or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › Want to adopt an OLD stray cat, but NEED your opinion
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Want to adopt an OLD stray cat, but NEED your opinion

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Hello All,

I need your help/opinion. I have this old stray cat that is outside of my door all the time and two days ago I decided to take her to the vet to have her checked out. The vet said she is about est. 15 years old, eye sight is really bad, dehydrated, very skinny (6 lbs only), kidneys are not good, bad teeth (no front upper teeth), scratchy voice, wobbles a bit when walking. A senior blood sample was done on her and everything checks out ok but her kidneys are not good. Also, result shows she has FIP antibodies. The vet wants to be sure so we did another blood just to be sure and the result came back negative. BUT vet said the exam is not 100% accurate, no test is.

So my question is, should I bring the cat in and risk possible transmission of FIP to Rupert and Stewie? I don't know. I want to help the stray because she is so old. What is your take on this? Anyone dealt with FIP or possible scenario like this? I could just take her in and let her stay in one of the spare bathroom. Of course, I will provide litter, bed, food and water for her. But the spare bathroom is not big. Is this humane? What would you do? I don't know what to do. I do not wish to put Stewie and Rupert at risk either. Your opinion is much appreciated. Thank you.

Oh, she is very friendly, loves to be pet, eats and drinks outside our door. The name is Puffy.

post #2 of 36
Awww poor thing, I think she'd love a good home for her last days. The wikipedia article on FIP says this:

Quarantine is not necessary as FIP is not truly an infectious disease. Feline Enteric Coronavirus is shed in the feces and can be passed on to other cats, however, it is the mutated form of the virus that leads to FIP. This form is only found in macrophages and is therefore not shed and not contagious.
It looks only kitties with compromised immune systems are likely to get it, which is most probably how poor Puffy got it, being old and outdoors. Did you ask your vet about how likely she'd be to transmit it to your boys?
post #3 of 36
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
Awww poor thing, I think she'd love a good home for her last days. The wikipedia article on FIP says this:

It looks only kitties with compromised immune systems are likely to get it, which is most probably how poor Puffy got it, being old and outdoors. Did you ask your vet about how likely she'd be to transmit it to your boys?
The vet was kinda vague about it. Since the result came back negative, she said it is ok to take her in BUT don't let her lick your other cats too much or hang out too much. HUH? Yea, I am just baffled.....

I am now thinking just leave her in the bathroom for the time being so she is not exposed to outdoor dangers, being blind and all.

Oh, the vet said it is possible that she had a vaccination of FIP before that is why antibodies show up in the results. But what she said later kinda worries me.
post #4 of 36
From what I've read, the likelyhood of transmission is small. They not only have to have a compromised immune system, but also the genetic tendancy to develop FIP. Most cats when exposed to the corona virus just get a kitty cold if anything.

She looks like a lovely old tabby girl. I imagine that's what my Bella will look like when she gets on.
post #5 of 36
If you can afford to keep her and she'll be OK living with your cats then I'd say yes.

Keep her in the one room for the time being and gradually introduce her to the rest of the house.

Try not to make any changes to your house though, as she can't see very well and may bump into things.
post #6 of 36
Um... I've noted that she has a name. A CUTE name.

I'd say if you are willing to do it go for it. Just so that you understand the risks and all that is involved.

She looks very sweet.
post #7 of 36
I say take her in and if you are really worried about the FIP have her live in the spare room. For now she may not even want or need a large space to live in. I know people who have cats that spent their entire life in one room. No it's not ideal, but she is near the end of her life and I think it would be good for her to know warmth and love in her last days. Not to mention safer if she can't see very well.

FIP is just a mutatation of the carona (SP?) virus. A lot of cats will come back positive for the antibodies. The vet probably can't give any difinitive answers because FIP is still somewhat of a mystery. I don't know that I would mix her with my other cats but if I had a spare room I would make her as comfortable as possible.
post #8 of 36
If it is possible, please take her in. I rescued an old stray awhile back, and I could not have lived with myself if I had just turned him back out or taken him to a shelter. He was old, toothless, front declawed and sick. He had ended up in the parking lot at work, and after I caught some teenagers abusing him, I took him home. He preferred living in the laundry room, so I made him a box, gave him his own food and water dishes and let him live out what turned to be a very short time in warmth, love, and well fed. He was a sweet cat, and I am so glad I helped him. He finally became so ill he was suffering, so we helped him to the Bridge. I cannot imagine how he came to be in that position, but I am glad he ended up with me.
post #9 of 36
Oh my, she is a cutie... I would take her in, if you can. I don't know anything about the virus, but it sounds like people here do. I think it would be a great thing for you to do, to make her comfortable in the last part of her life.
post #10 of 36
Are Rupert and Stewie vaccinated against FIP? I know not everyone vaccinates for FIP (or vaccinates in general), but I know when my cats were at risk for FIP I had them vaccinated. Of course, vaccinations are not fool proof, but they may help to prevent it. I would bring her in even if it is just to live in 1 room if there are no other reasons that you cannot.
post #11 of 36
I too know nothing about the virus but agree with what others have already said. If you have the spare bedroom I would definately take her in. At her age and in her condition she'd probabally more than welcome the safety and warmth of her own little room. Not to mention the love and attention you'd give her too.

