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I'm getting a kitten this weekend...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
And I'm a bit worried. On April 25, my 8 month old kitten Trixie had to be put down. She was suffering from a case of Feline Leukemia. It tore me up, but someone on this site gave me the advice that could very well be the 'remedy': "Sometimes the only thing that can fill the kitten-shaped hole in your heart is another kitten." Only a few weeks earlier my Aunt had called. She said that their cat had given birth to kittens and that we could have one. Our original intentions were to let both Trixie and the new kitten grow, then breed them when they were of age, but Trixie passed on before we had the opportunity. So I got to thinking about what the user here had said [see above quote] and went to visit the kittens. If any of you have ever seen newborn kittens, you know what I mean when I say that I fell in love immediately. But there's a problem: the mother was a stray.

First, I was wondering if anyone knew from experience what the chances are that these kittens could have Feline Leukemia, AIDS, etc.

I was also wondering what sort of precautions, if any, should be taken before bringing another kitten into our home. My aunt's veterinarian said that the kitten can catch Leukemia from things Trixie may have touched, but a few internet sources said that the disease can only survive a couple of hours outside of a host. I've done my research and I'm planning on taking the kitten to the vet ASAP, but some advice from y'all would be nice.

Sincerely,
RaInBoW
post #2 of 16
Did your aunt have the momma tested? It is very very possible she is neg for both.

You can get your little one tested at 6-8wks. It's not as accurate as waiting until 6mo+, but it's still something. You can also request they send off a test, which is more accurate than the in house snap test they would do.

But, you could always take momma in and get her tested. The in house tests runs about $40-$55 around here, and that's a small price to pay for your peace of mind. If momma is negative and the kittens have always been indoors and your aunt has no other cats, it's pretty much impossible they'll be pos for either.

Whatever you decide to do, keep the kitten in quarantine if you have any other cats until you're positive it is healthy in all aspects. Personally, I'd get the momma tested. If it comes back negative, just get the little one checked up to make sure it's healthy and start deworming and vaccinations.

Hope everything works out for you!
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
I will try to convince them to get her tested, but they're... stubborn. You know, the "animals can fend for themselves, we don't interfere" types that assume they can do no wrong.

The kittens are six weeks today (OH! I just remembered that too! Excitement!) but we're giving them until Friday just to be safe. What's a send-off test?

No, they don't have any other cats, but the mother may have been with multiple cats. There's not really any way of us knowing if she has or not. Are you saying that if her results come back saying she does have AIDS, Leukemia, etc. the kittens will have it too?

The only cat we've had in quite a while was Trixie. I'm mainly afraid of the kitten catching Leukemia from the germs she may have left behind. But I'm planning on SANITIZING the house. ^^

-RaInBoW
post #4 of 16
One sentence in your post concerns me:

Our original intentions were to let both Trixie and the new kitten grow, then breed them when they were of age, but Trixie passed on before we had the opportunity.

Are you a cat breeder of purebred cats? If not, PLEASE PLEASE do not breed your cats. There are so many homeless kittens already. Spay or neuter your pets ASAP!

Congrats on the new addition.
post #5 of 16
I think the actual amount of cats having fiv/felv is low compared to the whole cat population.As far as the kitten getting the disease from your household, I would wash everything (blankets,beds,bowls) but from everything I have read the disease is passed on by constant continued exposure,eating/drinking after an infected cat,grooming,litter boxes and bites (also it can be passed during nursing and pregnant cats to the kittens). Was your cat that died a purebred? if not why would you breed her? Please get the kitten your getting fixed, there are so many kittens needing homes! why bring more into the worls?? Good luck and congratulations on your new kitten
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes, Trixie was a purebred Siamese.
I have started the cleaning process! I tore my bed apart, cleaned out everything, vacuumed and disinfected the carpet underneath the bed, and I'm in the process of vacuuming the rest of my room. My mom is going to steam clean the carpet in the entire house. I'm going to sanitize the windowsills where she used to sit and get rid of all of her old things. That will probably be the hardest part. Having to throw away everything that reminds me of her...

Anyways, thank you for the advice on both the cleaning and the breeding. Now that I've thought about it, I'd rather save kittens. They're just so darn cute!

I will talk to my mom about getting her fixed as soon as possible. Right now I don't think she's old enough. She's only seven-ish weeks and even if she could have the surgery now I would rather wait.

-RaInBoW
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaInBoW_TiC_tAc View Post
I will try to convince them to get her tested, but they're... stubborn. You know, the "animals can fend for themselves, we don't interfere" types that assume they can do no wrong.

