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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Southeastern Wisconsin
Home country: USA
Current location: Waukesha County/Greater Milwaukee area
Member since: Fri Nov 19, 2004, 06:59 PM
Number of posts: 14,329

About Me

A Democrat living in a Republican stronghold.

Journal Archives

what I learned about "kitty-colds"

My foster kittens had sore eyes (red and crusty, with the third eyelid showing) and sneezy noses, and the shelter had me treat them with antibiotic ointments and oral medications. I understand that it helps kittens get over these things, even though they are viral and an antibiotic doesn't treat viruses. It may lessen the illness or shorten it in a kitten. They were still sick for five weeks, though, so maybe it didn't shorten anything, just prevented it from being more serious. The last eyedrop we finally tried was an anti-viral and that seems to be what cleared it up.

A few weeks into this, my adult cat caught it and he, too developed sore eyes, and later a little sneezing and coughing. I treated him with some of the same antibiotic ointments and he still had the sore eyes after two weeks. So we paid a visit to the vet today. He has been lower in energy than usual, sleeping on my lap more and playing less, but still eating and otherwise normal.

Well, the vet said that since it is a virus we just need to wait it out. It can take several weeks, unlike one of our human colds that usually lasts ten days or so. So not to worry, his temperature was normal and no secondary infection. If he does get worse and stops eating, then that would be time to try an antibiotic because then it would be very likely that there was a secondary infection.

So now I know that if a healthy young adult cat gets one of these things, but still is eating and acting more or less normal, that you really don't need to do anything but wait it out. It's different than for a young kitten, and different from a human cold which doesn't last that long. I asked her how long it should last and she said, "As long as it takes."

She also said there is little you can do to prevent the germs going everywhere, and that it is "in the air". Maybe a strict quarantine in one room would have prevented it. But my kitty loves kittens and plays with them like he is one of their brothers, wrestling and napping with them-- it's easy to see how he got sick! I didn't know eye infections were that contagious.

I'm hoping this information will save some of you a needless trip to the vet! Next time I will know to do differently.

Here's Eddie with one of "his" kittens:

August Fosters

This is the third litter I've fostered this season: I got them just over a week ago, and they are about six weeks old now, and are on their own with no mom. These guys are living in my laundry room and half of the kitchen; when I have younger kittens, I like to have them close at hand, not upstairs in the guest room. There are two black and two tabbies:

Front left is Ladybug, front right is Rosa. Bindi is in the back. She's the most vocal--looks at me and gives a silent meow.

Ross, the only male.

Bindi. I can tell them apart because Ladybug's got a smaller face with little bug eyes, and lots more spots on her belly.

Needless to say, lots of fun and games with four! They are all super friendly and sweet, not shy like the last litter. Makes such a difference.

June fosters, 3rd week: saying bye-bye

My four formerly-semi-feral foster kittens are going back to the shelter tomorrow to get ready to find their new homes. In 15 days they have learned to be much more comfortable with humans. But they still startle easily and are happier to be around us if we are sitting down: hey don't like to be picked up and carried to who-knows-where!

When I sit on the floor, three out of the four will happily climb into my lap and the other one will stay when put there, as long as I pet him until he relaxes and purrs (this is Ziggy I'm talking about, the black one) . Then the other three will hear the purring and climb up too and make a purring heap of kitten love.

They will make good pets as long as their new people are patient and make friends slowly and carefully. Once more, here are Tabitha, Ziggy, Dickens and Jordie.

One more picture

I thought Tabitha's belly spots were really something to see--

June fosters, 2nd week

(I name my foster groups according to the month I got them.)

Yesterday I took them in for their distemper boosters, routine de-worming, weigh-in and fecal analysis. All clear! Which means I can start letting them roam around the house for part of the day. They are all at weight for surgery, so we have them scheduled to go back to the shelter on July 8th, and surgery the next morning. Just one more week to socialize these guys!

Following that breakthrough day (see my journal) they have been happy to climb on me and play with me and purr whenever I get down on the floor with them. I sit there and they climb up my back or onto my lap. Very good progress! The only thing I'd still like to accomplish is to have them not be so skittish when I am walking around the room. They also need to get used to other humans...but knowing one is a very good start. At least they are docile when picked up by strangers at the shelter. Just have to get in a few hisses first.

Here are today's pictures of Dickens (grey), Ziggy (black), Jordie (orange) and Tabitha (brown tabby): they are on an old IKEA sheepskin that they absolutely love! It's machine-washable and I've used it for lots of fosters.

a breakthrough this afternoon!

I have been feeding and caring for these guys for almost a week now. Today I laid down on the floor in their room, and started talking to and petting Ziggy, the black one. He had been the most fearful, hissy and hiding one.

Well he started to purr!! Pretty soon he was snuggling up to me and purring, sniffing my hair, trying to get close. This is the first time any of them have approached me--best I had done before is that they allowed me to pet them at arm's length, or let me pet them on my lap once I had picked them up.

