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Discussion Starter #1
The vet hospital wouldn't keep my cat overnight for a few days because I didn't have $600 down payment. Her fever is 106.5 they said she could die at any moment. She's barely four years old. Her liver is severely damaged. Probably something toxic she drank nearby. Because I can't afford hospital care, they gave me a bag of fluids to administer to her via needle ($150) to take home, while I have to syringe feed her cat food the vet gave me. My mom is out of town until tomorrow night so I have to deal with this all alone. She's incredibly weak.

I just need some kind of reassurance. It's literally, so physically hard to feed her, she fights it, and half the time she pushes the food out the side of her mouth with her tongue. And I have to feed her so much each day. I don't know if I can do it, but I HAVE to, but it's SO hard. I fed her almost an ounce, maybe not as much since she doesn't always take it and it goes onto the towel instead. I gave up for just the time being, taking a little break. Is there ANY kind of tips to make it a little easier for me? I think that maybe, the fact that she has enough strength to fight me and struggle is a good enough sign in itself. I'm still going to try to feed her. I'm just scared. And it's so physically hard.
 

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Try burrito-ing her in a blanket. Wrap her up snugly with her legs tucked inside. Then pinch the back of the corners of her jaw to open her mouth, and squirt it slowly in the side of her mouth (they eat more if you put it in the side of their mouth)

I had to give my kitten medicine like that. Hopefully it helps!


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Discussion Starter #3
Try burrito-ing her in a blanket. Wrap her up snugly with her legs tucked inside. Then pinch the back of the corners of her jaw to open her mouth, and squirt it slowly in the side of her mouth (they eat more if you put it in the side of their mouth)

I had to give my kitten medicine like that. Hopefully it helps!


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I just stick the tip of the syringe at the corner of her mouth from the side, and squirt any I can in, sometimes she pushes it back out with her tongue but I'll try that and see if it helps. Thanks.
 

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I had the exact same problem with my cat, Ellie. I understand how hard it is to do and how you feel like you have to keep trying because she needs the nutrition. And it upsets the cat too. Such a difficult thing to deal with. I think you're on the right track. Just be sure not to squirt it straight down her throat.

After several days of this with my Ellie it just became too much of a struggle for us both. She was still losing weight and getting sicker and I finally let her go. Not saying that's right for you...you'll know when the time is right. But she does sound awfully sick and it's very hard on you both. Just know that it would not be a wrong decision if you decide to make it. Good luck with everything. I hope it works out. :patback
 

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Since you're doing this by yourself, take a large hand towel or a bath towel and safety pin it around her neck like a large bib, snugly enough so that she can't get a foot between the towel and her neck. Just be sure it's not so tight that it chokes her. The "bib" will prevent her from scratching you when you feed her.

Assuming you're right-handed - kneel on the floor with her between your legs. Grab the scruff of her neck with your left hand and lift only her front feet an inch off the floor. This will make it more difficult for her to struggle against you, because she won't have the floor to push against with her front feet. Insert the tip of the syringe in the side of her mouth and slowly squirt a little bit of food across her tongue (NEVER aim toward the back of her throat). Give her a moment to swallow before squirting a little more food across her tongue. Keep doing this, giving her a moment to swallow between squirts. If you squirt too much food in at once or don't give her enough time to swallow, she's going to fight hard, because she's going to feel like you're drowning her. Give her a rest every now and then by putting her front feet back on the floor for maybe 10-30 seconds and not feeding her. Don't feed more than 60cc per feeding. Some cats can't handle more than 30-40cc per feeding.

Play around with the consistency of the food. I have found that it's more difficult for cats to swallow food that is too thin and watery. But if it's too thick, it's too easy for them to spit out. You need a nice middle consistency, which you'll find with a little practice.

I know this is all horribly overwhelming for you right now, esp. since the whole responsibility is on your shoulders with your mom out of town. But you really need to try to keep your cool as much as possible, because your cat will react to your own anxiety. Play some soft music in the background to help you relax during feedings. Take little breaks during feedings and stroke and kiss her head. Hum to her, if that helps relax you both. Do whatever it takes to calm the tone of the feedings for both of you. Take your time. This isn't a race to see how quickly you can get food into her.

The following two links will provide you with lots of tips, tricks, and techniques to help you get food into your girl:

AssistFeed.com: Advice to help a sick cat who will not eat
Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - Persuading Your Cat to Eat

You're doing a wonderful thing for your cat, and it's something that a lot of cat caretakers wouldn't be willing to take on. I think you're terrific. I just wish I could be there to help you, but I'll do what I can through this forum.

How are you doing with the fluid administrations? Do you need help with that, too?

