Freddy – Ragdoll of the Week
Freddy – Ragdoll of the Week
Freddy came into our lives in September 2014 from a breeder (more to follow on that below) as a 7 week (yes, that’s right 7 week) kitten.
So, let’s start at the beginning with the breeder – a one bed flat with hygiene to be desired, housing her 2 adult cats plus the litter of 5.
We were initially shocked by the conditions the cats were being kept in, but the overall experience was certainly not desirable.
So, firstly the breeder couldn’t tell the difference between her litter of 5 which really were all very different 2 seal boys of different sizes, 1 blue boy, 1 chocolate boy and 1 bi colour girl so really should not have been hard but anyway each one had nail varnish in its fur so she could separate them!
Other concerns as follows; chain smoking over the kittens, conflicting dates of birth for the litter, being fed the cheapest/low quality supermarket brand there was available (also fed to the mother whilst carrying) and stating that the mother was bored of them at 7 weeks old so we could just take him.
Now I know that you should never buy a kitten because you feel sorry for it and should always go to a reputable breeder but being the softy that I am I just had to have him and knew I could offer him a better home than the next one to view him.
Anyway, he settled in really very well (apart from being covered in fleas) but at 11 weeks old we noticed he had a really high temperature, permanently sleeping and loss of appetite so we took him to the vets and they said his temperature was 39.7 and he needed fluids straight away so was on an IV catheter, was given medication and advised to monitor him overnight.
He wasn’t any better so they next day he went back and his temperature had increased even after the antibiotics and was now at 39.9
From then on, he just got worse, he was very sick over the next few weeks, his temperature was over 40 degrees, they x-rayed him and tested for everything they could but could not find what was wrong with him (the only diagnosis they could definitely provide was that he had chronic pharyngitis) which was so frustrating for all parties but all he could confirm was it was very likely he caught whatever he had from his mother.
His temperature just kept increasing even though they were doing everything they could do bring it down, he was still sleeping all day and night, losing weight etc and the vet was left with no other options and gave him his last injection he could as nothing was working, he tried to reassure us by saying some kittens just bounce back but at such a young age (now 14 weeks) we couldn’t see this and feared the worse.
Only at this point when we thought we would lose him did we start to really realise the importance of buying from a reputable breeder and felt so angry with the lady we bought him from and couldn’t believe she was bringing her own cats up in such conditions, let alone to breed them.
Anyway, the day after the final antibiotic was given we had some hope as he was a little perkier and awake, we took him back to the vets who gave us the good news that his temp was on the way down, we were delighted, however still mindful that he was still poorly and not fully recovered by any means.
He did however make a full recovery within a few days and we couldn’t believe our luck.
Since then it has been no means easy though, he has still been poorly on and off, he has a regular cough (and it’s not hairballs) and dry gagging, vomits frequently and the poor thing can’t even purr – if he tries to he either gags or coughs.
The vet has since tested for polyps but again, nothing to be found down his throat so we are still none the wiser of what is wrong with him.
What we do know is that he suffers with terrible stress, I have had family members look after him when I have gone away for a day or a few days and he goes on hunger strike and won’t eat (I even had to put him in a cattery for 3 days recently for the first time and he lost 300g due to not eating).
My mum looked after him for 5 days and when I came back and tried to feed him he actually hissed at his food for a whole week!
My mum then came just to visit for a weekend and he threw up, my nephew (who to be fair is a very hyperactive 5 year old) popped in for half an hour once and even that made him throw up due to not being used to a noisy child.
I think he is this way as I work from home so he is with me 24/7 and then has terrible separation anxiety if I leave him.
But, on with the positives and less of the doom and gloom….you all know what ragdolls are like so I’m not going to talk about the clichés and traits as he has them all, he is simply lovely and I cannot believe such a lovely boy has had such a tough start in life and can only hope he spends many more years with us.
Even though we are at home with him day and night we were always reading that 2 cats are better than one so thought we would buy him a friend from a reputable breeder and after looking for a few months we found not only the perfect breeder but also the perfect kitten to become his ‘brother’ – Finlay, who is now almost 6 months old.
We had it planned to keep the 2 apart for a few days so that Freddy could get used to a new arrival, however Freddy wanted to know what was behind the closed door immediately so we thought we would introduce them straight away and after a few hisses from Fred and a few kisses from Finn they began to cuddle and Freddy couldn’t stop grooming him and playing. This was within an hour of meeting, it was so amazing.