Soon all four were on me as though I were a mama cat--snuggling, purring, climbing on me,playing with me! I could hardly believe it. I think what was key is that I was lying down and they were able to get right near my face and alongside my body. They started rooting around on each other's fur looking to nurse, while purring, and then I knew I was in--I had become Mama cat.

They may forget and be afraid again, but I know this is a big step forward. The first time they wanted to come close to me and enjoy being petted, scratched and loved. The look of contentment on their faces was just priceless. That's why I do this.

New fosters!

I picked up four kittens on Monday. They are eight weeks old but are "under-social", meaning that they need to get more used to people. They were also underfed and spent a week at the shelter just being fed and monitored. From this I surmise that they were born to a feral mom and got abandoned at six weeks or so when she could not feed them anything other than her milk. There was a fifth sib who died two days after being rescued.

To make it worse they all came down with colds on the day I picked them up, so they have been sneezy and stuffy. I had to spoon feed one yesterday (they won't eat what they can't smell on their own) but today he ate from the dish. I have a humidifier going in the room and they are on an antibiotic.

They will run and hide and hiss at me when I want to pick them up, but once I do, they are calm in my lap. So I have hope that they will come around in a few more days. They are okay with me sitting in the room while they play--just don't approach me or want me to pick them up.

Every batch of fosters seems to give me new challenges to learn to handle! I suppose that keeps it from being boring...

They are very cute, an assorted 4-pack of an orange, gray, tabby and black. In these pictures, you can see sore eyes and noses from their colds, but they are on the mend! The brown tabby is a female and the rest are male.



Jordie (orange) and Dickens (grey)


Lacey's kittens: "Graduation Day"!

On Wednesday the kittens and their mom went back to the shelter, where I assume they had their surgery on Thursday. Soon they will be made available on the adoption floor if all goes well. Lacey had started to go into heat for the second time, and that was no fun for us or for her, so I felt it would not be good to delay her return. And the kittens "made weight", that is to say, weighed in at over two pounds which qualified them for surgery. Maui was 2 lb., 1 oz., and Kona was 2 lb., 10 oz. and they were almost nine weeks old. They are nine weeks old today, in fact, and are getting ready to begin their new lives. The kittens will be housed in the same cage, but separated from their mom.

Kittens have been coming in at the shelter by twos and threes and getting adopted quickly, so it looks good for these two. They are little sweeties. It seems a little quiet and empty around our house, but my cats are happier. Soon enough we'll probably get an offer to foster some more. If you want to try to see the listings for these two you can go to http://www.ebhs.org/index.php/adopt-2/cats, and look for them. But sometimes kittens barely make it onto the website before being adopted (okay black ones might take a few days longer). I'll update you if they are. They might be available by tomorrow or Sunday. Adult cats are often ready by the next day after their spay/neuter surgery, which would be today.

Here are some "graduation" portraits:

Lacey's kittens: eight weeks old!

Hi again,
This is Maui the tabby and Kona the black kitten and we are feeling pretty grown up. We were born eight weeks ago! We still have our mama with us and we even still nurse sometimes, but just for comfort. This week we finally started to learn to eat dry kibble--although still with water on it. Some kitties take to it, but we are taking our time. Canned food is so good!

During the day we have the run of the upstairs, and Mama watches out for us. Lots of new things to play with and do. We have this cool cat tunnel, and a new box with mouse holes cut into it. We can climb and jump better than ever! Here are some pictures of what we've been doing this week:

Playing in the cat tunnel

The new box: Kona says, "I'm queen of the, er, box!"

Wrestling! "No fair," says Maui, "You weigh 9 ounces more than me!"

Maui says, "Don't I look just like Mama? I'm small framed like her, too."

We likes our naptimes!

Playing on the big bed is fun, too.

We make Mama SO tired!

Lacey's kittens: seven weeks old!

Hi everybody! Our foster mom had to go out of town for a few days, but she's back and ready to help us do this post. We are seven weeks old now! Yay! We have so much energy and can do so many things, that she can hardly get us to hold still long enough to get a picture in focus. We are eating cat food very well now--the wet stuff anyway--and have taken to sharing one dish with Mama. We can eat as fast as she does now! We aren't nursing very much--we aren't babies any more. We are allowed to run around the whole upstairs of the house because we are perfectly housebroken, so we play under and on top of the big beds and explore everywhere. We can't go downstairs though, because then Mama would fight with our foster mom's regular cats. Oh well. We have a great room of our own full of toys and comfy beds. Here are a few pictures to show how our week went:

This is me, Kona.

This is me, Maui.

This is us having lunch with Mama.

Playing with a ball.

This is the carrier that we go in to visit the vet at the shelter. We got our distemper boosters this week and Kona got an antibiotic prescription for her little rattle in her chest, left over from the virus we all had back when we were little. The shelter has new people and funny smells, but we were not so scared on this second trip. Here I, Kona am tasting the bars.

Cat grass!

I'm ready for ya!

Getting tired; time for a little bath.

We get to use this cozy heated cat bed when we want to sleep just by ourselves.

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