Laurie
 

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Hang in there, both of you. You're doing a great job! Laurief just said it all, but I just wanted to send you all my good vibes and thoughts. Good luck and I'll be thinking of you and your kitty!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I had my roommate help me hold her down while we (had to take it out once or twice) successfully administered 100ml of fluids just now. It's not a very comfortable feeling puncturing my own kitty's skin with a needle for the first time ever and hearing her whine, but I need to do it. I'm just trying and hoping to make it through the night and next day. I have anxiety and I'm just terrified of losing her because I love her so much. It pains me to see her this weak.

At this point, I'm hoping that her having bowel movements for the first time in a few days is a good sign (on my bed, but better than nothing). She also has the strength to fight me during feeding, like REALLY wrestling with me, I'm hoping that's a good sign too for the time being. I'm just biding time hour by hour hoping she'll survive. I won't sleep tonight because I want to watch her.

I will try the techniques, thank you. My mom has worked with animals since before I was born so once she returns she can take a little pressure off and help me, and returns tomorrow night. Right now I'm thankful to watch her breathing every minute I look over.

Thank you guys so much for the support. I'll update what happens.

How shall I decrease consistancy of the food? I'm currently feeding her RS Recovery Canned Food that the vet gave me.
 

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If the canned food is too thick, you can mix a small amount of warm water into it to thin it a bit. Just be careful not to get it too thin, or it'll be more difficult to administer.

You shouldn't need to hold her down to administer fluids. In fact, the more physical restraint you use on her, the harder she'll be likely to fight. You'll almost certainly find her to be much more compliant if you use a lot less restraint and a lot more comfort. It WILL get easier, I promise. It just takes practice for you to hone your technique AND for you to figure out how to keep your cat happy and comfortable during admins. Every cat has her own little quirks. You just need to figure out your girl's.

The photo below will show you the setup I use to admin fluids to my cats at home. I sit with my back facing the lefthand wall with my legs stretched forward across the fronts of the chairs. I position the cat between my legs and the backs of the chairs, allowing the cat some room to move forward and backwards across the chairs. Between the lefthand wall, the chair backs, and my legs, the cat's only easy escape route is forward off the righthand side of the chair closest to the window ... and I can easily prevent that escape with one hand held gently across the cat's chest, if necessary. If the cat tries to climb over my legs, a raised knee can discourage him/her.

This method of passive restraint helps to prevent the cat from feeling the need to fight active restraint and promotes a much more cooperative attitude and behavior. Administering fluids right by the window also helps keep the cat distracted.

The bag is attached with a double-ended clip to a hanger that hangs from the curtain rod.



If you have any questions about my setup, feel free to ask.

A few more tips ...

Your cat will be more compliant if you don't make a big deal out of it. Try to do the admins in a spot where she's comfy. Once you get more comfortable with your technique, you should be able to do it wherever your cat is napping. Have your roommate hold the bag up, while you slide in next to your napping cat and slip the needle in before she even realizes what's happening. Yes, it really can be that easy ... with practice and a very calm attitude.

Use Terumo Ultra Thin Wall 20 gauge needles. They are sharper and more comfortable going in than any other brand. You can purchase them through this link:

Terumo Needles, Box of 100 - Thriving Pets

Rub, pet, and scratch your cat before you slip in the needle. If she anticipates the needle stick, she may tighten her skin (some cats can turn their skin to concrete!), making it much more difficult and painful to insert the needle. But if you spend a minute rubbing and scratching the skin between her shoulder blades (and her cheeks and chin, since most cats LOVE those areas), she'll relax her skin so that you can insert the needle easily and pretty painlessly.

Once you get the needle in, lift the skin above it and rotate the needle gently to make sure its tip isn't embedded in tissue. You want to make sure it's in empty space between skin and muscle.

During admin, do whatever your cat most enjoys. Some cats love brushing or petting. Some like to eat food or treats. Some like to be left entirely alone and just sit quietly until the admin's finished.

Stay calm. It helps if you visualize placing your cat's parched body under a gentle waterfall. The water soothes her dryness and relaxes every inch of him. Keep that visual in your mind during admins, because that's in essence what you're doing for her. You're soothing and rehydrating her dehydrated body. She'll figure that out as soon as you relax enough to allow her to relax, as well.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks so much for the advice. I'll keep in mind for the morning. It's hard to comfort her sometimes since she's not herself, she's extremely weak and critical liver damaged, she can't really walk, she walks as if she JUST woke up from anesthesia. She threw up quite a bit of liquidy brown stuff about an hour or two after I fed her a little bit. But I'm hoping by now at least most of it has gotten into her system (at least my mom said) and hospital said it's normal. Thank you guys for supporting me, I'll keep updating as needbe because I feel like this is an hourly battle just to keep her alive for now.
 

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Keep up the fight!

