Joker the FeLV cat, Part II and III - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Joker the FeLV cat, Part II and III

Part II - We brought Joker into the house to begin his transformation from garage cat to indoor cat. For the past month it has been a gradual process of room-to-room and occasional (non physical contact) with the two indoor cats. Everything went well. The male indoor cat (Hero) seemed mildly interested and no more. Not too surprising as he's a very mellow cat. Misty, the female, has her furry knickers in a perpetual twist and would give him the hard stare and occasional hiss. Joker just seemed to be somewhat overwhelmed by it all.

Part III - Last Sunday was the day. The door barrier was removed and we stood there with a spray bottle just in case. Joker came out, kind of slinked around a bit. Hero and Misty just stood there. Joker went down into the basement where he found a hiding place in a corner and spent the next 24 hours there except for meals. Food apparently erases all fear. It is now day 3 and everyone is getting along fine (mostly). Hero has taken him as a playmate, something Misty doesn't do. Misty is still guarded and has jumped him a few times and batted him, but no harm. It looks more like a who's-going-to-be-boss thing as there's no blood or fur flying.

As I've posted a few times I have every hope and expectation that given the right circumstances and care an FeLV+ cat can be integrated into a house with FeLV- cats. So far, so good.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by lyle View Post
As I've posted a few times I have every hope and expectation that given the right circumstances and care an FeLV+ cat can be integrated into a house with FeLV- cats. So far, so good.
I so totally agree. Smokey was both FIV/FeLV+ and he fit in fine with my original three -- Midnight, Star and Lucky. As a precaution, we had Midnight, Star and Lucky vaccinated for FeLV. As most of you know, we lost Smokey on January 14, 2011. In October of this year, we took Star in to have his teeth cleaned and we opted to have the full blood panel done on him before the procedure because Star is 7 years old. Two of the things they tested him for were FIV and FeLV. Star's results came back as negative for both. This is significant because Star and Smokey were BFFs. They were inseparable. So even though Star was exposed to FIV/FeLV, he did not contract either.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 06:04 AM Thread Starter
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Not the only one

I was sure that I wasn't the only one to have done this although the general position seems to be to keep FeLV+ cats separated from FeLV- cats.
Part I was the research and medical prep work. Both indoor cats were tested and then vaccinated. The feral garage cat was tested and put on a regime of Lysine/ interferon/ herbal meds to boost his immune system. All of the cats, especially the feral, we're deemed psychologically well suited as they are 3+ years old and VERY nonagressive.
Thanks for the words of encouragement, we remain somewhat concerned as to whether we are doing the " right" thing.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by lyle View Post
I was sure that I wasn't the only one to have done this although the general position seems to be to keep FeLV+ cats separated from FeLV- cats. Part I was the research and medical prep work. Both indoor cats were tested and then vaccinated.
I really wish people were more like you and would research whether FeLV+ and FeLV- cats can live together without being separated.

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The feral garage cat was tested and put on a regime of Lysine/ interferon/ herbal meds to boost his immune system. All of the cats, especially the feral, we're deemed psychologically well suited as they are 3+ years old and VERY nonagressive.
Sadly, we didn't do anything special with Smokey as far as boosting his immune system because at the time, Smokey was being fostered because my then husband was worried that Smokey would make our other cats sick. Once we found out that we could vaccinate our other cats, and after it was done, Smokey was allowed to come back home. I wish we had known about boosting his immune system, though the last lady who fostered him had been feeding him kitten food, with the belief that kitten food contained extra nutrients and could help boost his immune system. We kept feeding him kitten food, but my then husband complained about having to buy different food for Smokey and he stopped buying it. But the last lady to foster Smokey for me wasn't the only one to foster him. He was fostered by two other women. I don't know what the first woman fed him, but he lived with her in her dorm room. The second lady had cats of her own and couldn't/wouldn't let Smokey stay in her house. She kept him in a cage in her barn. (The resulting issues that Smokey had are for another post.)

Quote:
Thanks for the words of encouragement, we remain somewhat concerned as to whether we are doing the " right" thing.
I know what you mean. For the longest, after Smokey passed, I was worried about my other cats contracting FIV/FeLV even though they were vaccinated for FeLV, especially Star. All I can recommend is that you have your other cats tested every so often. Since they are older, their resistance should be built up enough so that they'll remain FeLV-. Good luck to you, lyle. Keep us posted on Joker's progress.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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All I can recommend is that you have your other cats tested every so often. Since they are older, their resistance should be built up enough so that they'll remain FeLV-.
I didn't mention that we are undertaking all of this under the guidance/supervision of a local vet who is experienced in FeLV issues. Periodic testing and office visits are part of the program. Without her support I don't know if we would have been as keen at taking this on.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 03:27 PM
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I wish we had had a vet like yours. If we had, Smokey wouldn't have had to go to a foster home.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2012, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by my4kitties View Post
I so totally agree. Smokey was both FIV/FeLV+ and he fit in fine with my original three -- Midnight, Star and Lucky. As a precaution, we had Midnight, Star and Lucky vaccinated for FeLV. As most of you know, we lost Smokey on January 14, 2011. In October of this year, we took Star in to have his teeth cleaned and we opted to have the full blood panel done on him before the procedure because Star is 7 years old. Two of the things they tested him for were FIV and FeLV. Star's results came back as negative for both. This is significant because Star and Smokey were BFFs. They were inseparable. So even though Star was exposed to FIV/FeLV, he did not contract either.
This is a huge testimonial on why not to put down FeLv cats and they can live safely with non FeLv cats! Thanks for sharing that Renee!

Lyle your vet sounds like a saint! You are so fortunate. so many vets would pressure you to put a FeLv cat down. Ive read your posts with interest! I'm so glad everything is working out during the transition! Great job your doing!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2012, 10:54 AM
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My vet, once they got the results from Smokey's FIV/FeLV test, wanted me to put him down. I refused. He was still healthy and wasn't showing any symptoms. I told the vet to go ahead with the neutering because Smokey wasn't going to be put down. I was quite adamant about that!

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2012, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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can live safely with non FeLv cats! Thanks for sharing that Renee!

Lyle your vet sounds like a saint! You are so fortunate. so many vets would pressure you to put a FeLv cat down. Ive read your posts with interest!
The operative word is: CAN. At this point I sure wouldn't say WILL. We'll see. Regardless of which way it goes in the future I'll post it. After about 2 weeks it's going well. The biggest issue is that Joker brought his "everyone for him/her self" at feeding time into the house. He eats a few bites out of his bowl and then goes to the other cats bowls. They just back away with a kind of WTH look on their faces. A little drama (hey, they're cats!), but no fights.

The vet we have for Joker is good all right. Skeptic that I am it took a while to get on board. I'm always a bit suspicious of people (vets included) who tell you "everything is going to be alright". But she eventually convinced me that she was up on the FeLV thing and treatments coming "on-line". I respect the vets that opt for "put-down", I just think that their moral compass needs a bit of calibrating.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 08:57 AM
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great work lyle! i really wish that the world was filled with a lot more people like you.

please keep updates coming.

"In studying the traits and dispositions of the so-called lower animals, and contrasting them with man's, I find the result humiliating to me."
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