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Illness and Socialization. (long as always)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have had some good advices from you guys and girls before so I try again.
First a little update:
Our five feral kittens and there mamas has now moved down to the bottom floor with us and is adapting well.The two small ones are completely tame and the mamas are not hiding anymore but still keep a saftey distance to us. The three older kittens keeps a safety distance and we had a real step backwards in the socializasing process when we went on a five day vacation. As some of you know these kittens were really ill when we found them and have has been treated for pnemonia, sneezing disease (herpes and some other virus) and Chlamydious infection in there eyes. Before we went on vacation they where healthy and I began to be able to touch them without hissing. One of them was even spinning when I petted her.
Now I cannot touch them and if I have to lift them up for treatment they will try to hurt me bad - at least the two little girls.
They are slowly coming around again. We play wit them an hour aday at lest and they are not scittish anymore and walk almost up to us, but touch them - no no.
The youngest ones turned really ill from sneezing disease ten days ago and since they also had a slight bronchitis and a beginning infection in there eyes they are still on antibiotics. No problem since they are tame. The sneezing is over now and they are doing fine.
Now I see that the older ones are getting in worse shape again. Silas sneezing disease is already chronical and the two girls are sneezing now and then. No fever though and there eyes and lungs still seem ok.
Now my questions:

1. Should I catch them and take them to the vet. Start a treatment that will take some fighting to perform every day and probably loose there trust completely - or should I wait as long as it doesn't gets worse and give them a chanse to get more trustfull? We are getting closer every day.

2. They are still with their mamas and the younger mama has constantly pouring eyes. She had some treatment when she was spayed but it didn't help a lot. There is not a chanse in the world to give her medication without trapping her. Do I have to split them up? This would mean that the mamas will live outdoor as wild cats with food from us.
I would like to give the mamas the time it takes to get domestic. If it takes years no problem - but if it is the only way to save the kittens from getting reinfected.....?
To give the kittens up for adoption is not an option yet. No one here will be interested untill they are tame and healthy. My small babies yes but no - they will stay with us for the rest of their lives. They are my bottle-babies.

3. The four papas is still comming on visit and they are not neutered. For two of them I cannot find an owner so I gonna catch them and have it done. The other two is from my neighbour. I have offerd to take them to the vet and fixed a really good price for her - even to pay it, but she refuses. should I have it done when she is on vacation? She might not notice but if she does...? They are born wild and brothers of the younger mother we have with us.
post #2 of 7
Originally Posted by Malena View Post
The other two is from my neighbour. I have offerd to take them to the vet and fixed a really good price for her - even to pay it, but she refuses. should I have it done when she is on vacation? She might not notice but if she does...? .

This I call for creative thinking!

Do it on vacation and what if she notices? Deny. You dont know anything about it.
You DID offered to help her, but after she turned down your offer itsnt not any of your business any longer you say. What is she guaffing about???

It is probably necessary the vet protects you. (An unknown man brought them in, muttering about everywhere pissing tomcats, did payed in cash).
post #3 of 7
Marlena, you are such a wonderful person with such a wonderful attitude! No matter what happens, these are such lucky cats to have found your home!

OK - here's the problem. The moms have to be separated from the kittens, or the reinfections will probably keep happening. Whether they should go outside and be ferals you care for or whether they get separated upstairs (if you have a fan or something) is something you will have to decide.

As to treating the cats with medication.

1) Can an antibiotic be put in food instead of given directly to cats? It never worked for us but we tried by marshalling one kitten at a time into the bathroom, putting down a little mashed tuna with pill in it. Unfortunately, we could never get anyone to eat the pill, but for some people it works.

2) Get leather work gloves with long sleeves up your arm and work in a pair. One of you has to get on your knees on the floor - make your legs into a shallow "V". Get behind the cat or kitten like this, pull them into the "V" and hold them by the scruff. This immobilizes them. Hubby/boyfriend/partner would have to put drops in eyes. Can you purchase a - I don't know what they're called. I just call them a "pill shooter." It's a long tube with a plastic stem in it that has a rubber tip that's split so you can set a pill in it. You force the cat's mouth open (with a gloved finger at the back of the mouth), put the rubber tip with pill to the back of the cat's throat, and push the plunger thingy, and it pops the pill down the back of the throat. Once you've done it once or twice, you can get this done literally in a couple of seconds.

