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Feline herpes

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

I am thinking about picking up a kitten (6 weeks) from a lady that no longer wants the cat since it is sick. She e-mailed me a picture. The kittens eyes are just about swollen shot and from what I can see the mouth is effected as well. Reading up online a bit I am more and more thinking the kitten may have the herpes virus, where I was hoping it was a severe case of URI. I know if I do get her I gotta keep her isolated from my cats, but if it is Herpes it would never be safe to bring the kitten around my cats. I am debating if I should stay away or make this commitment and end up being in a bad situation. Any advise?
post #2 of 78
Well, my vet thinks my cat Church has feline herpes. When he was a kitten he had recurring URIs but he has not had one since he was about 8-10 months old, and none of my other cats have shown any signs of infection.
post #3 of 78
Herpes is VERY common among cats. We would pick her up and get her to a vet ASAP! How sad someone wants to get rid of her because she's sick! That's just too sad.

You need to know that kitties with herpes can live with your other kitties and they won't (necessarily) get it. Flowerbelle has herpes, and none of our other cats have been infected. She's been with us almost 6 years now. I think this is VERY common - many people have kitties with herpes and none of their other kitties have been infected, and they don't live in isolation. If you can't stop at the vet on the way home, she'd only need to be in isolation until she sees the vet and you figure out what's up.

Like I said, Flowerbelle had herpes (among a lot of other things) when we rescued her. Her eyes were glued shut.

Here's what she looked like after almost three weeks in the hospital (like I said, she had a lot of other problems when we rescued her):

The first thing the vet tried was some type of medicine in the really bad eye, and sewing her eyelid shut:

We went through this for a while. We gave her eye drops - 3x a day?

We fought for a long time to save her eye... and it looked bad much of the time:

At the advice of people here and the vet, we finally decided to have it out:

...and her energy levels went up a MILLION percent! She doesn't notice she's missing an eye, and she is the cutest, happiest, sweetest kitty!

I say - adopt a kitty in need!

If you have a kitty eye specialist near you (if it is even that bad - most vets can deal with herpes - it's just Flowerbelle was fighting a lot of other problems healthwise at the same time), you may be able to save one or both of those eyes - most do, in fact. Flowerbelle was a tough case and that's pretty rare.

She's never had a URI since - though the vet said she may be more prone to them. Nope. In fact, she's never been sick. Add lysine as a supplement to all your kitties, and I'm sure all would be fine.

post #4 of 78
Thread Starter 
Reading up on it it states that the cats that are infected with this virus also show it on their leg from licking them selfs, which this kitten has. I have 2 older cats with Asthma in my home and as much as I want to save this kitten I don't want to risk the health of 3 of my cats. This lady actually has 4 kittens, all of them sick, one already lost an eye, that's the one I was going to take. Unfortunately I cannot take them all.
post #5 of 78
Thread Starter 
Let me see if I can post a picture of one of them.
post #6 of 78
If I were you, I'd be on my way to rescue that cat! Why not call your vet and ask about the potential health risk to your other kitties? I'm not sure it would present one.

...and no, we can't rescue them all. But something needs to be done about that lady. That is NOT okay, I'm sorry. Maybe a call to the SPCA or something? If she can't care for the cats, she shouldn't have them.

post #7 of 78
Thread Starter 
Sorry new to this. This one should be a better one that I have gotten:
post #8 of 78
OMG, PLEASE at least call the SPCA or something!

post #9 of 78
I also wanted to add, I kept Church separated from the other cats until he was over the URI and when he was having symptoms...
post #10 of 78
Thread Starter 
I told the lady I am coming after work, I get out at 5:00 pm. There is 4 all together, the calico one already lost 1 eye and they are only 6 weeks old according to her. She had them listed online to give away for free or they will go to the shelter. Now, I don't feel right playing God, deciding one which one I give another chance in life. I was thinking the calico since she lost 1 eye already. What a mess. And the so very sad part is she has another litter there (3 weeks old). I told her to keep them seperated and get thos cats SPAYED !
post #11 of 78
Thread Starter 
This is what the Internet says:

