Sassy cats – Gracie’s story

Gracie and Morgan doing a meet and greet

Gracie (left) and Morgan doing a meet and greet

We got a new cat last week. She is somewhere between 9 months and 4 years old. The vet thinks older but I think younger.

She came from a hoarding situation with 15 cats and no money for any cat care including neutering. A local rescue has been working to transition all the cats. The people are moving and can’t take any with them.

Two of the 15 lost an eye. My vet’s best guess is that a herpes virus came through and ruptured the eyeballs.

Cats with one eye do very well. They are not sick in any other way and don’t require extra medical care. It’s all cosmetic.

They can be blindsided so talking when approaching is good. They are just as friendly and playful as any other cat.

Gracie came in pregnant. The kittens were aborted because she wouldn’t survive live birth.

The rescue put Gracie in a basement room (very nice with furniture – don’t think dingy, dark and dank) with a group of “unadoptables” to recuperate. They are considered unadoptable because of age or medical condition, not because of behavior. Gracie got along with everyone there. (There were some really beautiful cats there too. *heart wrench*)

She comes when called (amazing for a cat!). But there was one issue. During her first 48 hours here she was piddling bloody urine. She had crystals and a high Ph level.

She was raised on dry cat food and that’s what she likes. Cats don’t drink a lot. She barely drinks at all. She needs fluids to dilute the Ph level.

The vet wants her transitioned to wet cat food. We have tried at least 8 different flavors/brands (cha ching) using techniques like warming it to intensify the smell and mixing it with dry cat food. Yes we even tried baby food. She’s not having any of it. A purist. She liked her dry stuff dry. Don’t try to put any kitty kale in it.

Some say she’ll eat when she’s hungry. That could take a while. This is a multi-cat house and I have two other cats who eat dry. It would only be a matter of time until she found their stash.

One other solution is to get her to drink more. She doesn’t drink water. She drinks milk but not much. The vet wants me to try goat’s milk (cha ching, cha ching). I have been using Lactaid. (Cats tend to be lactose intolerant.) Or I can buy very expensive prescription dry cat food that she probably won’t like at all (another cha-ching).

She’s happy and running around like a maniac. For now, I won’t worry…too much.

There are more stories coming. I am considering changing her name to Cha-ching.

78 thoughts on “Sassy cats – Gracie’s story

  1. Midnight, our little girl, has UTI. We had to do the same thing for her. We found wet food with some tap water on top (yummy liquids) works. Treats also have the P.H levels that can make them have issues, so be very careful with that. I thought this might help you; everyone in the house knows how you feel. Kitties can be expensive things, can’t they?
    -Grace

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  2. Great that Gracie (or should I say cha-ching? 😸) has found such a loving home with you. When we moved house our cats Rory started passing bloody urine and he can only eat a specific type of dry food because he has IBD. We found that it was stress related and it went away by itself once he’d settled in. We had a lot of success getting him to drink more water using a pet fountain. Also because it was stress related we used some Feliway plug ins around the house. Hope it all clears up soon 😸

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    • She is much better these days. She had 2 bad teeth and that was a source of some of the problems and stress on adjusting was most likely the other. I tried a pet fountain but didn’t get much interest from any of the cats. Thanks for your comment.

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  3. Do you happen to know what breed of cat Gracie is? A couple of years ago, we found a cat outside that looks EXACTLY like her (but with both eyes.) He was also very small, and we initially thought he was a kitten, however, it’s been years and he’s still just about the same size. The vets aren’t exactly sure of his age either. I was wondering if maybe they could be the same type of cat!

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  4. Two of my kitties had crystals and cranberry comfort helped their symptoms but my guys liked wet food. My cats hated the prescription diet. If she needs to eat wet food maybe Friskies? I think they have a PH level one. I know some people that freak out over not feeding holistic foods but eating is better than not eating. From the comments it looks like you are trying everything. Best of luck and I hope she feels better. I’m so glad she has a nice cozy home with you.

    https://www.amazon.com/Vet-Classics-Cranberry-Comfort-Powder/dp/B005KL6OY0

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    • After 3 weeks, I still can’t get her to eat any wet cat food. She is drinking much better and there hasn’t been any more incidences of bloody urine. The vet didn’t say anything about cranberry supplements although I saw on-line that there were some for cats. She’s very active so I’m hoping it was one of those transition stress things that sometimes happen. She went through a lot in a short time. She had two major surgeries and was moved three times in about 2 months. I will check out what you recommend.

