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Friend's cat is sick I think....not sure what to do.

(18 Posts)
Alfieisnoisy Fri 19-Aug-16 15:34:06

Need some advice from anyone in the know.

My friend has severe mental health issues, she has a disabled child so lots of issues there too. Her husband works in a low paid job but earns just enough to mean they get no help with anything.

I visited today and she mentioned that one of her two cats has not settled since they moved house six weeks ago. Anyway I saw the cat and....hi spine is very can clearly feel it if you stroke him. My friend says he has lost weight and isn't eating much. I also noted his breathing is laboured and uses up all his abdomen. My friend picked him up at one point and when she put him down he started coughing. All this is suggesting heart/lung issues to me perhaps due to some underlying issue or other.

The problem is they have no money for a vet ...not for another two weeks.

I am animal mad and love cats especially, have three rescues with me.

I cannot leave this cat for another two weeks until they have the money to see a vet. It's probable that whatever is wrong with this cat is chronic so two weeks might not be an issue BUT if the cat is suffering in the meantime that concerns me. I can't leave it.

I can't lend money for a vet check as I don't have it. I am entitled to use the PDSA and in the interim have booked an appointment to take the cat to them on Wednesday under my name which I know is not right but was the best outcome I could think of for the cat at that point.

Am worrying about this now though here is something seriously wrong then we may need to think about euthanasia which isn't my decision to make as the cat isn't mine. I will talk to my friend about this though.

Is it worth talking to the RSPCA? My friend won't ring them as she struggles to speak to people she doesn't know by phone. Her husband won't sort it out as he is just not that supportive. And in the meantime the cat is possibly suffering.

Would the RSPCA take the cat if I rang them or could they help in the meantime while the family are waiting for next pay day?

GlitteryFluff Fri 19-Aug-16 15:40:24

I would take cat to pdsa, see what they say.
If they suggest euthanasia then I'd ask if you can bring cat home for an hour/ a day / night for the family to say bye (but take it back to your friend for them to say goodbye) then bring the cat back to be euthanised. As long as your friend didn't mind not being there when it happened. Tough situation though.

Alfieisnoisy Fri 19-Aug-16 16:03:19

Thank you, that's helpful. I would take my friend with me to the PDSA ?..or that was the plan but perhaps not taking her would be better and then if the news is bad I could address the decision in that way.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 19-Aug-16 16:16:50

From what you are describing I would be really suspicious that the cat will not make it till Wednesday can you get to the vets before then it would be better.

Alfieisnoisy Fri 19-Aug-16 16:20:25

Yes if necessary I can, the PDSA already told me to phone if he gets worse.

I know from experience of having a sick cat two years ago that they are brilliant if needed. I am staying in touch with my friend.

Cat is very strong at the moment. If that changes I will phone the PDSA and take him sooner.

Alfieisnoisy Fri 19-Aug-16 16:21:23

To make this worse it is a significant anniversary tomorrow ....she lost a child some years ago and that child would have been 16 tomorrow so I am hoping her cat remains stable over the weekend.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 19-Aug-16 16:23:13

Coughing, laboured breathing with abdominal effort would strongly indicate fluid in or around the lungs. If you phoned my practice you would be adv. to come in ASAP.

BengalCatMum Fri 19-Aug-16 16:26:02

sad Sorry to hear this OP
flowers for the kitty

I would encourage friend to ring her bank and ask for overdraft increase, on medical grounds they often say yes. I managed to get an increase on holiday when a friend broke their arm without insurance and lent him the money to pay. The usually shitty bank was excellent in that moment of panic/ dire need.

If all else fails get a payday loan. It takes a couple of minutes for the money to come through.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Fri 19-Aug-16 16:26:51

I'd take the cat today. Fluid on the lungs sounds a distinct possibility and it sounds better that anything happens today rather than tomorrow.

Good luck flowers

PinkSparklyPussyCat Fri 19-Aug-16 16:26:55

I'm not a vet but I agree with Lone, I really wouldn't want to leave it until Wednesday. TBH it sounds as though he should have seen a vet already.

Good luck to you all

BengalCatMum Fri 19-Aug-16 16:28:00

But yes if it wasn't clear from above! You need to do something NOW.

If they are unwilling/ can't then I would be inclined to help out if I trusted them to pay back.

Alfieisnoisy Fri 19-Aug-16 16:30:22

Honestly if I had the money I would take the cat straight to my vet today.

I did explain on the phone exactly what the cat was doing and said I suspected fluid on the lungs.

I will keep in touch with my friend and the PDSA and hope he can be seen out of hours.

BengalCatMum Fri 19-Aug-16 16:37:48

Have you rung the vets to ask if you can pay later?
Many allow you to set up a payment plan, or pay at a later date if need be.

BengalCatMum Fri 19-Aug-16 16:40:36

Just found this...

'If your pet suddenly becomes very sick or gets seriously injured and you simply do not have the money to pay for veterinary treatment on the spot, you must take your animal to the vets anyway. Veterinary surgeons are obliged, as part of their RCVS registration and the pledges that they made upon training and qualifying to become a vet, to provide emergency treatment to a minimum level that will ease pain and suffering. This may mean administering treatment to a very basic level for a short period until an alternative can be decided upon, or by euthanizing a seriously injured animal that is suffering without respite.

You should always be upfront and honest with your veterinary surgeon about your ability to pay for your pet’s treatment. Veterinary surgeons are animal lovers, but they are not charities, and they are only obliged to provide basic, short-term care for a suffering pet, not to bankroll ongoing treatments. If you are honest with your vet in times of need, you may well find that they are more than willing to work out a budget and repayment scheme with you for extended treatment, or be able to point you in the direction of charities and organisations that can help to fund the needed treatments.'

Source -

In short the vet cannot turn an animal away; it must treat it if possible.

Alfieisnoisy Fri 19-Aug-16 17:06:24

Thank you Bengalcatmum as that's really helpful. Am going to phone the RSPCA and see if we can get the cat seen by their vet at the local wildlife hospital. Am told he is excellent. I can drive my friend over if necessary.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 19-Aug-16 17:16:53

Bengal is correctly quoting the RCVS guide to professional conduct that puts a legal and ethical obligation on vets. Small independent practices are far, far more likely to meet this obligation than corporate practices.
If you are refused emergency treatment because you have no money you can report the practice to the RCVS and they will de disciplined.

thecatneuterer Fri 19-Aug-16 17:29:19

If you're in London Celia Hammonds can help

Alfieisnoisy Wed 24-Aug-16 17:45:56

Just updating you all.

My poor friend...her cat was pts today. He had end stage thyroid failure which had caused heart failure, kidney involvement and fluid everywhere.

It was so sad, I have cried loads and it isn't even my cat.

My poor friend was devastated.

Vet was fantastic and said that with these kind of health issues cats can mask ill health until it becomes more serious. Said that if it was her cat she wouldn't want any treatment and recommended euthanasia.
The vet agreed to admit the cat so we could return with the children to say goodbye. This is what we did and then we left as my friend couldn't cope with being there when the deed was done.

I am animal mad as I said in the OP so have cried buckets this afternoon but am relieved that the cat is no longer suffering. So bloody unfair though as he was only 8 and too young.

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