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Stress, an older cat and going against vets advice
Listen to your own intuition?


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#1 TopsyTurvy

Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:21 AM

Dear kitty is 18.

She has had a few health issues, cancerous tumor removed from tail, hyperthyroidism, diabetes and now arthritis.

She gets very easily stressed about going to the vets, and any time she is boarded.

We had to board her this weekend past as we went away for a long weekend.

I was due to pick her up this morning and got a phone call from where she is boarded saying she had not drunk or passed urine since last night and they urgently wanted to cathertise her, put her on IV for fluids and charge me $1500. They said her bladder was blocked.  We board her at one of those 24 hour vet hospitals due to her needing insulin injected twice a day.

My first reaction was no way!  I rang her regular vet, booked her in, picked her up and took her in for a check up.

Within 2 minutes of being at the vet she had peed everywhere, so the bladder was not blocked.  The vet checked her over and apart from being dehydrated she was ok.  I made the decision to bring her home, keep an eye on her and make sure she was drinking and eating ok.

She is now home and I have given her her favorite treat of diluted cat milk and some tinned human grade tuna.

She has drunk close to 100ml and scoffed down the tuna. She is now curled up on the outdoor sofa in the sun and is happy as can be.

So I am pretty sure her problems were mostly stress related.  She hates the vet and being boarded and last time didn't eat for 24 hours when she was boarded.

So if I had just gone with the vets advice (the vet from the boarding place) I would have been $1500 down the drain over something that was not really what they thought it was.

Hubby now says we can't board her any longer as it obviously causes her too much stress, but have no one close by who can come to the house twice a day to administer her insulin.  So that means we can no longer go away, unless we pay and let a stranger into our house to look after her.  Hubby won't go for that either. We also are concerned that if we did take her back for boarding again that they seem a liitle too "intervention happy"

I am just at a loss as to what to do.  

My brain is such a jumble over this whole morning, and I just needed to write it all down.

Thanks for reading.

If anyone has



#2 aprilrain

Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:38 AM

My parents boarded their approx 18 yo burmese and went away for a week for the first time. They were uncontactable. He became ill over about 2 days and died in the owners arms.

Maybe they feel deserted by their owners and give up. Very sad.

I'm glad your cat has picked up, who knows what goes through their heads.

Very difficult with wanting to go away, but maybe advise the vet boarding her that you know she will refuse food and 'hold on' as she pines and please not intervene.

Also maybe ask at your regular vet if one of the assistants there would like to earn some extra to feed and inject your cat when you go away. Your DH may be more comfortable with somebody you know through a professional coming into your house.

Edited by aprilrain, 30 April 2012 - 10:39 AM.


#3 ~iMum~

Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:44 AM

I also have a diabetic cat and we go away camping quite a bit. We quickly found out it was too much to expect for friends and family to come twice a day to give him his insulin. We now have a fantastic pet sitter who comes twice a day to give him his insulin and it actually works out cheaper for us than boarding as we have two cats, 2 dogs, 5 chickens, and aqua phonics fish (which also need feeding twice a day) - $50/day. She also brings in the mail, waters the gardens, harvests the garden and eggs (and gets to keep the spoils). Perhaps check the phone book for pet sitters in your area, or else there might be a local pet fb page where you could post and someone might be able to help out?

#4 futureself

Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:47 AM

It's a tough one. Ask your DH what his solution is if he won't permit boarding and won't allow a Cat sitter to come to the house? My family have had great experiences with professional cat sitters who come twice a day to feed, pat and interact with the cat and really, if you still want the freedom to go away for nights then part of you has to get over that 'fear' of having someone in the house. After the first time, they're not really a stranger  original.gif Glad kitty relaxed and is once again happy at home.

#5 Satay chicken

Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:54 AM


It sounds like stress to me!

My cat was in boarding twice, first time not so bad because he was in a smaller cage but the second time we went all out and put him in an indoor/outdoor facility (cost $600) he freaked out, he's only 5 kgs but by the time we got back from our trip he was barely 3kgs, I was horrified.  I think if we had been gone another week he would have died of starvation..

