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2 questions- Long haired cats and Feline Leuk.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Im still going through my debate of getting another cat. Im looking at the local shelters and still thinking about it.

Today I fell in love with a long haired cat that looks just like a skunk He is the biggest sweetheart, reminds me a lot of Jayce. Im thinking the most seriously about getting him, hes the one that has just grabbed my heart the most. Hes not the first cat people notice when they go looking, because he has a bit of a funny looking face. But he is soooo sweet!

So, 2 questions about him. 1, he is long haired which is new for me. Can I keep him trimmed up pretty short or is that mean to do? Im ok with shedding and brushing, but I would like to avoid snarls (which he currently has) and also try to prevent looking like a cat myself when Im done snuggling him With my 3 current cats, Im used to cat hair all over. But I just think it would be easier to keep him short-medium length to avoid snarls and tangles in his beautiful coat. Plus, if he doesnt enjoy being brushed Im sure it could end up being a nightmare.
If anyone here does this, how frequently (approx.) do you have it done? Is it expensive to have a cat groomed and trimmed?

Second question is about the shelter itself. There are 3 in my area, and while this one is the least expensive and always has the most cats, it usually isnt the first one I go to. The woman who runs it isnt very nice or helpful about the cats. However, the 2 that I do go to charge 3 times as much for the same quality (vet checked, neutered/spayed and generally healthy) cats. Plus my favorite one that I got my current 3 cats has a bad outbreak of ring worm!
The problem with this shelter is that the woman has a feline leuk+ cat sort of in the mix of the rest of the population. I dont know much about it and am worried it will be contagious and I'll end up bringing it home The cat Im interested in tested negative for it, as have all her other cats. But she seems to think theres no harm in keeping it around all the rest. Is that safe? Will the rest of the cats there likely end up with it?

Thanks for any responses you may have
post #2 of 6
I would certainly hesitate to adopt from the shelter who does not quarantine an infectious cat! Although it is true that many cats exposed to the virus will not come down ill, there is still that risk that they will. Here is a website you can read that will educate you on the disease and the risk.


Also about the long hair, if you go ahead and get this cat, you can have him lion clipped one time, to get rid of the matts which are very painful for him and can cause skin disorders. Then you just start brushing every day two or three times a day when the hair starts to grow out. But leaving a long-haired kitty short haired all the time, is really not the best idea. Grooming is a good bonding time for owner and cat.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the post Hissy
A few questions to your reply. 1, when you say leaving a long haired kitty short haired is not a good idea, why is that? Im just curious.. Is it mean to trim them? I could guess that if it scares them then of course that would be mean. But otherwise, do you think so?

Second, if it were you, would you not adopt from them with the 1 Feline Leuk+ cat around the bunch? Is there any way you would, like under any circumstances? I respect your experience with cats and would like to know your personal choice in it. Would you adopt it and quarantine it in your own home for a time, with repeat tests to see if it ends up sick? Or would you not risk bringing that home to your house, even quarantined? I feel so bad for the cats and just dont get why shes doing this. She feels that since it is not sick it shouldnt be a problem. It apparently has been positive for quite some time and even with occasional cases of respitory problems coming through in the last 6-9 months that it has been there it hasnt gotten sick at all. Its been there for a long time because no one wants to adopt the poor thing I just dont want to adopt a cat that is likely to catch it.
post #4 of 6
The Cornell site that MA referred you to is one of the best sites on FeLV. FeLV is not typically spread thru casual contact, but thru regular sharing of food bowls, litter boxes, mutual grooming, fighting and breeding. If the FeLV cat in this shelter has some level of quarantine (separate cage), and the items in its cage are not shared with others, then the risk to your boy is low. I have seen shelters that will pull litter boxes out of all cages, give them a quick sanitary wipe, then stack them up for reuse in any cage. This could theoretically spread the disease.

You can quarantine your baby for a while and redo the test. I have heard strong proponents of a 30 day, 45 day, 60 day and 90 day waiting periods between test. If you are serious, talk to your vet. FeLV can take some time to work into a cat's system therefore even though they test negative today, they can be positive tomorrow. If you are willing to quarantine (separate rooms, litter boxes, no shared food/water bowls), then you can make it work. If the shelter does well with sanitation, this boy is at low risk (but not at no risk).
post #5 of 6
I can only draw on a painful experience I had last year, when I took a perfectly healthy wonderful 5 year old cat into a groomer to be shaved and 3 days later he was dead from toxins that were in the shampoo. I would not recommend shaving a cat all the time, or trimming him close. God makes long haired cats for reasons, and honestly, if you are that concerned about cat hair, all cats shed even short haired ones.

And no, I would not adopt a cat that I knew carried an infectious disease unless I had no other cats in my home and could handle the vet bills coming down the pike. But that is me, based on my life and my experience. I rescue and it would put to many of my cats in risk to bring a sick one here intentionally.
post #6 of 6
I am going to reply about the long haired question of yours. I don't think it would be mean to trim the cats long coat. But why would you want to? I have 4 long haired cats and they shed very differently then short haired cats. With short haired, you run your hand down their back and a handful of hair goes flying all over the place! But with long haired, they shed in clumps usually. If they lay and sleep in one spot, there will be some hair there in little clumps. Or sometimes, when you run your hand down their back, there will be a little clump that comes off in your hands. That's it usually. Now remember, there will be a little more when spring time comes. Brushing is no big deal either. It only takes a few minutes and your done. If you have never had a long haired cat before, and you get this one youmentioned, try going a month or so without trimming the long coat. You will see how different they shed compared to short haired cats. Just try it. Don't waste that beautiful coat.

Also, I wouldn't adopt from the shelter that doesn't quarantine, but if you are sure it is healthy, then I guess it doesn't matter too much. Maybe casually mention it to the ownder about not doing that,
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