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  5. In my experience, a cat will starve before eating something it doesn’t like.
    We’ve tried multiple things to get RC and Olde Tiger to drink more because they really need too. Salting food, dripping extra water on food ( that just ended up with ignored mushy food). One loved chicken broth – not on food, though.
    RC has always had delicate tummy. My sister in law vet said forget the expensive cat food – they rarely eat it…and she was right…I have cans stacked. All of them lick the gravy off can foods, but leave the chunks. So only pate on the plate – and now only the cheap Turkey and giblets by Friskies. Vet always shakes his head as it’s not the best food, but she eats it, digests it, and thrives, so we don’t question. We do sprinkle a drop or two of water on is – and warm it slightly (Other staff started that and now we’re stuck with warming all the time)
    Have you tried one of those fountains for cats? They always say cats love the sound of moving water….
    SO glad you grabbed Gracie – she’s no basement dweller!

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    • They say that about moving water, don’t they? We are in week two of the fountain and other than looking at it, I haven’t seen anyone drink. My cats don’t work with anything that costs money. They prefer to go au naturel. Mollie would drink from the toilet if we left the lids up (we don’t). I have two that eat the gravy and leave the chunks but both also eat dry food. I only have luck with Friskies for wet food. Fancy Feast sometimes. Something they all like is the juice from a can of people tuna but how much tuna can I eat? (They don’t eat the actual tuna) The baby food was the worst. No one liked that at all. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it. If the cats won’t eat it……

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      • The reaction to baby food gave me the same thought….cats know.
        Maybe you can add goldfish to the fountain as an added attraction….they absorb water through their paws (like humans do through the skin) as they pat the fish?
        Guess we were right not to order the fountain on Amazon…
        (And I feel your pain with the drained off tuna…just so many dishes you can make…)

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  6. Cha-ching sounds like the perfect name. Good for you for adopting her. I bought my cats a stainless steel water fountain and i have to fill it up every day with 32 ounces of water (or 4 cups) a day for the three of them… filtered water with no flouride. They are fascinated with the running water and sit there for hours (well minutes) lapping at the water. Every day I look at the bowl and think there is no way they could drink that much…. but they do. I should buy one for myself!
    One of my cats doesn’t like wet food so I sprinkle his favorite dry food over the wet food and then he eats some of the wet food! One of my cats will only eat wet food if I sprinkle dry raw Instinct DOG food over it! My other cat eats anything not moving or moving….

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    • I hope I’m as successful with my fountain. Typically if it costs money, they don’t use it. Cats really do have staff. I feed 2 cats on top of a chest because another cat is chunky and would eat it and get even chunkier (she calls it fluffy). I’m trying to train the new one to jump up on the chest. It’s about 32″ tall but she isn’t a jumper. We’re working on it though. Putting dry over the wet didn’t work for me. Sometimes it seems like having cats is a full time job.

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  7. Cha-ching is funny, but Gracie is such a cute name. I’m already used to it.

    Cats are so stubborn. But then sometimes they just change their habit out of the blue. My daughter’s cat doesn’t like a water dish set on the floor. He’d rather drink something on the counter. When he was at my house, he wanted his water placed behind the faucet on my kitchen sink. Kind of inconvenient. My daughter spoils him.

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    • Yes, my cats all have back stories. Some more expensive than others. Mollie was the worst. She brought in an upper respiratory infection and immediately gave it to my other cat. A week in the vet hospital for both of them. Very sick kitties. Morgan brought in coccidia requiring meds for all 4 cats (just in case anyone else got them in the 24 hours before the results came in). *bangs head on table* I was hoping this one would be eventless. Silly me.

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  8. Gracie is one lucky cat to have found her way into your heart. I can’t imagine choosing dry food over wet, but that’s me 😄 I’m sure things will settle down after awhile, but I admire your willingness to try different things (cha-ching) until it all works out. It looks like Morgan has discovered her Mini-Me.

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    • Mini-me is right. I have to look twice to see who it is. Morgan is almost twice as big but when you see a part of one, it’s hard to tell. The bloody urine made me neurotic (or more neurotic than usual). Seems to have settled out and her water was half gone this morning so she must be drinking. Of course this happened AFTER I bought her a bubbling water fountain. Maybe I’m the one who needed meds.

