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Doc is mad at me...

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone. I'm hoping I can get some input from some of you....I've posted a little on this before, but just for recap....I am 23 yrs old and currently live by myself (w/my 2 cats) in a 2 bedroom apartment. My family has had a really tough year so far (my mother passed away from cancer in Feb and my dad is really, really sick with AIDS and spinal meningitis) I have a younger sister (17 yrs, a senior is high school) and she has been hanging in there ok so far...she has asked me to move back home because she is feeling overwhelmed taking care of my dad. He has been in and out of the hospital recently and I dont think she likes staying home alone for 3 weeks at a time, plus school, plus work. so...i've made the decision to go back home. She has two dogs, and we're building a dog pen in the backyard so they can stay outside. We've planned for me and my cats to move into the master bedroom upstairs. It will be quite a move for my cats, but I feel it is a sacrifice I have to make. The only set-back right now is...my dad's doctor is really against me moving my cats into the home. He says that cats are really bad for my dad's health. I AM NOT getting rid of my cats! They are my heart!!! <I'm allergic to one of them, and I've been taking allergy pills everyday for 3 years so I can live in peace with him!> I personally don't think my cats would pose a health risk for my dad. The cats will be upstairs and will not be allowed to roam the rest of the house, my dad will be nowhere near their litter box (my dad lives downstairs because he cannot walk up the stairs), so pretty much, he will have no contact with my cats. Still, the doc is really against this... what do you all think?
post #2 of 12
Since your dad has an immune-defficiency I can see where the doctor is coming from but I think if you take precautions he should be safe. Can you give your cats access to teh upstairs only and not allow them downstairs where dad will be (provided that is where his bedroom is?). The problem is cats can carry many things (bacteria, etc) that a normal immune system can fight but an impaired system can be suceptible to. If you can keep the cats + litter box away from dad then I think you should be fine. Also if a cat scratches him, again cats carry bacteria and that makes it easier to get sick. You could use soft-paws on the claws so a cat scratch isn't possible as well.

Of course I would say the same about dogs accept they don't scratch you as easily but they do carry a lot, especially in the mouth.
post #3 of 12
There are more germs in the average persons kitchen then in a cats living space. As long as you ahve the animals seperated from your dad I think you will be fine.
post #4 of 12
I think cat scratch fever and toxo are the main concerns. I would ask the doctor specifically what he is afraid of. If it is cat scratch fever then nail caps will solve that problem. If its the litter box then you keep it in a room that dad dosne't go to (litter box related illness like toxo would be a concern, most cats don't carry toxo but its a possibilty). I have a feeling its cat scratch fever that he is concerned about:
post #5 of 12
I'm so sorry for what your family has been going through!!!! That's so heartbreaking.

Since you're moving home and keeping the cats in the master bedroom, and all their stuff in there, I can't see why it would be a problem as long as you wash up really well any time you handle them or their stuff (box, etc).
Is there a way to have the cats tested for toxoplasmosis, cat scratch, everything else (worms, mites, etc) very thoroughly so you know the risk is way less? If you can get your dad's doctor and your vet to work together, I would imagine that the cats can be tested for most of the things that the doctor is worried about.

I wouldn't give up my cats either, esp when there have been two dogs there the whole time with no problems. It sounds like your dad's doctor is rightfully concerned but also being a little paranoid maybe.

And most importantly, how does your dad feel about it?
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
My dad is okay with it. He knows I take really good care of my cats and he knows that my apartment is very clean. He is really happy that my sister has agreed to move the dogs outside. She has 2 border collies and they are pretty energetic dogs and it's not fair for them to be cooped up in a bedroom all day. It's the dogs that have tore up the bedrooms, so my dad is not too concerned about my cats. My cats have all their vaccinations and check-ups regularly....I guess I could try to get the vet to work with my dad's doc...

Yah, my dad would have no contact what-so-ever with the cats because they would be upstairs. However, if under my supervision (and only after the cats have had their nails freshly trimmed) I might let my dad entertain himself with the cats. (he gets very lonely since my mom passed and I think he wants to play with the dogs sometimes, but they are waaaayyy to hyper and he can't handle all their energy, so sometimes I think my cats could help him with his lonliness....
post #7 of 12
So sorry for everything you are going through.

If scratching is the concern with your cats you could get those nail caps so you're dad wouldn't get hurt.
post #8 of 12
I too am so sorry that your family is going through all of this.

I think it would be a good idea for your vet to have a chat with the doc and I think its also important for your doc to realise that having you move back home is going to be so wonderful for your dad. I am sure having both his daughters back home with him is going to help him keep strong and if that means that a compromise of some sort needs to be worked out with the cats then so be it. And it sounds like you have thought this through completely and have answers for everything. Thats great.
I also have no doubt that animals can help immensely to those that are ill. I am sure that your cats would help with his loneliness and make him smile. Animals have a way to do this.
I know your Dad's health is the most important thing here and I know you would never do anything to jeopardise his health. I think the doc needs to remember this. its not like your bringing in 2 feral cats.

Good luck to you & your family during this time Please keep us updated on what you do
post #9 of 12
I'm so very, very sorry to hear of your dilemma. And I'm sorry to hear of your mother's passing, and the terrible illness your father is facing...it is also a TERRIBLE amount of responsibility for your 17 year-old sister. I don't blame you one bit for moving back in to give her a hand - it's the right thing to do.

I don't see any immediate risk to your father bringing the kitties there. Cats are shockingly clean animals, and really the only thing you need to maintain in the way of hygiene is their litter box. If you feel that your cats are not going to ever aggress on your father and actually physically injure him, there should be absolutely no problem. And, I should mention the overwhelming statistics that prove how beneficial owning pets is to one's health and physical well-being. Pet owners live longer, happier, more physically healthy lives than those who don't share their lives with a companion animal. This is the reason why so many nursing homes are now adopting "nursing home" dogs and kitties, to enrich and extend the lives of the residents. You never know, bringing your cats home may be actually a healthy idea for your father!
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
thanks for the support everyone! I will talk to my vet (I'm almost positive she will speak to my dad's dr....) I'll make sure the kitties are checked up for the things that are concerning the doc and make sure I keep the litter clean and immaculate. The master bedroom is pretty big so I think the cats should adjust pretty well. I truly believe that my dad will benefit from the cat's company (one of my cats is an older, more calm cat so he would be ideal for my father...my other kitty is a young bengal and she's a little fiesty so it may take her a little time to warm up to my dad) I'll find a way to make this work! Thanks again!
post #11 of 12
Another suggestion is to ask another doctor for a second opinion. I'm guessing if your Dad has AIDS, he has several doctors. Call one of the other doctors. Or even explain the situation to your doctor, if you have one. That will give you more info to help make your decision.

I had a friend who was undergoing treatment for cancer, and initially she was told she might have to get rid of her kitty. As it turns out, once she started the treatments, it was fine for her to keep her pet. (As a single woman, living alone, I'm sure the kitty was a great comfort to her!)

I lost my Mom to a brain tumor a few years ago. I am very sorry that you lost your Mom, and now your Dad is critically ill! I'm sure you will be a great help to him.
post #12 of 12
I've read stories of sick people giving up their pets on the advice of the doctor. But then they don't get better or they get worse. Once they get their pets back, they get better again. It's pretty neat!
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