View Full Version : Ailing OLD cat, I need advice!!
08-18-2004, 10:06 PM
I need advice that would help me get my 19 year old Siamese (mix) back into better health. His problems I have to blame on myself because I wasn't giving him the attention that he needed. For that, I have deep regrets as he has been my close companion for many years and certainly needs to be treated better. His COAT is medium long and I failed to brush him out as needed and as a result he became VERY badly matted. Today I took the first step by taking him to a local pet groomer. There he had his "hair" trimed, which is now rather short. He had a good bath, nail trim, and flea dip. He's looking much better now and in time his coat will grow back to it's normal length. I suspected that he had fleas... The groomers informed me that he was VERY badly infested with fleas when he arrived. The flea dip that he had will be a good start in correcting the situation but I want to make every effort to get rid of them once and for all. "DAVID" has lost a lot of weight. He eats good so I had the idea it was just because of his age. The groomer, however, informed me that he was "enemic" due to the fleas sucking the blood out of him. I want to do all that I can to get him back into better health so he can finish out his "Golden Years" in comfort and to have as many of them as possible. The flea problem needs to be taken care of so I shall soon go to a local Vet and get some "Advantage" to begin his treatments. The groomers recommend this product and from past experience I know that it works. It will be about two weeks before I can purchase it because of income but I do have on hand a "simular" product that I bought at Walmart some time back. I doubt that it's nearly as good, but it will be a start.
In addition to solving the flea problem I want very much to improve his diet with the idea of him putting some weight on. My budget is limited but at this point I'd rather cut back on my own food budget just to get him back into good health.
My question is: what would be the best food to serve him to FATTEN him up a bit and what vitamen suppliment might be recommended. Does PETSMART carry what would be good for him??????
I really feel bad that I let him get this way, and it's not going to happen again.... I love this little critter and he means a great deal to me.
Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated....
08-18-2004, 11:31 PM
You are going in the right direction here and I think it is great that you are finally realizing what you were doing wrong because at least you have a chance of giving David great comfort in his "golden years". :) I am by no means an expert at this but we feed our cat all the Science Diet she wants. Her dish stays full 24/7. It is the seniors 7+. It has the hairball remedy or for help with urinary tract infection. I also buy her the little packets of Whiskers (brand name) It is little soft pieces in a gravy and it comes in several choices such as tuna or beef or chiken...etc....We give her one packet of that at bedtime. It is very economical I get it at our grocery store for 4 for a dollar. I'm sure you will get lots of help here because Petlovers is full of members who love cats.....well...I think we all love cats. :p ...hahahahaha....but there are several who have cats! Good luck to you and I hope things go well and you can give him all the love and attention he needs and deserves!
08-19-2004, 12:52 AM
Hi Dutchman and welcome!... Im Dutch too :D
Wow.. 19 yrs!.. you musta done something right. I have a 15 yr old Siamese mix and she's getting really thin and slowing down quite a bit :( . I also feed my cats Senior Science Diet. Maybe you could ask your vet what food would be best when you get the Advantage. I use Frontline for my cats and dogs. You will also need to treat his living area for fleas... carpets, bedding, etc... if he had them that bad, they will be all over. Best of luck to you and David.
08-19-2004, 01:59 AM
Just for the record I'd like to add to my post in saying that "David" hasn't been in this shape before. Thru out his long life I've pretty well managed to keep his coat in pretty good shape by a occasional brushing. Only on one other occasion did he need a little bit of a trimming at a groomers. This time however his coat was in pretty bad shape and a great deal of it was "shaved" off. When he has a full coat he is really a beautiful animal and in time it will once again be that way. Right now I'd imagine his skin is a little sore from all the tangled up hair and from the damage the fleas have done to him but that's all been remove from him and he is resting comfortably, right next to me in a new bed that I made up for him. The brushes that I have I think might be a bit to rough on his skin at present so I plan on getting something with some fine bristles which should do nicely on his very short hair. As his hair grows out and his skin heals up I'll go back to his normal brush(s).
