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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21747
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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I have a stray cat who lives in my front garden. We have made

Resolved Question:

I have a stray cat who lives in my front garden. We have made him a shelter and feed him twice a day. He is very very greedy and always on the hunt for food. A few weeks ago he had a problem with his eyes - the second eyelid seemed to be quite prominent. He also seems to have a rapid breathing rate even when rested. Because we are not able to catch him we searched the internet for a possible diagnosis and it was suggested he may have worms. We originally tried to worm him with some success, he cottoned on to the fact that we were putting the crushed tablets in his food. His eyes seem better but he is still very hungry all the time and we tried to worm him a second time without any success.
We are also having a problem with him as he is terrorising one of my female cats and keeps attacking her and coming through the cat flap into the house. This is getting steadily worse.
We have made several attempts to catch him ourselves without success so we can take him to the vets.
Thanks.
Regards *****
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Do you think William looks to be an old or young cat?

How long ago was the successful worming?

Does he still have rapid breathing?

Have you heard any coughing or sneezing from him?
Any discharges from his eye or nose?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Unsure of his age could be 4 or 5 upwards. Reasonably successful worming approximately 6 weeks ago. He still has rapid breathing.

No coughing or sneezing I am aware of.

He otherwise appears to be a fit and healthy animal.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Gill,

First, worms are a common cause of increased appetite and weight loss in the middle aged cat. And while worming a stray monthly (since he will likely be supplementing his diet with wildlife) is ideal, if he was wormed within the last 3 months and is still desperately hungry then worms would be less likely our main culprit here.

Instead, we have to consider other health issues (ie diabetes, hyperthyroidism, organ based issues, polyphagia secondary to nutrition loss should he also have diarrhea, etc) and behavior causes. And I would note that as long as he does appear fit and not losing weight, I'd be less inclined to be worried about health issues at this stage. Furthermore,
I would also note that many stray or former stray cats will display a greedy type appetite without clinical disease. This is because life as a stray doesn't come with guaranteed meals like pet life does. Therefore, the stray cat often will shovel all they can in when they can, until they finally realize that food is no longer scarce (and some rehomed strays never quite get it and therefore cannot have free feeding in their new homes). So, we do have to conisder that while there may be a pathological reason for his ravenous appetite, if he is keeping weight on and is in good condition this could also be behavioral.

That all said, the rapid breathing is going to be the bigger issue here and is not likely related to his appetite situation. Now if his respiratory rate is >30 breaths per minute (you can could his breaths for 10 seconds + multiply by 6 to obtain his rate), then we'd have to consider that he may have a lung based issue. The most common to affect our strays is going to be the cat flu agents (which are a risk for your cats too). And it is quite possible to only see lung signs in adult cats with this (where kittens often have all the signs due to having naive immune systems). Less common reasons we'd have to also consider for William would be pneumonia, chest trauma (if he has been hit causing contusions in the lungs or damage to his diaphragm), viral infections, heart issues, lung worm, blood clotting issues (if he has been exposed to rat bait), and asthma type issues.

Finally, I would just note that fighting through the cat flap isn't unexpected here. William will be getting used to being fed on your land and will naturally want to extend your area as part of his territory. The only problem is that cats are a territorial species and if they move into an area, they will often be inclined to drive any "competitors for food" away (your cats). And this means he won't be overly keen on your other kitties being there. Some cats can co-exist peacefully but generally speaking females aren't keen to share territory nor are entire male strays (who are living as close to natural cat living as they can in an urban area). Therefore, the behavior between the 2 is not unexpected. We may find they settle in time but at the moment with his respiratory issues, I have to say that you do not want him in any contact (even sharing an air space) with your cats.

Now in this case, what to do all depends on that respiratory rate. If it is above normal, then we'd need to think about catching him to get him help. I appreciate you have tried but in this situation, I would say that it is best to get your local cat charity involved (ie
Cat's Protection -- http://www.cats.org.uk/). They will have humane cat traps to properly catch him, vets on staff to examine him, and the facilities to treat him (since you will likely be hard pressed to medicate or provide supportive care for him). And while the appetite is what raised your concern, its this breathing that is our biggest concern and needs to be addressed for William.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you I will possibly get in touch with the Cats Protection

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
You are welcome, Gill.

If his breathing is elevated, then that is the best course of action (especially since that rules out worms issues and does raise those lung concerns) for wee William. And just to note, if you do wish to seek out other local feline charities, do ring the local vet practices since they often have close relationships with local charities and can put you in touch.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello

Thank you for your e-mail. I have spoken with the Cat's Protection League's local branch which is quite near my home, and will be speaking to them again Monday to try and sort Willam's problems out.

Thank you again for your prompt assistance.

Kind regards.

Gill

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
You are very welcome, Gill.

That does sound like the best plan and it sounds like you are on the right track. Hopefully, they will be able to address the issue causing those breathing signs and get him back to normal and hopefully off to a forever home he can be the boss of. Smile

All the best for wee William,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Cheers ***** ***** your response I will let you know how I get on.

Gill

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
That's grand, Gill. Smile

Take care,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

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