The past 3 months they have been inseparable, you will never find one without the other and they are the best of friends which hopefully is apparent in some of the photos.
We have also been feeding a homeless cat for about 6 months, never letting him in for fear it would disrupt Freddy but where he took to Finlay so well we opened our doors to the stray too a couple of weeks ago and he has been welcomed by both Freddy and Finlay, all of our friends can’t believe that 3 male cats can get along so well.
Do you have a Ragdoll Kitten or Cat? Consider submitting your kitty! Ragdoll of the Week submission guidelines
Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,
Poor Freddy – and poor you! 🙁 I’m really sorry for all the misery you’ve both been through. Shame on the irresponsible breeder who neglected Freddy and his family like that!
It’s great to hear that Freddy now has Finlay and another newcomer to brighten his life! I hope you will keep us posted about Freddy’s recovery and show us his no-longer-homeless little friend, too. Thanks for sharing your story! 🙂
Thanks, will definitely keep you posted 🙂
What an awful environment for Freddy and his littermates to be born into! I feel so sorry for the poor Mama cat and the littermates left behind. Why would someone want to breed Ragdolls in such a small space and NOT care for them properly is beyond me. Sigh… What a horror story! But…. Bless YOU for rescuing Freddy and for doing everything possible to get him back to better health. He (and you!) certainly has had quite the time of it with his health issues. Thank goodness for your kindness and love for him! Poor Freddy turned into Lucky Freddy! I’m so sorry he suffers with such bad separation anxiety. But, perhaps it won’t be so bad now that he has an awesome best friend in Finn and their new brother you just rescued! The pictures are heartbreaking (of little Freddy with his little shaved leg and bandage) but then seeing Freddy all big and lovely in the next set of pics was awesome!!! And the pics of him and Finn just melt my heart….so cute and lovely!!! So happy he’s doing better and has some kitteh besties around him. I’m sure he’ll be much less stressed now. Wishing you and your three fellas a lovely lifetime together for many, many years to come!!!! 🙂 <3
Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3
Thanks for the kind words, we always think about his litter mates, there were 4 others including one very tiny girl – Freddy weighed only 700g when we got him at 7 weeks and she was about 2/3 of his size so I just hope she didn’t suffer any illness like he did as she may not have been strong enough to cope.
I only wish we could stop random breeding happening as it is heartbreaking.
Yes, him and Finn are super cute together, they often spoon each other at bedtime with arms and legs all over each other so they are definitely pals for life.
Thanks again 🙂
So sorry to hear about sweet Freddy and all he has gone through in his short life. So glad that Finlay came along and gave him some comfort too. Now, they are both blessed with the arrival of a 3rd brother. Hope that Freddy makes a full recovery and has good health and a very long and happy life with you.
Freddy and Finlay (and homeless kitty) are so lucky to have found you! Thank you so much for being so caring and saving Freddy’s precious little life. And thank you for not giving up on him when things got really bad. Hopefully you will now have many years of happiness with all three kitties.
Thanks for the kind words, yes, fingers crossed he will be around for a long time as he brings a lot of happiness 🙂
What a lovely story and you’ve very kind – the kittens are lucky to have you as their guardian. I’m somewhat new to Ragdoll ownership – but I thought you were not supposed to expose them to outside cats because of the diseases and potential exposure. Sort of the same reason that Ragdolls are always inside cats. Could someone or an expert weigh in please? Jenny perhaps? Thanks, Vince
I am certainly not an expert, but yes, the general thought is not to let Ragdolls outside more so because of their docile nature – thinking they wouldn’t be able to or wouldn’t defend themselves against danger. In general, it is also thought not a good idea to let cats outside because of the potential dangers of wild animal encounters, chemicals on lawns, etc. As you may know, I do let my two outside in my enclosed backyard with me out there with them. They do not leave my yard – I also walk my yard before I let them out to make sure there are no obvious wild animal threats. I have found since operating this website that the no outside thing is a much stronger thought in the USA than any other country. Much like the USA seems to be bigger on dry food and other countries support the raw food movement. At the end of the day, it is your choice as their parent. Thanks,
I agree with you on outside and dry food. What do they say about exposing them to other cats (in particular from this story a stray outside cat)? Perfectly fine – or similar risks?
Thanks for keeping this blog,
Any exposure of another feline to your resident feline carries the same concerns – FIV, FeLV, etc. exposure…and then the chance that they hate each other and get in a horrible fight. Of course, it could also totally work out. Very circumstantial, I’d say.