The Fora: A Higher Education Community

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: eigen on May 17, 2019, 02:24:47 PM

Title: Herd your cats here
Post by: eigen on May 17, 2019, 02:24:47 PM
Another perennial favorite, started by tuxedo_cat in 2009:

I am opening this thread to invite others to post miscellaneous cat inquiries, if only to address the "cat gravity" phenomenon on the fora: the inexplicable power of cats to draw various threads inexorably towards discussion of them.  Even if we started by discussing grading rubrics or home mortgages.

So, my two questions of the day:  one of the things that makes Dangercat dangerous is . . . well, to put it kindly, her size.  She's almost ten, and I don't want her to suffer some of the health problems that will follow from this problem -- diabetes especially.  This is not a cat that would put up with a needle, so diabetes would be the end of her. 

Other than feeding her less, or feeding her that "diet" cat food -- neither of which has had any any effect -- what do people do?  I live in an apt. building, so having her get exercise outdoors is not a possibility.  Efforts to get her to play with me are largely ignored.  I could chase her with the water bottle, but that would seem kind of mean.

Second ques:  I did have one of those laser toys, and that was pretty good to get her moving, but it fell apart after a week.  Any type/brand the rest of you would like to recommend?

TCat
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 17, 2019, 10:24:54 PM
The littlest cat now has nine tricks fully mastered. We've also been working on object discrimination for a couple of months now, and he can reliably pick out the toy mouse and the small tube of pencil crayons in forced choice situations, with vocal commands or hand signals, and he's not bad at picking out new objects which are introduced. I guess that's his tenth trick? I dunno, I think it still needs a little work before I can properly count it.

I need to think up some more things for him to do, though. I suppose I could work on jumping on command?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: citrine on May 18, 2019, 06:56:12 AM
Agility, perhaps?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on May 18, 2019, 12:32:10 PM
Agility, perhaps?

Hmmm. Like, walking across a narrow ledge or making difficult jumps, that sort of thing? Could do. It shouldn't be too hard to shape his current behaviours in those directions.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on May 18, 2019, 01:50:50 PM
Cats have to be trained for agility?

I can't jump up to a counter 10 times my height from a standing squat.

Anytime they let us "train" them, you should be aware they're just humoring us, you know...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: overthejordan on May 18, 2019, 04:33:10 PM
Cats have to be trained for agility?

I can't jump up to a counter 10 times my height from a standing squat.

Anytime they let us "train" them, you should be aware they're just humoring us, you know...

M.

True. But we need humoring, don't we?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on May 18, 2019, 04:38:45 PM
I would imagine they think so, anyway...

;--}

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on May 20, 2019, 03:15:48 PM
You could train him to jump through a tiny hoop!  Or balance on a ball.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on May 20, 2019, 04:01:41 PM
One of the Thundercats just spent 5 minutes pushing against the screen in my office window, to no avail.  Then she went across the room to get a run at it.  Alas for her, I had shut the window in the interval (I had just been waiting for her to get out of the way).

She was very perplexed by the solidity of the glass.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on May 20, 2019, 07:10:39 PM
Poor kitty!

You thwarted her legitimate ambitions, you, you... FishProf, you!

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: happylittletrees on June 02, 2019, 04:37:49 PM
Ah, springtime. The time of open windows bringing exciting outdoor smells and sounds! It’s better than the fish tank for entertainment.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on June 03, 2019, 08:43:12 AM
We have company over and the cats are Most Displeased that doors are shut.  Sir Puck says he NEEDS to get into the guest room so he can sit at the window and watch for the squirrel. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Thursday's_Child on June 03, 2019, 09:22:50 AM
This morning, younger cat, who is now formally out of kitten-hood, topped a protracted and highly athletic pursuit of a fly with a leap from the bathroom windowsill to the top of the shower doors.  That's almost 6 feet, from a mostly sideways stance on the narrow sill & at a slight upward angle, to a 2.5 inch wide landing platform.  She not only nailed the landing, I'm pretty sure she did a 180o twist in mid-air.  Only pretty sure, because all I saw was the flying blur immediately prior to looking up into a pair of huge golden eyes.

I'm reasonably sure that, in her mind, it was only the waterfall which deterred the ferocious predator from instantly pouncing on the helpless prey!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: drbrt on June 17, 2019, 06:07:58 PM
I'm going on a two week work trip and my friend who used to cat sit is moving, so I had to hire a petsitter for Victoria and Gus. I'm leaving them canned food, but I don't think that will be enough to thaw their feelings about strangers. I got Victoria Gus about a year ago because she is a terrible only cat and anxious about people. I had hoped that Gus would help Victoria be a little braver. Instead, Victoria seems to have taught Gus to hide.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on June 17, 2019, 08:44:13 PM
Of course, the real question might be, what do they get up to when they hide???

    |
    |_£}_
    I  o )
    Iv /
    I.  \
    I.    )
    I.    \

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: geoteo on July 02, 2019, 07:40:20 AM
I am glad to see you, drbrt!  I was just asking a mutual acquaintance the other day if Victoria had had kittens.  Has she?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: drbrt on July 02, 2019, 09:32:13 AM
I am glad to see you, drbrt!  I was just asking a mutual acquaintance the other day if Victoria had had kittens.  Has she?
Victoria has not. She’s not going into heat because I can’t get her weight up. She’s only 11 lbs, which is tiny for a rag doll. I have them free feeding on high quality dry and the canned food she will eat (friskies with cheez). She will also eat Tiki Cat but I can’t deal with cat food that looks back at me when I open the can.

So far the pet sitter reports that they are eating the canned food and cowering under the bed whilst The Scary Human refreshes food and litter box.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: geoteo on July 02, 2019, 12:56:06 PM
Genuine scaredy cats!  You may be glad to know that Kitty and Princess are still doing well.  They are beautiful, as soft as clouds, and Princess bosses everyone around.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: drbrt on July 02, 2019, 02:26:02 PM
Genuine scaredy cats!  You may be glad to know that Kitty and Princess are still doing well.  They are beautiful, as soft as clouds, and Princess bosses everyone around.

I’m glad to hear it. Princess has a definite sense of how she wants things.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: tuxedo_cat on July 07, 2019, 10:57:44 AM
Eigen -- thank you so much for restarting this thread!  And for taking the trouble to transfer my original post, that was awfully considerate of you : )

I have to say, I only just discovered the shuttering of the fora and I'm really heartbroken!  I had not been posting a lot recently, and also wasn't much in contact with a few of you that I know on fb, so I had no idea.  I really bummed that I didn't have a chance to say good-bye and to say thank you to so many people, especially those who have decided not to jump on over here.

I am using my original moniker, although with some sadness, because the original Tuxedo Cat passed away back in February.  I had posted with some questions for advice about food for him in light of his liver disease a bit earlier.  And Dangercat (whom I asked about in that very first post) passed away about a year and half ago.  I originally picked Tux as my moniker because he was such a good natured creature and got along with everyone––he seemed like a good example to follow.

Anyhow, I have found such kind company and wisdom in this community, so I am pledging to return to being a more regular poster now in our new home.  And I'm still finding out from fora folk IRL who put in the labor to recreate this site––which I am just very moved by!  If you all have any advice about where to post my thanks here and to whom, please let me know.

Finally, I did adopt a new kitty about a year and a half ago, although I don't think I've talked about her much.  Her name is Ella -- and she's a lovely creature.   She also has some personality -- I imagine there will be stories to post about her eventually!

In the meantime, I'm glad to see this particular corner of the fora reviving already : )
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Vhagar on July 07, 2019, 12:17:35 PM
Hey Tux! So sorry about the original Tuxedo Cat. Glad you have someone to keep you busy. That was important for me when I lost kitties.

