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A neighbor found an adult cat while running. We think he is…

Customer Question
Hi , a neighbor...

Hi , a neighbor found an adult cat while running. We think he is a neutered male.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the cat?

He is very skinny, can really feel his spine, and he seems to be a bit wobbly on the rear legs. otherwise he seems fine, but he is meawing like he is worried, or uncomfortable.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the cat?

We gave him canned food, and he ate quite a bit, mostly the juice, but some meat too. I am worried if we fed him right, as he seemed emaciated

Submitted: 11 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
We confined him in our garage, so he doesn't get stressed by our other cats.He found himself a spot on the carpet where he laid down, but he didn't seem to be really comfortable.
I didn't see him drinking water at all so far (2-3 hours since we have him), just liking up the juice from the canned food.
He doesn't go away when petting him, but he meows, and is not a happy meow. More like in pain or distress.
Managed to get him purring a little, by petting him slowly on the head and chin.
Tried to pet him on the tummy sides, and it seems to bother him.
He is extremely skinny and can feel way to well his bones. He walks very slowly and rear legs wobble a little. I assume this is because he lost a lot of weight and is very weakened.
He used the litter box for peeing only, and after I cleaned it he climbed in it and he seems to have decided he's just going to stay in there.
Can't see any visible injury.
I couldn't look really well, as he doesn't let me touch his paws but for a moment, but I think he might be declawed (front paws).
Trying to figure out how to care for him in the best way, to help him recover.
Never had to care about a cat that seems to have lost so much from his original body weight so I am afraid to don't do more bad than good, y not knowing the correct approach to such a situation.
He is certainly not a feral and we'll try to find his owner, but first of all we are trying to tend to his immediate needs.
I attached few pictures.Hope it helps.
We'd really appreciate as much detail as you can offer on how to care for this poor cat.
1.jpg1.jpg2.jpg2.jpg3.jpg3.jpg4.jpg4.jpg5.jpg5.jpg
Answered in 1 hour by:
9/21/2017
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Peck, Cat Veterinarian replied 11 months ago
Dr. Peck
Dr. Peck, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 473
Experience: Associate Veterinarian at Meadow Hill's
Verified

Greetings, I’m Dr. Peck, a small animal veterinarian in general practice. Hopefully I might be of some help. One moment while I reply…

Disclaimer: This communication is for discussion purposes only. Without seeing an animal in person, a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship does not exist, and therefore I am unable to diagnose, prognose, or treat. Any comments made during discussion here are based on the information provided and are simply my thoughts regarding what I’d be considering were this type of case presented to me in person. The BEST recommendation for ANY veterinary-related concern is to seek veterinary assessment in person with your local veterinarian.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Peck, Cat Veterinarian replied 11 months ago

Just to confirm, you're sure he's a male cat? Is he intact or neutered?

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Peck, Cat Veterinarian replied 11 months ago

As far as his immediate needs are concerned, I think you've already taken care of them - you've got him shelter, warmth, food, and water. Continue offering him a variety of foods to encourage him to take in more calories.

That being said, there are two big possibilities to consider with this situation. #1 - He could be systemically healthy but emaciated due to being stray and/or older. #2 - He could NOT be systemically healthy and have an underlying disease process going on that would explain why he is skinny and unkempt / with a poor hair coat (from the pictures).

There's a few things I'd be looking at if presented this type of situation in person... #1 Physical examination - poor coat, underweight, plus what else? Dehydrated? Small kidneys? Enlarged thyroid? Heart murmur? Etc. A physical examination can reveal many other concerns that helps guide diagnostics. #2 - Viral testing. He's a stray male, if he's an intact stray male he's the most at-risk type of stray for Feline Leukemia Virus and/or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. You'll want to know if he has either of these viruses first and foremost. #3 Routine bloodwork and urinalysis. This will assess for the top 3 things that cause older cats to become skinny: kidney disease, overactive thyroid gland, and diabetes.

I'd likely perform a physical examination, recommend in-house viral testing, and send out some labwork to check for the other things I just mentioned, and encourage calorie intake with a high calorie diet and maybe administer some fluids under his skin if I felt he was dehydrated to help him feel better while we waited on labwork. Many vets would pursue a similar approach. Again, a physical examination may be telling and sway recommendations differently.

Keep him warm and his belly full with free access to fresh water. Call your local vet to schedule a checkup on a stray cat and get him in when you can. Hopefully he just needs some TLC but if he has some health concerns the sooner you find out the better, and that means checking some labwork with your vet.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Peck, Cat Veterinarian replied 11 months ago

Let me know if you have any follow-up questions, simply write me back! Otherwise, please be sure to kindly rate using the stars, so that I receive credit for helping with your question today (this is how professionals on this site are compensated for their time). Thanks! – Dr. Peck.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Peck, Cat Veterinarian replied 10 months ago

Reminder: Please don't forget to rate using the stars! This is very important for the experts that use this site to help people, it is how they are compensated for their time on the site. If you find this website helpful, RATE! And more importantly, if you have follow-up questions to the one that I helped you with, please don't hesitate to write me back to continue the dialogue. I aim to help you as best as my abilities allow. Thanks! - Dr. Peck.

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