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FIP or Pregnant?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have a stray who came to me last week who appears to be pregnant. I took her to my vet who tested her for feline leukemia and FIV and she came back negative. He felt around on her belly and said he was 90% sure she is pregnant, but he couldn't tell for sure. He gave her a rabies vaccine, dewormed her, treated her for ear mites and sent her home with me. We will complete her vaccines after the supposed kittens are born and it is safe to do so. She also appears to have a minor respiratory thing going on, but the vet thinks it will go away on its own - it has not gotten worse, but she still occasionally sneezes. She has put on weight the past few days with all the good quality food and her belly is definitely rounder as it should be if she is pregnant, but now her nipples don't seem as prominent as they did before. I am worried that maybe she isn't pregnant and it is FIP. Shouldn't my vet have thought about this and shouldn't he have actually been able to tell if she is really pregnant? I don't want to go in for another expensive visit if I don't absolutely have to because they charge me $45 every time I walk in the door, but I am now questioning if she is indeed pregnant. Any advice on how to tell for sure? Her nipples are still exposed and more prominant than my other female cat's nipples, but they haven't turned pink like I keep reading they will if she is pregnant. She is currently living in an outdoor insulated garden shed but I would like to bring her in eventually when I can convince my husband that a 3rd indoor cat wouldn't be such a bad thing and when I can be sure my dogs won't try to harm her. Our house has a fairly open floor plan and there is no room to isolate her in that doesn't get heavy traffic and use. If she has FIP would that be a risk to my other cats? I don't know what to do.
post #2 of 16
I would never give a rabies shot to a preg cat it can damage the kittens if she is preg. You can get a ultrasound an dit will show if she is preg.
Request a vet tech and they should not charge to see a vet for it.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
I did place another call to the vet to express my concerns. We are small town and our vet is a small practice and doesn't do appointments with only a vet tech. I asked about the ultrasound and they said it would cost $150 (plus the additional $45 office fee I imagine) He also told me that the rabies shots are usually pretty safe even for the pregnant cats but to wait on the others. I questioned this, but he said it was ok to do it. Since we know there are rabid raccoons in the area and she is not an inside cat at this point, it seemed something we should do. The vet tech who answered the phone told me to wait another week or two and just observe her since they thought it highly likely she is pregnant and not FIP. I may have to shop around for another vet even if I have to drive a ways since I feel like this guy is more expensive than other places we have lived and I sometimes I wonder how thorough he is for how much he charges. I guess I'll just keep her away from my other cats until I can be sure. I figure it should become more obvious soon??? Never had a pregnant cat before so I'm not sure how she is supposed to look - other than fat.
post #4 of 16
Thewet form of FIP (fluid filling the abdomen) is easy to ID to a trained
vet. There is so much fluid the cat feels "Squishy" and they have
something called a "standing wave" when palpitated. I would think a
reasonable vet could tell what he/she was looking at if it was the wet form.

That said, it does take time to develop FIP full blown. I would be inclined to think the cat is pregnant. If the vet felt the belly, sometimes you can actually "feel" the kits inside...

But I'd get the ultrasound to be sure. Or, see another vet.
post #5 of 16
I have experience with only one pregnant cat. Goldy's nipples were more prominent that usual, but they didn't look dark pink to me until after she had the kittens and started nursing them.

My vet could feel the kittens, but couldn't tell for sure how far along she was. He never mentioned an ultrasound, but I don't think I would have had it done anyway. He also said he wouldn't give her any vaccinations while she was pregnant. She was a stray, so I had not idea of her medical history, whether she'd already had her shots or not.