If there are any pet stores near you that are open on Sundays, you might consider seeing if any carry Tomlyn Nutri-Cal:

Tomlyn

(The Petco near my house carries it)

It's basically just very calorically/nutritionally-dense gel. If your kitty is still willing to groom herself, just glorp some of it onto one of her forepaws and she should lick it off.

This technique can also work with canned food mixed with water until it's a paste - spread it on a forepaw and usually the cat will lick it off.

As Laurie said, injecting a cat should hardly pain them at all. "Tent" out some of the skin by the upper shoulder/side of the neck area by gripping a bit of skin/fur in your fingers and pulling it outwards until it forms a tent. Do NOT inject a cat in the scruff of the neck, as fluids are not absorbed as well in this area.

Insert the needle into the side of this skin "tent". This way, you are not pricking the cat in its muscle/flesh at all, you are only piercing one layer of skin, and cats really aren't as sensitive to pain as humans are. You just have to be careful not to push the needle in so far that you literally go out the other side of the "tent".

I know how horrifying it can be for the human to have to jab our pets with a needle, since we can't tell them rationally what we're doing in order to calm them down.

Did the vets give you any advice on what to do in the future? Or was their plan of treatment to give her the fluids and see if she recovers on her own?

And you may wish to consider these organizations listed on these pages:

Financial Assistance for Veterinary Care | Animal Compassion Network (ACN)
Home
http://www.care2.com/c2c/share/detail/300198

I'm not sure how speedily they can provide assistance with medical bills, but it's worth a look.

Good luck! We'll be keeping your kitty in our thoughts. Keep us updated!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all for the support.. She became critical overnight. She was walking around, clawed at the closet door a little, wanted to go out of my room (started walking out when I came in, was surprised to see it), wanted to crawl in the unfit space between my bed and the wall (4 inches?). She finally laid down on my bed, on her side, feet in front of her. She didn't move. She would breathe and whine painfully. It pained me so badly. She would kick her feet sometimes too. I tried to syringe feed her, but she wouldn't even put up a fight like normally. Even with the syringe in between her teeth, and squirting some, sometimes she would smack her mouth like cats do, but then she'd just keep the food in there for an hour, doing nothing with it... her eyes open the whole time, facing away from me however. I knew. I had to mentally prepare or else it would mentally kill me. I took the photo below, and a half hour later she died... My roommate noticed her purring, and I could easily feel it and hear it when I put my ear up to her, after she stopped breathing. It was a soft purr that eventually faded. Was the first time I've ever seen anything die before me... my best friend mother is coming home tonight, so I had to do this all alone... she couldn't say goodbye to her in time... Oh, and please maybe consulate me on this. She started to sneeze a little bit so I IMMEDIATELY went and got my roommate, not 5 seconds later, came back and she had stopped breathing. Part of me wishes I was there for those 5 seconds, to be there with her, but would it have made any difference..? I want to ease that off my mind comfortably.. Her name is Kiara.

 

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I am so sorry this happened. :( My Cricket became ill Thursday night and died Friday, so I feel your pain. Believe me tho when I say you did the very best for your sweetie and she knew it. You comforted her in the end when she needed you the most, and the important thing now is that she no longer hurts, even tho you will hurt for it. Poor little Kiara. I'm sure she was a wonderful girl.
 

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I, too, am very sorry for your loss of the beautiful Kiara. You went above and beyond to try to save your girl, but there are ailments that even our best efforts can't fix. She passed in her home surrounded by those who loved her and who she loved. Most importantly, she is no longer trapped in a painful and desperately ill body. Try to take some comfort in that.

I wish you a peaceful grief,

Laurie
 

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Smokey596, I am also very sorry for your loss of Cricket. It's so hard when they leave us that quickly. Barely gives us time to try to save them.

I wish you a peaceful grief,

Laurie
 

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I am so sorry for your loss...you were brave and strong - you felt overwhelmed because you were alone but you did it. You held it together and gave her great care. There are times that come when the best of care will not suffice - and like everyone has said, you gave her comfort and love in her last moments. It's so heartbreaking when we lose someone that was so special to us, affectionate, and innocent.

To Smokey, as well. You know your Cricket was well loved.

Wishing you both much comfort.
 

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So sorry for your loss... furbabies are our children. You did everything you could for her, though, and I know that she knows how much you love and miss her. Shes running and playing at the bridge now, back to her healthy self, and will be waiting there for you someday.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing my baby was the hardest thing I even had to do. You did all you could for her and she knew that. She wasn't alone and she's no longer in pain. You gave her a wonderful life.
 

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So sorry for your loss. Your story has me crying. I had the same problem trying to feed Razzle-chronic renal failure, whom i lost in July. It came to a point where he wouldn't eat the food i syringed into his mouth. It just dripped out. All he did was lay on the bathroom floor-cold. I had to let him go and it broke my heart. Kiara knew you were there for her and was loved.

Kathy
 
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