Sonja
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26-01-2018, 09:04 AM
Sonja
I've been posting pictures and stuff about our new kitten Jack, a lot. He's been a lot of fun, and his antics are (almost) always entertaining. I haven't really talked about Sonja. Sonja is the cat we've had almost as long as we've been married. She'll be 14 in April. She's a very laid-back, personable cat. I used to refer to her as our "dog cat" because she would play fetch and come when you called her. She gets along with pretty much anyone who comes to our house, and she approaches them, sniffing them, waiting to be petted.

When we got Jack, she wasn't thrilled to be sharing the house with this little punk who runs all over the place. She's been slowly warming up to him, but her personality has been "off" since we got him five weeks ago. It probably doesn't help that he will totally eat her food, as well as his, and she's too meek to muscle him out of the way of her own dish. Because of this, we didn't notice her health deteriorating and that she'd largely stopped eating for a few days.

After a bajillion tests, the vet decided on inflamed bowels and pancreatitis. The good news is this can largely be fixed by diet changes, and the long term prognosis is good. The bad news is... well:
  • She's supposed to get less protein and fat. That's pretty much all she likes.
  • She's always been a really finicky eater, so she's pretty set against any diet changes.
  • She's still not eating or even really drinking.
  • She needs to have one pill daily, which she hates, and it's only getting worse.

Also, Jack stressing her makes her want to eat less. We finally got her eating yesterday, and Jack came bounding into the room when someone opened the door, and immediately jumped up by her to steal her food, and she just walked away and hasn't eaten since. We're trying to keep them on separate floors, now, to see if we can remove that stressor.

She's fighting us when we give her pills worse and worse each day, to the point we worry she's going to start biting us. I had to wrap her in a towel yesterday to keep her from kicking us. When she spent the night in our room last night, she stayed under the bed all night. She used to love sleeping on the bed between us, or on my pillow. Now, she stays distant and just stares at us.

I'm hoping we can get her eating again, get this through her, and try to get her old personality back. I'm afraid the current discomfort and stress are going to keep her from eating and drinking, and that she'll only get more sick, and that her last few weeks alive will be miserable. She's been such a great cat for so many years, and we can't do anything to communicate to her that we're trying to help her. From her perspective, she feels like crap and we just decided we need to start torturing her. This whole ordeal is beginning to wear on me a lot.
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26-01-2018, 09:05 AM
RE: Sonja
Here are some pics of Sonja:

[Image: 2ebeqfk.jpg]


This is her with Tenley, who died in 2015:

[Image: 2zhfewn.jpg]


This was from two days ago. She’s sick by this point, but feeling well enough to scale the cat tower we just put back up. She used to love this thing.

[Image: 14cy6c9.jpg]


And, because I want to cheer myself up, here’s Jack on the tower:

[Image: 1zlcbno.jpg]
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26-01-2018, 09:13 AM
RE: Sonja
Awwwww, poor Sonja. Sad I'm so sorry that she's not feeling well, Robby. I hope that she recovers quickly. I don't know if there is anything like this for cats- but with our dogs, we've had to trick them into taking their pills by using Pill Pouches- a soft treat that you can wrap around the pill. But if diet and eating is the problem in the first place, it might be hard to entice her into eating it in the first place.

Hug

Hoping for a quick recovery. An ill pet is rough. We lost two dogs within the last year alone, and it's still painful to think about. Pets are family members, and we love them as family and best friends. Heart
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26-01-2018, 09:16 AM
RE: Sonja
I have had moderate to excellent success giving pills to my cats with various flavored pill pockets. I realize that your cat is not supposed to eat fats and proteins, but maybe she can tolerate the small amounts found in these treats. Large pills can be split in half if too large for one pocket treat.

https://www.amazon.com/FELINE-GREENIES-P...ill+treats
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26-01-2018, 09:26 AM
RE: Sonja
Unfortunately you can't really make a cat eat if they're not interested. The usual way to change diet is to do it progressively over a week or two. Cats and dogs don't really care about taste they care more about the smell of food, it's somewhat of a misconception that owners have that they're "fussy".