I am now in Italy through the end of July (yay!!). A friend of mine who loves cats but can't have them where she is living is house/cat sitting. Lorenzo LOVES her. Henry thinks she's fine. Which, really, is a big step for Henry. She is trying to figure out why they cry to go into the garage just to sit on the car. There are things that I just don't question. I am so glad she is there, though. I don't know that I would have gone away so long otherwise.

Glad to see the cat-herding board up and running again!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 07, 2019, 12:33:29 PM
Tux!!! So very glad to see you.

My condolences for the loss of your kitties; a warm welcome to Ella (Fitzgerald)?

-=-=-=-

I can't have kitties in my present digs, but one of my students, knowing my proclivities, asked if I'd like to see the two 8-week-old rescue kitties they've just adopted.

Of course I said yes.

They're tiny, very cute, have perfect little triangular faces with wide, (seemingly) innocent eyes (of course, we all know better) and they're orange-and-tan marmalade tabbies with a purr sixteen times their size each.

She told me their names, I'm going to call them Darien and Julien here (close but not identical).

And...they were doing zoomies in the upstairs bedroom while she had her lesson.   

I'm in love.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: ktmkwk on July 09, 2019, 11:30:12 AM
Sorry to hear about Tux Cat but glad to hear Ella is doing.  We've added two devil kittens (Peik and Lasse) to our clan and they have really helped to bring our older cats, Charlie and Betty, out of their shells.  We always told Charlie we'd get him a kitten...instead he got two!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: fast_and_bulbous on July 09, 2019, 01:56:23 PM
Sorry to hear about Tux Cat

I totally read that as Tax Cut.

I am so sorry.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: ursula on July 13, 2019, 03:48:08 PM
Anyone have tips for helping a fat cat lose weight?  Jules has been declared "too fat" by the vet. 

We've switched to having many small bowls of food scattered through the house, so he has to hunt for them.  We're also adding in extra play time.

How have you dealt with your hefty felines?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: drbrt on July 13, 2019, 06:46:42 PM
Anyone have tips for helping a fat cat lose weight?  Jules has been declared "too fat" by the vet. 

We've switched to having many small bowls of food scattered through the house, so he has to hunt for them.  We're also adding in extra play time.

How have you dealt with your hefty felines?

Twin got an automatic dry food dispenser on a timer for his portly felines. It helped some.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Conjugate on July 13, 2019, 07:19:22 PM
When I first moved to Current State, I had an elderly (~9 yr old) cat with me who'd been with me through jobs in three other states.  He was suffering from insecurity (in part due to open hostility from my (now, happily, ex-)wife) and would crawl up on my chest at night to ensure I wasn't going anywhere without taking him along.

When I got to Current State, I remarried to an excellent (sane!) woman who came with her own cat. This cat immediately let my cat know that my cat was HIS ROLE MODEL, and new cat wished to subscribe to my old cat's newsletter, so to speak. My cat tolerated this surprisingly well, and when he eventually passed away, my wife's cat decided that he was now Senior Cat With All Rights And Privileges Appertaining Thereto.

He now will climb up on my chest. The old cat would, when the door was opened, go outside a bit, bite some grass (not because he needed or wanted to, but just to show he could), and then calmly come back in.  My wife's cat now makes a habit of this. It's kind of funny.

He is black, with bits of white underfur showing through in a few places now. (He's 9 years old now; how time flies!) Since then, my wife has acquired two other cats, including a beautiful gray cat and a large, plump orange cat.  The latter came to us by sitting on a bale of pine straw that we were going to use for mulch. He blended in beautifully, and my wife at first could only tell that something was different about the bale of pine straw, before it moved. 

The orange cat was going to be an outside cat, we agreed, because our house would be crowded for three cats (we'd already acquired the gray cat at this point). We sat on the porch, getting to know our new boy, as a truck went by on the road near our door.  We played with him a bit as a motorcycle zoomed by the road near our door.  After two more cars and a large truck went by, we looked at each other.  No, he can't be an outdoor cat any more; it's too damn dangerous. So it's crowded, but mostly they get along okay.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on July 16, 2019, 09:41:06 AM
Hurry for acquiring new cats!  The new orange kitty must have been observing you and decided you would make acceptable staff :o)

My advice for slimming down a plump cat is to measure their food, know if they supplement their diet (begging treats from the other human/pretending they have not been fed to get second breakfast/sneaking human food/etc.), and encouraging more play.  That being said, I measured Buddycat's food for YEARS and he was determinedly plump for years.  I joked that I was feeding a cat that was "12 pounds of cat and 6 pounds of lazy" because feeding him less made him sleep more.  He only slimmed down when I moved somewhere with a large yard to explore.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: tuxedo_cat on July 16, 2019, 12:32:34 PM
Agreed on the "hurray for new cats" narratives!

I have two suggestions for trim down kitty plans:  one is to use a plastic kibble ball (https://www.amazon.com/PetSafe-SlimCat-Meal-Dispensing-Great-Treats/dp/B0018CE8LG/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=kibble+ball+cat&qid=1563304876&s=gateway&sr=8-3) which prevents a cat from bolting their food and perhaps allows them to feel full sooner?  I don't know if it's necessarily more fun for them that way or not. 

The other advice that I got from a vet was to eliminate all dry food entirely, since it was likely to be full of carbohydrates and to feed the cat an all-protein, wet food diet. I think my Dad used to be put on this diet occasionally by his doctor, probably some version of the Atkins.

That advice obviously contradicts, but I guess you could see if either of those works!

For exercise, perhaps having some kind of cat tree would help on the exercise front, since the cat would using his own body weight going up which would require more exertion?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: miss jane marple on July 16, 2019, 01:19:10 PM
The other advice that I got from a vet was to eliminate all dry food entirely, since it was likely to be full of carbohydrates and to feed the cat an all-protein, wet food diet. I think my Dad used to be put on this diet occasionally by his doctor, probably some version of the Atkins.

I adopted now 7 year old Ms. Tortie last August out of a cage at Petsmart. She looked like a soccer ball ready to explode and weighed 13 pounds. I've gradually learned that her weight was probably due to a combination of factors including the boredom of being confined, inappropriate diet before going to the shelter, and an old mobility problem/injury (pelvis or lower spine). She doesn't climb or play as one would expect for a cat her age. I came to the same conclusion as in the quote about dry carbohydrates vs wet food that's mostly water after reading pet food labels, and was surprised I hadn't known this before. She ate wet food twice a day with only a few bits (maybe half a teaspoon per day) of dry for about 7 months. Now she gets wet food twice a day and has a small amount of dry food in a dish 24/7 - she only nibbles at it a few minutes each day. Interestingly, she has been a picky eater, not the glutton one might expect. Many times I bought the "value packs" of 12 or 18 cans and had to give most of it away because after one or two cans she decided BLECH.

