Ok, DH and I have as soft of hearts as anyone, but we are not made of money.
People seem to drop off stray cats in our neighborhood and they end up here. So far, we have 6. Every time a new one shows up, we take it to get it fixed and try our best to give it a decent life - vaccines, heartworm meds, regular wormings, flea treatment, etc.
Now, one of them is straining to pee and I suspect stones. That's a multi-thousand dollar treatment in Houston area.
I am torn. I love all animals, but am not bonded to these strays.
Do I spend thousands trying to help a stray cat???? My heart says, yes. My head say, Are you nuts?
You have a huge heart and it shows, or you would not be asking.
I am of the mind-set to take cat to vet, have basic diagnostic work-up done, and make the decision then. If it is $$$$$ treatment, have cat euthanized. Cat will have had a chance and you won't go broke!
I think triage is very important in rescue.
Kudos to you for taking in the strays and giving them your best. I think only you can answer this question. You will do what is right for you.
I, personally, wouldn't spend the money on a stray cat. A kind place to land and a good meal is better than suffering on the streets!
Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!
Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!
I think the kindest thing you can do for the kitty if he is truly blocked is take him to a shelter and have him put down. If you can afford a regular vet clinic, its "nicer",but does cost more. Cats that block once, likely will block again unless there is a major diet overhaul - and even with the best diets out there they can still block. If he is truly blocked and and cant urinate at all, he probably doesnt have much more than a day to live. I would imagine it would be a very uncomfortable experience. It sounds like you have done so much, but they cant all be saved. You can make his last few hours/day(s) free of suffering.
If he is just straining and producing some urine, it could also be cystitis - also common in male cats. Generally, a cheap round of antibiotics will fix this and you can always request it without a urine culture etc.
Thank you for all that you do for them. I agree you should NOT feel bad about putting one down that is going to be expensive to treat. You will be doing it a service rather than allowing it to suffer and still be able to aford to care for the next one that finds it's way to you . . . Good luck.