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Looking to Adopt, but the cat is sick.

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Hi, this is my first post on your site. My husband and I are looking to adopt a cat and I found one that I really love this weekend. His name is Chip, he is available from a shelter locally. He is seven months and very sweet, quit the cuddler. The only problem is that he is sick. When I first met him I spent about 20 minutes holding him and he seemed very happy about that. So much that he did not want to run and play and I figured it's because he has a cold. He does have a runny nose and sneezed once within the 20 minutes I was there. The volunteer working said that he just came back from the foster home and healways gets a cold when being intoduced to a new place.

Still I wanted to adopt him, until I spoke to the shelter organizer today. She said that his condition is cronic that he will always have a runny nose and we will have to give him nose drops. That to me is not a big deal. What threw up the red flags was when I said I would talk to the vet hospital in the petstore where he is being housed to get more details. She suggested I did not talk to them because they will advise us not to adopt him and that she does not personally like them because they are expensive. She told me that another vet told her the condition is cronic but there is nothing to worry about. She also told me that they take the sick cats from shelters that would have been euthanised to save them from being killed and then adopt them out.

So my question is, should I still consider adopting him. I don't want to get attached to a cat that will always be sick and possibly die at a young age. What should I expect. I feel like she is not giving me the full story on him. They said he has been vaccinated and at seven months (being in their care for three months) I am not sure why he would have a cronic illness.

Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you!
P.S. The other volunteer even suggested we take two cats home and Chip is beign housed with two four month old kittens. If they know he is cronicly ill why would they expose the other cats.
post #2 of 42
Realistically, a sick cat isn't very adoptable. A few of mine have the chronic weepy eyes, feline herpes. It's no big deal. They aren't going to die at a young age.

Heck, any kitty could die at a young age from something stupid.

Even if he is chronically ill, it likely isn't something that will spread. Look at finances & space, decide on your own if you can afford two cats. (I reccomend 2+ cats as they are social animals).

I would seriously consider if you can afford the vet bills should he need more vet care than a "normal" cat. Also think that any kitty you adopt could potentially be ill. If I were you, I honestly would adopt him but I like the 'freaks'.

I do suggest that you find a vet you like & if you adopt him, get him checked by your vet ASAP.
post #3 of 42
I have a cats with Feline Herpes as well, he is 6 months old now. He was a foster kitten but no one wanted to adopt him because he will need to be on Lysine for the rest of his life. We kept him, and we couldn't be happier with that decision. He's one of the best cats I've ever known.
post #4 of 42
Thread Starter 
My husband has not met him yet and is going over there today. I happen to like the Banfield hositpal in the PetSmarts, they offer pet insurance which is what we used for our last cat. I called them today and they said for $34.95 they could do an exam on him and blood test to find out what is actually wrong with him. I am going to ask my husband to talk to the vet hospital while he is there to meet Chip. Hopefully if he falls in love with him he will setup an appointment for him to have an exam. If the vet gives the okay I don't have a problem adopting him. We like the cats that are in most need for a good home. I don't mind the vet bills with the pet insurance at 16.95 a month the visits we always free and medicine was discounted.

I just hope the adoption agency does not mind us having Chip examined before we adopt him.
post #5 of 42
Thread Starter 
What does the lysine do and how is it administered?
post #6 of 42
Originally Posted by fathom View Post
What does the lysine do and how is it administered?
The Lysine is for Feline Herpes, if that is indeed what he has. You can ask the vet what the proper dosage is for your kitty. Right now, mine gets 250 mg. daily and gets 500 mg. during a flare-up. The vet says when he gets older, he can have 500 mg. daily and 1000 mg. during a flare-up. I just crush it up and put it in his wet food and he takes it with no problem.
post #7 of 42
Thread Starter 
The first cat we found had been at the shelter for a year. Unfortuantly we let our cats outside to play and shelters don't like that so we were disqualified. I will have my husband see about having Chip looked at by the vet, if the shelters won't let us, we won't adopt him. I am okay with the vet coming abck and telling us he will need extra care, I hate to say it, but we both work full-time and can devote some extra care but not a huge amount. If the vet says he will need that then it's best he goes to a home where somone can take care of him better then we can.
post #8 of 42
When I found Niko, he was listed as a "special care" case with a notice on his cage.. that's the only reason I could figure he wasn't already adopted. He had a runny nose, always sneezed, gooky eyes, sounded congested, had diarrhea, and was on a prescription diet. The poor ting was a mess, but ohhh so cuddly and happy. I fell for him instantly.