The fleas appear to be gone now after the flea bath but I'm not going to take any chances. I have on hand a flea "kit" that I bought at Walmart sometime ago and I'll start off by using that, BUT as soon as my next SS check comes in I'll go to the vet and get some "good stuff". I'm told that "Advantage" is the best available. I know it's expensive but "David" is certainly worth it.
"David" is a fairly large cat and for most of his life has been a little bit overweight. At present, and espesially with most of his hair removed it is quite easy for me to see that he is very much underweight. The groomers said he was enemic due to all the fleas that he had which would account for him being so thin. He has a good appitite and now that he doesn't have the fleas "sucking the life out of him" I hope to see some changes in his weight within a reasonable time period. During his life I've been feeding him "Fancy Feast" and the regular canned Friskies food. In addition he also has available anytime he wants of dry food which I've been purchasing at the grocery store. Even though he has lived on this kind of food for many years I understand now that it is really JUNK. I want to switch him over to a GOOD quality food that does not contain any BI-PRODUCTS and that would be suitable for a VERY senior cat..... Also, to help him get his strenth back I'm sure it would be a very good idea for a vitamin suppliment....
For both the better quality food, WET and/or DRY as well as a vitamin suppliment I would really appreacate any suggestions!!!!!!
MILK... What about that???? Is that good or bad. I don't often have milk in the house. I just use it when cooking up something when it's called for. When I have it I usually put a small bowl of it for David and it's gone in no time at all.
I know that it's not really a good idea to feed a cat "Human" food but David is spoiled. He wants a serving of ANY kind of meat that I cook up for myself. Chicken appears to be about his favorite. He's even "clawed" up my leg just as soon as I've removed some chicken from the freezer, and he will sit on the floor staring at the counter as I prepare and cook it very patiently until he gets "his" share. I don't give him much but he'll "gobble" down any kind of meat that I give him. Today I fixed up some Crockpot BBQ spareribs and I'll be darned if David didn't come back and pester me for 2nd's!!!
By the way, the Crockpot BBQ pork spare ribs came out GREAT!!! Made it from a new recipe that I came across for the first time and it is certainly going to be a keeper!!! If any one is interested, just ask.
Getting back to David.... I've noticed that his ears are really dirty. The groomers said that they would clean out his ears but when I got him home I couldn't see any difference at all. David appears to me to be totally deaf. I've made many attempts in making a loud noise to get his attention but it all goes un-noticed. "WE" have learned a bit a "sign languge" which helps and he is strickly a indoor cat and has been all of his life.
What appears to me in his ears looks like a great deal of "ear wax". It's very dark in color so I am also very open to the idea of ear mites as well. I'm rather limited on my budget or I would take him to the vet to get his ears checked out and cleaned. I was wondering if anyone knew of some products available. There is a PETSMART not to far away and I would really like to get his ears cleaned out.... Who knows, if it is ear wax and IF I can get it ALL out David just might be able to hear again.
This is a great site and I am very glad I found it
Any help at all for the issues in my two post would be very much appreciatted.
08-19-2004, 03:00 AM
I'm sure no one will question you on the way you've been caring for David.. not many cats live to be 19 yrs old ;) . Milk is not good for older cats.. their systems cant handle it and it gives them the runs. You mentioned a SS check.. are you retired or disabled.. the reason Im asking is that most vets will give senior citizens discounts on their vet bills... it may not be much, but it will help.. if it was me, I'd get him in for a check-up with the vet :) .
08-19-2004, 03:04 AM
One thing is for sure here Dutchman....you love your cat very much and that is wonderfull. I know they make things for ear cleaning and such but I have not used it myself so I do not know what to tell you there. Oh....and...ummm...I would love your recipe for the ribs.....THANX
08-19-2004, 03:14 AM
I would love your recipe for the ribs
LOL... everyone to krazy4birds house for a BBQ!!!! :p
08-19-2004, 04:20 AM
I'm not really Dutch.... Altho at one time that was certainly my belief. My last name is NEATHERLAND. So you can see how easy it is to come up with Dutchman as a user name. I've been researching my surname, and with the help of many others I've got information going back into the early 1600's. It's pretty well believed that my ansestors came from Whales. On my mothers side, I am actually 1/2 Danish.
