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I adopted a cat about 4 months ago after having wanted one for so many years, but now I'm thinking of taking him back to the shelter family where I got him. But I want to ask for some advice here first because I really don't know what to do.

First a little bit of context:

He's a 6 year old cat (approximately, they found him on the street covered in flees) and I immediately fell in love with him. The people at the shelter wrote that he was a very shy cat who needed time to get to know and get used to people and of course as an INFP I guess that made me feel connected to him. I took him on and spent the next two weeks lying next to the bed (where he was hiding) a few times a day, so he would be able to get used to me. After two weeks he became a completely different cat, who would lie on the bed with me and ask for belly rubs. He's the nicest cat, he really is, and I like him a lot.

It immediately turned out that he is a cat that will need a lot of attention. He had been coughing so a few weeks after adopting him I took him to the vet. The vet told me that he has feline asthma and he has some kind of immune system deficiency which makes that he's super allergic to all kinds of things. I took him back home, but the coughing continued. It doesn't seem to bother him much, he's very playful always and eats a lot, but then a month later I took him back because the cough got worse.

The vet was prodding him in the mouth to point out some swollen area and he snapped at her, which I thought was weird because he'd never shown any kind of aggression before. Then when she went ahead and put him on the scale to weigh him, he really freaked out. He started snarling and bit her so badly she was bleeding, he ran away and hid under a cupboard while making terrible noises. He must have been so scared and it freaked me out. At home he is the absolute sweetest cat but after that I've been a little more wary of him. He did bite me once after that when he woke up from a nap and I had my hand resting on him.

Now here's the problem:

He doesn't like to be handled. I have picked him up only when absolutely necessary because he doesn't like that and the woman from the shelter family said she never picked him up unless she had to.
He has a lot of discharge around his eyes and most of the time he can clean it himself, but sometimes there will be some left and I have to get rid of it to make sure there's no bacteria around his eyes. He will let me do it but it's a real chore, he keeps turning his head or running away so I try doing it when he's sleepy. This week however his eye was particularly teary and he wouldn't let me clean it. I can't hold him because he's like a pudding that can find the smallest spaces to escape and in the back of my mind I'm kind of wary because of his aggressive behavior at the vet.

Just now I had a little breakdown. The cat had some poop on his butt and I tried to wipe it off but he wouldn't come close to me after the first few tries. I gave him some of the food he loves and tried while he was eating but he was turning away from me constantly and then after a few tries just ran under the bed and left his food. I was able to get most of it off but not all.

I just broke down in tears. I feel so incompetent. What if something worse would happen to him and I can't do what is best for his health? I am praying nothing happens to him because I dread going to the vet yet again. After the first two times I get so much anxiety just thinking about having to go.

If I would have known that I would be adopting a cat that would need a lot of "medical" attention and that would be so scared of being handled (petting is fine he just loooooves that), I don't think I would have done it if I would have to do it over.

I feel like my cat (even though I love him) would be better off with people who have more experience with handling cats and know how to take care of the "medical" stuff better. This is my first cat and it's just too much anxiety to deal with for me.

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What do you guys think? Am I overreacting? I really don't know what to do. I would feel so ridiculous having to call the shelter family and explaining why I'm not able to take care of him. The thing is, they never told me or didn't know about his immune deficiency thing. I'm pretty sure that if I would have known, I wouldn't have adopted him. Or does that sound awful?

Anyways, some help would be appreciated to help me put this into a different perspective and to help me decide what to do. Thanks!

:unsure:
 

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You can do it I believe in you ;) The poo on its but happens with all cats occasionally. The crud around the eyes happens too. You won't be any worse than anyone else at looking after it.
 

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What do you guys think? Am I overreacting?
Overreacting? I wouldn't use that word. An "overreation" is often subjective, not factual.

I can't answer your dilemma for you. I'll just share a few thoughts I guess. The first thing I thought about your story is that if I was in your place, my only concern would be economical. Can I afford the medical expenses (which could get worse and worse over time)? That was the approach I had with all my past animals, including the ones I hated. And trust me, I had a pet in the past that I absolutely hated, sometimes I wished he died, but I never behaved toward him in a way that told him "hey why do you not die please?", I was always my kindest most loving self, because I separate my feelings from my commitment. Since I could afford all the expenses of this satanic creature, I kept him for the entire 17 years that he lived, because I was committed. I even built him structures with cardboard so we could play together, and I fucking hated him xD But to me, money was the only issue, and I didn't care about my feelings. But!!!! This is just me, people have their own way of doing things.

About the whole vet thing (the aggression), I wouldn't think anything of it. Animals ime despise vets. I'm sure there are some animals out there who love the biscuits that the vets give them as reward, but I have never met such an animal, only heard of them in rumors lol. My animals were super loving at home, but the moment they smell(ed) the vet from across the street, they panic. It gets worse once we're inside. And they never ever accepted a biscuit from the vet or from me when we were inside that building. My cat even attacked me once in the sternum -got me bleeding- and thats just because they hate the vet, they hate the smell, the hate the lights, everything about it. They are super scared, so they get aggressive. They don't want buiscuits, they want out. And I understand that. I can rationalize if a doctor was putting stuff in my ass lol "My health is being taken care of", but an animal can't understand why they're being injected and poked and have stuff inserted in their ass lol.