I got him anyway. For the first few days, his issues persisted. We always knew where he was 'cause we could hear him breathing... we joked he was a mini, fuzzy, Darth Vader. After a week at home, his eyes/nose and congestion cleared up, we dewormed him and the diarrhea cleared, and I've switched him to a premium diet. He's now happy, healthy, energetic, and still a cuddle muffin. Sometimes just getting out of a shelter atmosphere, and away from other possibly sick cats, can be the best medicine.

If you really wanna give Chip a shot, have him looked over and see what's ailing him. Niko had nothing wrong that couldn't be fixed, luckily... I hope the same goes for Chip!
post #9 of 42
Thread Starter 
Aww Niko sounds cute. Chip is so cuddley. From the moment I picked him, he had his paws on my sholder, reached out and started to sniff my hair, ear and neck. After that he was just happy to he held. He would lay on my lap and just look up at me while I pet him. When he was in his cage and I would pet him he would rub his face on me and the women said he is marking me as his. When my husband and I went back to the shelter last night, no one was working which we knew, I just wanted to see him, I put my head against the glass to his cage and he came up and rested his head against the glass. He is so sweet. I hope the vets can give us some good news about his condition. He is sick enough that the pet store employee called the shelter organizer to let them know that he is sick. We shall see. I will keep you all posted.
post #10 of 42
What's really sad is that so many people do not even want to hold the "sick" ones, because they'll get attached. So they often get less attention than others. Same goes for the old ones(see my siggy, that boy is in his teens).

So, when you do hold them, they are so lovey. And that often never goes away, they furr-ever remain so rubby & friendly.
post #11 of 42
A lot of cats get runny noses or eyes due to stress from being in a place like a shelter. Then he has the added stress of being moved from the shelter to a foster home, and then back to the shelter again and possible a couple vet trips in there... I can see why he is stressed and that is probably the basis of his cold symptoms. Of course I dont know for sure but I wouldn't worry too badly. As long as the cat is FIV/FeLV tested negative, which any shelter adopting out cats tests for, he should be alright once he gets into a stable environment. If anything put him on Lysine if needed in the future.
post #12 of 42
Thread Starter 

Yeah I was telling my husband about how many times he has been moved around and that he is stressed and stress can cause them to get sick. My H is so great about cat's in need. He has a big heart for them. He works gravyard and woke up after five hours of sleep so he can get to the shelter to meet Chip and find out about the adoption. My H is going to ask to see Chips paperwork from the shelter, then he is going to talk to the vet to see about getting him checked out. I hope he falls in love with him. My husband did agree that once we got him home he would be fine. I asked him to also find out about the cost of on going care if their will be any.

WCL, yeah, I can see him always being loving. I am most worried about his illness and him eating right now. Luckily my H and I have alternate days off and alternate work hours so we can each take turns watching him over the next few days if we adopt him. Hopefully some good ol' TLC will do wonders for him.

He is so sweet, the volunteer said that is she could adopt another cat she would have adopted Chip.
post #13 of 42
Stanley was sick when we adopted him. He was sneezy and he smelled because he had a sore on his tongue and couldn't groom himself, but we were already in love .

I won't lie to you, it took several months to get him finally well and he is a chronic sneezer (vet says he probably has sinus damage from the severity of his original infection). It took some pretty strong antibiotics and interferon to finally clear it up. He still gets the lysine (at least 250 mg a day, 500-750 if he's been sneezing).

