I travel out of the country about once a year. Over the years I have trapped out door cats, tamed them and tried to find them homes. I normally had a cat sitter come in and care for my group, but she had a stroke last year and is unavailable. questions 1. do you know of a reliable cat sitting service? Now that I am not active in trapping these critters, there are five in my care - only one which really is mine. When I came back from South Africa one of my cats, who is by my side every night, was jauntis. I was told by my vet she had about a week to live. Went to the Cat specialist in Buffalo Grove, IL to check out further ways to help her. I was told to force feed her, which i did and she is doing fine. I am not afraid to help these animals. My last cat was 20yrs and 6 mo. One other in my care had fluids for 3+ years and is doing fine now. Question 2. What can I do to elimenate my comng home to find her jauntis again?
Pet's Gender: Female
Pet's Age: 12
Type of Animal: domestic
Name of Animal: Princes
She sleeps besides me every night. She is always there most of the night. She gets combed every day and receives a treat for being patient with the combing. She stays mainly in the upstairs bedroom. If I am in another room upstairs (computer room), she generally will come and sit by the door until I leave. She as well as the rest of my group do not socialize with other humans, in fact people say they can't believe I have that many.
This is an interesting history. It seems that your kitty is especially attached to you based on what you wrote (sleeps by you, waits for you by the door, one cat person, etc.). Then there is the fact that your kitty was jaundiced and recovered through being force fed, a treatment which would only work in the case of only one type of liver disease, hepatic lipidosis (otherwise known as fatty liver syndrome). Hepatic lipidosis occurs when a feline patient (often an overweight one) suddenly stops eating and must mobilize body fat stores to provide for its energy needs. Cats are not physiologically well adapted for this type of mobilization of fat for energy in the large quantities necessary when sudden and prolonged anorexia occur, and can result in the deposition of fat on the liver and a jaundiced and sicker patient.
Treatment of hepatic lipidosis is to force feed the cat 2 cans of food per day to reverse the negative energy balance. Since this can be challenging in s sick cat, or impossible if their gag reflex if very strong, I often have to place feeding tubes in cats to successfully get this amount of food in the feline patient.
If you combine all this, it seems that your cat likely became suddenly and severely anorexic in you absence, leading to hepatic lipidosis. She survived it because you force fed her and reversed her negative energy balance. As such...if this happens again in your absence, then I would do exactly as you did before. Couple of things you can do to facilitate the recovery:
1.) Feed prescription Hills A/D. This diet packs allot of calories per unit volume, as it is a recovery diet, but it is also very pureed and easy to syringe to the often unwilling feline patient. Again, you would want to get 2 cans a day into the kitty.
2.) Ask your vet for a prescription of ursodiol. This medication contracts the gall bladder and flushes the gallbladder/liver biliary system, enabling the clearing of the jaundice. Jaundice is not just a clinical sign, but also a neurotoxin, and as such contributes significantly to the patient feeling lousy...the faster we clear away the jaundice, the faster we hasten recovery.
As far a eliminating the possibility that your cat will end up with hepatic lipidosis again, that is a very difficult question. Somehow, you would have to convince her to eat in your absence, something that can be very challenging. I would suggest putting a Feliway plugin in the room or few rooms she occupies the most. Feliway plugins release a pheromone that is calming to cats that may relieve anxiety she feels in your absence enough to keep her eating. You can get these plugins at most large retail pet stores or online:
Licensed Veterinarian, Practice Owner, And Book Author