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Cleaning up house after Kitty had FeLV and Distemper

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My cat has been gone for almost 2 weeks now. My parents feel really bad and have shown interest in getting me a new young feline, possibly 2 younger cats. I'm excited to look at some Kitty's but I'm also scared of bringing in another cat because of the potential germs that my first cat left behind...

In her final weeks she had tested positive for Distemperment and Feline Leukemia (She probably had that since birth or caught it in shelter). I don't know the rule about FeLV+ cats and if they can leave the Leukemia behind but I read distemperment can hang around in the enviroment/atmosphere unattached to an animal for months!

I will be using my room as the cats main 'home base' area. So far we have steam cleaned the carpets and rubbed down the walls with bleach and water because we read that would help deal with the distemperment. But that is just 1 room. We have many rooms in the house that my previous cat would wander around in and has left her cells/hair in. could anybody help tell me when would be best to bring in a new cat?

We would obviously have them tested for FeLV and give them distemper vaccine and all necessary shots. But I hear the vaccines aren't 100% guarantee everytime. I will talk to my vet in the coming days and see what he has to say about this considering he knows exactly what my cat had when she was infected. I just wanted to see if anybody here had a similar episode or sollution after losing a cat to distemper or Leukemia.

I want a new kitty but at same time I cannot bring it into our house until I know the risks of getting it sick. thank you.
post #2 of 13
Leukemia dies quickly outside the body so surfaces shouldn't be an issue for the leukemia, so don't worry about the leukemia, it's the distemper that is the problem. Obviously you need to replace everything your cat had with new ones so new litter boxes, food/water dishes, bed, scratching posts, etc.

I would contact your vet that treated your cat and ask them how to make the environment safe for a new cat. That would be your best bet. I honestly don't know anything about distemper except it can be carried by raccoons and dogs and cats have to be vaccinated against it and it can be fatal if caught.

Taryn
post #3 of 13
I agree that talking to your vet is the first step. Commericial grade "kennel" cleaners are available through many sources on the internet if households cleaners won't do the job.
post #4 of 13
Distemper can live in a home for a year or more, depending on who you talk to.

Any kitty you bring home would need to have their first distemper shot, the booster - and then you need to wait a week still. And as always, vaccines aren't foolproof.

An adult would likely have a lower risk of contracting distemper, as they would have a stronger immune system. The younger the kitten the greater the risk, as they still have developing immune systems.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Traufield View Post
I agree that talking to your vet is the first step. Commericial grade "kennel" cleaners are available through many sources on the internet if households cleaners won't do the job.
IMHO I would do this first...

White cat lover has lots of experience
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post

An adult would likely have a lower risk of contracting distemper, as they would have a stronger immune system. The younger the kitten the greater the risk, as they still have developing immune systems.
This was what almost everybody reccomended to me. Defintely can't bring a kitten in here. The lady from 1 vet I called said I shouldn't go younger than 2 years old or so. Does that sound about right?

I haven't been able to talk to my own vet yet but today we called 4-5 are vets and asked them what to do for the distemper being in the house. Most reccommended bleach and water for wiping down the walls in the house. We already did that twice to my room (the kitty home base) and completely cleared out all my things and furniture. I got rid of everything that belonged to Quinn before she passed away except sentimental things. Then we steam vacuumed my room. We plan on doing this routine for each room in the house before we bring another cat home.

I have been looking at a few Cats around 1 year old but if that is too young I'll look for a 2+year old cat from now on...I don't want it to be too old because I want to get a kitten a year from now and I don't want it to be bullied by the older cat.

I will check back with my vet and ask him what we should do for the situation. He would know most because he treated my cat before this.
post #7 of 13
Feline Distemper can actually live in the environment up to three years. You must vaccinate and keep the newcomers in a room where the other cat has never been UNTIL three weeks after the SECOND booster. Trust me, I know what I am talking about here. It can go dormant and the ONLY way you can prevent it is to vaccinate all cats in the house and all cats in the future.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy View Post
Feline Distemper can actually live in the environment up to three years. You must vaccinate and keep the newcomers in a room where the other cat has never been UNTIL three weeks after the SECOND booster. Trust me, I know what I am talking about here. It can go dormant and the ONLY way you can prevent it is to vaccinate all cats in the house and all cats in the future.

Wow 3 years!? None of the vets ever mentioned that to me.

So your saying no matter what age cat I bring in, if they don't have the first distemper vaccine plus the booster already in their system then they will catch the distemper?

Also, I know kittens are defintely a big NO in this situation but what if the kitten had received all the necessary shots and got its distemper vaccine+the booster.

Would the kitten then be safe to bring in the house or would a kittens immune system still not be able to handle it?

This distemper issue really has hurt my heart, I lost my previous kitty and now I can't even bring in a different cat to succeed her. Lame. Out of all the diseases she could have contracted, what terrible luck.
post #9 of 13
Any cat who has not had the "full series" of distemper vaccinations is susceptible to distemper - no matter how old.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
I guess I've found my answer then. The only way I can get another kitty is to adopt a cat that somehow has medical records of showing he/she has all of the appropriate distemper shots. If the medical records aren't provided then I don't think I can take a risk. Unfortuantely with most adopted cats their medical records are incomplete because they were strays/abandoned when young.

Since my previous cat visited most rooms in our house at least a few times (she heavily frequented 2 rooms more than all others) who really knows how much of the distemper is around the house. It could be anywhere and everywhere. I don't even think we could even have a guaranteed 'safe' room to keep a newcoming cat that was waiting on its distemper boosters.

It's looking like my next cat won't be coming home anytime soon, thats for sure. Unless I somehow get lucky and find 1-2 cats that is fully updated for distemper but those cats are so few and far between.
post #11 of 13
Don't despair - talk with your vet and see what you can safely do. The right kitty is out there for you, and you're wise to be checking everything out, but I'm sure the vet will be happy to talk about all the issues with you and give you some advice.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by afp89898 View Post
It's looking like my next cat won't be coming home anytime soon, thats for sure. Unless I somehow get lucky and find 1-2 cats that is fully updated for distemper but those cats are so few and far between.
At the shelter here we have cats & "older" kittens who have had their distemper shots & boosters (we vaccinate all cats for distemper & give them their boosters if they don't get adopted first). We have cats who are frequently surrendered that we have full medical records on. So it might be worth looking into.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the info. I have a feeling if we look at Cat's specific shelter where they pay a little more attention to detail on each animal we may find what we are looking for. I think we will go no younger than a year or so if we do find a kitty (or 2) that fit the bill. 2 years old seems to be safest bet though for bringing in a vaccinnated cat.
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