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I seriously need some advice. I love my cat. But now I'm struggling as I deal with the practical reality of taking care of a cat that requires 3 tube feedings a day, holding a full-time job that has unpredictable hours and requires lots of travel, and being single (no partner nor room-mate to help).

The good news is that my cat's health has stabilized (he got very sick with fatty liver disease) -- his life is no longer in danger, he is not in pain.

The bad news is, now that he's been home almost 6 weeks, he is still not eating on his own. In other words, the 3 times per day tube feeding may continue for much longer. This is a problem for my life. I have to rush home right on the dot at 5pm to prepare and administer his second feeding. I do not participate in any work functions. I have stopped going to the gym. Whenever I travel, I now have to pay a pet sitter 3 times the usual fee because she has to visit 3 times per day.

At this point, I'm torn about what to do. When he was in the ICU in hospital, all I could think of was saving his life and getting him home. As long as he is not suffering, I was going to do anything to save his life. Now he's stabilized, I realize I am not able to deal with the new reality of taking care of a cat with long-term disability, and I don't know what to do. I'm ruining my career -- if I continue leaving on the dot at 5pm, I would soon become irrelevant at work and possibly lose my job. I'm going broke -- I cannot refuse to travel for work, and just this month, my cat sitting fees would come around to $300 just for 2 trips.

But what are my options? If I put him up for adoption, his chances of being adopted with his health issues is next to zero. And I don't want them to put him down -- his health condition is annoying, but not really compromising his quality of life, so there is no reason to put him down.

Does anyone have advice?
 

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Is it possible to find a cat rescue for cats in need? I know you love him, but sometimes, it's best and less selfish to find someone who can care for the animal better than we can. (not saying you're being selfish, just making a point that you shouldn't feel bad about it, it's best for him). If your job is at risk, then something needs to be done. I'm so sorry you're in this predicament. Here is a link to a special needs rescue in SF.

http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/speci ... escue.html

Who We Are
We are a truly unique organization. We take in and care for all types of domestic animals including sick and older animals that may need serious medical attention and that many shelters and/or rescues would reject because they consider them “unadoptable” or “unsaveable”.
 

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Six weeks seems like a lot, but it really isn't. While this *could* go on for a couple of months, please realize it is not a lifetime issue. Most likely in a few weeks he'll be good as new. If you can hang on for a while longer, your efforts will be rewarded.

The good news is that cats can recover completely from hepatic lipidosis and go on to live completely normal lives. One of mine had the disease at age 5 and lived to nearly 17.

There are several supplements like milk thistle and SAM-e that will accelerate healing; if you haven't already got him on them, now while he has a tube is the ideal time.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 
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