We moved into a new home and within 5 days my little man ran out the door and was gone for 8 days.
I have had him back for 3 days now he is thin, sleeps a lot, looks really greasy, is limping slightly .. still eats his food and water. he is using his litter but not as often as usual.
Plus he has always been really spunky and he just seems like a lil old man now?!
Please help. I don't know what to do.
Hi Anon... thanks for visiting and asking. I guess your story supports the advice that cats put into new places should be kept in until they are thoroughly familiar and settled in the new place before giving them some freedom. That is not a criticism. I am just repeating the advice.
I think you have two basic choices:
1. Take him to a vet for a check up asap. You are probably resistant to do this on cost basis. I understand that because vets can be expensive. But asking for a check up and no more and asking for a fixed price on a check up and no more would give you some control over initial expenses. You can then go from that starting point. It would provide peace of mind and you would know if your little man is hurt.
2. You could wait and observe carefully. Your description of his "illness" is vague. He is thin because he has not eaten I suspect. That is normal. He is tired because he has not slept well I guess. His greasy appearance is probably due to getting into trouble outside in the wild..And not going to the litter might be due to not eating as much. The limp indicates an injury to the leg but it appears not to be serious (this needs to be checked). Also his timidity would be due to the disturbing experience he has been through.
Domestic cats are not that good at survival in the wild despite what people say. They are too domesticated and generally struggle in the wild. Some cats are OK but most are not.
Why not wash him gently with a damp cloth? I wouldn't bathe him as this might be a bit traumatic.
The fact that he is eating and drinking and going to the litter are obviously good signs.
You can check for healthy cat signs on this page: Signs of Healthy Cat. Why not go over these basic checks to reassure yourself?
As I said there are no specific signs of illness, just signs of being through a bad experience but...
My conclusion is that you would do well to arrange for a veterinary check up at a prearranged price that was capped. This should not cost too much, should be available and would be good for the health of your cat and good for your well being too. His leg also is one obvious sign of injury (possibly minor) that needs checking professionally. He may have a fracture or something. Cats hide the seriousness of such injuries
Good luck to you both.