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Bill
July 18th 03, 10:13 PM
>"Brad Stone" > wrote in message
...
> Hi there,
>
> I live in the Dallas area with two awesome cats (a 9 year old female
> and a 13 year old male). You can check out my indoor cat runs and
> outdoor cat enclosure here -- http://www.brushyland.com/cats/. They
> adore eachother and thus, I've been reluctant to introduce a 3rd cat
> during all these years.
>
> But a beautiful young "tuxedo" female showed up near my office
> yesterday looking for food. She's approximately one year old and is
> mainly black but with white paws (huge paws at that) so we named her
> "Socks". Man, she is so sweet. She demands petting from any human,
> which is fairly rare for a stray in the city. It's sort of a rough area
> so I figured it's not the right environment for such a kind kitty. I
> took her to the vet today with the hopes of getting all her shots, etc
> and then finding a new home for her. And *if* my cats accepted hert I
> might have taken her myself, but I was most likely going to find a new
> home for her. All the vets and nurses absolutely fell in love with this
> little love bug.
>
> Well, it turns out she tested positive for Feline Leukemia. Dang.
> I'm totally confused on what to do now. I've heard that there are
> shelters somewhere (I haven't found any in the Dallas area) that takes
> in Leukemia kitties. But I've also heard some sad stories of how upper
> resperatory infections occasionally spread through those shelters/homes
> pretty fast, greatly shortening the lives of the cats. I hate the
> thought of putting her some place where she might quickly get sick or
> not be loved on, but it may end up being the best solution assuming I
> can even find such a place.
>
> My cats always get their annual Leukemia vaccination, but I guess I
> shouldn't risk exposing them to "Socks"?
>
> The vet thinks she is in good health. She noted that Socks' secondary
> eyelids are not moving completely out of the way - but they are clear of
> her vision. The vet said this may mean nothing or it may be the very
> first signs of her body's reaction to the Leukemia. But other than
> that, the cat appears to be in very good health.
>
> I heard that *some* cats recover from Leukemia and will eventually
> test negative for it. Should I consider moving Socks into my guest
> bedroom where she can not have any contact with my cats? Or is that too
> risky for my other cats? I hear that the Leukemia virus *might* be
> transmitted via my shoes, hands, etc. Yikes. I'm sure life in my guest
> bedroom would be very dull for her, but maybe after 8 weeks or so I
> could get her tested again. If she tests negative then I can either
> keep her as a 3rd cat or find a good home for her. Of course, my *huge*
> fear is that I will fall in love with her in the mean time and then she
> will still test positive again. If she tests positive after that length
> of time in my house, it would break my heart. I guess, in that case, I
> could keep her permanently in my guest bedroom for the rest of her life
> (assuming that's safe for my other two cats) - but I'm not sure that's
> being realistic for me or Socks. Plus, I'm not sure that living like
> that is really fair to Socks.
>
> Any suggestions on what I should do in the near term and/or long term
> for this sweet little girl would be greatly appreciated!
>
> Thanks,
> Brad Stone
>

Your vet should be able to give you some idea as to the likelihood the cat
can recover from the infection.

Check your local area for cat rescue groups that have fosters to care for
special needs cats. The SPCA and humane society are good places to start,
but there also may be independent rescue groups for this special niche.

Good luck!