Anyway good luck, hopefully she starts eating again and improves.

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26-01-2018, 09:26 AM
RE: Sonja
*hugs* Can you get the pills in liquid form? My cat hates pills too and is on medication and I use a liquid form of the medication, which is much easier. As far as eating, I think keeping them separate is a good idea...and possibly just limiting their interaction time until they get used to each other. I also found giving my cat a Fancy Feast Broth (I'm not sure of the protein level but it's mainly broth with maybe two-three cat size pieces of meat) immediately after the medication helps since he really loves those. Now he associates medication time with his broth that he loves, so it's not so bad of an experience for him anymore.

Maybe let Jack sleep in your daughters' rooms and let Sonja (consistently) sleep with you guys jsut so she feels more secure in her place there with you--that Jack is not a replacement, he's just another member of the family. Hope some of this helps and Sonja is back to her old self in no time. Heart
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26-01-2018, 09:31 AM
RE: Sonja
You do know that, when adding a young animal to a family that already has an aged member, that you always pay more attention to the old than the young? The young will fall right into place, the old needs constant reassurance at first, she needs to know her place with you is in no way threatened.

If you are paying more attention to the silly new cat (natural to do) plus shove pills down the old one's throat, yeah, she thinks you are done with her and her life is over.

Apart from that, she is 14. She doesn't want or need a crazy teenager bugging her. She needs peace and quiet and lots and lots of loving and cuddling.

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26-01-2018, 09:42 AM
RE: Sonja
Awww. Poor Sonja. I have a 16 year old cat named Cleo. She's a lap cat and she's on my lap right now. I'd like to get another kitty but I really don't think she would tolerate it so I'm going to wait until Cleo is gone and part of the flower garden before I even think of getting another kitty.

Years ago my parents had two cats who were best buddies and when one of them died the other cat went into complete mourning. She wouldn't eat. She got so thin she could hardly stand up. So my parents asked me to come home (I was in college at the time) and see if I could do anything for Muffin, the cat. When I got home I spent a lot of time on the floor with Muffin. I was down at her level and nuzzled her face and tried as best as possible to be cat-like. I meowed at her and literally walked on my hands and knees around the floor with her. She started to eat. I spent the week on the floor as much as I could and when the week was over she was eating like crazy and putting on weight. It seemed to turn the corner for her and she went and lived to be 21 years old.

Yeah I know, I'm a little crazy when it comes to cats. But stress is a cat killer and I thought that she needed to be reassured that she was still loved and not alone. Sadcryface I don't know how you can do the same thing for Sonja but I'll bet she's very stressed out by the new kitty.

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26-01-2018, 09:49 AM
RE: Sonja
(26-01-2018 09:13 AM)Emma Wrote:  Awwwww, poor Sonja. Sad I'm so sorry that she's not feeling well, Robby. I hope that she recovers quickly. I don't know if there is anything like this for cats- but with our dogs, we've had to trick them into taking their pills by using Pill Pouches- a soft treat that you can wrap around the pill. But if diet and eating is the problem in the first place, it might be hard to entice her into eating it in the first place.
(26-01-2018 09:16 AM)Gwaithmir Wrote:  I have had moderate to excellent success giving pills to my cats with various flavored pill pockets. I realize that your cat is not supposed to eat fats and proteins, but maybe she can tolerate the small amounts found in these treats. Large pills can be split in half if too large for one pocket treat.

I think the trick is getting her eating, in the first place. That seems to be the biggest thing, from what I understand.


(26-01-2018 09:13 AM)Emma Wrote:  Hoping for a quick recovery. An ill pet is rough. We lost two dogs within the last year alone, and it's still painful to think about. Pets are family members, and we love them as family and best friends. Heart

Awww. I'm sorry to hear that. Hug Heart


(26-01-2018 09:26 AM)Aractus Wrote:  Unfortunately you can't really make a cat eat if they're not interested. The usual way to change diet is to do it progressively over a week or two. Cats and dogs don't really care about taste they care more about the smell of food, it's somewhat of a misconception that owners have that they're "fussy".

