I never get tired of standing on this particular soapbox.
Cats need to be indoors.
Even thirty years ago, when there really was what we used to call “country” and the nearest paved road was twenty miles away, male cats roamed ten or more miles to impregnate female cats and to fight with other males, designating the entire area “their” territory.
Even thirty years ago Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) was known to be transmitted widely by these traveling Romeos.
In 2009, outside of the far western United States there are virtually no places where homes are twenty miles apart, so the risk of a neighbor cat transmitting disease to your cat is extremely high.
In fact, as rural gave way to suburban, then urban, most homes are now mere feet from each other.
A diseased cat doesn’t have far to travel to share his doom.
Feline Leukemia Virus is no longer the only deadly retrovirus on the block. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is another killer Romeo is happy to share. That is, if he is able before he dies. You see, neither FeLV nor FIV can be cured.
Then, of course, there are automobiles to contend with, that mean neighbor kid who got a pellet gun for his birthday, and the Animal Control Officer.
Prissy is a kitty who was used to coming and going when she wanted to. In and out. In and out. That is, until today.
Today she’s a kitty who came to see me with a fever of 105.2, a huge wound in her right mammary (breast) tissue that was red, hot, ugly, draining pus and had a gaping hole in the middle.
We suspect that Prissy had been in a fight with another cat (the best way to transmit Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) and got this horribly infected wound that way. We gave her a sedative and medicine to ease her pain, drew a blood sample to test her for FeLV and FIV and began to clean and irrigate her wound with a surgical solution. Prissy needed an injection to bring down that high fever, and a dose of Convenia long-acting antibiotic to control the infection.
Fortunately, Prissy’s FeLV and FIV tests came out negative. This time. She will need a repeat test in two months before she’s pronounced “clear”.
Perhaps the best news of the day came from Prissy’s “mom”. She pronounced, “She just needs to become an indoor cat all the time.”
My job gets so much easier when our clients do the work for me!