Good luck! I hope all turns out well for all parties involved!
post #12 of 36
Do you have a garage-perhaps being an outside kitty she would feel comfortable in there instead of the house??

Otherwise I too would bring her in. Several yrs ago a stray appeared at my house-old, skinny, a funky curled tail I brought her in (no vet visit) she ate, the other cats didn't bother her or vice versa. Just found a chair and slept. She stayed for about a couple of weeks then one day she went outside and never came back. I thought she knew she was at the end of her life and wanted some human comfort at the end.

Do what you can to make her comfortable.
post #13 of 36
I would take her in. The test is for the Corona Virus, and having antibodies for that doesn't mean that they will develop FIP, and even if they pass the virus on, it doens't mean it will mutate, the majority of cats can deal with it and shed the virus, and will then be immune to it. It mainly only affects the very young and very old, so the likelihood is that with her current state, it woudl have mutated and made her very ill by now (wet FIP is very quick, and cats normally only have a matter of weeks with it)
post #14 of 36
I'm with everyone else - take Puffy in!!! She's a pretty tabby, BTW.

I'd be more concerned about her kidneys than anything else right now. If you're willing to hydrate her (also called sub-Q fluids) it could help her *tremendously*. (I hope the vet gave her fluids when you brought her in.) You'll see significant changes in her weight, appetite, energy level. Sub-Q's give cats with kidney disease quality of life, and can extend their lives. Along with hydration there are meds that can be given to help the kidneys.

Have the vet check her blood pressure - this is often a problem with kidney disease - it could be the reason for her poor eyesight.

I wouldn't worry too much about Puffy being in a small room, if need be. There's no debate about what's better for her - being outside to fend for herself, or living in a cozy room with lots of TLC. Go for it!

PS- Bless you!
post #15 of 36
I second, third and fourth everything that's been said here. Taking her in in the twilight of her life would be a blessing on your head ( and hers).
post #16 of 36
She looks so much like our Chavela, my parents's kitty who passed away in 1989 at the age of 14. Follow your good instinct and give her a home! Have your other kitties vaccinated, keep Puffy in one room, whatever it takes... but she will surely be happier indoors, with a loving mom who spends time with her and gives her soft, warm food that won't hurt her mouth. Thank you for caring for her!
post #17 of 36
I guess I would just ask if you can afford to bring her in? With all her health issues will you be able to pay for the veterinary care required. If it's just a simple matter of bringing her in and giving her a place to be safe and warm until she passes, then yes, definitely bring her in.
post #18 of 36
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your great opinions. I have decided not to take her in. I just can't risk of other disease/parasite that she might have and pass it on to Rupert and Stewie. But don't worry I am giving the best care I can for her and she will be my outside cat. I am getting a table for my yard and a dog house with waterproof pillows for her. There will always be food and water outside. I am already feeding her wet food morning and night. I will also be purchasing senior special diet can food just for her.

I now spend at least 30 minutes morning and night to pet her and feed her. Also, at the same time I am giving her antibiotics (from vet) to help her with her kidney problems. I did give her a sub-q treatment at the vet. She seems happier now and stays in our patio almost 24 hours a day except when she needs to go to the bathroom. She is currently using the cardboard box I made (see picture) but will be upgraded to a dog house soon. I will update pictures soon once all is setup.

I really really really want to take her in that is why I took her to vet and spent hundreds in the first place. But Rupert and Stewie have to come first. Thanks again for all of your suggestions. Thank you!!
post #19 of 36
You have to do what you feel is right. At least she has a loving caretaker.
post #20 of 36
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by AddieBee View Post
You have to do what you feel is right. At least she has a loving caretaker.
Thanks. I will do my best to make her life easier outside. Going to make some purchases soon for her new home outside.
post #21 of 36
Well if you get her a dog house to say warm and dry in that is an improvement over no where to sleep at all. At least she knows she's been loved.
post #22 of 36
I think that is an excellent compromise. As long as she is kept warm, has regular food and water, has a safe place to stay, and is getting care and love - she'll be happier than she's probably been in a long time.