I am so glad we adopted him. He is the most loving little guy...he does seem to have seasonal flare ups, but we jump right on it.
post #14 of 42
I hate to say it, but even though Glitch was sick and died at a young age, Im glad just being able to know him!! The sick ones are the best ones, you take care of them and they take care of you too!
post #15 of 42
Thread Starter 
So my husband met him and agree's that he is sweet. To be honet, my husband has not seemed interested in any cat I have mentioned. He like to be the one to find things, car's, tv's, etc. I am not sure why. He did say he likes Chip was he does not sound enthusiastic, I think if he had found Chip then Chip would be the greatest cat that ever lived. My husband did talk to the vet and they can do an exam with permission from the adoption agency so he is waiting for the director to come by so he can ask her about that. I am just waiting to hear what she says.
post #16 of 42
Thread Starter 
I wanted to post an update. We did adopt Chip last night and his buddy Scott. Chip adjusted very well (having experience moving around) we was al cuddles and purrs. We are keeping them in our bedroom with us and Chip spent the whole evening and night on the bed sleeping with us. Scott was under the bed most of the time but did come out and lay onthe bed with us during the night. We only had one small issue and it was not the cats fault. My husband was a little slow getting the litter box put up and about 60 seconds after he brought it in the room, before we could introduce the cats to it, Scott decided that the new kitty bed would have to do. No big deal, the bed was $22 so we will buy another one in a few days once they get settled. Before going to bed we made sure they both new where the litter box was.

Chip's nose is very runny and get's stuffed. So much that he ends up breathing out of his mouth and is contantly swallowing. His breathing is very noisy. We have been using a warm wet towel to clean the area. Any suggestions on this?

Also, neither of them ate much yesterday, is that normal when they come to a new home?

Thank you for your time.
post #17 of 42
Thread Starter 
I should also add, when Scott when #2 it was runny and he does have some eye gunk. Does this mean he could be sick also?

Also, regarding Chip the women at the adoption agency said she would hook us up with a free vet check for Chip since we are so concerned about his health.
post #18 of 42
Alright....I'll try to answer all your questions.

1) If Scott is sneezy, he's probably got a URI/Upper Respiratory Infection. Common in cats, esp. in shelter situations. Get him vet checked, it's a simple course of anti-biotics to treat it.

2) Loose stools are caused by stress & food changes. In about 2 weeks if the stools aren't better, then take in a stool sample.

3) Set up a humidfier in your bedroom where they are, will help with the stuffiness. Or else run a hot shower with the kitties in the bathroom.

4) Normal for them to have not eaten, these are big changes.
post #19 of 42

I think the humidifier suggestion is a good idea. Cats that come from shelter situations are very prone to respiratory infections or colds so they'll be sneezing a lot. Mattie was like this when I brought her home but it cleared up after a few days, I didn't have to do anything. I would take them both to the vet, most vets do a free check for a new pet.

The food thing is normal too I think. Find out what dry food they were eating at the shelter and buy some of that, then gradually switch over to the food you want to feed them. Mattie would not eat when I brought her home. I had bought a big bag of Avoderm dry cat food not knowing anything about cat food and thinking you could just feed whatever. Turns out she was used to eating Iams at the shelter so I bought Iams and she just began scarfing it down. I gradually switched her from the Iams to Nutro Natural. Haven't had any problems. She didn't have diarreah from the food change but that can be common, which is why a slow change is best with dry.
post #20 of 42
Thread Starter 
We did buy the same food they were used to wet and dry. When Scott had the loose stool, he had not eaten yet, so I am guessing it's stress. My husband is at home with them and I told him to turn the humidifier on for Chip. I sent me a picture of them laying on the bed together so they seem to be adusting okay.

When would be a good time to introduce them to the rest of the house? I want to make sure they know where the litter box and food are and are comfortable with that before we do, but still would like to know if there is a general timeframe. Thanks.
post #21 of 42
I like to see them have a few days to relax in one room....but it depends on the kitties. If they're doing well, just leave the door open & let them explore on their own.
post #22 of 42
The others have given some good advice, so I don't need to repeat what they've already said. Besides, they probably know more than I do, anyway..

