Tonight reminded me of something I was successful with a year and a half ago.
What reminded me was FINALLY making some tuna salad. I'd been purchasing and spoiling green onions for about 2 months now in preparation. Today, when I went to make my bi-weekly wasteful purchase, believe it or not, the grocery store had no green onions. I wanted green for the anti-oxidants, but I went for a white. And I guess b/c I viewed the white as as little less healthful (as if I knew), I FINALLY made tuna fish tonight.
A year and a half ago, my cat was 15. She'd always been skinny and healthy with plenty of hairballs to boot. I'd kept up her shots until she was over 10 and that's considered long enough. The only thing I'd noticed her fading a bit on was her ability for her back legs to grip when she jumped. She could still make it to the bathroom sink or to the desk, it just took a bit more scrambling to get there.
One evening, she jumped off my bed and made it about 6 feet, to where I could see her from the office. She was obviously dizzy. Her legs were like non-sea legs. Her saliva was drippy and a bit frothy. I decided to watch her for a little while.
Meanwhile, I searched around for something she might have gotten into - like rat poison I didn't possess or a pill that fell on the floor.
She didn't get better within about 2 hours, so I called an emergency vet. When I inquired about the rates, reinserted my teeth, then he suggested another, which was the same distance from us.
This was so hard bringing my son, too, but I didn't really have a choice and I'm not one to shelter him anyway. His father was going to meet us there if I thought it necessary.
The doctor saw our sweet drunken cat quickly. She was surprised at her age and at her lack of previous incidents. She felt like this age/issues meant a stroke, a thyroid problem, or kidney failure. They took blood. Over time, she began to act less drunk, but not better. The vet asked about keeping her over. I told the vet that I was an unemployed single mom, so nothing extraordinary would be possible. I would do what I could (prednisone and an antibiotic), but I would take her home. She was fine with that. The vet was so kind that she took off the dr part of the bill. Incredible.
That night, I left her downstairs by her litter box and food, but she cried to sleep upstairs with me, as usual. I went down and got her, holding her tight as if it were our last moments together.
The next morning, as I got up to shower, she hopped right off the bed! When I went downstairs, she followed me down! An hour later, she followed me back UP! I called the vet per her instructions. She was very impressed (and all the blood tests came back negative later, expensive things they were), but she asked about getting fluids in her.
Usually our cat is primo on water, but she'd been putting her nose up at it that morning. The vet said that if she didn't get some in her that day, she'd usually have the cat stay over at the hospital on IV, but in my case, she'd teach me how to inject fluid into the cat's abdomen.
I'm a biologist. I even had to saw a cat's head in half one, but I didn't want to stick a needle repeatedly in my cat's abdomen.
So I thought like a good cat mom. I opened a can of tuna fish and squeezed out the luscious tuna water. [Looking back, I should have diluted some of it by half to reduce the phosphorous and/or sodium content, seeing if that would fly first, then go for the big guns if needed.]
She drank it all day, like a champ. Never a lot at once, but consistantly.
When the vet called the next morning, her expecting mandatory injections, she was shocked at the idea of using tuna water and I think it was added to her repertoire.
Just goes to show you what the love of an ancient cat and the "necessity" of an empty pocketbook will "invent."
We loved the prednisone, btw. The cat could jump so high, she was over-clearing her goals. I've considered getting more just to make her life a little easier. [ETA: I've learned that is bad for her failing kidneys, so we didn't use it further.]
Now, her two favorite places are laying on the cable box downstairs or on the back of my computer monitor upstairs. In 3 years, we've gone through 3 cable boxes; at least they're free. Been lucky with the monitor, but she's been using it less than a year - for some reason I was more successful at shooing her off it in the past. If I'm out of the loop computer-wise for a day or two, imagine me unsuccessfully trying to hook up a cable box in lieu of the computer monitor. All for the love of a kitty sauna.
PS - This post gets many hits daily. If this information helps you, I'd love to know with a comment here, as would many other visitors. If you have another related idea, please share. Lots of cats who are not drinking could be helped.