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Discussion Starter #1
I know I live in Florida, and it's not nearly as cold as the rest of the US, but it has been cold for what we are used to, and rainy on top of that. 40's and constant rain here. My little Arwen as sneezing a little bit yesterday, and her left eye was closed a little, when she eventually opened it, it was watery. She did this last winter too, got a little cold. She spent the entire day yesterday in my garage and did not even once ask to go out, that's how bad she felt. This morning, she cried to go out there and she is just sitting there debating whether to stay out or not, but I imagine she will be back in safely on her warming mat in a few minutes.

I bought some L-lysine chews from Petco. They were 250 mg each and I read that 500mg a day is the correct dosage to give her for now, and when she is better that 250mg is a maintenance dosage. I was just wondering if these chews were OK? I know that I could have bought the capsules from the store and put it in her food, but she is the world's pickiest cat and sometimes does not eat her food and if there is anything off with it, she will refuse it. She actually likes these chews. I was just wondering if anyone had an opinion about them in the treat form, if they were as good as the capsules? They are GNC pets, says made in the USA, and she likes them....which is a miracle.

I hope my girl feels better soon. She as has a cozy little setup in the garage, with her heated bed, and a few other cozy things to lounge on, and we have the space heater out there for short amounts of time, but we don' t need it for long since it's really not that bad.

I wonder about her health. I realize I am going to have to bite the bullet one day and trap her in the cage and take her to the vet. I know I will cry my eyes out to see her distressed and confused when this happens. She trusts me so much, I hate to break it, and at the same time, I want her to get updated shots and tests to see if they can tell if she has any of the dreaded kitty diseases. I suspect she may, which is one reason I seem to not want to take her in.

My love for this cat, I can't even describe it. I love ALL of my cats, but my love for this girl is like nothing I have ever felt for any other pet.
 

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I've never used them. I know they're much pricier than getting plain powder, but other than that, I haven't heard anything negative about them. L-Lysine is L-Lysine, and if she likes them, then I'd stick with it. They do make L-Lysine powder that has no taste (I've tasted it because I use it myself when I'm feeling sick). I'd be surprised if she'd be able to taste it, but you never know. I would use that before I'd use the "flavorized" powders made for pets.

You know, I was so stressed out about trapping Monkey in the garage, but he actually seemed to trust me more after that happened. I think I was more stressed than he was! Cats are very resilient and adaptive. I'm sure she knows you love her, and it sounds like she's very bonded to you too. She might be mad at you for a day or two, but I don't think she'll leave. If it were me, I'd take her in to get her tested and vaccinated just so you know...
 

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You are right Emily. She may be mad at me for a day or two, and I can always keep her in the garage for a day or so until she calms down. I don't believe she will leave though, this street is the only life she has ever known. Her problem is not only that she doesn't like her food if I put anything in it, it's also that sometimes she just doesn't eat her food. I think because she is outside eating God knows what, so at times she inhales her food and other times.....many times, I just end up throwing it out. And she will NOT eat any other cat food besides fancy feast, ugh, no matter what I try. Nope. Won't touch it, even if it's some super stinky gross kind that my inside pigs will climb over each other to get at, she won't touch it. Actually, if I happen to be cooking chicken or beef or some kind of meat, which is only maybe once or twice a week at the most, I will give her some of the raw meat or if we have a rotisserie chicken, I give her that. She will inhale human food! Probably all of those years eating food from garbage cans :( My poor girl, I used to see her only on garbage days, for years, and that was the only time she came out of wherever she was hiding. I would leave cat food next to the garbage can, and she would not even touch it, for years. I don't know why one day she decided to trust me, I'm just so happy she did.

She's not very happy with me right now. I let her out for an hour, but it's cold and rainy, so I called her back in here to the garage and closed her in. She stared at me with that face for about 15 minutes and finally curled up on her bed and is now sleeping. I tried to tell her that she doesn't need to be out in the cold rainy weather with a cold. Now I guess I just have to be the bad guy and make her stay in here anyway.
 

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Well, Fancy Feast is not as bad as some others (Friskies, Whiskas, etc.). If you're giving the Classic pate versions, they're actually the better ones. Most of them are grain free. I've had picky cats who would only eat FF too. Not much you can do about it, at least you know she's getting a balanced diet!

Monkey was mad at me for a day or two after I brought him in and would stare at me like he was going to rip my face off. But now he sleeps in bed with me! It took a while to get him used to being inside, but he seems to love it now. He still howls at the back door sometimes (where he used to come in and out), but I can live with it. I just don't want to risk letting him out knowing he's FIV+ and could get sick.