One of my strays had a problem with pus & runny eyes, which cleared up on it's own after proper food & nutrition. That's not to say that you probably shouldn't have your little guy checked over by the vet, but improper nutrition and added stress can be a big factor in a healthy or unhealthy cat - and most strays and/or shelter cats are in an unhealthy environment and under a lot of stress. URI's are also previlent in shelters - I've brought home quite a few shelter cats that had a URI, which cleared up with the proper care and nutrition..

Two of my furbabies that I have now have the dry form of FIP, and will be on Interferon the rest of their (hopefully) long lives. I did not know this when I adopted them: but if I would have known, I probably still would have taken them, anyway - in spite of their illness, and the cost of taking care of them. They are two of the most precious cats I've ever had, and I do not regret getting them. I know I'll be heartbroken when their time comes, but I'm still glad I have them: I will cherish every moment I have with them, no matter how long it is..

I personally think that your new furbaby's problems will most likely clear up with the proper care & nutrition..

post #23 of 42
Thread Starter 
Should I bring them in ASAP, like tomorrow or Saturday or should I wait and let them adjust a few more days? Thanks for the replies as always!!!
post #24 of 42
Originally Posted by fathom View Post
Should I bring them in ASAP, like tomorrow or Saturday or should I wait and let them adjust a few more days? Thanks for the replies as always!!!
Well, they probably don't need anymore stress at this point, but you probably shouldn't wait too long, either. URI's should really be treated as soon as possible, if that's what it really is. I guess I would call the vet, to get his opinion..

post #25 of 42
Thread Starter 

My H took Chip to the vet this morning and they think he has an Upper Respitory infection, they gave us a 14 day supply of antibitoics and told us to bring him in for a follow up in five days. They said for the next five days to keep him and Scott seperated (do you think that is necessary, since they are new to the house they rely on each other for comfort).

So I have some questions, is an Upper Respitory infection cronic, the shelter organixer said Chip had cronic runny noses? I asked the vet when I called them today and they said they would not be able to tell us unless they had the records for the vet the shelter used.

Should be keep them seperated? They both like to sleep with us at night and I hate to isolate either one?

Is there any home remidies we can give to Chip to help?

post #26 of 42
I'm inclined to say keep them together....as they've already exposed each other & they'll be happier together.
post #27 of 42
I can't help with the medical stuff, but congrats on the kitties! I just adopted two as well this past week so I know your excitement! They are very lucky to have someone who considered so carefully the duties of owning pets rather than just taking the cutest cheapest thing they could find.

My two immediatly had full house reign... well that was after 30 minutes of playing in a single room and seeing that they had awesome outgoing personalities that could handle the whole place.

I agree about keeping them together. They have already exposed each other and they'd be much happier together then apart. I think the benefits of togetherness outweigh the risks in the situation.

post #28 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thank you both, I agree with you! Scott and Chip have been together at the foster home and shelter so I think any risk has already been taken. If Scott does get sick we will take him into the vet but he has been vaccinated and fine thus far. They have ful reign of the house minus my brother-in-law's bedoom and both bathrooms. I do keep them in the room with me and my H at night. Tonight will be different since he has to stay up all night, I will leave the bedroom door open for them to come and go as they please.

4blueyes, congrats on your new cats as well. We are so excited. My H told me at lunch today that when he thinks about Chip he gets teary eyed, we are already so much in love with them. So far we have spent $500 on getting them, supplies and vet bills and have no regrets. We talked at lunch and decided that number one we want these two guys to have the best quality of life no matter what that takes.
post #29 of 42
It's probably OK to let them stay together. As I mentioned Stan had one heck of a URI when we got him and Bella stayed pretty healthy. It's probably more stressful to seperate them.
post #30 of 42
Thread Starter 
Oh, my husband just called and Scott went pooh behind our TV. Our last cat went pee back there, do you think Scott was trying to cover up the scent? Or this this something we should be worried about?

Sorry for all the questions. I am a little nervouse having two new cats. Thanks!
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