Cat adopted us! Need help please

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.


Member Since
Purred: Thu Jul 12, '12 9:53am PST 
We had this really scrawny orange tabby adopt us recently. He has longish hair but you can still see his ribs. Im not a cat person but I couldnt stand to see him like this so I started to feed him dog food until I could get to the store. I bought a bag of Merrick before grain cat food and Im feeding him 1cup a day ( he is about half grown unless he has been stunted). My questions are should I feed him more? Right now taking him to the vet is out of the question because its out of our budget.Is there a list of unsafe foods that cats cant eat? Im trying to get him healthy and fattened up. He has a sweet personality but right now a cat isnt in our budget and my 2dogs dont seem to like the idea of a cat hanging around. I want to him to go to a good home but im afraid because of how unhealthy he looks nobody will take him.


Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
Purred: Fri Jul 13, '12 12:22pm PST 
The best thing you can feed is a high protein wet food. That will start to fatten him up and get his fur looking better. However, I think it's really urgent that the cat see a vet first. Perhaps if you explain the situation to your vet they will work out a deal with you, or you could try your local Humane Society. If the cat has parasites it's never going to fatten up. And if you don't get the cat fixed you may end up trying to rehome more than one. Please get the cat to the vet or call some local rescues in your area and see if you can get some help. Do be aware though that not all shelters are no-kill. If you take the cat to your city shelter the odds are he won't get out again.
Sorry, not trying to be Debbie Downer here, but it's important that you're informed of everything involved!

Angel Baby- RIP

i am a cutie- kitty
Purred: Fri Jul 13, '12 2:26pm PST 
BK is right, kitty needs to see a vet or get to a NO KILL shelter. as for the dogs, well, it might take a few, been there with a dog and cat, after a few, the where great buddies, they just need time getting use to each other. keep us updated.



Ramsey - The Bedroom Cat- Burglar
Purred: Fri Jul 13, '12 9:39pm PST 
What you are doing is admirable hail If you want to fatten him up, kibble is probably the way to go because it is calorie and carb dense. That said, a high protein wet food is your best bet all the way around. I would go with a wet diet and go with the best your budget will allow. Max Cat is a decent premium that won't break the budget. If you're feeding dry, make sure kitty is drinking plenty of water. If you can, at least try for a mixed diet of wet and dry. As for the vet... You might explain your situation to your regular vet and see what he/she has to say. They might have suggestions that will help you out. The dogs may take time to get used to the cat. Make sure you're supervising them when they are all together if possible. If you find you just can't keep the kitty, try to find a No Kill shelter or a local rescue group that will take the cat in. Or contact them and tell them you will foster the kitty until they find a home for it if they will get the kitty vetted. Some of them may do this. Best of luck to you and bless you for caring about this kitty.


Tia the- Terrific!
Purred: Sat Jul 14, '12 12:36am PST 
BK did you not read that the OP stated several times that they could not afford to keep the cat? What makes you think they can afford to get it fixed? Personally I think OP is doing an awesome service by taking the kitty in and feeding it so it can go to a furr-ever home.

Alexander,- Dreamboat- #110

I am really a- lap dog in- disguise.
Purred: Sat Jul 14, '12 3:16am PST 
You can contact a no-kill shelter and explain your situation. It sounds like you want to be a foster mother rather than an owner. You can foster until the cat looks better. The no-kill shelter may have a vet on staff that can look at your cat. A vet should look at the cat to make sure that there are no problems involved. I know that you meant well but cats can't eat dog food. They are canivores and requires a special diet with other ingreditents. I like wet food too because it is better but do what you can on your budget. Thank you for looking out for the cat. My third cat was fostered as a kitten.Then, we adopted him. He is socialized and loves people. By taking this cat in, you have helped the cat in many ways. This will tell the next owners that the cat likes people and gets along with dogs. Thanks again.

