Disclaimer: Content on these pages is not intended to replace veterinary advice.
Two of the most common illnesses that take cats to the Rainbow Bridge are Cancer and Renal Failure. At Catmint Cottage we have more than our share of these, due to the span of years that we have been rescuing. .
This photo is of Toya, a fifteen year old cat who we rescued from the colony surrounding our house and street in 2004/5. Toya lived in a cat enclosure here with her siblings and other members of the colony. until sadly, they too left for that other realm. If you read the last instalment on our page you will see a photo of Toya right in the front of the group.
Toya was always very timid. I used to tell her she had Bette Davis eyes. She lived in safety here, was desexed and vaccinated and fed a good diet. Last year she became ill and was taken for a blood test, a dental with many extractions and was discovered to be in the early stages of Renal Failure.
She was moved to the inside and her diet was changed to Renal Food when possible but after a while Toya decided she liked the 'other' food better, with a leaning toward chicken mince and giblets. Once she decided to do her own thing it was not possible for me to change anything so I made a decision to let her be.
Recently, I found Toya starting to sleep on a chair on the verandah. She had a weepy eye and looked 'fluey'. She also looked cold but I could not entice her to better beds. I was allowed to put a hot water bottle on the chair and she began to let me pat her without bolting.
Two weeks back I found her on that same chair in the morning, wet from rain where she had obviously been sitting in the aerial tunnel overnight. When I patted her I decided to go for it, scruffed her and locked her in to a crate.
The ensuing scream was something to hear! Within a day we transferred her crate to the loungeroom which is heated at night. Another screaming match until I covered the crate with a sheet and she began to see the advantages of having her own 'room.'
Now she has some of the Renal food but only when nothing better is offered. She still prefers the chicken mince. I am able to give her sub q fluids now and do t- touch over her kidney area.
This morning I sang to her 'She's Got Bette Davis Eyes', something I used to say about her when she was young. She is enjoying all the patting and talk and is at last forming a close relationship with me after all these years. I guess she never really needed that before and doing rescue for so many never gave me the time to concentrate on more socialisation. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Toya, sadly, will not be with us for much longer. I did some research this morning to see if I can help her with a more enticing diet that is Renal appropriate. I found this article on the Feline Nutrition Org site which I thought might be good to share. It really is a wonderful site.