Feline herpesvirus is transmitted through air and direct contact, and is highly contagious, especially in a multiple-cat situation such as catteries or shelters. While there is a vaccine for feline herpesvirus, it only reduces the severity of the infection and cannot prevent a cat from contracting the disease. Luckily, the virus can easily be destroyed in the environment by most household cleaners.
post #12 of 78
We did not separate Flowerbelle from our other cats, but she'd already been treated for almost three weeks in the hospital before she came home. She was on meds by the time she came home, and she shares water, food, and the litter box with all our cats. If you come home with any of the kittens before they see a vet, DO separate her/him/them. When you enter the room, leave whatever is on your feet behind. Good to have flip-flops/sandals, whatever right outside the door. When you leave, slip those on, head straight to the bathroom and wash your hands and feet (and the sandals). Easy if you can get antibacterial wipes. Even better if you have coveralls you can slip on or something when you enter the room and leave them behind when you leave the room. That is a little excessive, but if you're worried about your other kitties, it will ensure whatever the new kitty has/kitties have will stay in that room.

You are SUCH an angel.

Since you know where you are and she is, while you've got time, maybe make a quick search for low-cost (or free?) spay/neuters in your area, so you've got a specific place to recommend for her.


At petfinder, you can scroll through the listings - each cat has a rescue associated with it, each rescue has contact info. Call around and ask! http://www.petfinder.com

Please keep us posted!


BTW - I don't know what your financial situation is, and but now that we could not afford to do this, our vet lets us pay bills over time, and we'd take kitties like this to them. They'd fix them up, the vet techs would care for them - some would help foster them at home rather than keep them in boarding there - and they'd help us find homes for them. Just a "bug in your ear," so to speak....

post #13 of 78
OMG!! The poor kitten! It's eye looks horrible I agree with the pp, I would rescue that poor baby (all of them, and then adopt them out yourself) or call the humane society!I agree she does not need to have them if she is unable (or unwilling) to have them seen by a vet.We once lost a kitten that had the bad eye infection it ended up going to the brain, by the time they brought us the kitten.Good luck and I wish you the best of luck!!
post #14 of 78
Thread Starter 
Thanks Laurie,

I have a dog, 2 of my won cats and a foster kitty, which is being placed through kitten rescue hopefully one day. Me being a single mom of 2 I take my pets to the Humane Society, where a visit to the Vet is only $15 and maybe $8 for the Antibiotics. According to the lady she has a voucher to get them spayed. I think what I am going to do is bring home the calico, which seems to be in bad shape, take here to the Humane Society first thing in the morning and see what the Vet tells me is wrong with her. I can't take them all as much as I want to.
post #15 of 78
I'd talk to the Humane Society - I think all of those kittens may be better off in their care (if they won't euthanize them).

post #16 of 78
Thread Starter 
Well, this is how I got involved, she posted them for free since they are sick and she cannot afford to take care of them and will take them to the local shelter, and yes, that will be their death, I can pretty much bet on that. So, I thought if I can save at least one, I do that maybe some more people come forward thinking the same way, but i guess I am the only one here......
post #17 of 78
No one is saying your not great for you doing what your able to do!I think we all just seen and hear how bad off these poor kittens are and our hearts go out to them.I wish I was closer, I would take them in a heart beat! Maybe them being put to sleep is a better fate than suffering until they eventually do die
post #18 of 78
OMG this is so so sad.....I think if I went there I'd take them all.....thats just a sin not to help them.....I understand not beable to afford vet bills....but for the love of god....WHY LET YOUR CAT GET KNOCKED UP!!!!!!!!!...I think I would report this lady .....pls keep us updated ...and good for you to have the HEART to try and save at least one....
post #19 of 78
Thread Starter 
Yes, I am with you on this. I will go after work, get the calico and take her to the vet. If the Vet informs me it is just a bad case of URI I will get more meds and get the other ones from her, if it is the Herpes virus I can't. It will be too much for me to handle with my 3 cats and the condition that the kittens are in. But what I will do is stay on this lady so she can do the right thing and turn them in so they can either get treatment or get put down. Should she not comply than I will inform the SPCA/ Animal Control. I want to save at least one so bad...
post #20 of 78
Is there any no kill shelter that might be willing to help out...maybe have someone to foster these little ones ...so they at least have a fighting chance ?
post #21 of 78
Thread Starter 
My area is so over populated with cats and I am not aware of any no kill shelters but am going to re-search this. I will keep everyone posted.
post #22 of 78
What about the humane society...do they do fostering ? I know some in my province ....do not have anymore space for cats and they have ppl who will foster them and the HS pays for the vet bills to get them healthy....til they can find new homes....
post #23 of 78
Those precious babies are suffering and if nobody is going to adopt them it would be in their benefit to have them put down now instead of later. Why make them suffer until she gets up the guts to take them to the shelter. I'd take them all and take them to the shelter myself. It won't be easy, knowing the others will be put to sleep, but they will go to the rainbow bridge knowing that someone cared enough to stop their pain now.

