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Avatar universal

VERY sick cats !

Hello !

Recently one of my cats started gagging and "dry heaving" and looked like she was trying to hock up a hairball .
So I took her to the vet. 1300$ later we found out that she had a slight obstruction in her colon, and was given medicines and stuff to help pass the obstruction. She eventually did , and we took her home. We were very happy to have her back ! We bought some IAMS hairball food to help not have this problem again.
All of a sudden, a day later . one of our other cats got sick. , and wouldn't eat or drink anything , and was showing similar signs of the cat we just took to the vet. Sluggish, heaving, coughing? choking ? sneezing  , wont eat or drink. We attributed it to the anti-hairball stuff , and just watched him closely. About 3-4 days went by , and he slowly started getting better. THEN another cat started showing these sign. THEN another and another. Now we have 4 sick cats , sneezing and hocking and making crazy sounding noises.
I am freaked out and scared and do not know what to do ! We have 9 cats , all have had their shots and stuff and are spayed/neutered .
They keep me up at night when their sneezing/coughing/hacking because it sounds so horrid, they scream out these weird "meows" like they are in agony dying..  I LOVE all my kitties and I cry every time they make those weird noises and would take them all to the vet, but 7 cats ( the original one is ok , and the first one that got sick is sneezing only ) taking them to the vet is just not feasible ! If I had the money , I totally would take all of them in, but that would cost an insane amount of money that I do not have.. I had to pawn my wedding band just to pay for the first ones x-rays...
Please , if someone has any advice for me, or anything, please let me know as I am going out of my mind with anxiety . I can't have any of my pretty little kitties die on me !! Thanks !


14 Responses
7052683 tn?1392942395
Hi Eye,

Well aren't you the ultimate MOTHER CAT with a litter of nine?????!!!!!!

Wow that can be quite a lot of work, worry and reward!!
Right now you are in the WORRY stage.

This is my opinion only: It sounds like the cats that are sick now may have the herpes virus....It is brought on by stress, so maybe with the one so sick either she got stressed or one of the others got stressed and it is very contagious----so the rest may be going through upper respiratory stress due to this virus. Especially since you have said the first one to get it is now only sneezing.

I would suggest you CALL your vet , describe the symptoms and see if he agrees with them having an Upper Respiratory diagnosis. If so it will pass on its own, but if the nasal discharge becomes thick and yellow then they will need antibiotics, because it is now a bacterial infection.
Herpes is a viral infection (a cat cold) so nothing you can give just watch for signs of infection

So why don't we start there and Call your vet. Chances are he will be able to tell you if it is anything more .

If it is a herpes outbreak it would be good to isolate those infected from the others and begin giving them L-Lysine supplements . Ask your vet if he agrees.

Please discuss this with your vet he is the professional I am not.

Please get back to us and let us know the outcome.

We are here to support you through this Big Mama! LOL!

242912 tn?1402547092
Hello.  I am going to focus on the obstruction that seemed to start this whole thing.  What are you feeding your kitties?  Has there been a change in diet? (prior to IAMS).  And do you feed them treats?  If so, what kind?  There is both food and treats out there making animals ill, is why I'm asking.  

Of course it certainly could be an URI everyone is sharing.  What could of happened is the kitty with the obstruction could have picked up the virus at the vet and brought it home to the others.  The fact they are not eating can become a serious matter alone.  And very quickly.

Honey, you MUST find a way to treat the remaining 6 that are ill.  

Please keep us updated.  Hugs to you, I know you love them, but there is only so much that can be done via the Internet.  They need a vet.  
587315 tn?1333556383
Hi, I also believe that the symptoms you're describing sounds like an upper respiratory infection. It sounds like they gave it to each other. This won't go away on its own, unfortunately. It's only going to get worse. I totally understand that money is an issue. Your best bet is to either call your vet and explain your situation(not the receptionist-either a vet tech or the vet) maybe they'd be willing to work with you OR try calling your local SPCA/humane society they have programs that can help with much lower cost care.

Please, let us know how it goes!
Avatar universal
Hello !

Thank you both for your concerns !

Haha yes , 9 of them are a huge handful ! Well worth it :)
So I did mention all of this to my mom, so she called the vet , and they want us to bring them in before giving advice. I told them we cannot afford it and that was that.
Right now , 2 of them seem to be getting better, that were really bad, and one is the worst we have seen yet. She is really "vocal" when gagging up so it scares the hell out of us when she does it !  We are going to keep a close eye on here , well all of them , and see if anyone gets any worse off .
There actually isnt any discharge from their noses or eyes, The 1 white one we have, always has nasties in her eyes but no more then usual, and today she has only hacked up 2-3 times , yesterday was all day.
The weird thing is, one of our male cats, Squiggle Wiggle , he has isolated himself from the other cats that are sick, and he isn't sick. Like he knows whats going on and is intentionally avoiding it,lol .