I hope you get some good news and find that she's not FIV or FeLV positive. It sounds like she's relatively healthy for having been on the streets that long. Paws crossed! :)
 

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Howsefrau, if Arwen is eating the chews, then stick to those for now! Its more important to get the L-lysine into her at this point, to boost her system.
I wouldn't worry about what you're feeding her right now either! The Pate's that Emily mentioned are still sooooo much better than only dry!
Cats that spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in the cold can use extra calories to help keep them
warm...
I think you should get Arwen to the Vet for all the basic checks!
STAY CALM!!
You'll make it harder for her-If she's picking up your Stress!!
I can understand your concern about cat diseases...
But don't make yourself sick with the "IFS" until you have her Vetted!
You've made Huge Strides with Arwen!
Don't give up, Stay patient AND stay calm!!:p
Hugs and Prayers!
 

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My male cat is not really feral but he lived outdoors for the first 7 months of his life and that seems to be what he prefers. It is rainy here today and 50 degrees but he insisted on going outside this morning. In fact to get him to eat I had to put the food outdoors. Recently my daughter came with her very nice dog and I decided I would lock him in a bedroom rather than he disappear for the time she was here including nights. He howled and wouldn't eat but did use the litter box. He tried to get out and acted so like a caged animal. Instead of sleeping on the cushy bed in the closet he hid under other things in the closet. I would go in now and then and tell him it was ok. When they left the next day I let him out and figured I wouldn't see him for 24 hours. To my surprise he came back for the evening and hung out with me on the sofa. So now I feel that maybe this was the best way to go. I think Arwen has developed some trust with you. It is kind of when you have kids and have to make them do what is best even if it they seem to hate you for it. It settles back to normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all. I know you are right, she will eventually get over it and be OK, when I take her in. I am wondering if the composure treats will have any affect at all on her, if I give her those before taking her in? I guess it can't hurt to try, and I have feliway spray also that I can spray in the garage and near the cage. I actually only have a small dog cage which actually is not the greatest for taking a cat in....it's kind of too big, and they slide around in it. I think I'm going to invest in a smaller cat taxi, and of course, cover her up once I get her in there. I will just leave it in the garage, open, and regularly put some food in there, let her get used to it before I take her in. My vet said that they can actually sedate her, by a gas (I think that's what they said), while she is still in the carrier. Doe anyone know about this method?
 

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I know many clinics use isoflourane for anesthesia, which is a gas. I'm not aware of a sedative that's a gas. Maybe that's what you're vet referring to? They normally have to put a mask on them for this though.

I think she'll be ok. Really, I think the whole process stresses us out more than it does them. Monkey HOWLED the entire way to the vet, but they said he was an angel once they got him back. He was perfectly fine later that day too.
 

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Howsefrau, How go the Adventures of Arwen and you!
Haven't seen an update for a while!;):p
 

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She is doing better. I gave her a de worm pill and I think it really kicked her butt...this was before she was sneezing. It really made her feel yucky for 2-3 days, in fact, the day after I gave it to her, she had thrown up a few times, and refused to sleep in the garage for a night, even though it was chilly :( It wasn't that cold, but it was rainy and I was worried. But she seems to be back to her old self again, in fact, she is currently asleep in the garage right now, since it is still windy, drizzly and chilly outside, so she decided to stay inside. She has times that she will just eat a few bites and other times she will eat with great gusto. She does use the litter box and all of that looks perfectly normal.

I found a mobile vet who has great reviews, and I was pondering having her come to my house to check her out, give her shots, test her for kitty diseases. I am thinking this might be better than taking her in. This girl gets absolutely panicked sometimes, the thought of putting her in a carrier and taking her in....she would be so terrified. This vet that I have found, I have talked to several people who have used her before, she is great. However, she was due to have a baby a few days ago and I'm thinking she might be out of commission for a little while, AND, I am not sure if she come in to handle a feral cat. Actually, Arwen is quite sweet right now, she will actually rub up against just about anyones leg now and even let you reach down and pet her. So I keep thinking of the scenario of her being in my garage, and being sweet, and then wondering ....what would they do next? I know, I'm so stupid asking these questions, but I'm just wondering how it would go. I'm assuming she 'd have an assistant, possibly, and would she scruff her? Do you scruff a feral cat? What the heck would they do? She is a holistic vet also, I have seen her website and seen various cats, dogs, horses that she has done acupuncture on. My doberman had acupuncture done once, and it was an amazing experience. The vet literally stuck a few needles around her body, put one in her forehead and the dog was as relaxed as if she were on a sandy beach basking in the sun, LOL! I'm thinking that this treatment could not be possible on what is pretty much a wild animal though. I don't know. I have so many "what if's" and "hows", ya know. I keep thinking, if it were in my garage, she would be contained, and easy enough to get ahold of. She would be mad afterwards though, however, she could be still contained safely to the garage while she calmed down. She might give me the cold shoulder for a day or two, but I do believe she would come back, because where else is she going to go? This is the only home she has ever known, my street, and the 2-3 yards and houses that she regularly frequents.

