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Unread 05-13-2015   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Unanswered: Urgent: Cat Emergency

I am seeking advice, please. It is urgent.

My mom rescues cats. The place she works attracts strays and she has taken many out of the area that were sick, starving, in bad shape. A couple of them were pregnant and she didn't know. She ended up with a total of 20 cats in her home. Her home is accommodating and things seemed to be fine until a couple began marking and getting territorial.

From there, it became a constant game of marking, scratching, tearing things up. My mom bought a large building, constructed an enclosed fence, wired for electricity and installed heat and air. This past Sunday, she began transferring some of the cats to the building. Several of them have never been outside, are only familiar with a small area in my mom's house due to the territorial things, and are not very friendly with people. There are five outside right now - they are all cats that are familiar with one another.

They have been outside for four days now and are still extremely stressed out, not eating, we're not sure if they're drinking, they're mostly hiding and we're unsure of what to do. We want them to have a safe environment that can be their own. The space is very large, there are plenty of places to climb (we constructed cat trees on the inside, plenty of hiding spots, perches on the fence, a very large sand litter box, many food and water spots, etc. They have multiple ways in and out of the building and plenty of access to inside and outside.

Eventually, we'd like to get all the cats except three or four outside. I am so worried - and so is she - that they aren't going to acclimate, they're going to get sick, they're going to starve, they're going to dehydrate .... we really do not know what to do. We realized it would be hard to transition them, but didn't realize it would be this difficult. It's horrible. Please help. Anyone? Please.
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Unread 05-14-2015   #2 (permalink)
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Have all the cats been spayed and neutered?
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Unread 05-14-2015   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, they have been spayed or neutered and are up-to-date on all shots and none are sick.
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Unread 05-14-2015   #4 (permalink)
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I don't understand the story. If there is a building available, why are the cats outside?
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Unread 05-14-2015   #5 (permalink)
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I see where that's a bit confusing. My mom has built a very large enclosure - concrete footer boarders with fencing coming up around all sides and over the top. Inside the enclosure there is a building, a large sand litter box, perches for the kitties, a porch area, food and water areas, shady and sunny areas. The building has multiple cat doors and one human door. There are windows, perches by the windows, cat trees, bedding areas, lots of places to climb, food and water areas, heat, air and electricity.

The cats that were brought out to the building have access to both inside and outside. A couple have chosen to hide outside.

I hope this makes sense.
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Unread 05-14-2015   #6 (permalink)
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I think you are just going to have to give them time to adjust.

Keep a sharp eye, and any who have not eaten in three days or more, or appear to have lost weight will need to be brought to the vet.

You may or may not know, but cats who go too long without food start to fail very quickly, their livers shut down.(feline hepatic lipidosis, also known as fatty liver disease)

Perhaps tempt the more stressed ones with extra smelly canned food. If you can get some rescue remedy for pets, and start putting it in their water, and rubbing it on the little faces of the ones who don't seem to be eating, that may help.

Congratulations to you and your mother on the rescues. You've done a great job. I think it's wonderful but I wouldn't take in any more. I'm sure you've heard the stories of rescuing gone wrong, too many cats, all suffering and in poor health, and so on.
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Thank you. I appreciate it.

Unfortunately, the cats she has brought out thus far are very skittish to begin with. Inside, they barely let my mom touch them. Outside, it's near impossible. Getting them to a vet would probably likely not happen.

One cat is eating a little bit now. The other four still don't appear to have touched food. She's tempted them with canned food and fish. We've sprinkled catnip around the areas they are staying in hopes of calming them.

I am really at a loss. They have been in their new home going on five days now. I am hoping they are drinking water, but no one is there during the day to monitor their consumption. I don't know what to do. It's making us both sick with worry. She was trying to give them a good place to live while reclaiming her own living space. I don't want anything to happen to them.

She knows she cannot take any more in. She had the best intentions with these, but she understands there are limits.

This is very hard ... she's going to call a vet in the morning to get some additional advice, but I don't know what else to do. I have a feeling the vet will suggest introducing them to the environment slowly, but some of them are very close to feral and that just won't work.

I don't know what to do.
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Unread 05-16-2015   #8 (permalink)
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How is it going? Were you able to get the rescue remedy?
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Unread 10-14-2015   #9 (permalink)
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If you can get some rescue remedy for pets, and start putting it in their water, and rubbing it on the little faces of the ones who don't seem to be eating, that may help.
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