As for diet , we just feed them IAMS dry food, then at night time they get canned wet food from WalMart , and for treats we give them this Party Mix stuff that they go absolutely bananas for ! Also give them tuna from time to time.
I took some out this morning, to see if Dora the Explorer would eat , and you can tell she wanted to sooo bad , but she ate 3-4 and then gagged a tiny bit, then went and lay down.
She seems the worst out of the bunch, but it may just be cause she is so dang vocal about it ! Also , she is only one who spews up anything when this happens. It is just a bunch of foam , never any food.
Oh and a little bit ago, she ate some tuna and some tuna water .

Anyway , gonna keep an eye on my babies and I will keep you in touch , thanks for the advice :)

7052683 tn?1392942395

Well at least take Dora the Explorer

(great name) into the vet . She seems like she may also have an

obstruction. If she is throwing up all she eats than this could dehydrate her and cause her liver problems and this is life threatening.

The vet may be able to work out a payment plan with you so it can be paid over time. Check it out.

Hoping DTE feels better.

874521 tn?1424120397
everyones given excellent advice, this indeed sounds as if its the Herpes Virus and possibly an Upper Respiratory Infection(URI) like CML has said if it hasn't become bacterial(yet) than an antibiotic wont be of any help...but what you MUST DO is support the immune system, thats abt all one can do with the herpes virus. you'll have to buy an amino acid supplement called L-Lysine. you can get this thru most Vet clinics or from a good health supply store OR you can order it from the same place I get mine. I too have a kitty with the herpes virus that flares from time to time.
this is the one I order , its a very good one...even better than anything the Vet will sell you b/c its pure lysine. It comes in powder form and there is a scoop inside. you will have to give each of the cats 1/2 a scoop each day..mix with a bit of water and give orally with a dropper.
this will clear up the 'nasties' in the eyes and also the sneezing!!!

as far as the gagging....first of all this could be an emergency...like what Jade said it could be an obstruction. this should really be examined by a Vet asap

do you give hairball remedy? have you ever seen them cough up a hairball?

DIET....please STOP Iams and all the treats!!! some treats are very dangerous for pets, the ingredients are very questionable at the very least, some even toxic

and NO MORE Dry Iams or any dry food, this is contributing to the bowel obstruction issues....also bladder troubles for cats too. you don't need food that contains hairball junk, thats just garbage and not enough to be of any real benefit...buy some hairball remedy in a tube, or plain WHITE vaseline...thats pretty much all it is. let them lick it off your finger do NOT attempt insert into their mouths that can cause choking.

plus the dehydrated dry food is also not helping with the hairball problem Cats NEED lots of moisture to help pass this hair and dry food dehydrates them no matter how much they drink to compensate.

feed ONLY canned food...even cheap canned food is better than any dry food!!!
try to stay away from anything with gravy in it tho please....that means high carbs than you are in for a different set of problems. just plain old fancy feast pate or classic isn't a bad food and relatively cheap, sure cheaper than Vet bills!!!

heres the link on what kind of Lysine to buy and where to order from. I URGE YOU to get this, your kitties sure do need it and soon....its very inexpensive and will go along way even with that many cats!!!

Avatar universal
Thank you guys so much for being concerned with my babies and for all your advice, I really do appreciate it :)
So today,
Dora is still hacking , but doesn't sound as bad.
Buddy , the first one to get sick, is still sneezing but otherwise seems ok.
Boo Boo Kitty got sick , but for only one day. She seems 100% normal as she was . She was the cat we worried about the most, because she is 16 years old and had a Pyometra scare one time, and almost died.
Now -
Ting-Ting gagged a few times yesterday, but otherwise was normal.
This morning I noticed she is mouth breathing and wheezing. So I think you guys are right about the URI .This is NOT a good sign ! Now im freaking out ... We just DON'T have the money for this.
If they don't get any better, I think were going to have to just put them down.. This isn't what we want. It would be devastating.
Since she seems the worse off, and is mouth breathing, I know that is a super bad sign ! We are going to try to come up with some cash to at least get her into the vet and tell him about all of this and see what he says. .