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  9. oh cha-ching…. glad to meet you Gracie! cats are all so different and unpredictable. Timmy was used to exclusively dry food, and we tried some wet food, and he took to it right away. didn’t know that fish wasn’t good for cats, so that’s what we initially gave him. but once we found out that fish is not the best choice, we switched to lamb, duck, rabbit, chicken and beef, and he quite likes all of those too.
     
    in any case, wishing you a good transition – so glad that Gracie is in a loving home. Timmy sends purrs.

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    • The other cats go out in the winter. We have the furniture covered but keep two chairs with old cushions for them to sit on. They may spend an hour a day or so depending on how cold it is. She will enjoy it as she was originally an outdoor cat.

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  10. Have you tried giving her little tastes of lamb or chicken human baby food. Put a dab on a spoon with a piece of kibble, get her to eat that, then work your way up to canned cat food. Might work. A vet told me about this ides.

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    • I tried that and it didn’t work. She doesn’t like poultry so I tried plain beef. I tried it 3 different times with and without kibble. I smeared some on her mouth. Not a fan. I have one can of tuna (the vet said don’t get seafood) to try hoping that it’s a little smellier but that’s my last attempt. As she transitions and I feed her with the other cats, I’m hoping that she will start eating some wet. That’s how Morgan transitioned. The good news is that I haven’t seen any bloody urine piddled since the first 48 hours. Stress may have factored in. I have ordered a water fountain thingy. Some cats increase their drinking because they like running water.

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  11. Normally I never show my wife your “Sassy Cats” posts because we’re just not ready to get one (two actually) yet, and all it does is make her restless (my wife, not the later-to-be-gotten cat). But this one is just too wonderful not to share with her. Welcome, Gracie! – Marty

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      • These ideas were off the top of my head . . . I’ve never heard of using catnip to encourage cats to eat or drink, but I thought it would be an inexpensive experiment to try. But if she’s not cuckoo for catnip, it won’t work.

        Another idea (if Gracie likes cats treats) is to let her smell one in your hand, then bury it in the wet food for her to find.

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        • Tried that and it didn’t work. It may be that she is still adjusting. Morgan wouldn’t eat any wet for the first few months. When she saw the others eat it, she started too. However, she still eats dry at about a half and half ratio. My vet is not a fan of dry food. Wet has it’s issues. If the cat doesn’t eat it right away, you have stinky fish or something else sitting around. That’s how Hazel plumped up. She’s a plate cleaner, everybody’s plate. Thanks for your suggestions. I love free ones although I would buy something if there was even a snowball’s chance in hell of it working! 🙂

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  12. That business of cats not drinking too much water – what the heck is that all about? I can only assume that they are designed just so, and we ought not be too concerned. But still… it makes me parched, just to consider it.

    It’s a balancing act, this business of rescuing and caring for and buying what’s needed to heal their needs. But when you’ve got a finite source of income… cha-ching indeed!

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    • Balancing act indeed! So far we are in balance. I have stopped buying different types of food. We did a week of that. She now has to eat what the rest do. Cats are designed to be able to go without water but it concentrates their urine and that’s not always a good thing.

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    • I caught them playing together. Morgan is 4ish so if the vet is right, they are close in age. We have contractors in this morning and there are three cats huddled together under the bed. So funny. Mollie is under another bed.

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      • I’m going to bet that Gracie is on the older side of the estimates just based on her resistance to wet food. A younger cat might not be so set in her ways on that. And I’m glad Morgan and Gracie are becoming friends!

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        • You may be right. I vacillate back and forth. My predictions are based on her thinness. Her face hasn’t filled out and her haunches are downright skinny. There may have been some malnutrition in her past. My vet may have done it based on teeth and other things.

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          • We have 12 year old cats who have never been bigger that 6-7 pounds since they were kittens and look like youngsters too. They had some serious deprivation issues as kittens. Vets do usually base a lot on teeth which have more to say than weight and body structure many times.

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            • This morning she, Hazel and Morgan have been chasing each other around. Warms my heart. No one is caught and I’m sure it’s playing. This has been a fast adjustment. I’m giving up the wet food fight today and hope to transition her to eat with the rest. She can always use the cat room if she wants to be alone but she’s preferring the dining room chairs.

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