post #24 of 78
Originally Posted by scuns68 View Post
My area is so over populated with cats and I am not aware of any no kill shelters but am going to re-search this. I will keep everyone posted.
No kill shelters don't always advertise too loudly, as they would be inundated with people trying to give up their cats. They often limit their intake to the truly homeless or situations like these kittens are in.

One way to find no-kills in your area is to go into www.petfinder.com. Do a search for cats using your zip code. The adoptable cats will be shown with the shelter on the side. You can click on the shelter to read what they are all about.

I had a very young kitten that contracted herpes at about 8 weeks old. Until they are fully vaccinated, it is very hard on a kitten that young. Bogart grew out of it and lived to be 13 (CRF took him). He remained symptomatic his entire life (his respiratory tract was damaged from the initial infection), and he lived with up to 16 other cats, and some of those cats are still in my household with younger cats. Of all those cats, only 1 other has gotten herpes, and he was orphaned young and did not have a good immune system. I can't even say that he got it from Bogart, as he didn't become ill until after Bogart crossed.

If it were me: When you talk to the vet, find out what you are dealing with. If this can be reversed, see if you can find a shelter to help you with these poor babies. And if you can't find help, then all I can say is that I agree with Laurie - you can't save them all.

for caring!!
post #25 of 78
Thread Starter 
OK, I went to the Lady, and as soon as I got close I just wanted to cry. The house, the yard, this place was a disaster. At least 5 cats outside, one showed URI systems, the other one came across like she had Asthma, one had a broken leg which seemed to be an old wound that just never healed. This was a nice neighborhood, and I cannot believe nobody complains. Well, before I get to the kittens story I will need to turn these people in, I have to. A complete mess. It took a while before she let me in, she was just going to hand me the box with the kitten. I went inside and just wanted to cry, the mama cat looked like she was still a baby. She showed me 3 kittens, I asked where the 4th one was, she said someone took it, I believe it is dead. Anyways, I took them all 3 with me, there was no way I could leave them. I am hoping that it is just a severe case of URI we will find out tomorrow. The calicos eye is gone, I am pretty sure, the other kitties eyes are shot is yellow puss. The 3d one isnt too bad. All of them are covered in fleas, I have them in a cage covered up , they are all sleeping. Hopefully it is not too late for them, they are all still pretty active and I am guessing around 7/8 weeks old.
post #26 of 78
That is just toooooooooo sad! THANK YOU for saving those kittens, and DO call the SPCA! (Don't know if it's the same there, but here they are the ones authorized to prosecute or manage those situations. If you call the local police, they just refer you to the SPCA.)

I hope you can save them!

post #27 of 78
Thread Starter 
Yes, I will need to call the SPCA for animal cruelty. I truly hope I can save them, they are all soo cute. Once they are cleaned up, free of fleas and their eyes look better I take some pictures. The also went right up to the kitten food, wonder if they were even fed. Hopefully they make it until tomorrow they made it soo far.
post #28 of 78
I just want to say again, thank you.

...and I wanted to send some more vibes that they'll be OK!

post #29 of 78
Thread Starter 
Thanks Laurie,

I just hope the vet is not going to tell me something I dont want to hear. The calico lost her left eye, the other one is perfect, it is a big dark ball where the eye used to be. And these darn fleas dont make matter any better. I didnt want to bath them, I will let them sleep for now and tomorrow is a new day.
post #30 of 78
Hopefully they're old enough you'll be able to apply Advantage or something - it is much faster and more effective than a flea bath. And I agree - worry about a bath later.

...But yeah, I know what you mean about hoping the vet doesn't have to tell you something you don't want to hear. In our rescue work, we've been lucky. Other than the few that died on the way to the vet ( ), we haven't had any that couldn't be saved once they got TO the vet.

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