Bill

Bill
July 18th 03, 10:13 PM
>"Brad Stone" > wrote in message
...
> Hi there,
>
> I live in the Dallas area with two awesome cats (a 9 year old female
> and a 13 year old male). You can check out my indoor cat runs and
> outdoor cat enclosure here -- http://www.brushyland.com/cats/. They
> adore eachother and thus, I've been reluctant to introduce a 3rd cat
> during all these years.
>
> But a beautiful young "tuxedo" female showed up near my office
> yesterday looking for food. She's approximately one year old and is
> mainly black but with white paws (huge paws at that) so we named her
> "Socks". Man, she is so sweet. She demands petting from any human,
> which is fairly rare for a stray in the city. It's sort of a rough area
> so I figured it's not the right environment for such a kind kitty. I
> took her to the vet today with the hopes of getting all her shots, etc
> and then finding a new home for her. And *if* my cats accepted hert I
> might have taken her myself, but I was most likely going to find a new
> home for her. All the vets and nurses absolutely fell in love with this
> little love bug.
>
> Well, it turns out she tested positive for Feline Leukemia. Dang.
> I'm totally confused on what to do now. I've heard that there are
> shelters somewhere (I haven't found any in the Dallas area) that takes
> in Leukemia kitties. But I've also heard some sad stories of how upper
> resperatory infections occasionally spread through those shelters/homes
> pretty fast, greatly shortening the lives of the cats. I hate the
> thought of putting her some place where she might quickly get sick or
> not be loved on, but it may end up being the best solution assuming I
> can even find such a place.
>
> My cats always get their annual Leukemia vaccination, but I guess I
> shouldn't risk exposing them to "Socks"?
>
> The vet thinks she is in good health. She noted that Socks' secondary
> eyelids are not moving completely out of the way - but they are clear of
> her vision. The vet said this may mean nothing or it may be the very
> first signs of her body's reaction to the Leukemia. But other than
> that, the cat appears to be in very good health.
>
> I heard that *some* cats recover from Leukemia and will eventually
> test negative for it. Should I consider moving Socks into my guest
> bedroom where she can not have any contact with my cats? Or is that too
> risky for my other cats? I hear that the Leukemia virus *might* be
> transmitted via my shoes, hands, etc. Yikes. I'm sure life in my guest
> bedroom would be very dull for her, but maybe after 8 weeks or so I
> could get her tested again. If she tests negative then I can either
> keep her as a 3rd cat or find a good home for her. Of course, my *huge*
> fear is that I will fall in love with her in the mean time and then she
> will still test positive again. If she tests positive after that length
> of time in my house, it would break my heart. I guess, in that case, I
> could keep her permanently in my guest bedroom for the rest of her life
> (assuming that's safe for my other two cats) - but I'm not sure that's
> being realistic for me or Socks. Plus, I'm not sure that living like
> that is really fair to Socks.
>
> Any suggestions on what I should do in the near term and/or long term
> for this sweet little girl would be greatly appreciated!
>
> Thanks,
> Brad Stone
>

Your vet should be able to give you some idea as to the likelihood the cat
can recover from the infection.

Check your local area for cat rescue groups that have fosters to care for
special needs cats. The SPCA and humane society are good places to start,
but there also may be independent rescue groups for this special niche.

Good luck!

Bill

Yngver
July 18th 03, 10:38 PM
Brad Stone wrote:

> I heard that *some* cats recover from Leukemia and will eventually
>test negative for it.

Some cats do fight off the infection. But at this point, since it sounds as
though your vet did the in-office Elisa test, he should follow up with a second
test (IFA) to confirm the first. This test is normally sent away to a lab. If
this test confirms the FeLV status, the cat probably is FeLV positive. If it's
negative, then there's a good chance either the first test was a false positive
or the cat will clear the infection.

Should I consider moving Socks into my guest
>bedroom where she can not have any contact with my cats? Or is that too
>risky for my other cats? I hear that the Leukemia virus *might* be
>transmitted via my shoes, hands, etc.

We went through this with a stray we took in a few months ago, although in our
case she was FeLV negative and we were just waiting to re-test to make sure she
hadn't been exposed right before we took her in. FeLV is spread mainly through
the repeated exchange of saliva. It doesn't live very long outside a wet
environment. In our case, we decided that washing our hands with disinfectant
after leaving the room in which we were keeping her was sufficient. I think the
chances of your cats getting FeLV from virus on your shoes is very slim,
especially since they've been vaccinated. Of course, the vaccine is only about
70-80 percent effective, but that still reduces the risk considerably should
your cats be exposed.

Yikes. I'm sure life in my guest
>bedroom would be very dull for her, but maybe after 8 weeks or so I
>could get her tested again.