I also tried to increase her exercise, with limited success. She has visibly lost weight and gained strength and mobility over the past 11 months, although she is still overweight. Now she can do things like raise a hind leg toward her head and lick the ankle (cat yoga) or turn completely from one side to the other when rolling on the carpet without squeaking in discomfort. Her profile now includes visible legs all the way to the elbow/upper thigh. Adopting Mr. Tuxedo (15 years old and agile as a kitten, he jumps everywhere) in March as a playmate for Ms. Tortie did not work at all to increase her exercise, but I'm enjoying his company - he's the sweetest, snuggliest cat I've ever met. She has only recently stopped hissing and growling at him after 4 months. I'm not a very good toy animator, evidently. I can't hold the attention of either cat with feathers/strings on a stick for more than a minute.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: ktmkwk on July 16, 2019, 01:20:24 PM
Slimming down cats--if you have the room and motivation, kittens can help a lot.  Charlie, who is a large cat by frame, has lost two pounds in the last year due to chasing, being chased, and wrestling with the devil boys.  He now looks positively svelte, although he still weighs 18 lbs, but is 42 inches from nose to tail--as I said he is a big boy.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: drbrt on July 16, 2019, 01:26:30 PM
I’m having cat drama. Gus has decided that he likes to pee on the bed to punish me for traveling and is banished from the bedroom.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on July 17, 2019, 11:31:08 AM
I’m having cat drama. Gus has decided that he likes to pee on the bed to punish me for traveling and is banished from the bedroom.

Ewww!  So glad that none of my cats is a revenge pee-er/puker/etc.  Buddycat did poop in my ex's shoes after the ex shoved Buddycat off the bed. 
Gus will have to re-earn the privilege of being in your bedroom.  Any good recommendations for products to clean up the mess?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Conjugate on July 17, 2019, 04:45:51 PM
I’m having cat drama. Gus has decided that he likes to pee on the bed to punish me for traveling and is banished from the bedroom.

Ewww!  So glad that none of my cats is a revenge pee-er/puker/etc.  Buddycat did poop in my ex's shoes after the ex shoved Buddycat off the bed. 
Gus will have to re-earn the privilege of being in your bedroom.  Any good recommendations for products to clean up the mess?

Cleanup recommendations: The aptly-named Nature's Miracle is good. I was recommended Feliway diffusers back in The Old Fora, and they prevented conflicts (I think) as I introduced two of them. They aren't cleaners, but may prevent the kind of conflicts that lead to the need to clean up.

Now, with regard to soft vs. hard (dry) foods, the soft food might be good for weight control, but according to my vet, may lead to tooth decay. Consult your vet about suggested tooth cleaning.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on July 18, 2019, 11:19:00 AM
The hard vs. soft food and tooth health does assume that your cat will actually chew the hard kibble.  Buddycat thought chewing was entirely optional.  He was happily gumming down dry food after most of his back teeth fell out.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: KafkasCat on July 21, 2019, 08:58:31 AM
Any tips on moving with cats? Multiple cats, long time in the car. I've been thinking that getting some kitty-equivalent of valium from the vet might be the kind thing to do. Also, how do I let them go to the bathroom? NOT looking forward to this move. Neither are they, although they are excited about all the boxes.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: ursula on July 21, 2019, 09:04:54 AM
Any tips on moving with cats? Multiple cats, long time in the car. I've been thinking that getting some kitty-equivalent of valium from the vet might be the kind thing to do. Also, how do I let them go to the bathroom? NOT looking forward to this move. Neither are they, although they are excited about all the boxes.

Following, because we'll be doing this in a few years.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 21, 2019, 09:54:35 AM
There are lots of discussions of moving cats (as opposed to herding them) on the old forum's cats' thread.

I can't link to it right now but if someone else can, it would be worth a re-read, I suspect.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: KafkasCat on July 21, 2019, 10:25:39 AM
Thanks, mamselle! I'll see if I can find the threads and if I do, I'll link them.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: tuxedo_cat on July 21, 2019, 12:25:13 PM
Any tips on moving with cats? Multiple cats, long time in the car. I've been thinking that getting some kitty-equivalent of valium from the vet might be the kind thing to do. Also, how do I let them go to the bathroom? NOT looking forward to this move. Neither are they, although they are excited about all the boxes.

I was going to post a similar request for advice, but instead about taking a cat on a plane, which is a new sort of challenge for me.

Here's how I handled driving with two cats in a rather small (2-door) Honda Civic:  each cat had their own carrier with a pet bed, and I also packed a litter box with some kind of cover, or housed in a large enough cardboard box to allow the cats to crawl in and use the litter.  I also put a small pet harness on each cat (ones designed for toy dogs) -- they didn't like it, but it didn't hurt them.

After a few hours on the road, I parked someplace shady and I would let one of the cats out of a carrier into the car so that she could have access to the litter.  I might take that time to go find a restroom myself, get some fast food.  If the cat needed to use the litter she would find it and do her business.  If not then, ok. 

The tricky part was getting the cat back into her carrier after that.  This is where the harnesses are helpful, especially if the cat decides to burrow her way under one of the front seats -- this just gives you something to grab onto.  I think with one Houdini cat who I was worried might try to bolt from the car, I also attached a long leash to the harness, but none of them ever escaped from the car.

The fluffy pet beds are helpful because if the cat doesn't make it to her litter in time, at least you don't have cat pee sloshing around in the carrier and possibly all over the car.  You just have a very angry, pee-covered cat to bathe once you get to your destination 😃  But I had two cats who were on the road with me once for 8 hours and they just waited until we got to the destination.

I honestly don't quite know what I'm going to do with taking the cat onto the plane and then, I guess a Lyft car.  The flight, fortunately, isn't that long, so I'm hoping she'll be ok until we get to my new apt.  I'm planning to mail myself a small litter box and some litter that will be waiting for me when I arrive.  That's about all I've got figured out for the moment!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: drbrt on July 21, 2019, 04:25:07 PM
I moved cats 1,000 miles twice. I had them in harnesses on leashes clipped to a loop on their carrier. The carriers were belted to the backseat. The litterbox was on the floor. I like the cardboard box idea. I had old clothing sprayed with Feliway in the carriers. I used cat valium the first move, but one of my cats turned out to be a howler, so that only lasted a day. I moved in a Toyota Corolla both times.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: KafkasCat on July 22, 2019, 07:23:56 AM
I found the old fora thread on moving cats: https://www.chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,34002.0.html (https://www.chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,34002.0.html)
Also, apparently there are pet moving companies that will do this for you. I might have to talk to Mr.Kafkascat about this, since we're also moving with dogs. In small car. Oy.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: KafkasCat on July 22, 2019, 07:36:51 AM
And another old thread on moving with cats:https://www.chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,19886.0.html (https://www.chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,19886.0.html)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 22, 2019, 10:42:17 AM
Yea, thanks!

When I'm on my phone, I can't copy and paste stuff.

Glad they turned up!

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Conjugate on July 25, 2019, 06:25:01 AM
Big hint: Line the bottom of the cat carriers with absorbent pet pads. If/when there is fluid, it will make clean-up possible with a minimum of grief.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on July 26, 2019, 09:44:23 AM
Sir Puck and Lady Jane just turned 2!  Can I still call them my "kittens"?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on July 26, 2019, 05:33:53 PM
Sure.

Mine were "kittens" (and all sorts of other silly names engendered in their early years) all their lives.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: drbrt on July 26, 2019, 06:17:18 PM
I still call Demonbeast a kitten and she's almost six
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Thursday's_Child on July 28, 2019, 09:24:54 AM
One critical thing for travel with cats who are allowed out of their carriers:  if you have electric windows, be sure to use the child safety button to shut all but yours off!  I learned this without anything bad happening - except to my blood pressure.  Also, it's less stressful to have them in their carriers if you have to leave the car.  Otherwise, getting back in has the potential to be exciting.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: 0susanna on July 29, 2019, 08:54:10 AM
Sir Puck and Lady Jane just turned 2!  Can I still call them my "kittens"?
My 2-year-old cat spent 5 minutes chasing her tail the other night, so that surely qualifies her as still "kitten."
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on August 16, 2019, 02:54:51 PM
The cats have characterized most of the invertebrates in my yard:
Fun to play with, but not to eat: pillbugs, giant beetle larvae, bees, leafhoppers, worms, scarab beetles
Tasty, and easy to catch: houseflies
Endless fun and tasty: grasshoppers
Ignore: ants, butterflies
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on August 26, 2019, 01:36:32 PM
Effie cat is in the hospital for 24 hours of treatment.  He is vomiting a LOT, stopped eating, stopped grooming, hiding in odd places in the house, generally listless.  But no fever and his blood work came back pretty normal.  An x-ray found a "round, dense mass" that they think is in his intestine, but not large enough to cause a blockage.  He doesn't eat random stuff so I have no idea what it could be.
He's getting an abdominal ultrasound to get a better look at his GI tract, kidneys, etc.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on August 26, 2019, 02:46:11 PM
Oh, no. Poor kitty.