Member Since
Purred: Sat Jul 14, '12 4:52pm PST 
I really wish I could take Harry the cat to the vet. My husband just got over kidney stones and me with sinus and ear infections plus I have a series of medical test coming up. Money is short at the moment. I called all the animal rescues in my area and only 1 responded that they are full but would like me to get him vet checked and fixed before they take him. As far as I know there is no No-kill shelters around Spartanburg South Carolina. Even our vet told us to take him to the local shelter. It is so sad because even how abused Harry has been he has a great personality. Friendly even seems to know his name. My husband is checking around his work to see if anybody wants him and I placed an add too. My youngest dog Pixie and him have a state off but no aggression from either right now but my oldest Nikki wants to eat him. Still Harry doesnt seem to mind them. Thanks for the replies. I will try to keep you updated


Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
Purred: Sun Jul 15, '12 8:13am PST 
Sorry Tia, I stand by my response. I don't see how you're going to adopt out an un-neutered cat that most likely has parasites when people can get fixed and healthy cats from rescue groups. It doesn't seem fair to the potential adopter either. Most cities have free or low cost spay/neuter programs as does the Humane Society. I realize the OP is doing the best she can and I commend her. If she can get this cat adopted that would be wonderful.


It's all about- me.
Purred: Sun Jul 15, '12 2:26pm PST 
If you feel you want to get kitty healthy before finding him a home, here's some info on how to afford vet bills as well as a state-by-state list of organizations that perhaps could give you some assistance.
http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/tro uble_affording_veterinary_care.html Having Trouble Affording Veterinary Care?
http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/trouble_a ffording_pet.html
list of organizations

Purrs for you and Harry.


let no food bowl- be empty
Purred: Mon Jul 16, '12 1:16am PST 

Just a word of warning about no kill shelters. They do kill if they think the pet is not adoptable or sick . What classifies what "not adoptable" or "sick" is dependant on how full the shelter is and how much room is available. Still a "no kill" is better than a kill shelter. Sadly the outlook for a stray cat is bleak at best.

But don't lose hope. Stray cats have found homes before, so it is do-able. With this cat being so thin, it is important that he eats. So access to cat food should be available at all times and away from the dogs. He needs to be able to eat at liberty and safely. Same thing with water.

I know money is tight and I am sorry for your recent run of difficulties. If you can find the time try to google imom.org it is a website for people without money for veterinary care and they may be able to help or direct you where to turn for help. There are programs out there to get an ill animal veterinary care for no money, it just means researching it and telling your story to as many people as possible to get help. As for your vet I think they could have given the poor cat a break and at least looked at him for you.

Being thin could be allot of things. It could be starvation, internal parasites, (both fixable), a virus,(sometimes not fixable), a metabolic issue (treatable, not likely) or cancer (highly unlikely). There is more, but the bottom line is it would be best if he got minimum a fecal test to check for internal parasites, and an felv,fiv test and of course an exam by a veterinarian. Spaying and neutering can't be done till he is healthy anyway.

In the mean time I would feed, feed, feed. No people food, no milk. Keep the food you feed consistent. Don't switch brands, don't worry about him needing variety. He doesn't. So, no people food. There are many people foods that are toxic to cats so stick with cat food.

Do not use any dog flea or otherwise products on a cat. They can, and do kill cats. Do not use any essential oils around cats. Nothing herbal either, such as "herbal natural non toxic plant oil cleaners" etc. Many companies do not know or do not care about what is safe for cats or not. If a product is safe for a human baby it still may not be safe for a cat. So be careful with anything. No aspirin, no Tylenol, no insecticides, no milk.

I would keep the dogs away from the cat at all times. If your one dog wants to eat the cat chances are he will at some point. That would be a horrible thing to witness and live with the rest of your life. So safest to make sure there is always at least one door between them.

Another website to check out is Alley Cat Allies. They may be able to help you and are on the east coast. You are right, your not in the most cat helpful area of the world, but there is probably someone to help, it is just finding them.

It is the right thing to try to help this kitty. It is also good that you realize the commitment that needs to be made to a pet before you can consider yourself an owner. But I have to warn that if you do find someone that wants the cat be very careful. Because there are allot of truly disgusting, vile, deranged, psychopaths out there that are good at fooling people. Don't give the kitty away for free. Horrible things can happen to free cats.

Hope this helps. Good luck. He sounds like a very sweet little cat.