Berry is a 2 year old moggy cat. I got him from my parents farm along with his friend (but not litter mate) Willow when they were 4 and 3 months old respectively. The farm cats are feral, although some including Berry's mother like to be petted and come into the house from time to time. They live in the out buildings and are responsible for vermin control, Berry's mother is an expert hunter and a very devoted and experienced mother who tends to be very self sufficient. The farm cats are fed once a day to suplement their hunting.
Berry did not have much if any human contact until he was about 2 months old as his mother was raising him (she does not bring the kittens to us until they are about this age) we then worked hard on taming him and getting him accustomed to the house, litter tray and his traveling box. All of which he took to very well. He appeared to be the runt of his litter.
At some point during Berry's early life we think he was attacked by one of the chicken which resulted in him being partly blind in his left eye, this has never bothered him as far as I can tell although he is head shy if you approach from the front, I think because he cant see you properly, as he is happy to be petted under the chin or on the top of his head.
When he was approximately 4 months old he and Willow came to live with me. They settled in immediatly to being house cats with no problems although they still both love to be outside exploring.
As a kitten Berry was very independant and aloof, he was brave and adventurous, although he has always remained scared of strangers and cars (no bad thing) he will run away and hide from both although he is braver with new people if I am with him. Over the 2 years Berry has lived with me he has gradually become less aloof and is now increadibly affectionate with me, he likes to curl up in bed with me like a teddy bear, sometimes under the covers sometimes on the pillow next to me. He also likes to sit on the back of the chair I am in, and more recently has started to sit on my lap from time to time. He will also gently pat my face and hair with his paw. He has always been a very 'talkative' cat and takes after his mother in this respect. He also has a favourite kitchen cupboard that he likes to hide in and will miaw and scratch to be let into it. Although Berry loves to go outdoors he doesn't go out much during the day unless I am with him, but loves to go out once it is dark and in the warmer weather will stay out all night. When I am home he often follows me around the house or garden.
He has remained good friends with Willow and they often play together and groom each other although Willow is the more domminant one and will often make Berry cry out when he pins him down.
Berry has had all his vacinations and has been neutered, but other than that he has not needed to visit the vet until about 4 months ago when he develloped gingavitis.
Berry has always prefered 'wet' food although he has been offered a mixture of both. The first symptoms I noticed were that he was occasionally miawing out in pain and retching but not bringing anything up. Then he stoped eating. When I took him to the vet his mouth was very sore he was treated with steriods and antibiotics and had his teeth cleaned under anesthetic and had 4 removed. He also had blood tests done for FIV and feline leukemia which were both negative. He also lost a lot of weight, which he has now put back on although he has always been slim. He was prescribed special biscuits to help clean his teeth and I was advised that he would be better with a dry food only diet. I was reluctant to do this as I had heard it could contribute to bladder and kidney problems, so he now has 1/3 wet food (I have changed to one that has a higher real meat content as this is less sticky than the food he was having before) 1/3 teeth cleaning biscuits and 1/3 normal cat biscuits (I have a big bad to use up) I have also started giving him a muti-vitamin chew. Before the new biscuits I hardly ever saw Berry drink but he now drinks a lot and the 2 of them will sometimes mannage a whole bowl of water over 24hrs.
Homeopathically I have tried Merc Sol 30c disolved in his water which has helped short term decreasing the redness of his gums, when this is in his water he as been known to sit at the water bowl and drink most of the bowl, more so than usual. I have also tried putting hypericum and calendula tincture in his water but have not noticed any dramatic results from this.
Following his teeth removal I gave him aconite, arnica and hypericum and calendula to help him recover.
On one of our trips to the vets we had a very unsypathetic taxi driver who turned his music up very loud as we got in the car, Berry panicked and urinated and since then he does not settle in his traveling box alone, previously he would curl up and go to sleep. He also gets very upset as soon as we enter the vets surgery and miaws loudly and constantly the whole time we are there since he had his FIV blood test done, he seemed very shaken by that, I don't know what the procedure is as he was taken upstairs to have it done. He is more settled if Willow is in the box with him. He also finds having tablets given traumatic, he will not eat anything that is hidden in food, so I have to give them to him manually. He hides under a chair or table as soon as he thinks I am getting them out the packet and then goes rigid when I hold onto him, he will hold the tablet in his mouth for ages, foaming at the mouth and trying to spit it out, although he has got a bit better with his over the past few months with having to have so many tablets.
Berry's gingivitis is recurrent and he already has hard plaques forming on his teeth again only 3 months after having them cleaned. I am trying to get him used to having his teeth cleaned which he tollerates for short periods. My vet wants to continue with steroid injections everytime it flares up, but I am worred that this is only treating the symptoms and that it will have long term health implications.
Berry's last visit to the vet was 6 days ago for his booster injections, he had Willow with him and did not seem unduly stressed by the journey.
Over the past couple of days Berry has had blood in his urine and has taken to urinating in the bath, rather than his litter tray, although I have seen some blood in the litter tray too. The blood is not frank and he seems to be producing normal volumes of urine. He will stand in the bath and scratch and miaw though. He likes to drink running water if I turn a tap on for him but will also drink plenty from his bowl.
He is due to go back to the vets tomorrow with regards to his teeth, she is sugesting another steroid injection, and I will be mentioning this to her then. I am wondering if he is generally run down from a combination of his health problems and their treatments. I do give him natural yoghurt when he has been on antibiotics, which he loves, to try and help keep his bowels healthy. I would be really greatful if you could suggest anything else I can do to help him.