Also, I would advice not to worry/care about the animal's behavior at the vet, you do what you can. They are professionals. They have seen everything. They have seen vomit, they have performed euthanasia, they get bitten, scratched, attacked... Your cat is not the only one who does this. Vets know their stuff, and they know that animals are unpredictable. Your goal when going to the vet shouldn't be to have a well-behaved cat, it should be that you and him get the service that you need, which is why you are paying these people (and paying a fortune btw). Ask the vet how you can help her when you are handling the animal together, she will tell you to position yourself this or that way, or to pin down the cat, or to leave him alone altogether, they know what they need at that moment to do a good job, so ask what they need from you as the "assistant". But you are not there to people-please, you're there to "fix" a breathing killing machine.

Also, I don't know if you've done this, but research, go on vet forums, etc, ask specific questions about cats who get upset and hide under cupboard and spit on you if you try to help. See what people with those experiences have to say.

The vet told me that he has feline asthma and he has some kind of immune system deficiency

I took him back home, but the coughing continued. It doesn't seem to bother him much, he's very playful always and eats a lot, but then a month later I took him back because the cough got worse.

My dog has a muscular condition in his throat, which makes him live in a perpetual asthma-like mode. There is no surgery or medication for it, and he's been living with daily episodes of choking for five years, and this is for the rest of his life and there is no cure. I see nothing to "worry" about, it's just their condition. The only thing that I would consider in this situation is economics, like I said. Can you pay for whatever surgery or medical stuff comes up? That's all. His illnesses won't diminish just cause he goes lives elsewhere. He will just choke elsewhere lol.

He doesn't like to be handled. I have picked him up only when absolutely necessary because he doesn't like that and the woman from the shelter family said she never picked him up unless she had to.
Yeah I've had three pets like that, but I don't see that it's a problem really. I mean it's a problem because there's lots of fighting and frustration involved when trying to clean their eyes. I used to have a persian cats, and he needed his eyes cleaned x3 day. Multiply that for all the years that he lived, it was exhausting and some days you want to say Fuck this, but you don't, because it's not about your feelings, it's about commitment to somebody else's wellbeing. My current dog is much of the same, he comes from an abusive family and has traumas, and handling him and cleaning him up is a fucking war, because he's so sensitive to feeling uncomfortable that he snaps and bites me, with blood and everything. All I do is give him an 8-second break to collect himself (and not provoke his chocking with stress) and then tackle him again, and again, and again. Also, once a week I enlist the help of my father, I call him to pin down the dog while I do the grooming, because it's impossible to deal with him with only 1 person. So consider enlisting help if you need it, and if you can. Have a friend pin him down with a blanket with the head sticking out, and you do a deep cleaning. This is just an idea, I don't know your circumstances. Don't worry about the cat being angry at you, his anger is not your problem. His wellbeing is. And trust me, they know. My dog knows how good it is when I cut all the hair around his eyes and clean his eyes, because he can see better! He does all the fuss during the cleaning, only to jump and down and ask me for cuddle 2 seconds later, because he realises that his vision is so much better. Don't care about their feelings (or yours) when the serious care needs to be done, it just needs to be done period.

That's okay about breakdowns. I get upset too :) it's normal. I mean I put my rabbit to sleep a couple of years ago because she was eaten by cancer, and still to this day I beat myself up thinking I should've saved her somehow, that I can always do better, that I can cure cancer, wtf I'm insane. Sigh.
 

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Just put a litter box and it's the cat's instincts to poo there. Like it's instincts.
 

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And it's also cat's instincts to clean itself and it's asshole by licking it and then kissing other cats. And you kissing your cat.
 

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Btw, I'm not being insensitive: i have adopted two dying cats already which died unfortunately. Because I'm not God and every living things die.

That's okay. Just build a good memorial and don't change your soft heart for animals
You did enough
 

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The thing is, if you want the cat to be tolerant of touch, you have to touch him. If he hates being picked up and you don't want him to, you have to pick him up. It's not doing these things that conditions a cat to behave that way. Get some of his favorite treats, sit down at his level and offer him a treat while you gradually increase your touch. Start with something he's okay with, and progress to the things he isn't comfortable with. If he shows any signs of agitation (watch the ears and the tail. Ears back, tail whipping=agitated cat), give him another treat and back off. Do this a little each day.

Goop and poop are normal, though, so long as his bathroom habits are fine (you should be paying attention to amount and appearance of stools when you scoop every day) and nothing is inhibiting him from grooming. Cats are very clean creatures, so if the poop is still there tomorrow, that's when you know something is wrong. There's some stuff that a vet has given me for the eye goop but you have to keep reapplying it. My cat has had it since I adopted him so I'll just wipe him up if I notice it when he's chilling on my lap or armrest. My parents are always surprised how tolerant he is of me wiping his face and clipping his nails, it's because I do it regularly. They get lazy with taking care of their 4 cats and because of it, two are obese, one can't reach her butt to clean it, and the other so intolerant of touch she'll wreck your face if you try to pick her up.
 
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