David, my Siamese (mix) had his last birthday March 23 so he is getting pretty close to being 19-1/2 years old. He's a mix but has every appearance of a 100% Chocklet (spelling). I first saw him when he was only 2 days old and I fell in love with him instantly. His mother belonged to my Brother and sister-in-law. She was the most CALICO cat I've ever seen in my life. VERY small and light as a feather. David on the other hand is fairly large and there is little doubt in my mind that in his prime he topped 25 pounds. I had a picture of him years ago where he was laying on my kitchen table. His front paws were hanging off one edge and his rear paws of the other edge. For a number of years his favorate place to take a nap would be laying across my shoulders. He would stay there for hours and it didn't seem to bother him a bit if I had to walk around some.
There is little doubt in my mind that David's long life has a great deal to do with him being a strickly indoor cat. I think I saw someplace that the record for a cats life was 26 years, so David has got a long way to go to beat that. If he was to live that long I believe he would outlive me!! I have emphysema pretty bad caused by many years of heavy smoking. I've quit now but my lungs are in pretty bad shape. Since June 2002 I've been in the hospital no less then 16 times. What amazes me is the fact that David does not appear to have any lung problems after breathing second hand smoke for many years. I'm glad for his sake and mine that smoking is a thing of the past!!!
For years David was very much a LAP cat. And as I mentioned earlier he also liked to lay across my shoulders. He slept with me on my bed. He liked "sharing" the pillow with me and very often just left me a small corner of it. Now he prefers his own bed and he is content just being near me instead of "on" me. He's pretty indendant now and he really doesn't like to be held much. One thing that I have always done and alway will do.... When ever he comes to me for attention I WILL STOP WHAT EVER I'M DOING and devote my time to him.
I have had other animals ("children") in the past, both dogs and cats and loved them all dearly. When I lost one I felt as if I part of me had gone along with them. I don't know how much longer David will be with me (or I with him) but I treasure each and every day.
One of the strangest pets I've had was a DUCK!!! I got "Donald" at a fair by tosing a nickle in a dish. He was just a tiny little ducklin when I got him and I was about 11 years old at the time. I spent several hours a day with him and a "bond" developed between "us". I fenced in a part of our back yard for him and built him a "house". I could open up the gate to his pen and call him by name and he would come running!!! He'd then follow me any place I went. He seemed to enjoy the walk to our front yard where we would lay down on the grass together. I'd pet him and talk to him. He would run his beak over my face or rub his head against mine just like a cat would do!!! At the time the house I was living in was located by a large orange grove. There was a small resevore (spelling) about 50 or 60 yards away from the house. In the morning before going to school I'd open up the gate and call him by name. He'd come running out and then follow me to the resevore. He really like being in the water swimming, diving and bathing. The area was fenced in and I set up a ramp in the water so he could get out to a nice grassy area to lay in. When I came home from school all I had to do was call him by name and he'd come swimming over to me just as fast as he could and then follow me back home and to his pen. This went on for quite some time but then one day he disappeared on me. I later learned that my next door neighbor killed him by shooting him with a crossbow and hiding his body. Why someone would want to harm or kill someone's pet is beyond me. Just how low can a person get? Recently on the news (TV) there was a report of someone soaking a cat with lighter fluid and setting it on fire.
A fair size reward was offered for information on who did this but I don't know how it ever turned out.
I am happy to report that David is resting comfortably on his new bed. Now if I can just get him on a good diet so he can put some weight on. He doesn't want to "play" any more. This could be because of his age but with a good diet I hope that he will become more active so he can get some exercise.
any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!!
