How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask FelineMed Your Own Question

FelineMed
FelineMed, Licensed Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 330
Experience:  Accomplished LVT for over 10 years with a BS in Biology as well. Experience working in 2 feline specific hospitals.
Type Your Cat Question Here...
FelineMed is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have 2 outside cats (approximately 2 and 4 years old, which

Resolved Question:

I have 2 outside cats (approximately 2 and 4 years old, which I am working to move inside. I brought the oldest one in yesterday evening; he seems to have adapted very well with the inside enviornment and other animals, and seems content, however, he has not eaten today, nor have I seen himdrink water or go to the litter box. The younger cat came in this morning; she was previously feral and was very frightened at first, howling loudly; she immediately hid inside a chair. I have her in a separate room, and have visited her several times during the day. She is still inside the chair, but I can reach her to pet her; she no longer appears afraid, and will purr, but of course has not eaten or gone to the litter box. How long should I allow them to go without eating (and possibly avoiding water) before I must return them to live outside?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  FelineMed replied 8 months ago.
Hi! I am a Licensed Veterinary Technician and have worked in 2 different cat hospitals for well over 10 years. I'm looking forward to assisting you!

That's so great of you to take these feral cats in! That is pretty amazing that you were even able to get them inside! Although Tabitha seems to be pretty scared, any cat in a new environment will react this way, so I think there is a good chance of both cats coming around ok after some time and working out well. If you do have other cats that were yours previously, just be careful of their interactions with the new cats, just not knowing the medical history of these new cats.

It is great that you asked about how long cats can go without eating because a cat can get very sick with a condition called hepatic lipidosis if they go for a few days without eating. There is no set time limit on when this can occur since every cat is different, however I would not feel comfortable letting a cat not eat for more than 3 days for sure. My guess though is since they seemed to be doing well and eating fine outside, then they will get hungry enough probably overnight tonight when it is quiet and eat. If Tabitha prefers to be under that one chair for now, that is fine and I would put her food under there and a litter box nearby until she feels more comfortable. With both of them though you may want to try a new more enticing food, such as an odorous can food or tuna, or even the treats as you mentioned to help them get over their fear of their new environment and eat. If they are playful cats, a laser pointer or cat fishing pole may help them to feel more comfortable and give them positive experiences indoors.

Do you know if the male cat is neutered? My biggest concern with him is that he would urinate elsewhere in the house since he is not used to a litter box....and if not neutered, that will of course not be a very pleasant smell and may make any other cats quite upset. Will he let you place him in the litter box to scratch around for a bit so that he sees where it is located and that it is an ideal surface for urinating in? You may want to add a couple of litter boxes as well to give all of the cats more options. I would offer different varieties as well such as covered vs uncovered, since you never know which type a cat will prefer.

I would certainly get some Feliway diffusers, which will release synthetic happy cat pheromones similar to how a plug in air freshener works. This can have a calming effect on cats in stressful situations.

http://www.feliway.us/

If it really seems like even overnight that Tabitha is not leaving her spot under the chair, even to go to the litter box, she may be better off in a bathroom by herself that is not frequently used with a good hiding spot and her food and water. If she is shut off, she may feel safer with coming out to use the box and eat and drink, and as she gets more accustomed to this area, then with time hopefully she will start to feel safe enough to roam around more.

I hope all of this information has been helpful and that the cats can start to get more comfortable and eat soon!

Please do not hesitate to ask any further questions. I aim to provide you with the best service possible. If you feel I have done so, then
an excellent rating is greatly appreciated! If not, please let me know how I can better assist you. Thanks! XXXXX
FelineMed

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Thanks so much for your help! I will definitely place Tabitha's food by her chair "safe spot". [She did eat 3 treats a few minutes ago, but Bobby still did not take the food that I offered.] I have cared for both cats since they were kittens, so know that they are up to date on mediciations and have been spayed and neutered; no problems there. Both cats are use to eating dry with fancy feast "topping", but Bobby still refused this. [He doesn't care for treats, so that is not an option.] I do hope you are correct, that they will adjust - I very much want to give them a good, safe "inside" home. I may need to return for more advice if they do not eat tomorrow. Thanks, again.

Expert:  FelineMed replied 8 months ago.

That is so great that they are already spayed and neutered! You've been taking good care of them then : )

That is a positive sign that she at least ate 3 treats and although Bobby has not eaten yet, the fact that he seems more comfortable is definitely a good sign. He may just be too preoccupied with everything right now to eat heh.

I feel that if you were to put them back out for one reason or another and tried to bring them back in again another time, you will probably still end up with this exact same situation. Until they get over their fear of being inside and get used to the environment, I think they will react in this same way....so I definitely hope for their sake that they hurry up and get used to their new and better environment : )

You're welcome and this question will certainly stay open for awhile even after you rate so you can continue to ask further advice about this and give me updates

 

: )

FelineMed

FelineMed, Licensed Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 330
Experience: Accomplished LVT for over 10 years with a BS in Biology as well. Experience working in 2 feline specific hospitals.
FelineMed and 7 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
< Last | Next >
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
  • I will use your service again. I was very pleased with the response and the fact that you have a low cost option so that those of us on fixed income can have questions answered. I will also recommend you to others. Karen Jackson Heights, NY
  • You helped us to come to what we believe is a better next step in Jack's treatment, and hopefully have saved us $800!! Thanks again! Jack's Mom Tuscon, AZ
  • The vet said that the information and my following it will be what made the difference. Thanks again for being so very helpful. Tracy Grayson, LA
  • My oldest male cat had a seizure this evening. This site was the first place I could think of to go after the seizure had passed. Dr. Lucy was fantastic and she was spot on! Debbie USA
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Terri

    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    18938
    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/purrfectkitty/2008-07-10_084515_2006-06-10_me2.jpg Terri's Avatar

    Terri

    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    18938
    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    868
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CE/Cerecita/2011-3-16_2565_JAPIC500x500.64x64.jpg Cher's Avatar

    Cher

    Feline Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    9637
    Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/kydoll/2008-11-26_190500_me.jpg Lori's Avatar

    Lori

    Feline Healthcare

    Satisfied Customers:

    3325
    16 yrs health care mgmt & issues relating to cats, reproductive issues and multicat environments
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mccprn/2009-11-20_185102_JA_profile.jpg Micki's Avatar

    Micki

    Expert in cat behavior and health

    Satisfied Customers:

    3153
    Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/ERPetNurse/2011-11-7_1293_b.64x64.jpg Candy R.'s Avatar

    Candy R.

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2887
    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    A Voice for your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    2124
    19+ years in animal medicine as a veterinary technician