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Unread 12-14-2008   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need advice for a cat in bad shape!

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I am a middle school teacher in Northern Illinois who happened upon a small cat in our school parking lot. I couldn't let anything stay out in the weather we're having right now (snow, snow, and more snow!) so I scooped her up and took her to the local vet's office after work.

What I do know: I have a VERY skinny 3-legged cat (born with 1 hind leg), that was dirty (she has been bathed), yeast infection in her ears (taking an anti-fungal), a claw ripped off (front leg, I have antibiotics), is spayed (common in the "barn cats" found in the area, farmers get cats neutered on the cheap), and has tested positive for FIV (feline immunodeficiency Virus).

What I don't know: The age of this cat or the progression of the FIV disease.

She is a very lovable cat, but is walking with a slight limp due to the recent loss of the claw. She doesn't move around much because the limping leg is on the same side as the missing leg. She only weighs 4 1/2 pounds, and I can feel every bone in her body (her head looks HUGE compared to her body).

I had her vaccinated with "the usual" while I was at the clinic. Doc told me she was in good shape, other than the weight and FIV. I am looking for any advice on her transition to living indoors (I think she's enjoying the warmth) and putting weight on her safely.
 
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Unread 12-14-2008   #2 (permalink)
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Hi & welcome!

I'm Maya, the mum of 6 spoilt furkids you can see in my gallery.

Poor kittie, you did the correct thing you rescued her, well done!

Maybe you already asked the vet about the food you must give her. You must take on account that is a sick cat & must be feeded properly.
It's very important to feed her with cat food only: it contains all the vitamins & proteins a cat needs. Cannot be compared with the human food. Cats need a different kind of food & also something that cannot be found in our meal: Taurine.
You must give her dry & wet food. Each one has his properties. For ex, I let them a bowl of dry food for them to eat during the hours we are at out & when we come back we give them wet food. I'm sure she will love it.
Another option is to mix the two products all together. Cats recover quickly so the important thing now is to give her a quality food, for ex.
Royal Canin. It's more expensive but its quality is superior.
You'll see in one-two weeks or so she will look much better & also her claw will heal. Then all the picture will be more clear.

Good luck & keep us posted,
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Unread 12-15-2008   #3 (permalink)
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Hi,I'm Cheryl.Maya has given you all the advice you need.So I would just like to say,well done for taking the poor little girl in,and good luck.xxxxx
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Unread 12-15-2008   #4 (permalink)
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Must agree with Cheryl ,Maya has done well with the advise.. and well done to you for taking the kitten in and giving her your love and help ,Im sure the little one will be on the mend in no time at all .xxxxx
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Unread 12-15-2008   #5 (permalink)
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Oh, I see I have very good friends!!
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Unread 12-15-2008   #6 (permalink)
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Hmmm, I had posted a reply, but it doesn't seem to have made it!

Poor little girl is just LOVING the attention she's getting! I had started off on Friday feeding her dry food (it was all we had in the house), but she didn't care for it too much. I went out on Saturday and bought some wet food, and she is now happily eating a wet/dry mix. I am happy that she isn't gorging herself, but instead eats when she is hungry.

The first time I set water down for her, she spent 10 minutes drinking!

Her front paw with the missing claw seems to be bothering her. She doesn't walk often or far, and when she does, she's limping. Unfortunately, it is on the same side as the missing hind leg, so it's difficult to limp! Its tender to the touch, and sometimes she'll lift the paw while lying down (looks like she's giving a high-five!). Does anyone have experience with a claw that was torn out? How long can I expect her to be sore?

All in all, I have a very unique kitty. She is a color I have seen before...like dried hops (apricot or buff, maybe?), and is patternless expect for rings around her tail. We have decided to name her "Hops", because of her color and her means of transportation. She lets me give her her 2 medicines twice a day...although the result is a rather long trail of gooey drool! Her ears already look better, and I can't wait for the week to be over.

I am also hoping that her low weight is due more to her being half-starved (I can't imagine a three-legged cat is a great hunter) and outside for who-knows-how-long rather than low weight due to wasting and FIV.
 
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Unread 12-15-2008   #7 (permalink)
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Hi again!

I'm so glad she's doing better & eating; that is the important thing!
You will feel improvement in her apparence in at least one more week, you'll see!

Poor thing, she was so thirsty & starved, but she's now in loving hands, we all trust on you!

Sorry, never had an experience with a claw torned out, but I consider that in approx. one more week or so she will be quite well. Cats recover quickly.
Well done for helping this poor girl, God bless you!

Pls keep us posted,
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Unread 12-15-2008   #8 (permalink)
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I think my problem is I'm looking at her too closely! I just can't wait for her coat to improve and for her to fill out (you can feel EVERY bone in her body).

Thanks, everyone, for all your kind words and encouragement! My previous rescue have all either needed weight gain, or, in one case, weight loss. This is the first critter who has ever need me & my family this much!

I'll keep you posted, and put up some pics when I get a chance (perhaps some "before" pics and "after" pics later).
 
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Unread 12-15-2008   #9 (permalink)
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Thumbs up

Oh yeah, the "before" & "after" is a terrific idea!!!
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Unread 12-15-2008   #10 (permalink)
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Wonderful idea,my girl Marley has had her claws ripped out before,she was chased by another cat and fell off a high fence.She was clawing at the fence on the way down.I was very distraught,my neighbour is a vetinary nurse,she told me not to worry,they grow back soon,and bathe them in warm salted water.Marleys claws are fine now.xxxxx
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