It sets you back in terms of socialization, but it gets the cats healthy. The most important thing, at this point, I think is to stop the cycle of illness. I think you should discuss with the vet the possibility of ALL the cats being treated to knock this thing out of your home - then maybe you do not need to separate the mamas.

You will feel like you are torturing the cats, especially if you chase down the mamas to medicate them too. The cats will think they are being tortured. But they will also know, somehow, that you are helping them live a better life.

Now - as to the neighbor's cat - I TOTALLY agree with Stefan! I think it is VERY unlikely she'd notice. And if she did? I'd totally deny it. What - who me? Here - for the most part, the worst thing that could happen is a fine for tampering with someone else's property.


post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you Laurie.

You are right. If we don't brake the cirkle of disease there is a risk the bacteria gets resistant.
The small kittens are now eating an antibiotic that really kills the Chlamydious and they are looking completely well already. I think I could give the bigger ones pills. It is just a matter of corner to be able to get them. My husband is good at taking them without getting hurt and I am good at giving pills. If the vet can start them of with a shot the time of treatment can maybee get shorter.
In a week we are building a cat-garden with a cat-door leading to it. It would be possible to divide it and keep the mamas in one part of it. I already have a little house for them prepared in case I had to let them out. For them I could give an antibiotic in the food. There is a tasteless antibiotic that is effective against Chlamydious and with them two on their own there is less risk for an overdose. In three weeks we start renovation work on the upper floor - that is why we are building the cat-garden.
The cats can then have access to the kitchen, bathroom and a 30 sqare meeter cat-garden - and the rest of the house in the evening. I dont think they would mind if it was 15 square meters for a while and the mamas could still see their kittens thru the net.
post #5 of 7
How wonderful of you to do this for the cats! It sounds perfect, Malena.

Sounds like things are kind of resolving themselves, especially with the plans you had. Being able to give them antibiotics in their food is SUCH a great thing! I'm certainly not jealous your cats are sick - but I am jealous that there's a tasteless antibiotic for it, lol!


post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
For you who wants to see them.
On this link you can see our wild cats in different ages.
The last pictures is a week old.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
I am so happy.
Sunday I saw the first sign signs of Chlamydia again on the older kittens. We can't wait with treatment for the catgarden to be build. I called the vet and he prescribed the same antibiotics as for the young ones. Now it was just to find a way to give it.
The cats - also the mamas - has been progressing fast in their socialization lately so this was really a set back but then we had an idea.
I was preparing meat in the kitchen and suddenly I had the five shy cats closer than I never had before (willingly). I threw them some small pieces and they went crazy about it.
Every evening since Friday we have made a routine of threwing raw meet to the cats. By now I have the two tame ones hanging in my pants while I prepare it and two of the shy ones and one of the mothers are eating from my hand.
Yesterday we had the antibiotics and I smashed it and put it inside the meat. My husband has allways done a lot of sports and when he trews something it ends up where he aims so it was his job to provide the right piece to the right cat. One kitten ate her antibiotics fine and the to mamas finished theirs in a blink
The other two kittens smelled the antibiotics though and that was a set back. Then I thought about tona, which has a stronger smell than meat - and it worked. Now it is just six eevenings to go.
It takes two people thoug since some one has to keep the others away while the right cat eat the correct dosis of antibiotics.
Please keep your fingers crossed that it keeps working. This way I won't need to use force.
Yesterday one of the scared kittens walked all the way to my husband and put her paw on his hand to ask for more candy. later I could pet her when she was sleeping. She just opened her eyes and looked at me, closed them again and enjoyed.

If you want to see them; http://photos.yahoo.com/paulvansintjan
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