Cat goes from skinny and itchy to healthy at home

Porcini hte black and white cat sitting on a wood floor
Porcini looked and felt terrible, but with veterinary care and diligent TLC from a foster volunteer, he’s now living his best life.
By Best Friends staff

Porcini came to Best Friends in Salt Lake City looking worse for the wear. His long, black-and-white fur looked like a tuxedo in tatters. His hair was coming out in clumps. He was missing some teeth. His eyes were dry and crusty, and his ears had been ravaged by ear mites. Whew.

It was going to take more than a day at the cat spa for the feline to look and feel better again. A lot more. What he needed was help from the Best Friends veterinary team and a foster home where he could rest while he healed. But Porcini was in good hands.

[Cat gets comfortable in her own skin]

Best Friends veterinarian Dr. Megan McCarthy examined Porcini as soon as he arrived at the lifesaving center with the goal to set up a treatment regimen for his severe skin condition. He was also far too thin, weighing just 6 pounds. So she ran some tests to get to the bottom of his skin issues and placed him on a calorie-rich diet to help him gain weight.

Now, you might think, given his laundry list of medical issues, Porcini wouldn’t have been up for much affection. Instead, it was the opposite. Even during his medical exams, all he wanted to do was cuddle and make biscuits. And because a positive outlook can work wonders for healing, that was a very good sign.

A tolerant kitty, even at bath time

Porcini went to stay with Dorien Butter, a Best Friends foster volunteer who gave him plenty of TLC ─ not to mention medicated baths, which he patiently tolerated. She also made sure that he continued to gain weight and gave him medication every day to help his skin clear up.

Dorien took Porcini back to the lifesaving center often for checkups with Dr. Megan. With each visit, he looked better and better. Under Dorien’s care, he was gaining weight. His skin started to clear up, too. Evidence began to stack up that an autoimmune condition was likely causing his skin issues. A very low dose of steroids would keep him comfortable, so that’s the regimen Dorien followed.

[How a cat named Stella got her groove (and her fur) back]

In the meantime, Porcini continued to make himself at home at Dorien’s place, where he enjoyed lounging on the deck, soaking up the sun and watching birds. He also loved spending quiet time with Dorien. The feeling was mutual.

Cat gains weight, then a home

Eight months after he first arrived at Best Friends as a skinny, crusty kitty, Dorien brought Porcini back to the lifesaving center to see Dr. Megan, who gave him a clean bill of health. He tipped the scale at 12 pounds, twice what he weighed at his first exam. His skin looked fantastic, too. His fur was so silky and shiny that he was downright handsome.

The good news didn’t stop there. After caring for Porcini for months and seeing what an incredibly loving and affectionate cat he is ─ despite having to weather quite a storm ─ Dorien decided to adopt him.

Porcini’s journey to health was a long but successful one, thanks to lots of love and care from a determined medical team and an equally determined foster volunteer who couldn’t let him go.

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