About our cats :
Funny thing is, me and my mom and my dad all hated cats. We were dog lovers and had 2 dogs that died long time ago. One day I went to air out my keyboard , and I seen this cat run into the shed. So I was going to trap it , and call the humane society on it. I blocked its entrance and then walked into the shed, closing the door behind me. There was the most innocent , scared, ratty looking kitten that was just shaking in terror. I never felt so bad in my life. So I went and gave it some tuna. We let it go  and every once in awhile it would come and get some tuna that we would leave out. Eventually we started "inching" the tuna inside and lured her into the house and didn't let her out. Ever since that day I hate been a cat lover.
This was Boo Boo .  We ended up getting her a friend from PetsMart , named Pepper. Pepper lives 10+ years and tragically got cancer and died about 3-4 months ago.
One morning, at the butt crack of dawn , I went outside to get the paper, and there was some rabbits in our garden . I scared them all of and all of a sudden this white cat come bouncing out , exactly like the rabbits did. We stole her and named her Ting-Ting . She has a brown and black yin yang on her side .Then we found some kittens trapped near our water heater, looked like they were dying. We took those, nursed them to health, and that was Kickerz and Dora The Explorer.
There is a lot of ferals hanging out next door to our house in an abandoned house. 2 of 4 kittes had nowhere to go and we fed them a few times, 2 of them dissapeared along with their mommy cat .We ended up taking them too, Buddy and Chester .
One day some kids came to the door and asked if we lost a cat, and had a kitten with them. My dad swiped it and She is Polly Pockets .
Found another baby cat crying , stuck in the mid summer day heat of the powerful Arizona sun , baking, dying, stuck in an aluminum box in our backyard. Momma was gone. We nursed him, and named him Skwiggle Wiggles . Found another random cat that didn't even have his eyes opened yet, crawling around screaming for his mommy on our back porch one day.
We nursed him and he is Hercules .
We found 2 more white cats with beautiful blue eyes, ** and Hootie. When we went to get them checked out by the vet, and get their shots , like all our others , we found out they had Feline Leukemia . Had to have them put down. Sadly.
We don't get attached to the random ferals anymore, because we know it can become out of control with too many cats. 9 cats is way more then we wanted, but hey, what can you do when a baby cat is dying 10 feet away from you, cant just leave it there and hope for the best. We have taken several to the Humane Society , and are trying to find a no-kill shelter for all the ferals that roam next door.  

All of our cats are ferals now, since the only one who has died and has had any problems until now, was store bought. Everyone has been healthy and normal until that obstruction happened with Kickerz .

Yea we have seen serveral hairballs in the poops , and always cleaning up pukey food with hair in it or just straight hairballs.
The reason Kickerz had that obstruction I think, is because she is the grooming  licker. All of the 8 other cats come up to her numerous times a day and get groomed by her. She plays a good momma cat , cleans their ears and faces and stuff. It is so cute !
Our cats ages are
Boo Boo - 16+ years
Ting Ting - 8+
Dora/Kick - 3 +
Bud/Ches - 2+
Pol/Skwig/Herc 1 1/2 +

They never ever had hairball problems, it is just Kickerz and I truly believe it is because she constantly grooms the other cats. I think she picked up some nasty bad stuff from the Vet , and brought it home and ruined all our cats with it.

Thanks for the advice guys, I seriously appreciate it ! This is a crappy time for us ,watching them go through this and not being able to do anything about it.
I think I will get some of that Lysine , as I have a gift card I can buy it with.
Is there anything else I can do ? Vet we can use a vaporizer to help soothe their throats and stuff a bit. We had 2 of those so we got those going.
Again thanks guys !

- eye <3 katz
7052683 tn?1392942395
Well , Eye, I just don't know what to tell you!!

You and your family are so very kind to take in needy cats and kittens. Unfortunately the more cats you have the more chance there is of sickness in the group. Especially virus's that are very contagious.

Please thing about putting any of your cats down, unless the vet saysthere is no hope of them getting better. As long as they may be able to recover they should be allowed to live.....and yes this causes a severe financial set back when there are nine cats to take care of. Yikes I have only one and have spent thousands of dollars on her.

Please look into taking them to a Veterinary Teaching School in your area. Sometimes they will help you with out charging because it is part of their  education. That or work out a payment plan with your vet. I am sure if you explain your financial situation he will have some fall back plan.

In the meantime keep doing what you are doing to keep them comfortable, but don't take anymore kits in. Take them to a no kill shelter. You may also have to do that with some of the ones you have so as to decrease the financial burden, but give them up rather then give up and put them to sleep.

There may be other cat lovers who will fall in love with your kit and give them a forever home--all animals deserve the chance at a good life. I know you agree since you have taken 9 in to try and do just that.

I will pray you find the answers you need and a way to resolve these problems without euthanasia.