Anyone have any thoughts on this plan, to have the mobile vet come here, if she will deal with a cat who is formerly a very, VERY feral cat, but is now kind of a sweetheart but very much also still has feral tendencies? This option seems less stressful to me than bringing her into a vet, which I think would be just awful for her. I know she has had a round of shots at least once in her life, she is an ear tipped TNR. We also suspect that she is between 5-7 years old. How long, realistically, can a rabies shot be really good for? I strongly suspect that this girl might have feline leukemia, the way her immune system has been up and down during the time I have seen and cared for her. I would love to know though, because if not, maybe she could come inside the house one day. She would seriously be the worlds easiest cat ever. All she does is eat, sleep, poop. She acts like a little old lady. She does bring me the occasional rat or squirrel, LOL, but other than that, she is not out partying.

The funniest thing I'd like to share about this girl.....OK, I have NEVER, ever been able to get her to play. I have tried wand toys, cat nip, jingly bell balls, you name it, nothing. Nada. She is "OK" with my MIL's dog, who is small, when she comes over, she will sniff her by the front door and she doesn't freak, but she is indifferent to every other dog in the neighborhood, EXCEPT, my neighbors two houses down. THey have a yellow lab (who sadly is getting old) and every day, like clockwork, they walk this dog between 6-6:30, and Arwen sits and waits for them to walk by. She trots after them down the street and follows them the whole way, and she literally throws herself in front of the dog and shows her belly, and playfully bats at the dog, who btw, is quite indifferent to her. Arwen was doing this even before I got her to the tame point she is now, even when she was a wild feral. She now lets the lady walking the lab pet her, she gives her treats, and Arwen follows them throughout their entire walk, which is pretty much just around the block. She actually won't go all the way around the block, because there are other cats on the street behind me, but she waits until they round the corner and follows them to their door. As soon as she hears their screen door open in the evenings, she takes off like a bolt of lightning to follow them on their walk. I have asked this woman if she would please consider adopting Arwen, but she and her husband are not cat people, although they are very amused by her behavior. I often wonder what it is about this dog that Arwen trusts. I wonder if maybe when the dog was a pup, maybe Arwen used to hang out in their back yard and play with the dog? I can't figure out what it is with this dog, and why she won't be playful like this with any other dog. My other neighbors have a yellow lab that looks identical to this lab, and has tried to be friendly with Arwen, and she won't have anything to do with it. Arwen loves this dog so much that even when she was really sick, and wouldn't eat, after the worm pill, she still trotted after them on their walk....and this was when she was ignoring my calls and I was fearing she had crawled off and died and she refused to sleep in my garage for one night, she still trotted after them on their walk. And Arwen lets me pet her and has just recently let me pet her while she is laying in her bed....something she has not done before....she would always raise a paw like she was going to swat me if I tried to pet her while she was lying in her bed, and has NEVER rolled over to show me her belly....but will do it for this dog. Go figure! I just don't get it but it amazes me to watch her.

So there is my update on my lovely little Arwen! Sorry I rambled, LOL!!! I have a feeling she may be in the garage all day today, since it is supposed to be kind of chilly and windy all day long. This makes me happy, when I know she is safe :)
 

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I'd give the mobile vet a try. Scout flips out in his carrier - he usually has bloody claws by the time we get to the vet from clawing at the door (and it's a 5 minute drive!). I've tried all of the home remedies, FeliWay, etc., and bought him a big carrier, nothign works. He's the calmest, most laid back cat I've ever had, but in his carrier, he is a devil. He throws himself up against the door, and tries to rip it open. But, when we get to the vet and he gets out, he's fine. Same when we get home. He just does not like being confined. If my vet did house calls, I would DEFINITELY consider it. I'd at least call the vet and see what he/she thinks. It sounds like Arwen would be ok with it (at least more ok than being in a carrier). Yes she may be mad at you for a while, but it sounds like she's really bonded to you, so I'm sure she'd be fine. Just have some of her favorite treats on hand to bribe her afterwards. :)

Maybe her canine friend rescued her from another dog at some point? It sounds like she's definitely bonded to him, not all dogs, so there must be some background there!
 

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Howsefrau, did you manage to get her to the vet yet?

I know exactly how you're feeling, and I must admit to completely wimping out when it came to taking my stray to the vet. I got him in the carrier by myself when I took him to the emergency vet, and while he wasn't aggressive, he was mighty unhappy. He howled the entire way there and back, and he bolted the minute I let him out when we returned. I was afraid he wouldn't come back, but he did after a few hours.

When I decided I'd let him in to my new place, I knew he had to go get a check-up first. But he so hated being confined that I was really afraid to try again. Plus, I wasn't sure he knew how to find his new home in case he ran off.

So...I called my catsitter for help. She didn't mind being the bad guy: I got the carrier ready while she picked him up and poured him in.

Just a thought. :)
 
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