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Care and Love for Senior Cat Schmutz

closeup of Schmutz looking into the camera. She has half-closed yellow eyes, a white face and body with some grey patches.

Sweet senior cat Schmutz landed at Cat Adoption Team (CAT) in the fall of 2023. Because she had been a stray, we didn’t have much information about her past. But her older age was clear from the start. Here are a few notes from our veterinarian’s initial exam: “Appears to be a senior, I’m generously giving her 12 years. Severe gingivitis and tartar…. Fur is very thin and in poor condition, she is covered in fleas and flea dirt…. Very sweet kitty despite her condition.”

Thanks to the Aleece Runge Fund for Senior Cats, Schmutz was about to get some exceptional care!

A mostly white cat with a tabby patch over one eye, Schmutz lays on a peach towel in an exam room. Her coat is dirty and unkempt.
THEN: Schmutz arrived at the shelter in need of extra care and support.

Over the next few days, our medical team attended to Schmutz and performed more diagnostics. Of course she received basic care, like flea treatment and vaccines, but she required additional support due to her age and condition.

A closer look at her mouth revealed dental disease. X-rays showed spondylosis and osteoarthritis. Her senior blood panel exposed her hyperthyroid. We immediately started her on medications to address her ailments and their symptoms.

Unfortunately, in the treatment of her hyperthyroidism, our team uncovered another medical condition: chronic kidney disease! We adjusted Schmutz’s medications and that seemed to help.

While providing all of this medical care, CAT’s team was also working to help Schmutz with her grooming. When she arrived, her nails were so overgrown that one had even penetrated a paw pad! This nail was trimmed and her wound was treated. Schmutz also had a greasy, dirty, and sparse coat. We made her an appointment for a grooming session with Aussie Pet Mobile Grooming. And we started her on a supplement to help with her skin and coat health.

Schmutz stands on a white blanket and looks up to the left. She is mostly white and had a grey patch over her left eye and ear.
NOW: Once her health was stabilized, Schmutz found a loving home. She continues to get support from the Aleece Runge Fund for Senior Cats.
Photo by CLSmith Photography


Just as our vet noted in that first exam, Schmutz continued to be a sweetheart, despite all her troubles. Since she was a senior with several health conditions, we set Schmutz up in an office during her stay with us. Her officemates learned that she loves to be petted and brushed, craves attention, and is an excellent “biscuit maker” with a big purr. And she absolutely loves to bask in a sunbeam!

This fabulous attitude — along with all the information we gathered about her health and the promise of post-adoption and dental care support — helped Schmutz land a loving adoptive home. Her new family has sent us multiple updates, including this most recent one:

A person in glasses and an orange shirt holds Schmutz in their arms. Schmutz is mostly white with some grey patches on her face and paws.
Sweet Schmutz in the arms of her adoring adopter.
Photo by CLSmith Photography

“Schmutz’s vet has her on a good mix of kidney food, thyroid medicine, and monthly arthritis injections. Schmutz is a fiend for food and has bulked up from 8.42 lbs to 10.1 lbs since we brought her home. Schmutz spends her days sleeping in various spots around the house (lap, bed, couch, cat tree, in front of the heater). She gets weekly baths and grooming to keep her clean and mat free. She doesn’t LOVE her siblings, but cohabitates with them well.” — Schmutz’s adopters

How amazing for Schmutz and her new family that the Aleece Runge Fund for Senior Cats exists. And thank you to all our friends and supporters for helping us help sweet kitties like Schmutz!


About Cat Adoption Team

Cat Adoption Team (CAT) is the largest cat shelter in the Pacific Northwest. We offer adoption, foster care, and veterinary services to homeless cats and kittens.

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