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My stray, Violet, is finally inside and is doing great! I do have a couple questions, however.

I haven't taken her to the vet yet, since I just brought her in yesterday after a terrifying pine tree incident. This being said, I'm not quite sure how old she is. Judging by her size, she's no more than a year old. She was also very thin. I did, however give her a flea treatment.

Anyway, my first question is about food choice. When she was outside, and would stop by morning and night for food, I just had a can or two of Blue Buffalo Basics on hand. I bought the same kind and flavor as the can, just in dry form. I thought maybe there was some sort of process to start them on real food, but she pounds it down and seems to be doing fine with it. Is that okay?

Secondly, she's always doing this thing where she kneads on sheets and blankets and sucks on them. She also refuses water, and will only drink milk, which I'm definitely not comfortable with because I've heard it's bad for them. I'm assuming that this has something to do with how and when she was weaned. Is there anything I can do to help, and to get her to drink water?
 

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:luv Hi, I have two cats that were feral kittens and are now 3yrs old, we had them desexed when they were old enough. the female Tilly would only eat wet food and the male Scooby only dry and they are still the same now. Tilly doesn't drink very much but Scooby drinks a lot. Tilly always pounds on soft things and sucks but not Scooby, maybe a girl thing. I give them milk now and again and it doesn't do them any harm I was told it gave them the runs but I haven't seen any evidence of that. So don't worry as long as she is eating well that's what counts. Good Luck. :luv
 

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I know that milk doesn't hurt occasionally, but she won't drink ANYTHING else. She's not picky at all about food, which I'm very grateful for, but I just don't want her to dehydrate.
 

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If she scarfs the dry food up, try adding some water to it and making it a little mushier (just a bit at a time, gradually).
 

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Make sure the milk is cat milk, that will at least reduce the negatives with that. You could also 'wean' her off it really slowly by replacing 5-10% of the milk with water, over time increasing the water to milk ratio until she's only drinking water.
 

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If you have access to goat's milk, you might try that too. It's very high in probiotics and way better for their tummies than cow's milk.

The kneading/sheet sucking thing is very common ,especially if they were weaned to early. One of my older kitties still does that from time to time (and he's almost 10). She should grow out of it a bit as she gets older.
 

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Are you feeding exclusively wet food? If that is the case, you shouldn't worry too much about her water intake. She is getting water with her food, which by the way is how nature intended for cats to get water. Look for wet food that has more 78% or more water. If you are still worried, you could add two tablespoon or more of water to her wet food and see if she takes it. In catinfo.org you can find information about nutrition in general and why cats have such low thirst drive. I think it is wonderful what you are doing. Good luck!
 

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Sorry, I re-read your post again and saw that you are feeding dry food. If she accept wet, you should go with it. My advice is: try different kind of wet food so she won't be a finicky cat.

My rescue Blanca is on wet only food and she is energetic, and very healthy. She drinks very little water but she is not dehydrated at all.
 

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If she will eat wet food, it will be much, much better for her health. As you can see, cats do not have a natural thirst for water, which is why the get kidney and urinary problems. So if you feed her wet food, and mix some water in with her food, you will be sure she is getting water in her diet. Feeding dry food only will not allow her to get enough water in her diet. I have been down this road, with cats that ate only dry food, and my male ended up with serious urinary blockages and almost died before I got the word that he should only eat wet food. He has not had any issues since that, and he is about 6, and he was 1 when all the problems started. You really need to try to get her to a vet soon, because she 100% probably has worms if she has been an outdoor kitty her whole life. This is why she is so thin, and she needs to be treated for them. There are more and more affordable clinics around, hopefully you can find one close to you if money is an issue.

She is just beautiful!!! Thank you so much for taking her in. She is going to love you and be so thankful to have a loving home. I swear, cats that have been rescued from the rough life of being a street cat, they are so much more loving and thankful to have a loving home. Yay for you for giving this beautiful cat a home.
 
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