Good on you for caring for her, and making her last days comfortable ones.
post #23 of 36
Sounds like a great compromise to me, too. She has a home, food, love, and warm place to sleep.
I understand about not wanting to risk your babies by bringing her in. We would have not let any of ours have contact with the old fellow we took in, but they were having none of it. Scooter had to go visit with him. He would sit by White Kitty's bed and they would murmur at each other like they were talking. (I tried so hard not to get attatched, so I never gave him a name) It was so cute, they would go and sit with him one at the time, like they were visiting grandpa in the hospital. He would go sun himself on the steps on nice days, and mine would go sit with him.
They were all sad when he passed to the Bridge.
post #24 of 36
That's wonderful that you are going to do all of that for her! I completely understand about not wanting to expose Rupert and Stewie (OT, Family Guy related names?). I would be nervous about it too!
post #25 of 36
Originally Posted by watchcaddy View Post
she's very pretty!
post #26 of 36
Honestly? I wouldn't worry about having tested positive for the corona virus (FIP). I've lost cats to FIP who lived with 10 others and none of the others ever contracted it. FIP doesn't spread like other diseases such as FIV and FeLV. I would be worried about her kidneys.

I took in a 10 year old unneutered male stray one time (he was promptly fixed of course). He spent his first 10 years fighting with others and surviving on the street. He spent his last few years living the life of luxury inside my home and was probably one of the best cats that I've lived with. I think he was just so appreciative of having love, warmth, food and water without having to fight for it.

I'll respect whatever decision you make, but personally I would side with bringing her inside.
post #27 of 36
I'll admit I'm disappointed you won't be bringing Puffy in, but I understand you have to be comfortable with doing that. I'm sure it was a tough decision. It's great that you will be taking care of her as best you can otherwise.

I've cared for feral cats for years, so I'll pass on a few things I've learned that will help Puffy be comfortable outside:

- buy or build a wooden house for her since wood insulates better than plastic.

- get the smallest house available; small shelters help concentrate body heat and also feel cozier/safer to the cat

- If building the shelter, place the opening to the side, not in the center. A center opening allows wind & rain to come in and makes it tough for the cat inside to avoid it. Most ready-made doghouses unfortunately, will have the opening right in the center.

- The opening shouldn't be bigger than 6" in diameter or 6" across if rectangular.

- Elevate the house with wood or bricks to at least 8" off the ground to prevent rain from splashing inside.

- The absolute best thing in the world for outdoor cats is the Lectro Soft Heated Kitty Bed!!! (www.khpet.com). Put one of these in Puffy's house and she'll be a happy kitty! Even in mild climates, a cat like Puffy who is older, underweight, and has kidney disease (which can make a cat feel cold) needs a warm place. My feral cats adore these beds, and I sleep better at night knowing the litttle guys are warm and comfortable. The company also makes an Outdoor Heated Kitty Pad which I use in the cats' feeding station. It's great for the cats to have a warm surface to stand or sit on while they eat. Unlike the Kitty Bed, it has a hard plastic shell which is easy to clean. The bed and pad use very little electricity.

- get a pet mat from www.blythewoodworks.com to put under the heated kitty bed. It gives extra insulation in cold weather, and can serve as a bed in hot weather when the heated bed isn't needed. It also offers support since it is thick and made of closed-cell rubber. While you're on that site, take a look at the kitty houses for sale - they're beautiful, but expensive!

Please consider doing hydration, even outside. If Puffy is as docile as she looks in the picture, you can still do it. It'll only take 5- 10 minutes, depending on the amount of fluid she needs. You can hang the bag on a trellis or arbor, even a tree branch will do (it needs to be elevated somewhat to let the fluid flow). You can buy the fluid online at a much better price than buying it from your vet. Puffy may also benefit from potassium supplements like Tumil-K. Talk to your vet about it.

Thank you for taking this little girl into your heart. She has truly found her guardian angel.

Apologies for the long post. Please give us updates!
post #28 of 36
Originally Posted by KTLynn View Post
...Apologies for the long post...
Are you kidding? That post is overflowing with great ideas and information! I'm saving it off to my computer for the next time I rescue a kitty. Thank you so much!
post #29 of 36
Thread Starter 
Thank you for again for the support and advice, especially KTLynn for your insight.


I just came back with a 10 feet long table, a large plastic container, and soft pillows. I setup the table above the container so it provides shades. I have covered the opening of the container with cardboard and left an opening on the side for her to go in. Of course, the soft pillow is inside. I am going to Home Depot to buy some waterproof tarp and cut them to cover the table this weekend to make it a bit more weather proof.

I am giving her clavamox for her now and also hydrating her. Oh, I also got senior food for her as well. She seems happy now.

As long as she is here, I will continue to take care of her and bunch of our neighbor cats, Magix, Baby Popcorn, Bob, Krispy, Mr.P (it is possum). Yes, we named all the neighborhood cats and the possum. Mr. P comes over and eats the cat food we leave outside, funny.... Anyway, Puffy gets our special attention. I hope she will live a long time.

Thanks again and pics tomorrow.
post #30 of 36
Aww, I am a bit disappointed you can't take her in, but at least you are taking care of her outside. Food wise, a special diet would be better than senior food for her kidneys, and senior food has less calories, so might not help with her being underweight. As her kidneys aren't too good, it is extra important to keep an eye on her water, as it will make her drink a lot more. Good luck.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Caring for Strays and Ferals
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › Want to adopt an OLD stray cat, but NEED your opinion