08-19-2004, 12:10 PM
Milk is not good for older cats.. their systems cant handle it and it gives them the runs. .
Milk is dangerous to cats at any age. You can purchase catmilk at stores like Petsmart if you want to go down that path.
08-19-2004, 12:37 PM
Hey Dutchman... what city?... looks like we're neighbors :D
08-19-2004, 12:51 PM
I live in Vernalis which is not far from Tracy and Manteca. Where are you at??
08-19-2004, 01:02 PM
OMG!!!!!... Im in Modesto!..hiya neighbor :D ... small world aint it!. So were you there when they had the big tire fire years ago?... what a mess. We drive 132 all the time when we go to the Bay Area/SF...so we drive right thru Vernalis.. we dont live too far off of 132 on the west side of Modesto.... I'll wave at ya next time I drive thru! :D
08-19-2004, 04:46 PM
You drive right by the Orchard RV Park where I live as your going over the hill to the bay area.
I've been in this general area since 1979 except for a 2 year period living in Lake County.
PS. Origianally I'm from Brooklyn NY
08-19-2004, 05:19 PM
Yup.. I know where that is :D .. we've eatin at the Orchard restaurant a few times over the years.. is it still called "Orchard"?. Last time I was thru there they had a new drive thru coffee place... I thought "wow.. how kewl is that and about time!"... theres so many commuters that go thru there every day.. just dont blink or you'll miss Vernalis hahahahaha. Do you like living in CA better than New York?. Its been so hot the last few days.. Im so ready for Fall to get here!. Well, its awfully nice to meet you :) .. good luck with David and give him big hugs for us!.
08-19-2004, 05:45 PM
Kitten food is rich in calories and nutrition. There is also a cat milk supplement that I gave to my cat Ted while he was living with cancer. It was hard for him to keep weight on. Kind of like my mom drinking "Ensure" when she had cancer. I bought it at Petsmart but they even have Whiskas brand at the supermarket here. You might think about calling your vet's office. I am sur ethey'll have healthful suggestions. Good luck with your buddy.
08-20-2004, 01:04 AM
I like the idea of kitten food for David to fatten him up a bit. The local Petsmart should be a good place to get a supply for him. I noticed on their web a good assortment. I'll check my local supermarket for the Friskies cat milk, if they have it, it might be a little less in cost compared to Petsmart.
David is really skinny right now. Not much more then skin and bones. Now that all the fleas are gone a good kitten food diet should do him a lot of good to build him up again. I want some good stuff.. Nothing at all with the by-products.
I'll see if I can locate a picture of him when he was a bit younger and in his prime to post.
Yep, it's still called the Orchard, both the resterant and the RV park. The water slides are gone and that section is going to be use for weekly week end swap meets. The swap meets have all ready started but they are using the parking log right now.
I moved to So California from Brooklyn NY when I was 10 years old. Which do I prefer? Well lets just say NY is a good place to be from.... FAR AWAY FROM!!!! I had a chance to visit my old neighborhood in NY while I was in the Navy. I even had the opportunity to enter the last home my family had while living there.
Sometime in the future I'd like to move back up to Lake County. I lived in Nice for about two years at a RV park right next to the lake. I like fishing and there are some BIG'UN's there!!
Yes it has been HOT!!! The AC died in my trailer so I bought a window mounted AC... It's a little bit to small to really do much but it helps. Then yesterday the AC in my VAN quit working. Yikes!!!! Tomorrow I'll see if I can find out what happened and see if I can fix it. It might just be a fuze.
08-22-2004, 02:16 AM
I've seen where they have the swap meets.. do alot of people go to them since its kinda in the middle of nowhere hehe.
Where did you move to in So CA?. I was born in Westminister, down by LA and lived in a few different cities down there before we moved to the central valley when I was 15 yrs old. I've lived in CA all my life. Lake County is a nice place.. I've never been to Nice... living next to the lake sounds real nice tho hehe ;) . What brought you to Vernalis.... not really much going on there. We would love to move to Idaho... maybe some day.
