In a message dated 4/30/2005 11:48:19 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> How fast can a cat go from seemingly comfortable into life-threatening
> crisis? If you need to go away and can't take your cat with you, is it
> safe to leave it at a boarding place with a vet-tech who can administer
> medication, but where there is no one there at night?
It can happen pretty fast, but as Sarah said, you usually get some warning.
The first crisis, the one which leads to diagnosis, almost always seems to
have happened overnight and come out of nowhere -- but it really didn't. A cat
with heart disease hides it very well, and the body has all kinds of
compensating mechanisms it uses to shore up a failing heart -- which eventually are not
enough which is why you seemingly have a healthy cat one minute and the next
you're rushing it to the vet. The day my cat was diagnosed he was just fine
when I got home from work and two hours later he was in respiratory distress.
As for where to board ... depends on the state of the cat. As Sarah also
said, you don't generally monitor your cat 24/7 (although since this is new to
you, you might be!) so boarding Tata in a place where there is no overnight
supervision is probably okay as long as she's doing well, clinically. If she
isn't and you absolutely must leave her, there are places with 24 hour monitoring
though it's hard to find them in more rural areas.
> I realize now that Tata was in crisis when I brought her to the vet
> (and I didn't even know it -- all I noticed is that she had had some
> diarrhea), and she has always been such a sweet, gentle cat that I'm
> still afraid she might just gently go into crisis again without my
> knowledge. Like when I'm asleep, or away for a few hours.
We've all been there ... and it's the worst in the beginning. This is all
new to you, you were just told your beloved pet has a critical disease and what
I like to call The Crazed Panic Thought Squirrels are running loose in your
head right now, making it difficult to focus. It does get better as time goes
on, I promise -- you adjust to the situation and become quite expert in judging
your cat's physical condition and you'll know when to worry and when not to
> When I travel, I often stay in cat-friendly environments and can take
> her with me, but there will inevitably be times when I can't. That's a
> worry when you know that the cat absolutely cannot miss a dose of
It is -- I had to travel to Spain for a week about two weeks after my kitty
was diagnosed (and when he was still pretty bad) and I was a mess. Luckily, my
mother had just sold her house and was temporarily "homeless" for that week
between passing papers on her old and new houses. So, she stayed here and I
put the fear of God into her about giving him his meds and calling the vet for
the least little thing.
As for missing meds ... Sarah is right, unless the cat is very badly off, one
missed dose will not be so critical, although you don't want to make a habit
of either missing doses or giving them at all hours. Consistency in
administering meds will yield the best results but there are times when you have to
give a dose late or realize that your cat has been pocketing pills in his or her
mouth and spitting them out under your bed. It does happen and usually
doesn't mean the end of the world, although the first time you go through that
you'll probably feel like it is!
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
- Anatole France
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