New kitty person, and very worried
A tiny little kitten walked into my yard several weeks ago, starving and covered in fleas. We've never owned a cat because my husband has an allergy, but there was no way I could turn her away. I cleaned her up and fed her some canned cat food we had left over from another cat who visited us every night for awhile - found out it was a neighbor's cat - they had left her home alone to go the the beach for a week, jerks - and my kitty ate it voraciously, growling if anyone got too close lol. Took her to Vet who said she was about 4 weeks old - she was right at 1 lb. He put Revolution on her to kill the fleas and gave her a vaccination - I NOW realize she was WAY TOO YOUNG to get that first vac. I wish I'd known but I was going by the vet's expertise. She did fine though - absolutely no reaction or illness. She was very vigorous for a few weeks, but last Monday, after taking her to get her feline distemper and a deworming, she went down hill fast. I suspected a reaction from the vaccine but it didn't get better. She stopped eating and drinking completely and I began giving her water through a dropper, then tuna water. She would perk up, then go down again. She was peeing, but only tiny amounts as she wasn't drinking normally. She had diarrhea. I took her to the vet who checked for FelV - negative - and did a fecal - negative. He gave me some prescription food (AD), a syringe, and told me to force-feed a watery mix of the food with added water. I used purified water. We were going on day 4 and she had lost several ounces (for a less-than-2-lb kitty, it was significant). I did as he said round the clock and although I fully expected her to die Thursday night (she was so so sick) she perked up and started eating again at 2 am Friday morning. She woke me up and I fed her her regular food (Fancy Feast) and she attacked it. I sat and cried I was so relieved.
That was this past Friday - 4 days ago. She has been a ball of activity since, and eating voraciously again. She'd been waking me up at about 5 am to eat and I'd been feeding her small amounts about 6 times a day. She's been wide open, playing and running around, eating, pooping and peeing like normal.
I woke this morning to realize she had not awakened me to feed her. I came downstairs and she was hiding. I called out to her and instead of tearing into the kitchen like she does, she slowly walked in. I knew as soon as I saw her. She's got the look again. Droopy eyes and lethargic. Wouldn't eat a bite. She is now curled up on my lap when she would normally be attacking everything that moved at this time of morning.
I'm afraid there is something in this environment making her sick. We have no plants she can reach or has ever touched, and I don't think they're poisonous anyway. Can cat litter make a cat sick? We use fresh step extra odor control, and I wonder if it gets stuck to her paws and when she cleans them, she ingests it? Does that sound plausible? I just don't know what could be causing this again, and I don't think I can emotionally take another round of nursing her back to health the way I had to before, it was so taxing. I was a torn-up mess, not sleeping due to caring for her round the clock, and I kept forgetting to eat. I also got so behind in my work and everything else, I was a mess. Don't get me wrong, I am a total animal lover and didn't think twice about doing whatever I could for her, but it took a huge emotional toll on me. I can't stand the thought of her suffering AGAIN. Of course I will do whatever it takes to nurse her back to health, but I'd really like to get to the bottom of what could be causing recurring illness in her, instead of having to see her go through this again and again.
Any ideas, suggestions, advice or help would be very, very appreciated. Thank you.