I don't know. We had a hard time keeping our cat confined for more than four
weeks. Eight weeks is a mighty long time for a cat. I think you may not know if
it's workable unless you try it, but after a while she will probably be trying
to get out at every chance.


If she tests negative then I can either
>keep her as a 3rd cat or find a good home for her. Of course, my *huge*
>fear is that I will fall in love with her in the mean time and then she
>will still test positive again.

Yes, you should be aware of the risk.


If she tests positive after that length
>of time in my house, it would break my heart. I guess, in that case, I
>could keep her permanently in my guest bedroom for the rest of her life
>(assuming that's safe for my other two cats) - but I'm not sure that's
>being realistic for me or Socks. Plus, I'm not sure that living like
>that is really fair to Socks.
>
> Any suggestions on what I should do in the near term and/or long term
>for this sweet little girl would be greatly appreciated!
>
Well, one thing you could consider is trying to find her a home in which she'd
be the only cat, or live with another FeLV positive cat. Also, do you know
anyone who doesn't have a cat who would be willing to keep her for the eight
weeks or so until you can re-test?

I'm sorry, we went through a similar situation and fortunately the cat we took
in was FeLV negative on her re-test as well, but before that we looked at a lot
of options. There aren't any easy answers, I'm afraid. Good luck. I hope she
re-tests negative.

Yngver
July 18th 03, 10:38 PM
Brad Stone wrote:

> I heard that *some* cats recover from Leukemia and will eventually
>test negative for it.

Some cats do fight off the infection. But at this point, since it sounds as
though your vet did the in-office Elisa test, he should follow up with a second
test (IFA) to confirm the first. This test is normally sent away to a lab. If
this test confirms the FeLV status, the cat probably is FeLV positive. If it's
negative, then there's a good chance either the first test was a false positive
or the cat will clear the infection.

Should I consider moving Socks into my guest
>bedroom where she can not have any contact with my cats? Or is that too
>risky for my other cats? I hear that the Leukemia virus *might* be
>transmitted via my shoes, hands, etc.

We went through this with a stray we took in a few months ago, although in our
case she was FeLV negative and we were just waiting to re-test to make sure she
hadn't been exposed right before we took her in. FeLV is spread mainly through
the repeated exchange of saliva. It doesn't live very long outside a wet
environment. In our case, we decided that washing our hands with disinfectant
after leaving the room in which we were keeping her was sufficient. I think the
chances of your cats getting FeLV from virus on your shoes is very slim,
especially since they've been vaccinated. Of course, the vaccine is only about
70-80 percent effective, but that still reduces the risk considerably should
your cats be exposed.

Yikes. I'm sure life in my guest
>bedroom would be very dull for her, but maybe after 8 weeks or so I
>could get her tested again.

I don't know. We had a hard time keeping our cat confined for more than four
weeks. Eight weeks is a mighty long time for a cat. I think you may not know if
it's workable unless you try it, but after a while she will probably be trying
to get out at every chance.


If she tests negative then I can either
>keep her as a 3rd cat or find a good home for her. Of course, my *huge*
>fear is that I will fall in love with her in the mean time and then she
>will still test positive again.

Yes, you should be aware of the risk.


If she tests positive after that length
>of time in my house, it would break my heart. I guess, in that case, I
>could keep her permanently in my guest bedroom for the rest of her life
>(assuming that's safe for my other two cats) - but I'm not sure that's
>being realistic for me or Socks. Plus, I'm not sure that living like
>that is really fair to Socks.
>
> Any suggestions on what I should do in the near term and/or long term
>for this sweet little girl would be greatly appreciated!
>
Well, one thing you could consider is trying to find her a home in which she'd
be the only cat, or live with another FeLV positive cat. Also, do you know
anyone who doesn't have a cat who would be willing to keep her for the eight
weeks or so until you can re-test?

I'm sorry, we went through a similar situation and fortunately the cat we took
in was FeLV negative on her re-test as well, but before that we looked at a lot
of options. There aren't any easy answers, I'm afraid. Good luck. I hope she
re-tests negative.