I have to say, while a bit expensive, it is worthwhile paying someone to come to your home to feed your cat - especially since she is older.  We have done that and it worked well - we will never put ours in boarding again.

Its really hard I know....



#6 Satay chicken

Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:57 AM

Oops, double post sorry.

Edited by Satay chicken, 30 April 2012 - 10:57 AM.


#7 Chalkie

Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:01 AM

Hi, your poor kitty, glad to hear she is sounding better.

I send my old girl to my Mum's house when we go away for more than a few days (she hates the car trip, but settles in really well when she is there).

If we are only heading away for 2-3 days I get a petsitter who is actually one of the local vet nurses who pet-sits for a few extra $$.  My kitty has daily meds for asthma and I have no qualms with the vet nurse giving them to her.
Can you ask at your vets (ask the receptionist original.gif ) and see if they have any suggestions.

#8 *Ker*

Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:03 AM

You're not in SA are you? Cause I do this for a job.


#9 RebelWithoutAClaws

Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:13 PM

QUOTE (aprilrain @ 30/04/2012, 10:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also maybe ask at your regular vet if one of the assistants there would like to earn some extra to feed and inject your cat when you go away. Your DH may be more comfortable with somebody you know through a professional coming into your house.


I'm going to do this as well! We did get a leaflet about pet sitting, but I wouldn't be comfortable with someone completely unknown, but at least with the vet nurse you know they are professionals and know what is normal, they love animals and you know where they work LOL!

Our animals are pretty easy going, just need to scoop solids from the cat trays, feed the dogs and refill the cats and dogs water as needed (only every few days anyway!) I'd be happy if they wanted to stay in the house too, but I wouldn't see it necessary to pay for them to stay.

I really like that idea much better than a random pet sitting.

#10 My-3-Pinks

Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:09 PM

Up until January I used to put both of my 11 year old cats in the cattery whenever we went away but after they 'lost' Oscar I won't be taking them back!  Oscar used to get more stressed than Lucy so from now on I'll use a pet sitter.  I tried the sitter when we went away for 4 days and were quite happy with them.  They collected the mail, put out the bins, walked our dog, picked up her poop, did the cats litter trays etc.  Now that we have a new kitten I think it will work out cheaper to use the sitter too.  By the time I had to drive the dog to the kennels in one direction, then the cats in to town for the cattery it would waste a whole day.  

I was concerned about letting a stranger in to the house but we went through an agency and you get to meet with the sitter before you leave to give instructions, meet the pets etc.

#11 Luxe

Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:15 PM

I put my cat in boarding once and never again. He was so stressed in the cage after 2 days that he ripped his nail and blood was on the walls of the cage.

I started using Lonely Pets. They have been police checked and I've had Liz come look after my Burmese whilst I'm away about 4 times now. She drops in and makes the apartment look lived in and my boy is less stressed because he's in his own environment. Liz even sends me txt and picture updates whilst I'm away so I really feel much more comforted knowing how he's doing.

#12 wallofdodo

Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:17 PM

There are people that do that sort of thing for a job. That is, come into your home and look after the cat. it is their business so they are not going to willingly do anything to jeopardize repeate business.

I use one when we go away , a cat minder. It is great, aside form looking after the cat, they bring in the mail, put out the bins, change the lights. make the house look lived in. And the cat doesn't get stressed.



#13 Apageintime

Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:22 PM

I have in the past used a house sitter to come 'live in' while I'm away.

But otherwise I use these people http://www.thecatlady.com.au/

They are PHENOMENAL! I think my cats like them better than me tbh, they send me an mms each day of the cats so I know they are ok ad they take out bins/change litter etc. I've been using them for about 4 years and never had a problem at all, they've even one an extra visit at short notice because my plane got delayed once.

#14 damita

Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:46 AM

Have a look at http://www.ozhousesitters.com - might be worth a try?

#15 shelly1

Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:52 PM

If your DH isnt "into" pet sitters I like one of the previous posters advice about asking your regular vet is one of his vet nurses are interested in earning some extra dollars.

FWIW I know heaps of people who use pet sitters (professional companies) here in Canberra and all of them have been very happy with the service




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