as this is how cats tend to put on weight.

When I stick to my feeding schedule then the cats all get along and do not become grumpy or frantic.
Cats get along well when they are fed on time

**I found the cat food Goodlife “a thoughtful recipe by Mars” at Walmart and in comparison to other wheat, corn and soy food this cat food is moderately priced.   My cats love this food and I also feed the feral cats this food.  Unlike the other brands this food is priced right.  Mycats eat less, and food does control hairballs.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hard for Cat Rescuer to Say Goodbye to Kittens

Two months ago my husband and I found newborn kittens on the side of the highway. These kittens looked to be weeks old as many of them could not got to the bathroom on their own. Small and frail and too young to be way from their mom.  We took the kitten’s home and cared for them as if they were our own.
Calico kittens on night of rescue

Presently three out of the kittens have reached four pounds and this is the weight in which they can get their vaccines, spay or neuter.  It also signifies a time when they are ready to be adopted.

My husband and I have gotten attached to the pitter patters of running kittens through the house. Even my dogs have become nurturing: licking kittens in the morning to groom them and are very caring   but soon we must wave goodbye as the kitten sponsors’ will come to collect all but three 4 pound kittens on Monday. 
Gray and white kitten on night we rescued 

The two remaining are still underweight and cannot get their vaccines, spay or neuter until they are four pounds.

Next Monday will be hard on the kittens overall as they will be frightened and they will also be separated from each other.  The kittens are going to be donated to PetSmart pet charities as the veterinarian has good relations with the women who oversee the in store adoptions..  

I know the kittens will be adopted quickly as they are all darling and have unique markings.  Nonetheless it makes me sad and it is hard for this rescuer to say goodbye.