AAAAACK!!... no AC????... oh man, I'd have to find an AC guy, grab him by the earlobe, drag him to my house and make him fix it LOL. It actually hasn't been that bad this summer.. we've just had higher humidity than normal. We've only had a few days that were over 100 degree's. Last year we had like 12 days in a row that were above 100... so I guess I should stop complaining huh LOL. Its really been nice in the evenings, I can actually feel the Fall in the air... but then, maybe thats just me :D . Good luck on getting the air in your van fixed.
08-22-2004, 11:06 AM
The swap meet at Orchard have only been going for about 3 weeks now and it's still pretty small but I can see where there are more venders each week. I haven't made any special trips to go check it out myself but have stopped by for a quick look around if I had to go to the little country store up in front. Didn't see anything that I couldn't live without... In time I think it will pickup.
When I moved to S CA I came right from the heart of Brooklyn NY to a small farm in Yucipa. Late moved to Mentone, Loma Linda, Fontana, Cucumonga, Rialto, and a few other towns all in the general area. In 1979 my dad past away and my Mom who was getting up in her years couldn't take care of all her needs so we moved to Tracy together. My brother lived in Tracy at the time and he wanted to help out as well. As the years past, my Mom past away and in late 2001 I moved to NICE in Lake County. I was on SDI at the time and the overall cost of living was much cheaper there. PLUS I like to fish and what better then the biggest natural lake in California!!!!
When the SDI ran out, I moved to Fairfield for awhile and stayed with my ex-wife strickly as a boarder. I found work right away in my usual occupation of a Auto Parts salesperson. My old GMC van gave out on me and she had a Plymouth Grand Voyager that I bought off from her. My emphysema got worse and as a result my employer had to let me go. When I told the EX that I was out of work she just said, "Well, I think you need to find another place to live"..... That really didn't come as to much of a surprise to me!! While staying with her my memory was refreshed with all the reasons we split up in the first place. LOL LOL
I drove to Tracy and contacted a previous employer. I just said, "Tony, I'm looking for work." He replied: "Well, clock in and get busy!" I needed a place to live, so I contacted a long term buddy and asked if I could stay with him for awhile until I got on my feet. My friend owned the trailer in the RV park here in Vernalis and after a few months I bought it off of him and he moved out. Some years back my friend had his share of problems and he stayed with me for awhile when I had a mobile home in Tracy.
The Auto Parts store that I was working at in Tracy closed up, so I was once again unemployed and had no income. Luckily, it wasn't to much longer until I got on SS early retirement. (age 62)
My friend Frank is having some hard time at present and needed a place to live so he and I are sharing the little travel trailer once again.
So here I am out in no man's land, Vernalis....
Since this is a PET site it might be better for off subject of pets that we exchange by using direct email........
I can be reached at: email@example.com
Have a great day!!
PS: David is really doing great!!! He's got a good appitete and I can see where he is gaining some weight. He's also getting around much better and he insist on sleeping with me every night.
08-29-2004, 03:49 PM
Oh good golly... Im sorry I haven't gotten back to you sooner Dutchman.. I've been working alot of hours this past week. How are things going?.. hows David doing?. I dont think anyone minds our chit chat.. if they do, they can bypass this thread ;) . Thats wonderful to have friends and you can help each other out. I used to live in Buena Park( right around the corner from Knotts Berry farm!!), Placentia, Orange and Santa Ana before moving to Oakdale. My family still lives in Oakdale. I wouldn't move back to southern CA if you paid me a million bucks!. What a rat race. I still have relatives and friends that live down there and go to visit every once in awhile. I also make frequent trips down there for work.
Im so sorry to hear about your mom. Will you ever be able to move back to Nice... sounds like a great place... I guess any place would be better than Vernalis huh LOL. Oh well.. we just do what we can.
