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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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all bones


I just met a feral cat outside my house. Well--maybe not feral, s/he was not scared of me, and came up begging for food. Poor thing! I've never encountered an animal that bony, with a swollen belly, just begging for food. I was coming home from grocery shopping and opened a can of sardines, and gave it a whole sardine (packed in oil). So I hope that helped, and that s/he can handle the food at this point.

My question is this: is this starvation, or is this a disease? I live in mid town, Sacramento, you know, typical neighborhood in blocks with sidewalks and trash cans, etc. Do homeless cats starve in these conditions?

I am concerned in particular because I have four cats of my own. When I came in, I immediately washed my hands, but I want to be careful.

Poor creature. I intend to start putting out food, and maybe someday I'll be able to catch it... I intended to find a home for one of my four cats by contacting a local rescue. Maybe if I ever catch this poor cat I'll be able to do something for it, too.

Thanks for your input.

- Sophia
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 11:27 PM
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Bony w/ swollen belly could be starving/pregnant or FIP (feline infectious peritonitis). IF this kitty was turned out of her home (or lost) because she became pregnant and does not have street survival skills, I think she could starve in a neighborhood without a helping hand.
Good on you for giving her a fishy.
Next time you see her, can you check her teats to see if she is in fact pregnant? If so, it would be best to catch her before she kittens. If kitty is a male, I'd be concerned about FIP...he may need a helping hand with euthanasia, I'm not sure if FIP is treatable?

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 08:28 AM
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FIP is not treatable... it's fatal. As stated above, if you can check her teats, see if they are swollen or enlarged. She or he may also have bad worms. Please feed the poor thing irregardless... and yes, wash your hands, but I don't think you have much too worry about there. Do not give her/him milk... just water, wet food and some dry food would be best. Bless you for looking after this poor baby.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 10:29 AM
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Put food out on a regualr basis and the cat will come regularly.

Borrow a humane trap if she is hand shy. Once you have the cat I would take her to the vet to see if she or he can be helped.

It could be worms, having kittens (the teats will be pink and sticking out) or FIP (fatal but rare luckily) I have a feeling it is either worms or has worms and pregnant if female. The cat should be tested for Felv and FIV since you have other cats. The only sure way of knowing is a vet check. Poor baby...
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 12:25 PM
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Good for you for helping this kitty! It sounds like she really needs the help. I really hope she can be saved.

If it is FIP, the abdomen will have fluid in it, but it's difficult to tell without a vet exam. She may also be short of breath or excessively thirsty. FIP isn't directly contagious between cats, but keeping her separate from your cats and washing your hands is a sensible precaution, since she could be carrying other illnesses.

It's difficult to care for a sick cat you don't even know. Most people would just go "Eeewww" and turn away. So thank you for having the compassion to do this! There will be lots of good karma for you.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 02:14 PM
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I agree with the other comments. If this kitty has FIP and is isolated from other cats, she could live for some years. Thank you for being so caring!


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2007, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice! I will definitely put out food. I'll post again if there's anything new to report.
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