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Hi there everyone, my name is Amy and i'm new to this (and any other kind of forum for that matter - so please bare with me!)

I have had a cat for the last year, a small black domestic cat who is very happy and healthy and a very independent cat but on Christmas day (just 3 days ago) a small (what I assume is a kitten/young cat) turned up on my doorstep looking thin, frail and desperate for food. She was covered in ticks and had splinters in her paws and small scratches all over her body. After cleaning her up it was obvious she was desperate for affection - after showing her 2 minutes of fuss she has not left my side for 3 days but from observing her I am noticing a lot of strange behaviours that I think are pointing towards a health problem and am hoping to use this forum to find out more.

We have a family vet that has cared for all of our animals for years but is unfortunately away until next week and as she is eating and drinking and seems relatively content I am waiting until he returns to get her checked out - so until then if anyone would be kind enough to help i'd be really grateful...

Her symptoms include:

*Constant lethargy - she's very clingy and will stay by my side 24/7 but as soon as I stand still or sit down she flops down next to me and sleeps for england!

*Her Eyes - Very big and beautiful but often glaze over and look distant with no focus. You can snap her out of this and she'll focus again but shortly go back to glazing over then she falls asleep again!

*Breathing - Compared to my other cat she breaths very erratically, sometimes small sharp and quick and sometimes almost like hyperventilation and generally very quickly. I read that usually a resting cats breathing should be barely noticeable but this could not be further from the truth with this little one... She has an odd feeling rib on one side that I assume is an old injury as it causes her no pain but could a broken rib cause the odd breathing?

*When she's sleeping she twitches and chatters her teeth quite considerably and often will have her eyes half open with a milky gaze over them but is completely unconscious and floppy and in a very deep sleep but seems distressed.

*Her meow is very week and feeble - it really sounds ill.

On the other hand though, she is eating and drinking well, her toilet habits seem fine (she's litter trained and goes regularly) and purrs until the cows come home!! But for a kitten she doesn't want to play or do much but cuddle and sleep...

Anyway, sorry for the longest post ever but any help would be amazing as she's so beautiful and has obviously been neglected by her previous owners and I want to make her as comfortable and happy as I can...

Thank you,

Amy x
 

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Well, I hope she is just recovering physically from what sounds like near death...I might think leukemia but when a previous cat of mine had that he was not eating at all. Maybe anemic? My cat just died this morning due to a lung collapse and researching the web it seems this is common in a traumatic experience (puncture, hit by car, etc). You mention the breathing and possibly a broken rib - maybe possible there is a broken rib pressing the lung?? Sorry , I can't help much but this is what comes to mind reading your post.

I would say take the little critter to another vet for tests if possible...good luck and good on you for taking in kitty!!
 

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It sounds like you rescued this kitty just in time. Many of the symptoms you mention sound like they are from starvation.
This cat is so lucky she found you. She might very well recover her health with no ill effects, but it does sound like she was close to death.
You are my Person of the Day!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for your comments guys, it's a big help - i'm praying it is just down to being neglected and starving and nothing bigger because i've fallen completely in love with her and it's really upsetting me that anyone could mistreat her or that she might have a life threatening illness... She's so beautiful and loving and my other cat and her have become really good friends! :)

So sorry to hear of your loss Sabala, it's awful loosing a pet... Thoughts go to you xx

As I say, thanks again - i'll keep you posted after we've seen the vet... x
 

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I'm going to try and get her to a vet as soon as just to put my mind at rest... She's settled a lot in the last 24 hours but her breathing is a big concern so will call a local vet tomorrow and try and get her sorted. Fingers crossed!
 

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Hi Amy

You're a sweetheart for taking in and caring for this little kitten. Please do not wait for your vet to return from vacation. Make an appointment with another vet that will take you immediately.

One thing I thought of in reading your post was that the kitten may be suffering from dehydration. You can do what's called a "tent test". Tent test: pick up a good pinch of kitten's skin at the neck and let go. If it snaps back immediately, she's hydrated okay. If it takes a little time to go back down, or, worse, it stays up in a "tent" shape, she needs fluids.

If she is dehydrated, you will want to give her Pedialyte ASAP. Pedialyte can be bought for a few dollars at a drug store and is typically used for children to quickly replace fluids and electrolytes lost during diarrhea and vomiting. You want to buy the unflavored Pedialyte.

You can google: kitten dehydration pedialyte - for more info or here's a web page that gives some details.

Good luck with the kitten. She's lucky to have found you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've done that test and it doesn't spring back straight away it takes about a second or 2 - i've decided to take her to a vet today and am waiting for them to get back to me about an emergency appointment today... Thanks again everyone, i've never had a sick animal before and it's been so worrying and you've all been so lovely and helpful! I will keep you posted... have a lovely day x
 

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the vet trip is the best and most likely only choice you have, hopefully it will be something easily taken care of, sounds like pneumonia could be going on there, and most cats will respond quikly to treatment.. she's a tough little girl if she has made this far...
 

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We've been to the vets! It's all looking positive - She is apparently a year old but very neglected and very malnourished and she has a heart murmer which apparently some cats are born with and will live with all their lives and sometimes it can be an issue but they said by her age and the fact she's eating, sleeping and behaving well it should be something that she will live with happily!

Also the breathing issues could be due to the fact that she has virus (Which we have meds for) she has a raised temperature because of the virus which could cause the panting and we have to monitor her on the meds over the next couple of days and if it doesn't get better then we take her back for a scan so hopefully this all clears up! She's also been tested for leukaemia and FIV which we'll get the results for soon...

It's been on expensive trip to the vets but hopefully all will be well - she's sat on my lap purring away as I type this so i'm feeling so much better!! Looks like she's just had a really tough first year of her life but my partner and I will make sure that's all in the past!!

Am so happy and thank you again for all your help and kind words everyone! xxxx
 
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