Give David a hug for us :)
08-30-2004, 12:20 PM
David is doing better but he's got a ways to go yet and it looks like his at a stand still right now. He's got a good appitiet. For many years he's been a nibbler and to avoid wastiing food I just put down a small amount of canned food for him at a time. While I was working I'd put down larger servings for him but once it sits there for awhile he won't eat it. Now that I'm retired the smaller, frequent servings is working out much better for very little waste. I don't have a time schedule to feed him, he's spoiled so I go by his "clock". When he's hungry he will come and tap on my leg, if I ignor him any out come the claws, so he knows how to get my attention!! I keep dry food down for him at all times as well and it disappears slowly but steadily.
And of course he always has fresh water available to drink at all times.
I haven't bought any of the better foods for him yet but I may be doing that later today, I've run out the supply I had on hand and this morning I opened up a can of Tuna that I had for him. Wow, he gobbled that down quick!!!
From all that I've read the "Natural Balance" cat food seems to come out on top of all others as really being some good quality food. It's quite expensive compared to the Friskies that he's been getting but I'm concerned about his health and being so thin.
I don't know if there is any harm in this but I share with David any kind of meat that I cook up. Saturday I made a big ol pot of Chicken Noodle soup in the crockpot so when I pulled the chicken out of the pot to debone it I gave him a good serving of it. He likes ground beef after I brown it down, pork ribs, hot dogs, roast beef, bacon, chicken, ham and a few other kinds of meat as well. He likes sharing my food but I have yet to try out the idea of sharing his. LOL LOL
Oh, I do have a AC unit in my trailer. When the roof mounted AC died on me I bought a window mount AC at walmart. It's really a bit to small to keep the trailer cool but it sure does help.
08-30-2004, 04:20 PM
"Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul" brand cat food is reasonably priced and is of excellent quality. Many cat lovers on this forum have praised it. I have fed it to my cats and they ate it up heartily. They also have kitten food. You can do a search for it and find their web site and from there you can find out where to buy it locally.
08-31-2004, 01:47 AM
Wow.. thank you Susan.. I've never heard of it and went to check out their site.. there's 7 stores in my area that carry it LOL. Guess I better get out of the paper bag Im living in :rolleyes: .
Here's their site: http://www.chickensoupforthepetloverssoul.com/
Here's where you can find distributors in your state: http://www.chickensoupforthepetloverssoul.com/cslocator_distributors.html
Here's a list of who carry's it in CA: http://www.chickensoupforthepetloverssoul.com/dealerlocator1.asp?state=CA
Im so glad David is doing better Dutchman. I dont think it'll hurt him to eat meats as long as its given in moderation.. heck, at that age I think he deserves it ;)
09-28-2004, 08:00 PM
Dear Dutchman / David ;
I am a freelance Artist with some pull at several vet offices. I paint their signs ; ads etc.... I too have a senior kitty. I was given several cases of food that will bulk up David in a heartbeat. I live in Georgia.....So I will need a mailing address to send it to you. ( At no cost ) My Jellybean has the beginning of kidney problems and is on another special diet. He's 15 yrs old. I found him in a window-well in philadelphia while attending Art school there. He's been with me ever since. If you would like this food.....email me with an address. firstname.lastname@example.org I use that address more frequently.
Give David lots of Kitty kisses from me !
10-08-2004, 11:44 PM
I am soo sorry! I don't know much about cats so I can't help you. But I hope your cat gets better!
Sorry I can't help!
10-14-2004, 05:11 PM
Since my first post in this thread, a lot of things have happened and I am glad to say that David is doing much better. I've gotten quite a few tips on how to fatten him up from this forum and others and have "met" some very nice people. I've learned alot about cat foods and all the help I've obtained is making a difference. Quality food is the main factor. It's amazing just how many really nice people are out there who really love animals. One is even shipping some food to me for David. I must say that this is really apprectated since I am on a rather limited budget.
I think this thread can be closed now after getting all the help that I needed. I will how ever keep those concerned up to date on Davids progress.
Thank you all very much.