Rescuing Kittens and FIV.. - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-18-2008, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Rescuing Kittens and FIV..

I'm new here, but stopped by because I had a few questions about FIV..

On Wednesday, my boss and I found two little kittens outside. They were freezing! They look to be around 8 weeks old. They were -not- happy when we caught them. They seemed to calm down fairly fast - but they'll still offer a hiss or growl of displeasure when you pick them up. They are definately not used to people.

My problem now is I'd like to take one, or possibly both, of them home with me. Currently they are with my boss - until they see a vet tomorrow morning. Okay - so it's not exactly a 'problem' - The thing is I'm concerned about them giving my two current cats something.

How likely is it that the kittens could have FIV? Is there a test the vet can do on them at this age? What other ailments should I ask the vet about or look for?

They seem healthy enough. Both of them are eating and drinking. They aren't moving around a whole lot - but I think beause they are still pretty scared. Their eyes/noses are clean, and their stool looks normal. One of them seems on the skinny side - but I'm not sure how long they have been on their own either. The crazy thing is - We put a box out with straw and food/water to try and help another stray stay warm (He definately isn't into people) -- and the next day we wound up with two kittens!

Is four cats under the age of 1 year too many?!?! Worse yet - I'd have four GIRLS! My current two cats are female, and these two are Tortiseshells - so I'm pretty sure they are also females. - I was seriously considering just keeping one, but noone else will step up and take the other one. I would hate to see the oher be placed in a shelter situation - which is unfortunately what will happen.

Thanks for any help..
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-18-2008, 04:54 PM
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Re: Rescuing Kittens and FIV..

FIV can be tested for with a blood test I believe? My vet charged 50 dollars for the test. I am not sure about what age it is safe to test them. Someone else may want to comment, and I know we have at least one member who has an FIV kitty so she should be able to give more answers. It can be transferred from kitty to kitty, I know that as a fact, so getting the test may prove worthwhile if it ensures the safety of all kitties involved.

Good for you, taking care of these kittens! Four cats under the age of 1 year may be a bit of a handful. But if you are a person who enjoys the antics of frisky kittens, then I would say the more the merrier!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-18-2008, 05:46 PM
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Re: Rescuing Kittens and FIV..

FIV is indeed tested for via a blood test.

Kittens can get FIV from their Mum, but its actually rather rare (although not rare enough for my boy, unfortunately). I'd actually be most surprised if they do have FIV by other means at their age.

As for cat to cat transmission - its actually rather difficult - a lot more difficult than many people think. Its only transmitted though Mum, though mating and though deep muscle bites. With non aggressive cats living in the same home, the risk of a non-FIV cat getting FIV from a infected cat is about 1%.

Also, if those kittens did have a FIV+ Mum, you wont know whether they are infected yet, as they will have antibodies to Mum still. I think the age to get them tested is 6 months - but I don't quite remember.

At the moment, if you got them tested, they could show as positive now but actually be FIV-.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-19-2008, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Rescuing Kittens and FIV..

Thanks for your responses.

We took both girls (Yep, Girls!) to the vet today. They are in good health - They did have worms, but they were treated for those today. They are about 9 weeks old, which is older than I thought. I had them tested for FIV - they both tested negative. I have to take them back in 3 weeks for another distemper shot and for their spay surgery.

I am keeping both! Right now they are in a cat playpen in my office away from my other pets. They are still pretty scared.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-19-2008, 07:16 PM
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Re: Rescuing Kittens and FIV..

That's wonderful! Pictures?

Cali, Cinderella, Cleo and Charlee

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Always in my heart, my lovely Cinderella, running free at the Bridge.
Always in my heart, my sweet Cali, running free at the Bridge.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-19-2008, 08:05 PM
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Re: Rescuing Kittens and FIV..

Congratulations on your new babies!!
Not to put a damper on anything but, if they weren't tested for Felv as well as FIV, they should be. I'm assuming they did check for it, but since you didn't mention it...it's important. Unlike FIV, Felv can be passed on from casual contact like mutual grooming.

Victoria
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2008, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Rescuing Kittens and FIV..

Just posting a little update...

I guess it's official that I'm keeping them - because I named them last night. I felt bad calling them "bigger one" and "little one" lol!

They seem to be eating well. I gave them a little bit of CatSip, and that was a major hit. They have been using the litterbox faithfully.

They aren't too wild, considering. Delilah will hiss if you pick her up, but once she is in someone's arms she settles down. Riley is really coming around and seems like she is starting to enjoy my company. I am hoping in a few weeks they will both be tame.

How long would you wait until you let them out of the cat playpen and into the room to play? I actually have an entire cat room full of cat furniture - but right now they are separated into my office. The vet did test for both, and did tell me she was confident they are well enough to be near my other cats -- But I am waiting for awhile because I think they are way too frightened at this point to be near the other cats? I know for sure that I don't want them meeting the puppy yet. I was considering waiting until after they are spayed and recover from the spay to start introductions.. Or am I better off starting sooner?

I've never had feral kittens before - My other two females are actually the first cats I've ever owned -- so I'm doing a ton of reading right now trying to figure out the best way to make these two girls "pets".

I don't think I'll ever forget after we caught Delilah - she escaped from the box we had her in and was in the warehouse at work. She was running under pallets and everything. I thought we would never catch her. It took half the day! She finally came out for food and my boss caught her yet again. We had actually called places about a live trap we were so worried we'd never find her! I like how my boss put it -- She was just asserting her independence! LOL.

So here are the two girls - Riley and Delilah. It may be a long hard road - but I know their first Christmas won't be spent alone in the cold.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 12:39 PM
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Re: Rescuing Kittens and FIV..

Aww they are too cute! The one on the left in the bottom pic, looks very similiar to my cat. She's a Tortie as well.. I've had her 5 years, and she still hisses and growls to this day lol She can be the most loving cat one minute, then nasty by nature the next. I always swear she has a split personality.

I'd say as long as the vet gave them a clean bill of health, its probably best to let them out of the cage to roam about and start getting used to the other cats, as long as the other cats will not attack or make them more scared. They're probably more scared being in a cage, where as roaming about freely - can make them start feeling at home.

Good luck.. keep us updated on your adorable new babies.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 02:11 PM
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Re: Rescuing Kittens and FIV..

They're adorable
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 04:54 PM
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Re: Rescuing Kittens and FIV..

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