God Bless you and your kit family!
Avatar universal
Hello !
Thank you for your kind words and advice !
Sorry for my long long novels I write ,lol
Yea we don't want to take any more cats in , that's for sure ! The ones we did take in were all for special reasons . There is a ton of cute kittens running around next door that i would love to have. There is one I want to capture REALLY badly because it is white, with blue eyes, and a black "toupee" on the top of his head, and... a Hitler mustache !  I just know someone is going to see "Kitler" and either keep it cause their racist,. or kill it cause it looks like a cat Hitler. It's happened many times before..
I would like to take him to a nokill .If I can ever find one that doesn't charge me for bringing the damn strays in .
We actually didn't want the last 5 we got to be honest. And the 2 we got after we had the 3 , were supposed to go to my niece , but some baby mama drama happened and that was nulled.
We did awesome with 3 cats for 16+ years, without a hitch ( besides boo boo piometrya )  and went years with what we got now , with no problems .

So, Dora doesn't seem to be as bad as she was this morning. I gave her some wet food and she gobbled it all down :) She then layed down and went to sleep, and she looked comfortable.
Ting-Ting got progressively worse , mouth breathing, not getting comfortable, etc etc, so bad that I pawned my gold tooth and a gold ring and tried to unload my coin collection . (The weird about TingTing was , she got sick, and we thought she recovered, because she seemed fine. Then all of a sudden she got really sick this morning )
Got a few bucks from that, and took her in . Tried to get the vets advice about all of this and they didn't give 2 sh*ts or a f*** about them, they just want us to bring them in for xrays. xray xray xray is all i ever hear out of those people. But she got antibiotic shot and some antibiotics and sent home with us. She looks better but still mouth breathing. The rest of the cats actually are good. None are doing anything abnormal. They are all a little sluggish getting back into things but they seem very good ! Even Buddy quit sneezing . We tried to get as much info as we could.
They just want us to bring them in .
This emergency clinic and Petsmart place seem to be really money grubber vets... The place where we get them spayed , is awesome .

The Veterinary Teaching School  thing sounds like a phenomenal idea ! Wow I didn't even think of that !  Kudos !
And yea, the only one people want is TingTing , cause she has a yin yang on her . I was offered 10 grand for her when she was a kitten , to a really superstitious Korean guy I met online. He wanted to take her back to Korea and I said no. Stupid ??
There is 2 that we never ever wanted, they just weaseled their way into our house and never left. lol .  I would love to find them 2 a home.
We can take care of them financially, but being as it is all 9 at once, and just forking out 1300+ for Kickerz , and I spent a lot of money recently getting my Hosting business up and going. I have been up all night with no sleep trying to get customers and keeping eye on cats .
Keeping our fingers crossed !!

You guys are an awesome community . I would love to know more about your cats and their names and such :)

Cheers , let's hope for the best !!

-eye <3
874521 tn?1424120397
well good on you for taking so many in that are in need of a home...wish more ppl would do that, breaks my heart to hear of so many being just dropped or abandoned somewhere to fend for themselves:(
but I know what you mean, there is only so much any one person can do, we have to first of all be able to look after what we have...especially when there are medical problems that get so costly.

I urge you to get some of that Lysine, it will help so much with the kitties issues...this virus waxes and wanes and is brought to the surface with any kind of perceived stress...so kitties that are prone need to be on this all their lives...it will greatly reduce the recurrence of sneezing/runny eyes and other symptoms for them. and its relatively cheap to buy, sure alot cheaper than dealing with Vet visits and possible antibiotics.
however if and  you do see a discharge from their eyes or or the trouble breathing than they are indeed in need of an antibiotic..this disease can change from viral to bacterial very suddenly and become fatal....

good luck with your gang, good to have you on our forum!!
874521 tn?1424120397
I was going to also add, you can check on any members profile page and see photos and notes about our kitties....at least on most:)

I have 3. all rescues in one way or another
Nemo is the oldest he is a black persian mix.....unwanted by the 'bad' breeder b/c he was black...he is now 11 1/2

Sami is the himalayan, he is nearly 11. was going to be put down at less than a year old for biting...

Tori is the baby, she is a  torti/tabby mix...she is only 6 months old, she was dumped in an alley near my home, after I caught her I had intended to bring her to our NO kill shelter...but she crept into my heart and has become one of the family

there are also some older photos of my kitties that have since passed over the rainbow bridge:(

check out my profile page for photos:)

Avatar universal
Heya all !
Sorry I haven't updated !

I took a couple of my kittiez to the vet , and got antibiotics ( the bad off ones)
Best I can afford.
I got very very lucky.
All of my cats are eating well, drinking water, and pooping regularly. I have been on top of everything making sure they are ok.
Boy do they hate the antibiotics,lol
Anyway, just thought id update.
I truly appreciate everyone's compassion and caring and advice !
Thank you all, you are a swell group of people :)

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