They don't like being sick.

(Well, nobeing does).

I hope the blockage can be cleared.

Perhaps a swallowed hair ribbon, or somesuch?

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on August 26, 2019, 03:16:55 PM
Oh, no. Poor kitty.

They don't like being sick.

(Well, nobeing does).

I hope the blockage can be cleared.

Perhaps a swallowed hair ribbon, or somesuch?

M.

The vet said the object is dense and shows up white on the x-ray.  Maybe a small rock?  The vet last night seemed convinced that this unidentified "mass" is causing the issues.  Vet this morning is more worried about inflamed bowels.  I know it's a long-shot, but I'm wondering if it's a trichobezoar (calcified hairball)? 
If we have to get the mass removed, I want to keep it.  Most expensive "whatever it is" and we still don't know exactly where it is or what it is.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Volhiker78 on August 29, 2019, 07:38:30 AM
This past Sunday, we rescued an injured kitten on the side of the highway.  Vet says her pelvis has a fracture and she needs about 4 weeks to heal.  So we have taken her in.  She is feral and the vet thinks she is around 4 weeks old. During the day when no one is at home, we have her in a large cage.  When we are home, we let her out of the cage but keep her in a small room.  She still hisses at us whenever someone enters the room.  She does not scratch or bite though.  She eats very well and uses the liter box fine.  Our game plan is to get her as domesticated as we can so that we can get her into the Humane Society for adoption.    I could use some advice on how to get her more domesticated.   
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on August 29, 2019, 11:25:08 AM
This past Sunday, we rescued an injured kitten on the side of the highway.  Vet says her pelvis has a fracture and she needs about 4 weeks to heal.  So we have taken her in.  She is feral and the vet thinks she is around 4 weeks old. During the day when no one is at home, we have her in a large cage.  When we are home, we let her out of the cage but keep her in a small room.  She still hisses at us whenever someone enters the room.  She does not scratch or bite though.  She eats very well and uses the liter box fine.  Our game plan is to get her as domesticated as we can so that we can get her into the Humane Society for adoption.    I could use some advice on how to get her more domesticated.   

You can start by just quietly spending time in her room.  Sit nearby and read aloud so she gets used to the sound of people without getting too scared.  If there is a food she really likes, see if she's willing to eat near you.  If it's not too scary for her, try some toys like a ribbon on a stick or a long shoelace.  Poor little kitty will need time to heal and get used to people.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Thursday's_Child on August 29, 2019, 12:03:25 PM
This past Sunday, we rescued an injured kitten on the side of the highway.  Vet says her pelvis has a fracture and she needs about 4 weeks to heal.  So we have taken her in.  She is feral and the vet thinks she is around 4 weeks old. During the day when no one is at home, we have her in a large cage.  When we are home, we let her out of the cage but keep her in a small room.  She still hisses at us whenever someone enters the room.  She does not scratch or bite though.  She eats very well and uses the liter box fine.  Our game plan is to get her as domesticated as we can so that we can get her into the Humane Society for adoption.    I could use some advice on how to get her more domesticated.   

You can start by just quietly spending time in her room.  Sit nearby and read aloud so she gets used to the sound of people without getting too scared.  If there is a food she really likes, see if she's willing to eat near you.  If it's not too scary for her, try some toys like a ribbon on a stick or a long shoelace.  Poor little kitty will need time to heal and get used to people.

Four weeks is really young, so there's a high probability that you can tame her demonstrate all the benefits of having a devoted cat servant.  The lack of scratching & biting, and quickly learning to use the litter box, are all positive signs.  So, as t_g suggested, let her get used to you as a calm presence who provides good food (try human-quality canned fish....).  Since she seems able to be active you can provide toy mice or jingle balls, although I wouldn't leave ribbons or laces unattended - cats are too likely to start chewing, which leads to swallowing and that leads to trouble.  Once she's willing to come in contact with you add gentle pats/strokes/chin skritches and you should soon be able to cuddle her and hopefully to pick her up.



<quietly places a $5 bet that the_geneticist has just acquired another cat>
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mythbuster on August 29, 2019, 03:05:46 PM
I agree this one will worm its way into your heart. When they are that itty bitty its hard to resist. My dear departed PlumpCat started out so small you could hold her in one hand. It was truly adorable. But she never got over having been undernourished as a kitten, so she overcompensated, thus becoming PlumpCat.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Thursday's_Child on August 30, 2019, 05:28:09 AM

<quietly places a $5 bet that the_geneticist has just acquired another cat>

Oops!  Internet conversation fail...  I meant to bet that Volhiker was going to adopt kitten.

Mythbuster, I've had a similar experience, although it was the premature weaning that carried over into adulthood.  The pretend nursing didn't last long, but the need to knead - especially on mornings when I didn't have time for a 20 minute cuddle - did.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: citrine on August 30, 2019, 11:19:08 AM
I wouldn't say ignore the hissing, because you do want to respect signs from a cat that they want you to back off, but I would say don't let it make you leave the room, or, if she's hissing because you're taking her water bowl to refill it or her litter pan to clean it, don't stop doing those things. I usually talk back to our more feral kittens at the shelter: "Uh huh. Tell me more!" and then just keep doing whatever it is I need to do. We often sit with frightened or less socialized cats, talking to them, offering treats, offering toys, but mostly just keeping them company for a while, letting them get used to us. Any attempt on their part to engage with us is met with elaborate praise and offers of treats, similar to when one is toilet training a small human. It really just takes time.

Kittens also will use their claws without thinking about it -- adult cats only use them when they need to. So she may put her claws out for balance when climbing on you, or if she gets startled, and that's not because she's trying to hurt you or she necessarily wants you to go away. She also might start chewing on you in an attempt to play or out of curiosity. I had a 2 month old kitten gnawing on my hand the entire time I was changing out the paper in her cage yesterday. She thought this was the best game ever. I was not quite as amused.

Speaking of shelter cats, if you could spare a few prayers for my shelter's little cat Charlie, who is not doing well despite everyone's best efforts (yesterday the vet gave him fluids and one of the volunteers hand fed him cat food, and some of the other volunteers and I wiped him clean and got him warm blankets), I'd appreciate it. He's a very good boy and he's only a year old. We're not giving up on him, but he's so fragile right now.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Volhiker78 on August 30, 2019, 05:52:10 PM
Thanks everyone.  Little One is healing well and is walking better now. She still hisses when we enter the room but will let us hold her for short periods.  I mainly just hang out in the room and talk to her.

We have fostered kittens for our Humane Society several times so we know it is hard to give them up.  Never fostered an injured feral so this is new.  No, I wouldn’t take that bet. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: citrine on August 30, 2019, 06:32:22 PM
Well, if you're going to foster fail, it might as well be with this one...

