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Help! Abandoned kitten- risk of distemper?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I found a little kitten this evening that appeared to have been abandoned by the side of the road.
I have 4 cats right now- but heck! I can't leave a little kitten a foot from being run over!
My only concern is the risk he poses to my other cats-- with distemper and leukemia. What is the likelihood that he would have a contagious disease? and what should i do with him until I can find out?

I have a very small screened in porch area- but it isn't really safe to leave him there. I tried to- but he is WAY too rambunctious and was climbing the walls. Also- we are doing some remodeling and there are items on the porch that could hurt him so there is really no where to quarentine him! Right now I have him in the bathroom in a cat carrier. He really needed to get some sleep as he ate a can of food very fast and cried for a really long time. I don't know how long I can keep him there though- he will wake up soon and be very upset as I can tell he is a little firecracker.

what does anyone recomend I do with him until i can get blood tests--- and the test results? I have read that distemper can be carried on people's clothes so I imagine I wouldn't want to have him loose in rooms of the house where our cats could come in contact with it. Please help- I really want to help this little guy! but i need more information to be sure I'm not harming my current cats.

post #2 of 14
I'm not an expert...Having said that I would recommend that you keep him in the carrier if possible till tomorrow then get him to the vet. The odds are that he would be healthy bur better safe than sorry. If you feel bad about the carrier a large cardboard box would probably do for a day or two. I hope this helps. Howard.
post #3 of 14
I'd take him to the vet ASAP. For now, where else can you quarintine him?
post #4 of 14
Cathy, thank you for taking in this little one!

If the bathroom is secure, you can let him out of the carrier and provide him with food, water and litterbox in that little room. You may want to leave the carrier in there with bedding in it so he has a soft place to sleep. Keep your cats separate from him until you can get the all clear from the vet, then you can at least move him to a larger room and start slow introductions.

I'll move this to Caring for Strays & Ferals for answers to the rest of your questions.
post #5 of 14
Do NOT let him loose in your house until he's been to the vet! Once the Distemper virus gets into your home it takes SIX YEARS to be safe for any unvaccinated kitten or cat! Trust me -- I learned this the hardest way!
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
thank you all for your responses.
I really don't have anywhere to quarantine him except the bathroom- this was just not a good time to find him! We are in the middle of remodeling and the rooms we can use right now are limited. Not to mention it is the weekend-how long does it take to get test results- does anyone know?

I would die if I cause my cats to get sick- but it breaks my heart to hear him crying. I think he was weaned by way of dropping him on the side of the road. He was nuzzling in my hair earlier like he was trying to find a place to nurse.
post #7 of 14
For the FIV, FELV you should know in less than 20 minutes I'm noot sure for the distemper though.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
thank you - that is fast! I didn't know I could have results on the leukemia that quickly! I sure hope i can get him in tomorrow

I just visited him in the bathroom. i let him out and gave him another can of food. He kneads the floor in front of the bowl when he eats- i think he was nursing very recently. i wonder how old he is? he looks about 10 or 11 inches long.

I let him climb on me- am i safe to play with my other cats if i just change clothes? Could the distemper be in my hair?

Also- bigkitten- your cats are beautiful. I clickedon your link and I think Deliah (sp) is especially gorgeous!
post #9 of 14
I don't know if you had heard of a big outbreak of distemper in your area or what? But I have been rescuing older strays and young kittens now for over twenty years and have only encountered contagious diseases four times, and never distemper. That's not to say that you should not take precautions with this kitten until he is tested, but don't stress out about this unless you are currently in California where they are having a horrible epidemic of feline distemper right now-
post #10 of 14
Thank you for rescuing this precious baby!
post #11 of 14
For the FIV & Leukemia test the vet just takes a drop of blood puts that on a test kit and in about 10 mins you will have the answer.
I am with Hissy on the distemper thing. She is one smart lady and I personally have never seen a case of feline distemper. I think from the sound of things that lil guy will be fine. Prayers going out for his good health. You are doing the good thing by rescuing the lil booger. He will bring you a lot of joy and satisfaction raising him. Good Luck, Howard Jones.
post #12 of 14
I got Garfield and his brother Odie at about 8-10 weeks. My litter of kittens was about 8-10 weeks old, too. Within a few days, Odie died of distemper, Garfield was sent back to the foster agency for treatment, and their mother (who wasn't at my house) needed blood transfusions to survive.

That said, my kittens had a mild case of diarrhea, easily treated with antibiotics. The difference was they had already had the first two kitten shots, so had immunity to distemper.

So do be wary of illness, but if your cats are up on their shots it will provide a lot of safety. And I have heard that you can carry distemper in on your shoes. If you can get it accidentally, don't let it prevent you from saving a life!

Get him to the vet tomorrow, and good luck with this little guy.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses!
Hissy- there is no outbreak of distemper that I know of in my area... but I
have no idea how prevalent distemper is and I have one cat who cannot get distemper shots. It makes him very ill and my vet recommended that I discontinue giving him the shot as my cats are completely indoor. I did not want to risk getting him sick since he doesn't have the protection the other cats have.

I was not able to get him an appointment on Saturday but I have been keeping him separated from the other cats and have an appointment for him after work today. I hope it goes well.

thanks again for the responses... if i can figure out how to post a picture I will
post #14 of 14
how did the appointment go?
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