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general health questions

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
I'm soo glad to be joining everyone here. I've just recently adopted a stray cat which has been living off of the good will of my neighbors since I moved here a few months ago. It's extremely well tempered, loving... more than I could hope for. I know all the basics of cat care as I've lived with them my whole life, but I've never taken in a stray. Is there anything I should be aware of, healthwise? Anything to check for that I wouldnt see straight off, for instance related to the teeth or claws? He seems pretty healthy. Thanks for your help!
post #2 of 4
Welcome to the site Helena! You are an angel for taking this little homeless creature into your home.

Be sure to take the little guy to the vet (I'm sure you already know that!) for a general check up and neutering. Make sure to specifically ask for the FELV and FIV tests (feline leukemia and feline AIDS) since these are more common for strays to pick up. These tests are generally standard practice anymore, but it never hurts to be double sure.

I'll move this to the Feral Forum where our experts on strays can give you more tips and things to watch for.
post #3 of 4
Hi Helena,

Bless you for bringing this stray into your life. The difference between a feral and a stray is basically in the trust factor, and as you guy seems to be loving and with a good basic temperment, chances are he is a stray, meaning he has had good human contact, before being kicked out of his house, versus the negative human contact most ferals experience.

Health wise, worms would be an issue, a good vet check is in order with all the standard tests being run to rule out FeLV FIP etc..

Sounds to me like you found a friend of the feline persuasion.
post #4 of 4
Hi Helena! First of all, thank you for rescuing this kitty! Oh - and welcome to The Cat Site! I hope you find it as helpful (and fun) as I did (do!).

NYC is a rough place for strays - but has lots of food sources for them and the fact that they're sharing those food sources with rats and mice. So while I don't have anything new to add to the advice provided by Mary Anne (Hissy - one of our resident feral experts) and Heidi (Valanhb - who's little Ophelia is a rescue, too!) - I would very much like to emphasize the potential problem with parasites.

We have three feral rescues that we brought inside in July. We've been battling round worm through as late as January (keep your fingers crossed - looks like we might have finally gotten everything out of their systems).

Fortunately, round worm is easy to treat. But to make it easier for your Vet, bring a stool sample when you go for your visit.

Just in case, here's an article on Round Worm: Round Worm article at www.peteducation.com

As you can see, it is an easily recurring problem - until all the encysted larvae make their way through the cat's system.

Any other kind of worm is much easier to eliminate.

Also - kitty may have ear mites. This, too, is easily treated with drops for the ears.

And, obviously, fleas are easily treated with a bath, and if kitty is living inside only with you, you only need to give the house a good vaccuum with a flea collar cut up and placed in the vaccuum bag before vaccuuming. (DO NOT PUT A FLEA COLLAR ON THE CAT. Those flea collars can kill your cat, not just the fleas. Your Vet can provide a safe alternative.)

Ticks, unless it is a bad infestation, are also easily treated. It takes time groomy kitty, but place a drop of alcohol on the tick - wait for it to pull its head out, and then pick it off the cat with tweezers and kill it (not with your fingers!) Do not kill the tick with its head still in the cat's skin.

Oh - one last thought. Our vet treats round worm with Drontal. 1 1/2 pills for a cat of 8 pounds or larger, and a repeat in three weeks. We just kept taking stool samples in every few weeks after that, and we kept up the treatments each time round worm reappeared. It's been almost two months now that "we've" been round worm free....

We'd love it if you could keep us posted! We love happy endings - and we're here for support if you need it.

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