Slightly good news: the Head Cat Whisperer at the shelter has taken Charlie home for a TLC-filled long weekend. Hopefully that will help him some, or, well, if it doesn't, someone will be with him all the time.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: AmLitHist on August 31, 2019, 11:55:28 AM
Little Cat sits by me and "helps" while I'm at my desk. This frequently involves conning me into giving her treats. (She has me trained.)

Yesterday she was playing with her Snacky Mouse, batting it around to get the treats to fall out. It got very quiet, and when I looked to see why, she was sitting there with a forlorn expression:  she batted it and its head fell off. I guess she thought she killed it.

(I put the head back on, and all was well again.)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on August 31, 2019, 07:14:49 PM
Well, if you're going to foster fail, it might as well be with this one...

Slightly good news: the Head Cat Whisperer at the shelter has taken Charlie home for a TLC-filled long weekend. Hopefully that will help him some, or, well, if it doesn't, someone will be with him all the time.

Prayers and good thoughts you have--Charlie, the cat-whisperer, and all others who care for him (pun well-intended).

Also skritches, if he wants them...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: citrine on September 01, 2019, 06:56:29 AM
Even better news as of yesterday: someone who met Charlie earlier in the month has approached the shelter about adopting him. He will come back to the shelter on Wednesday to see the vet and then perhaps he will go home with this lovely woman who said "yes, I would like this ten year old blind cat who may need regular sub-q fluids and to be hand fed his cat food" instead of wanting one of the thirty kittens or forty healthier and/or younger adult cats that we currently have.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: citrine on September 06, 2019, 03:52:28 AM
Charlie went home yesterday and is doing very well with his new human, according to the Head Cat Whisperer. We are all pleased. I hope to not see him again unless he is visiting for a vet checkup.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 06, 2019, 08:40:46 AM
Yea!

Happy sequel to his story.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: onehappyunicorn on September 11, 2019, 05:25:05 AM
As I was making dinner a few weeks ago one of our cats wandered into the kitchen, flopped down, and stretched out. When she got up there was a pretty good amount of blood there on the floor. Turns out she had an inch and a half long slice behind her front left leg. She seemed pretty nonchalant about it considering she was bleeding everywhere.

It was a Sunday so off to animal emergency room we go for the next four hours. Three stitches, 400 bucks, and two weeks stuck in the cone of shame because she couldn't leave the wound alone. All of our cats are indoors only so we still don't know how she managed to cut herself like that.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 11, 2019, 08:06:45 AM
Awww..sorry for the mean Cone of Shame, but glad you caught it in time!

A jagged edge somewhere? Even a sharp piece of cardstock, hit while jumping up or down, might have torn the skin....

Poor kitty (and poor you in the pecuniary sense!)

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: 0susanna on September 11, 2019, 12:13:08 PM
As I was making dinner a few weeks ago one of our cats wandered into the kitchen, flopped down, and stretched out. When she got up there was a pretty good amount of blood there on the floor. Turns out she had an inch and a half long slice behind her front left leg. She seemed pretty nonchalant about it considering she was bleeding everywhere.

It was a Sunday so off to animal emergency room we go for the next four hours. Three stitches, 400 bucks, and two weeks stuck in the cone of shame because she couldn't leave the wound alone. All of our cats are indoors only so we still don't know how she managed to cut herself like that.
Of course it was a Sunday. How do they always manage to wait until the weekend to manifest mysterious wounds, collywobbles, or other emergency ailments? But of course, care is necessary.
I hope she's healing well.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: geoteo on September 12, 2019, 09:27:14 AM
Children are exactly the same!  I cannot count the number of Friday nights I spent in the ER with our asthmatic offspring because they got sick at the very moment our GP was herding his family onto a plane for a visit to Jamaica.  It is similar to the start-wheezing signal that is triggered as soon as Mom puts her head on the pillow.  If we could figure out what causes it, we might be able to stop it!

the_geneticist--do you have any updates?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: onehappyunicorn on September 16, 2019, 05:01:13 AM
Yes, it is undoubtedly a mystery as to the timing. The last time we had to take a kitty into the emergency was when my wife and I were out on vacation and my sister was house sitting.

Sushi is healing well, thank you. She is sweet but kinda dim, my guess is she wedged herself behind something and got caught. It was a pretty deep cut though the edges of the wound were really clean so who knows.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 16, 2019, 07:12:57 AM
It is very hard to teach a good but clinically hyperactive 12-year-old boy his piano lesso when his two adorable 3-month-old marmalade tabbies are having a case of the zoomies around your feet.

That is all...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: citrine on September 17, 2019, 05:13:36 PM
One of my favorite shelter cats, Squish (a favorite in part because he reminded me in appearance and temperament of Brucey), has finally gotten adopted after many months with us. I will miss his cranky meows every time I dared to spend time with another cat, but I'm so glad he has a home now.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on September 18, 2019, 11:18:24 AM
After a year and a half of training Elektra to give head-butts by using treats as reinforcement, she has finally got it.

Now, she won't stop.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on September 23, 2019, 11:18:55 AM
Children are exactly the same!  I cannot count the number of Friday nights I spent in the ER with our asthmatic offspring because they got sick at the very moment our GP was herding his family onto a plane for a visit to Jamaica.  It is similar to the start-wheezing signal that is triggered as soon as Mom puts her head on the pillow.  If we could figure out what causes it, we might be able to stop it!

the_geneticist--do you have any updates?

Final diagnosis for Effie cat: bleeding stomach ulcer.  Turns out there wasn't a mass (first vet apparently didn't know how to read an X-ray).  So, after the most expensive week ever, Effie came home.  He's back to his usual self!  He's missing a bunch of fur - they were very enthusiastic with the clippers for the EKG, IVs, blood pressure cuff, etc.  Still needs some followup care since there is concern he might have "irritable bowel" as well. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on September 23, 2019, 12:14:28 PM
We are trying to adopt another kitten.

It is mindnumbingly frustrating.  We found the perfect kitten yesterday, but were not allowed to have it b/c the foster family determined (how?) that only kids 10 and up would be suitable.  Smolt is 7 1/2, has had cats her entire life and shares in all the work (feeding, water, litter boxes), but is not old enough.  So, no kitten.

MrsFishProf has spent hours doing online background check form filling.

Maddening.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 23, 2019, 03:30:11 PM
And when a 10-year-old turns up, they'll decide the child needs to be 12.

Some fosters get very attached...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on September 23, 2019, 05:09:14 PM
Well friends, the time has come to bring a cat back into my life. A few of you may recall that I lost my beloved 14 year old tabby to cancer this past February. I was tempted to get another cat right away, but wisely decided to wait since I was planning to shop for a house and had a lot of spring, summer and early fall travel. Now the house has been bought and moved into and I just got back from my last trip until December so it is time to look at kittens!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: professor_pat on September 23, 2019, 07:35:37 PM
Oh boy, Puget, congrats on the move and how exciting about the kittens! There's not a much more fun time than starting a new kitten project.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Volhiker78 on September 26, 2019, 06:50:12 AM
Well friends, the time has come to bring a cat back into my life. A few of you may recall that I lost my beloved 14 year old tabby to cancer this past February. I was tempted to get another cat right away, but wisely decided to wait since I was planning to shop for a house and had a lot of spring, summer and early fall travel. Now the house has been bought and moved into and I just got back from my last trip until December so it is time to look at kittens!

Great news!

We had to put down our 15 year old Maine coon in May.  Five weeks ago, we rescued a feral kitten which was injured by the side of the highway.  Little One is doing very well.  She no longer limps, is playful and best of all, has taken well to our entire family.  Even our 2 year old tuxedo cat has given in and the two cats play together reasonably well.  We decided last week to keep her - need to get her to a vet this weekend. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 26, 2019, 09:29:39 AM
Awww,.....good news!!

