FIV - semi-feral stray - advice needed for momma cat
Hi! I have another thread that exlpains more fully what is going on at my house if you're interested, but long story short I've "taken in" a semi-feral orange cat named Terra, and her 4 kittens. They stay outside but I have made a shelter for them. I am preparing to take the kittens in and socialize them + rehome them. This thread is for advice on the momma though.
After having the kittens last weekend, Terra started looking progressively worse and I ended up taking her to the vet on Friday. After extensive testing she was found to be negative for Feline Leukemia but positive for FIV, and she is in the later stages. She has a very bad upper respiratory infection, a large worm load, and is very thin. She was wormed in the office with a pretty strong wormer by the vet, and is currently on eye/nose drops for her infection and anti-inflammatory paste. In 3 days she is looking MUCH better even though she's only getting one dose of the drops a day (it is NOT easy to hold down a mostly feral cat for drops....hahaha. I have so many scratches) but I haven't checked to see if her fever is down yet. Her eyes are clear but she is still wheezing. I'm bringing her in again in about 8 days (once her kittens are a little over 2 weeks old) to have them wormed and to make sure her worms are gone. I will also get her rabies done at that time. I was going to do it Friday but she had a high fever.
Anyways, provided I pull her through this round of infection, what should I do with her? I don't think she'll ever been tame enough to be someone's house cat, which means she has to live outside....and I can't be pouring money into her constantly if she gets infection after infection. She won't let me medicate her enough either. So I'm considering my options. So far what I've come up with is that I can pull her through long enough for her kittens to be weaned, then take her and have her euthenized since she IS at the end stages of FIV + and I don't want her to suffer on the street....OR I can try to give her a chance and, if I can get her healthy enough, get her spayed and let her live life on the street until she just can't anymore. But I'm REALLY worried that she's just going to get worms again, then another infection, and be right back where she is now. Or if I spay her, that the trauma will be too much and she'll get sick again because her immune system is shot.
Which should I do? I can't afford to constantly be catching her, treating her infections, and letting her back out again. I guess I want to know....how much effort on my part is 'enough'? How do I know when it is ok to let her go? She's such a great cat and I don't want to not do enough for her, but the reality is that I am 19 and in college with car, insurance, and school payments. I work many hours a week to afford these and will already be paying huge amounts of money to spay/neuter, FIV test, worm, and vaccinate her babies. I just don't know what I should do for Terra.
Has anyone has experience with spaying an FIV positive adult cat? Did the cat do ok? Or will this just be too much for her since her immune system is already shot?
Thanks for any advice <3 This is a picture of her, 3 days post medication. Doing much better but not out of the woods.
Last edited by marie73; 03-20-2015 at 01:08 PM.