If your kitty is pregnant, once the kittens get big enough you should be able to feel them along her sides, not in the middle of her belly.
post #6 of 16
I have had 2 preg cats 6 years ago.
Coco had the ultrasound and they said she was about a month along and gave me a due date.
She had on moving day.
Meeko I made the mistake of giving shots to and now my Yoshi is dead.
The vet said he was prob damaged from the shots.
I lost him last Jan at age 5 to kidney stones and maybe fip.
There was no proof he had it just the pos test.
Spaz the mom of my Oreo was given a rabies shot and 2 kittens were born messed up.
One is Pancake and the other my Oreo.
My Vet here who is from UC Davis said they were wrong to give shots to preg cats.
Sounds like yours is Preg.
Wet fip would really show up.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Dang, now I'm really upset that I let him give her the shot. Hopefully it will all work out ok since it is a done deal. At least he didn't try to give her the other shots too. Maybe I really should seek out a new vet.

We are calling her Daisy the Garden Cat and she is very sweet and seems to want to stay around. We made her a cozy little house in our garden shed and I even ordered one of those outside heating mats for when she has her kittens to make sure they stay warm enough. I honestly feel they are safer there than in our house with the dogs and other cats since we have no place to isolate them long term. I will try to socialize her/kittens with the dogs so we can bring them inside if it gets really cold. The dogs do fine with our other cats, but chase stray and neighbor cats who come into the yard. They are becoming accustomed to having her around since they can see and smell her in the garden area, so hopefully if she stops hissing at them through the fence, they will learn to leave her alone like they do the others. We may keep Daisy and turn her into an inside kitty if she can get along with the dogs/other cats after her kittens go to other homes. Hubby is grumbling about it all, but can probably be persuaded over time It is just so hard to find homes for adult cats and our shelters are all full. She will be spayed as soon as possible after the kittens are born. Any idea how soon we could do that?
post #8 of 16
I would wait until the kittens are about 12 weeks to fix her.
I hope you can get her inside before that though because she can go in heat again.
Most do not go in heat in winter but it can happen.
I would love to see pics of her.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'd love to share pics of Daisy and my other kitties. How do I get pictures into my posts? I'm new at this and not sure how to do it. I love everyones cool signatures and icons - I guess I need to get educated on how to do that.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Mews2much, your Coco looks like my handsome Andy boy! I love black cats! I also have a calico named Livvy.
post #11 of 16
Thats Nice.
Coco is 16.5 years old.
Do you have photobucket?
post #12 of 16
Originally Posted by straymagnet View Post
She will be spayed as soon as possible after the kittens are born. Any idea how soon we could do that?
It's best to wait until the kittens are weaned. Spaying changes the hormonal balance and can cause her milk to dry up. My vet recommended a minimum of 10 weeks for Goldy.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter

I didn't know what photobucket was (told you I was a newbie ) so I went and checked it out. I hope the links work. This is Daisy in the modified garden shed/cat house. We have added lots of straw, a cat bed, and doors and to keep out the weather. I have an outdoor heating mat on order. She seems cozy inside - and the fence around the garden keeps the dogs out. I'd like to bring her into the house eventually, but for now this is the best I can do.
post #14 of 16
She is cute.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
These are my other kitties, Andy and Livvy. I'm hoping they will accept our new girl. Here I am calling her "our" when a couple days ago she was just a "stray". We will see, but I'm obviously getting attached. I just hope all 3 will get along if and when I try to bring her inside. Andy can be a bit of a stinker with other cats. Sure he looks sweet, but he plays rough with poor Livvy sometimes and she's not overly fond of new cats either. She really gets upset when she sees other cats in the yard, hissing and carrying on - and don't even get me started on my big, goofy dogs - I swear I live in a zoo - especially when you factor in my human kids. That's why I figure better to wait until after the babies are born and older - then lots of supervision - baby steps.
post #16 of 16
From my slight experience with this (took in a pregnant stray), if a female cat is intact and outside the chances are close to 100% that she's pregnant. But my vet did tell me that I shouldn't leave her outside when it's time for the kittens because she will disappear to someplace safe.

Amazingly, I brought Elsa into a household with a dog and 2 other cats, and she blended in perfectly the very first day. I think she was relieved that she didn't have to live outside any more.
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