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: onehappyunicorn on September 27, 2019, 05:14:55 AM
Hooray for new kitties! When we adopted our last from the Humane Society here in town they did come for a home visit before we were allowed to adopt but it wasn't super-intense or anything. We would adopt another rescue but we're already at 5 cats and I struggle to keep up with the litter boxes. Plus now we have one cat that doesn't get along well with one of our others so I'd rather not add another complication.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on September 29, 2019, 07:08:17 AM
We are still new-kitty-less.  We went to a shelter and saw 5 kittens yesterday, all varying states of cuteness.  But none quite squee-inducing.

So the search continues.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Thursday's_Child on September 29, 2019, 07:22:32 AM
We are still new-kitty-less.  We went to a shelter and saw 5 kittens yesterday, all varying states of cuteness.  But none quite squee-inducing.

So the search continues.

Your self-control is awesome!  I can't do things like that because I'd come home with at least one.

Also - congrats, Volhiker!  I'm so pleased that my predicted foster-fail worked out for you & kitten!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: 0susanna on September 30, 2019, 08:35:12 AM
Although I have two perfectly good cats and really don't need a third (shh!), I get excited when other people are looking for new cats/kittens. Good luck to all of you. My junior cat was a tiny, sickly baby at the local shelter just over two years ago, but now she rules the house.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on September 30, 2019, 04:03:51 PM
I don't have that sort of self-control either.

I saw a kitten with the most unusual fur at the shelter this weekend.  He was a tuxedo with a super fluffy gray undercoat.  Never seen anything like it!  And he had the most adorable raspy meow. 
But three cats is my limit.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on September 30, 2019, 04:05:52 PM
Send a picture to FishProf?

;--}

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on October 02, 2019, 09:00:51 AM
Looks like "Snickers", the fluffy tuxedo kitten, found himself some human staff and has been adopted!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on October 05, 2019, 07:15:36 PM
Well friends, the time has come to bring a cat back into my life. A few of you may recall that I lost my beloved 14 year old tabby to cancer this past February. I was tempted to get another cat right away, but wisely decided to wait since I was planning to shop for a house and had a lot of spring, summer and early fall travel. Now the house has been bought and moved into and I just got back from my last trip until December so it is time to look at kittens!

I now have a brother-sister pair of 4.5-month olds running around the house!  She's a dilute calico and he's all grey except for a small white chest patch. They are damn cute and I'm so glad to have cats back in my life.

I met them last Sunday and their fosterers dropped them off yesterday evening. They had been separated in different rooms in the foster home after getting fixed and they were doing this elaborate weeks- long reintroduction plan they thought was necessary because one hissed at the other when they first put them back together and the rescue group's "animal behaviorist" (who signs her emails with Ed.D. so. . .) insisted it was necessary. I was supposed to put them in separate rooms and keep following the plan. Right-- that lasted through about half an hour of them crying in their rooms, then i opened both doors. There was a little hissing, a lot of sniffing, and then they were off, exploring all over the house together. Today they've been grooming each other and sleeping together in between endless games of hide and seek and chase.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Ruralguy on October 06, 2019, 08:20:04 AM
All this stuff about cute cats makes me fell like a bad person for not wanting a new critter after the last of our 4 cats leaves the planet. We are down to the sole  survivor, almost 15 and the only cat that has never been ill.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Thursday's_Child on October 06, 2019, 08:52:47 AM
Congratulations, Puget!  That "behaviorist" sounds like a nightmare.

Ruralguy, don't beat yourself up about not wanting another animal.  You've done your share of being a good provider - you can take a break without guilt.  I've often felt the same but haven't made the transition yet.  Not having pets makes things like travel so much easier.  It keeps you from worrying about what could happen to them if something unexpected happened to you.  Etc.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on October 06, 2019, 10:17:57 AM
Congratulations, Puget!  That "behaviorist" sounds like a nightmare.

I'm sure she's well-intentioned and I can imagine something like that being necessary for introducing two adult cats who are strangers, but these are kitten sibs who just spent a little time apart. I may study humans and not animals, but it seemed pretty obvious to me that prolonging the separation and having them establish their own territories in the new house was the wrong way to go.

Right now they're sharing a chair and he's washing her head.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: OneMoreYear on October 06, 2019, 10:48:55 AM
Right now they're sharing a chair and he's washing her head.
[/quote]

Squee!  Kittens! Kittens cuddling with eachother are the best.  When we adopted Ninja and Ricochet-the-Squirrelly-Tortie as litter mates 4 years ago, they played together constantly and slept curled up together (my favorite picture is of them attempting to demonstrate the yin-yang symbol in a laundry basket), but now they mostly ignore each other. 

We would like to add another kitty to the household now that we own rather than rent, but Ricochet has not yet figured out human-feline interactions, and we are concerned another cat may disrupt her slow progress.  We think Ninja would likely ignore a newcomer as long as they agreed that she is queen.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on October 06, 2019, 04:43:15 PM
We finally got a 3rd cat to help fill the void since Bunga the King passed in February.  So the Thundercat sisters now have a little brother (but not little for long, he part coon).  They are highly displeased, but are avoiding rather than attacking.  I can work with that.

Joy to all the new cat owners as well.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Thursday's_Child on October 11, 2019, 09:55:37 AM
All these new kitties made me dream about adding another to my household.  Until, that is, I realized that I have quite enough excitement already.

Recent examples include:  older cat stalking a squirrel across two neighbors' yards and then chasing it into the street; younger cat figuring out how to leap onto the top of the tall bookcase in order to lean down and swat two rolls of garden twine off of the top-most shelf - where I'd put them to keep them out of her reach b/c she's already had to be saved from choking on dental floss; frantically trying to find older cat this morning after three large husky-shepherd mixes managed to get out and take themselves for a run around the neighborhood; tripping over younger cat in the middle of the hall at night b/c she either doesn't seem able to learn to move away from feet or is actively trying to wind around them.

Nope - I think it's best if I just vicariously enjoy the new Fora cats!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on November 02, 2019, 09:02:44 PM
My partner's friend's two cats were poisoned with antifreeze. Both died today. It seems highly likely her neighbour did it--at least in part because they leave paw prints on the car after it's been washed.

It makes me so. Angry. Like, apoplectic with rage. I just can't even.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Thursday's_Child on November 03, 2019, 08:12:56 AM
My partner's friend's two cats were poisoned with antifreeze. Both died today. It seems highly likely her neighbour did it--at least in part because they leave paw prints on the car after it's been washed.

It makes me so. Angry. Like, apoplectic with rage. I just can't even.
I have no words - people like that are a waste of oxygen.  A police report needs to be made and all the neighbors interviewed.  Even if proof can't be found it starts to build a paper trail and may stop the behavior b/c if they get away with it once, they'll do it again.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: backatit on November 03, 2019, 11:06:53 AM
We are fostering 3 kittens. UGH. We have a full house already. Fish_Prof, we would have been happy to have you take one of these little daemons off our hands - one just climbed up my leg (note that I am not wearing long pants) and onto my shoulder. They have been through diarrhea, constipation, diarrhea again, and are now hopefully out of THAT bottlefeeding fun part (they are weaned and using the litterbox -yeah!). I am ready to have them gone, though - I forget how much I love our adult cats. Our daughter (who lives in another state) has a teenage cat and she is constantly cackling to me about the kittens - hers is into curtains and cords these days, so her house looks like an overactive toddler with a a climbing problem lives there.