The kittens are six weeks today (OH! I just remembered that too! Excitement!) but we're giving them until Friday just to be safe. What's a send-off test?

No, they don't have any other cats, but the mother may have been with multiple cats. There's not really any way of us knowing if she has or not. Are you saying that if her results come back saying she does have AIDS, Leukemia, etc. the kittens will have it too?

The only cat we've had in quite a while was Trixie. I'm mainly afraid of the kitten catching Leukemia from the germs she may have left behind. But I'm planning on SANITIZING the house. ^^

-RaInBoW
To test for FELV/FIV you can do in house or send off to a lab. When I say send off, it means they will take a blood sample from your kitten and either send in the whole blood or the serum from the blood to an outside lab which will then test it (more accurate than the in house "snap" tests).

I'm saying if her (momma) results come back negative, it's highly unlikely the kittens have it.

If Trixie had FELV, the threat of passing it on to another cat just from the belongings she touched is impossible. FELV can't live outside of a host for more than a few hours. Although sanitizing is never a bad idea. Spring cleaning right, .

And as far as getting the kitten spayed, I agree whole heartidly!!! There are far too many homeless kittens in this world, not to mention the health risks with leaving a cat unspayed (pyometrea, breast cancer, etc.). Kittens can be spayed pretty early, but it's better to wait until around 5-6mo or when she reaches 5+ lbs.
post #8 of 16
FeLV is not spread thru brief, casual contact, nor does it live outside a host for very long (probably a matter of minutes or maybe hours on the outside). It is most often transmitted during mating with a female, or fights for a female between males. This is why it is so important to have your cat spayed or neutered if you are not a professional breeder. If your parents have the attitude that a cat can fend for itself, then it is dangerous for them to continue to breed their cat. I don't mean to sound harsh, but that is the harsh reality of uncontrolled reproduction in cats.

If the mom cat is FeLV positive and is having kittens, she is only bringing on tragedy to any litter that she has. 95% of kittens born to a FeLV positive mom will succumb to the disease, with most die before they are a year old. Young kittens will not always show the disease through testing, as their bodies are trying to fight it off and may show an early immunity to it. It is always best to test the mom. If she has it, chances are the entire litter will not be strong enough to fight off the disease (pay once to test the mom, or pay for every kitten in the litter). Perhaps if you were planning on having the kitten testing anyway, suggest that you spend the money on the mom rather than the kitten?

If you want to disinfect your house to make it better for you, continue to do so, but the disease is long gone from your home. And yes, a new kitten can be the best way to heal the pain of loss!
post #9 of 16
IMO if the kittens had FELV or FIP/Aids they would have died already being so young. But talk to your vet about how soon you can bring in another kitten and what you need to do around the house to be sure its safe.

Also, unless the kitten is a show quality purebred, you should spay/neuter around 3-4 months old and not even think of letting them breed. Cats should be tested for genetic problems and with mixed breeds you have no idea what kind of problems may be in the background.

And mixed breed cats shouldn't be bred on purpose anyway.

I know you are excited about getting a new kitten, but the ideal age is 10-12 weeks old. Kittens are still nursing up to 8 weeks old and they need time with mom and siblings to be mentally and physically ready to leave home. Many bad kitten problems are due to kittens being taken from mom too soon and not totally litter trained or weaned and eating only solid food. If at all possible, please let the kittens stay with mom and siblings for a few more weeks.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaInBoW_TiC_tAc View Post
I will talk to my mom about getting her fixed as soon as possible.
This bothered me a little so I checked your age. IMO, if you have to rely on parents to pay for your pets care, it may be best to wait a little while. (I've seen lots of teens run into that problem on reptile forums, often the parents don't want to pay for a reptile vet and the kids don't have the money for it.)

If you're working, start saving money. This way you can make sure your kitten does get spay or neutered - no need to convince anyone else. If you're not working, you're old enough to look for a part time summer job soon.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaInBoW_TiC_tAc View Post
Our original intentions were to let both Trixie and the new kitten grow, then breed them when they were of age, but Trixie passed on before we had the opportunity.
This concerns me... Please please do not take the decision to breed your cats lightly... If you are serious about breeding, do your research, go to shows, get a fixed show kitty, etc. to start a responsible breeding program. There are millions of kittens needing home and being euthanized/year, and irresponsible breeding just add to this problem. I know kittens are really cute and all, but if you want to have a litter at home, you can always rescue a mom with a litter from a shelter to foster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaInBoW_TiC_tAc View Post
The kittens are six weeks today (OH! I just remembered that too! Excitement!) but we're giving them until Friday just to be safe.
I hope this doesn't mean you are getting him this early? Please try to advise your aunt to keep them together for at least another 4 weeks - kittens should be kept with their litter an mom for 10-12 weeks for proper social development.

Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
This bothered me a little so I checked your age. IMO, if you have to rely on parents to pay for your pets care, it may be best to wait a little while. (I've seen lots of teens run into that problem on reptile forums, often the parents don't want to pay for a reptile vet and the kids don't have the money for it.)
I see no problem at all with her having pets, as long as the parents agree to be responsible for the financial part of it. I had many pets since I was a child, and my parents were always on board for their care. IMO, you might want to consider having health insurance for your kitten, this way you don't run the risk of not having funds for emergency and unplanned expenses.
Good luck to you!!
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Wow! I have a lot to reply to!

First, I will most definitely tell my aunt to get their cat tested. I hate that I'm already attached to the kittens when they could have FELV or any number of viruses. I will go text her right now, actually. ^^

As for the age, they will be with her for three and a half more weeks. I've done my research and learned that they're still developing immunity, behavioral traits, etc. etc. etc. within the first 8-10 weeks and I want her to be as strong as possible.

And the money won't be a problem. My mom got a job (finally!), we are getting over $1,400 a month from my dad for child support, and I have a ton of weekly babysitting jobs lined up for the summer. I am also planning on some serious job-hunting. But even if I can't find one, my mom love, love, LOVES cats and will be more than happy to help with the vet bills, food, beds, etc.

AGAIN, I am not planning on breeding ANY animals anytime soon. I realized (thanks to you wonderful people!) that there are plenty of kittens that need a home as it is.

-RaInBoW
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaInBoW_TiC_tAc View Post

I will talk to my mom about getting her fixed as soon as possible. Right now I don't think she's old enough. She's only seven-ish weeks and even if she could have the surgery now I would rather wait.

-RaInBoW
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
This bothered me a little so I checked your age. IMO, if you have to rely on parents to pay for your pets care, it may be best to wait a little while.
Really, what on earth does age have to do with it? You've personally said before that you removed your aged because of being judged.

At 16, I had a good chunk of money in the bank as I started bbsitting when I was 11 Tis all in the maturity level.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaInBoW_TiC_tAc View Post
Wow! I have a lot to reply to!

First, I will most definitely tell my aunt to get their cat tested. I hate that I'm already attached to the kittens when they could have FELV or any number of viruses. I will go text her right now, actually. ^^

As for the age, they will be with her for three and a half more weeks. I've done my research and learned that they're still developing immunity, behavioral traits, etc. etc. etc. within the first 8-10 weeks and I want her to be as strong as possible.

And the money won't be a problem. My mom got a job (finally!), we are getting over $1,400 a month from my dad for child support, and I have a ton of weekly babysitting jobs lined up for the summer. I am also planning on some serious job-hunting. But even if I can't find one, my mom love, love, LOVES cats and will be more than happy to help with the vet bills, food, beds, etc.

AGAIN, I am not planning on breeding ANY animals anytime soon. I realized (thanks to you wonderful people!) that there are plenty of kittens that need a home as it is.

-RaInBoW
Good for you. Sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and very supportive parents

I have no advice about the health issues....but we'd love to see pics of your kitty
post #14 of 16
It does seem you are a little more responsible then first was thought. Glad you are a smart teen. Hope your new kitten works out in the family. Looking forward to you posting some pics of your new baby soon.
post #15 of 16
Just for the record, I've thought from your very first post that you sound like a very responsible teen, and I'd be proud to have you as a daughter!

In reference to getting rid of Trixie's toys: I lost a cat in 1985 to Leukemia; his brother was in the home as well, and never got sick. Nor did we throw anything away. His brother, Kippie, lived to be almost 21 years of age and died in 2000. I know all about keeping things for sentimental value - IMO keep something of Trixie's if you need to. It doesn't necessarily have to be left out for the kitten to play with, but it may help in your grieving process (and yes, I know you are still grieving her loss) to keep some things.

Good luck with your new baby; I'm glad you will be getting her spayed, as well. It's SO worth it.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'd like to thank you all. I was beginning to think that people her think I'm completly clueless. Realy, all of the advice and support has been wonderful. In a few weeks when Nahla comes home I'll be sure to post pictures. Anyways, I'm at school so I'm not techinically supposed to be on the inernet right now... I'll check back here later.

-RaInBoW
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