That's... not surprising. She usually eats dry food all the time and loves it. Every day, she's excited to get it. We've switched her to something different on the vet's orders, and she's shown little interest. That one day when she was eating, it was her old dry food. At this point, if we can just get her eating at all, we'll be happy.




(26-01-2018 09:26 AM)jennybee Wrote:  *hugs* Can you get the pills in liquid form? My cat hates pills too and is on medication and I use a liquid form of the medication, which is much easier. As far as eating, I think keeping them separate is a good idea...and possibly just limiting their interaction time until they get used to each other. I also found giving my cat a Fancy Feast Broth (I'm not sure of the protein level but it's mainly broth with maybe two-three cat size pieces of meat) immediately after the medication helps since he really loves those. Now he associates medication time with his broth that he loves, so it's not so bad of an experience for him anymore.

I'm not sure. We got her some unsalted chicken broth to coax her into drinking, but she turned her nose up to it. I'm not sure how much this is her not liking new things and how much is her having no appetite. I was surprised, when she was younger, and she turned her nose up to meat. Really, the two loves of her life are cat food and anything with cream or fat in it (ice cream, half & half, cheese sauces, or bacon grease). You know, all those things the vet said she couldn't eat. Tongue

Oh, she also loves catnip. Big Grin


(26-01-2018 09:26 AM)jennybee Wrote:  Maybe let Jack sleep in your daughters' rooms and let Sonja (consistently) sleep with you guys jsut so she feels more secure in her place there with you--that Jack is not a replacement, he's just another member of the family. Hope some of this helps and Sonja is back to her old self in no time. Heart

We have a door at the bottom of the stairs. We're keeping Jack on the main floor and Sonja on the second.


(26-01-2018 09:31 AM)Dom Wrote:  You do know that, when adding a young animal to a family that already has an aged member, that you always pay more attention to the old than the young? The young will fall right into place, the old needs constant reassurance at first, she needs to know her place with you is in no way threatened.

If you are paying more attention to the silly new cat (natural to do) plus shove pills down the old one's throat, yeah, she thinks you are done with her and her life is over.

Apart from that, she is 14. She doesn't want or need a crazy teenager bugging her. She needs peace and quiet and lots and lots of loving and cuddling.

We made a point to show her affection, but overall, Jack still got more attention. Of course, when he hops on my shoulders and rides around on me, it's kind of hard no to. Wink

Before she got sick, she would purr and like to be petted. She just started hanging around in one of the two "edge" rooms of our house, whereas Jack would stay in the main, central room where everyone was. I'm not sure how much of it was her being mad at us or just avoiding him.



I was really hoping as Jack got older and mellowed out, they'd have fun playing together. Sonja and Tenley were similarly aged. I always loved watching their little wild west showdowns they'd have, on occasion. I've never seen a cat suplex another, before. Ohmy


Also, thanks, everyone. Big Grin
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26-01-2018, 09:50 AM
RE: Sonja
(26-01-2018 09:42 AM)dancefortwo Wrote:  Years ago my parents had two cats who were best buddies and when one of them died the other cat went into complete mourning. She wouldn't eat. She got so thin she could hardly stand up. So my parents asked me to come home (I was in college at the time) and see if I could do anything for Muffin, the cat. When I got home I spent a lot of time on the floor with Muffin. I was down at her level and nuzzled her face and tried as best as possible to be cat-like. I meowed at her and literally walked on my hands and knees around the floor with her. She started to eat. I spent the week on the floor as much as I could and when the week was over she was eating like crazy and putting on weight. It seemed to turn the corner for her and she went and lived to be 21 years old.

Yeah I know, I'm a little crazy when it comes to cats. But stress is a cat killer and I thought that she needed to be reassured that she was still loved and not alone. Sadcryface I don't know how you can do the same thing for Sonja but I'll bet she's very stressed out by the new kitty.

Thanks, and I wouldn't call it crazy. I'll do that. I need to take some time out of my day to just spend some with her. Especially now that she's on a different floor of the house.
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