When will it end? (rhetorical question - I've fostered animals and had cats and dogs my whole life, but I can clearly tell I'm getting too old for this ish).
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: FishProf on November 03, 2019, 06:54:16 PM
Thanks.  But we managed to find a beautiful (if shy) purr machine.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on November 03, 2019, 08:40:38 PM
My partner's friend's two cats were poisoned with antifreeze. Both died today. It seems highly likely her neighbour did it--at least in part because they leave paw prints on the car after it's been washed.

It makes me so. Angry. Like, apoplectic with rage. I just can't even.
I have no words - people like that are a waste of oxygen.  A police report needs to be made and all the neighbors interviewed.  Even if proof can't be found it starts to build a paper trail and may stop the behavior b/c if they get away with it once, they'll do it again.

I agree. Report it.

Condolences to your friends and their neighbors. The loss of smallfurryfriends over a few pawprints on a car is beyond reckoning.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: statsgeek on November 04, 2019, 07:13:03 AM
Chime to condolences and anger and I hope the person who did that pays the price. 

I'm fighting tears this morning because things are not looking good for StatDad's kitty (my furry little "sister").  Never lived with her full-time, but I still love her like one of my own.  And I'm a 4 hour drive away and won't even get to say goodbye or be there for StatDad. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on November 04, 2019, 08:53:46 AM
Chime to condolences and anger and I hope the person who did that pays the price. 

I'm fighting tears this morning because things are not looking good for StatDad's kitty (my furry little "sister").  Never lived with her full-time, but I still love her like one of my own.  And I'm a 4 hour drive away and won't even get to say goodbye or be there for StatDad.

Oh no, I'm so sorry. :(
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Scatmanblues on November 04, 2019, 07:23:53 PM
Wow, I almost missed the transition to this place entirely.  Knew it was coming, but got so busy I am just now checking back in.  I think it fitting my first post here is about the cat that inspired me to make my first post on the old fora so many years ago.

I'm sad to report that I lost Scatcat a bit over a month ago at 19yrs, 10 months old.  He almost made it to 20 after a kittenhood licking of antifreeze that left his stomach so sensitive I had to buy him special food for 18 years (15 years longer than his vet thought he would make it with that kind of internal damage).  By the end he was totally deaf, mostly blind, visibly slow, but still able to strike fear and cowering in my two 80+ pound dogs.  He passed in his sleep, in one of his favorite spots, while the dogs were at the kennel and I was out of town.  I am so thankful I didn't have to make the choice, and it was fully in line with his "I will do things only on my terms" life. 

I got him less than a week before I began my professional career, and he had been with me through a public school teaching gig, a toxic grad school culture, an almost equally toxic early-faculty experience, and now into my post-tenure stride.  It was a severely disconcerting feeling to walk into the office on the Monday after and realize for the very first time as an academic, he would not be greeting me at the door that night when I came home. 

I still don't sleep as well, because -from the day I got him- he slept at my head.  That is an absence acutely felt. 

Strikingly, Scatkitty (who is now almost 9!) has turned into a completely different cat.  Where before, he barely tolerated petting and scritches and preferred roughhouse play with me and the dogs (he weighs 21 pounds, so can hold his own); he now jumps into my lap every night and purrs.  He still gets the zoomies and is a high-energy cat, but since Scatcat passed, he spends at least 30 minutes a night laying on me and demanding pets and attention.  He also stays in much closer proximity to me that he used to.  He has even moved from sleeping at my feet at night to laying behind me near my shoulder. 

I'm still trying to decide if I want another cat.  I thought so, but the shift in Scatkitty's behavior threw me for a loop and I'm trying to decide if it means he is liking being an only cat and enjoys the undivided attention, or it he is showing his loneliness as well.  Every cat I've owned has found me, so I'm sure the universe will arrange a replacement when the time is right....

Scatmanblues
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Parasaurolophus on November 04, 2019, 07:30:37 PM
I'm so sorry, Scatmanblues. But that's also a wonderful and heart-warming story (the antifreeze component is especially apt).
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Biblioeclectica on November 05, 2019, 05:58:27 AM
Condolences to Scatmanblues. Sounds like he was a wonderful cat.

My 17 year old cat has been declining for a while (she's skin and bones), but now I don't expect her to make it through the week - probable congestive heart failure. She was stable this morning but that could change at any point. It was hard to go to work this morning. My parents are checking on her periodically and if things take a turn for the worse I'll head home.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on November 05, 2019, 02:14:25 PM
My sympathies in advance.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on January 02, 2020, 02:52:54 PM
We got a kitten!  I wasn't planning to adopt another cat, but I was volunteering at the animal shelter and fell in love with a tuxedo kitten with super long whiskers.
Her name is Izzy.  I'll post pictures once I find my photobucket account.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: geoteo on January 02, 2020, 04:19:23 PM
That's a great way to start the New Year!
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: statsgeek on January 04, 2020, 08:58:46 AM
We're waiting for the hospice vet for Little Boy.  Adopted him and Little Girl (RIP 10/2017) in 2000. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: geoteo on January 04, 2020, 10:39:35 AM
So sorry, Statsgeek.  My thoughts are with you.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: San Joaquin on January 04, 2020, 04:45:00 PM
Sorry to hear this, statsgeek.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: statsgeek on January 05, 2020, 06:08:26 AM
So for the first time in almost 20 years of marriage, StatSpouse and I are cat-less.  We came home last night and got up this morning to no kitty to greet us, no food bowls, no litter boxes...

Even though Little Boy never gave us a clear indication, I'm comforted by peace that we did the right thing at the right time, and in the right way.  Since Little Boy could be scared and aggressive with strangers and especially with the vet, and at the recommendation of our regular doctor, we doped him up before the hospice doctor even arrived.  I don't think he ever knew there was a stranger in the house.  He slept on StatSpouse's lap, nose buried in his favorite blanket, through the consultation, decision-making, and sedative and then just drifted away.  He won't have to experience the steady decline and possible emergency that was his prognosis if we had delayed. 

I'm also comforted by many things I'm taking to be signs of support from above.  There was a break in the rain and even a beam of sunlight on us as we buried him yesterday afternoon, and I found out later there was also a rainbow (the bridge?) in the neighborhood.  "His" herd of deer that he loved to watch through the window stopped by the yard, not ten minutes after we went inside.  One even went right up to his grave.  And, of course, I'm comforted by sharing this grief with StatSpouse and by the family, friends, and professionals (we have the best vet ever) who have supported us along this journey. 

We'll adopt again. I can't imagine having a house with no kitty for too long. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Volhiker78 on January 05, 2020, 07:49:56 AM
Very sorry for your loss.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on January 05, 2020, 10:10:13 AM
Awww....you were all so lucky to have had each other.

Gentle thoughts and respect for your grief.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: bibliothecula on January 07, 2020, 01:19:22 PM
You did it right, statsgeek. All my sympathy.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: Puget on January 07, 2020, 03:05:32 PM
You did it right, statsgeek. All my sympathy.
+1 It's such a hard call but you put Little Boy first and made sure he didn't suffer.

I went through that last spring, and suddenly having no cat in the house is really hard (I called it phantom cat syndrome). I was really tempted to get another one right away, but it just didn't make sense between lots of travel and looking for a house, then moving into it, then some more travel, so it was early October before I become re-cated. I now have a ridiculously cute (if I do say so myself), snuggly and energetic pair of sibs, who are now about 7 months old.

 I'm sure the right cats will also find there way into your life when its time.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: larryc on January 09, 2020, 12:18:49 AM
Playful is getting old. A really beautiful long-haried orange and cream cat, she was given to our kindergartner by our questionable neighbors in the rental house next door. He came home one day and held up a kitten. "Look what I have! The neighbors gave it to me. I named it Playful because it is playful."

That boy is 20 and in college now. For most of her life, Playful was the most furious hunter I know. An indoor/outdoor cat, I loaded her collar up with bells until she could not hunt successfully. At night it sounded like Santa was landing his sleigh on our roof. She attacked everything that came into our yard--other cats, rabbits, dogs (that Jack Russel still has nightmares), and on one memorable occasion a pair of ducks that had been hoping to nest in our hedge. Tough luck, ducks. Yet she is a total lap cat in the house, oppressively affectionate.

The vet says she is healthy as old cats go. She goes outside out of habit and comes right back in. When we went away for five days recently she went on a hunger strike and we almost lost her, but after a few days and some fluid injections she regained her appetite. Who knows how much longer we have with her.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on January 09, 2020, 03:23:17 AM
She sounds like a wonderful companion, full of herself, who knows what she wants.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on January 09, 2020, 09:59:45 AM
Playful sounds like an amazing cat.  You can buy an appetite stimulant for kitties, Entice/Entyce(sp?), not sure if it's prescription only. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: geoteo on January 26, 2020, 07:35:25 AM
Another cat has happened at our house.  Son-in-law was at the landfill on Monday when haulers arrived to drag away a huge metal dumpster.  He made them wait until he could extract a skin-and-bones kitten, which ripped his face apart while he tried to get her into his truck.  He and daughter went to the urgent care clinic, while I sat in the truck trying to calm her and accustom her to the sound of my voice.

She was brought into the house, where she ate everything in sight and terrorized her reluctant sisters and brothers.  At this point she has been to the vet twice, because we discovered that she had a huge, smelly abscess on her leg and was running a fever.  Now she has an antibiotic to take twice a day, and will finish her shots in two weeks.  The vet says she is about twelve weeks old, so we chose Halloween as her birthday.  She is all black, with bright gold eyes.  I suggested calling her Jawa, but Grandson won with Diogi.  In case you can't tell, he wanted to name her D O G.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on January 26, 2020, 08:28:49 AM
What a good thing Diogi found you all.

I hope everyone recovers well from their injuries!

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: onehappyunicorn on January 27, 2020, 10:34:33 AM
I hope Diogi makes a full recovery, it sounds like she's in good hands.

The last two cats we have taken in were both rescue and both needed some medical attention though not to that extent. The last one we got, Hazel, wolfed down an entire can of wet cat food while growling the whole time. She must have eaten almost half her weight in food that first day. She was pretty underweight and absolutely infested with fleas.

Poe, the older of the two, was approximately a year old when we got him. He had been hanging around a sewage processing plant that our neighbor was working at, he used to come visit the workers on lunch and beg for scraps. He weighed maybe four or five pounds tops when we got him, he now weighs 17 pounds. The vet thinks he's not very overweight, he just grew into an enormous kitty. If I had to guess he has some Maine Coon in him. He is now, by far, the biggest of the five cats we have. I think our oldest cat now regrets being a bully to him when he was smaller...
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on February 13, 2020, 09:28:04 AM
Izzy has transformed from a terrified ball of fluff and whiskers to a whirlwind of destruction!  She is entirely too fearless about getting food - hers, Effie cat's, my breakfast, the odd tortilla chip.  She completely ignores any and all growling or fussing from the other cats when there is food to be had.  She's been sneaking peanuts in the shell out of the dish on the coffee table and hiding them all over our house.  It's pretty funny!
The not so funny is that she has discovered she can use her claws to climb up our furniture.  She has a scratch pad and uses it, but the velcro kitten furniture climbing is apparently way too fun to stop.  How can I stop her from destroying all of our upholstery?  Any ideas?
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on February 13, 2020, 11:12:49 AM
Do you trim her claws?

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on February 13, 2020, 11:21:53 AM
Do you trim her claws?

M.

Yes, but I can't get all 4 paws done at once.  She's still really skittish about being held.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: evil_physics_witchcraft on February 13, 2020, 11:57:12 AM
Do you trim her claws?

M.

Yes, but I can't get all 4 paws done at once.  She's still really skittish about being held.

You could try 'burrito-ing' her in a towel.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on February 13, 2020, 07:22:03 PM
Leading to the hilarious "All Creatures Great and Small" scene of Tristram trying to "wrap a cat," in my mind...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: ktmkwk on February 14, 2020, 06:48:37 AM
There is double sided tape that you can put on furniture--cats hate the feel of it on their paws.

Often with young cats, you need to work at getting them used to having their paws touched/claws trimmed so we tend to massage their paws/toes regularly (usually daily) to get them used to it.  We tend to do trimming having the cat in a flat surface beside one of us, to that you are only working with one paw at a time (and no more than fronts or back at once for most of our cats).  Burrito works well for really spazzy, fraidy cats--take one paw out at a time and again, at least with ours either fronts or backs at one time.  We've got four cats so have a schedule for trimming. ;-)
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on February 14, 2020, 08:11:49 AM
Leading to the hilarious "All Creatures Great and Small" scene of Tristram trying to "wrap a cat," in my mind...

M.

It starts here...

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByFrA9cCDBo

It took a couple of episodes before the injection was finally administered, I think...

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on February 14, 2020, 08:25:34 AM
Leading to the hilarious "All Creatures Great and Small" scene of Tristram trying to "wrap a cat," in my mind...

M.

It starts here...

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByFrA9cCDBo

It took a couple of episodes before the injection was finally administered, I think...

M.

Ha ha!  That is one of my favorite bits from the book.
I'll have to try the double-stick tape for now.  And I'll work more at touching her feet.  She loves ear skritches, tail tugs, and being rubbed under the collar, but HATES to have her feet touched. 
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on February 14, 2020, 08:28:25 AM
If her feet are dry or have gotten something like salt in them from walking around where a sidewalk has been treated for ice, they might have gotten tender or sore, too.

I think there are some creams or oils you can use to treat dry, cracked pads that won't hurt the cat when they lick their feet later...you'd want to ask your vet first, obviously.

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: onehappyunicorn on February 14, 2020, 08:49:33 AM
We always give our cats a treat after trimming nails, it hasn't made the experience great but it has calmed them down to where we can actually do it.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: the_geneticist on February 14, 2020, 02:57:01 PM
If her feet are dry or have gotten something like salt in them from walking around where a sidewalk has been treated for ice, they might have gotten tender or sore, too.

I think there are some creams or oils you can use to treat dry, cracked pads that won't hurt the cat when they lick their feet later...you'd want to ask your vet first, obviously.

M.

Izzy is a strictly indoors only kitten so she has very soft feet.  It never gets cold enough here to snow, but it can get hot enough to make the ground too hot to go barefoot.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: mamselle on February 14, 2020, 03:30:41 PM
If her feet are dry or have gotten something like salt in them from walking around where a sidewalk has been treated for ice, they might have gotten tender or sore, too.

I think there are some creams or oils you can use to treat dry, cracked pads that won't hurt the cat when they lick their feet later...you'd want to ask your vet first, obviously.

M.

Izzy is a strictly indoors only kitten so she has very soft feet.  It never gets cold enough here to snow, but it can get hot enough to make the ground too hot to go barefoot.

Ok, good, then at least THAT'S not the problem...next differential diagnosis...!

M.
Title: Re: Herd your cats here
Post by: peitho on February 16, 2020, 10:56:53 PM
LarryC, Ask the vet for Mirtazapine for Playful. Most cats tolerate it pretty well, and it's not dear.

I can say from experience that the first few doses were unpleasant for my senior, who is in otherwise good health, but it's out some padding on her and the side effects subsided after the first week. My other cat was on it at end of life; he had no side effects at all.