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Old 12-04-2013, 11:18 AM
 
35 posts, read 27,831 times
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Hi everyone!

We have a backyard, and although Leo is primarily an indoor cat, he begs to go out into our (fenced) backyard occasionally. So, I put a collar and ID tag on him, and sometimes let him out for fresh air.

Leo is allergic to some vaccines, including the Feline Leukemia vaccine. So he is not vaccinated for it. Last night I let him out into the yard very briefly and when I went to get him a few minutes later I found him cornered by another cat that I don't know or have never seen. The other cat had gotten into our yard, and had poor Leo backed into a corner. They were growling at each other, and when I got Leo inside I realized his (easy release) collar was missing, and he looked disheveled. He was also in a very bad cat mood! Not himself. I think he may have gotten into a fight with that other cat. I don't see any puncture wounds, but with all his fur, how would I know?

I'm just concerned because he is not feline leukemia vaccinated. What are the chances that this cat has it and could have passed it to Leo? She he get checked out by the vet? And if so, how long does it take to detect?

thanks in advance.
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 11,323,049 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nueva View Post
Hi everyone!



I'm just concerned because he is not feline leukemia vaccinated. What are the chances that this cat has it and could have passed it to Leo? She he get checked out by the vet? And if so, how long does it take to detect?

thanks in advance.
It's impossible to say. This is why it's no longer recommended to leave cats outside unattended. Google cat enclosures for your yard. They're not all expensive and are easily made by any handyman or teenage boy.
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
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How did the other cat behave when you appeared? Any signs of its being feral?
I strongly suggest having Leo examined by a vet. Only by paying close attention to Seteria as I petted her a couple of Friday nights ago did I discover a wound on her right flank. And she's short-haired! Her fur served to conceal it from being seen from a distance regardless. There's no telling how long she'd had it or what had bitten her. (An abcess had developed, causing her skin to swell in an area about the size of a dime in diameter.) Luckily she was fully vaccinated AND responsive to treatment. The cost to have her checked out, given antibiotics and a rabies booster, and to have the wound aspirated only came to about $80. And you know what they say about the worth of peace of mind.
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:16 PM
 
35 posts, read 27,831 times
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Originally Posted by goyguy View Post
How did the other cat behave when you appeared? Any signs of its being feral?
I strongly suggest having Leo examined by a vet. Only by paying close attention to Seteria as I petted her a couple of Friday nights ago did I discover a wound on her right flank. And she's short-haired! Her fur served to conceal it from being seen from a distance regardless. There's no telling how long she'd had it or what had bitten her. (An abcess had developed, causing her skin to swell in an area about the size of a dime in diameter.) Luckily she was fully vaccinated AND responsive to treatment. The cost to have her checked out, given antibiotics and a rabies booster, and to have the wound aspirated only came to about $80. And you know what they say about the worth of peace of mind.
The other cat was hyper focused on Leo, growling and pretty nasty. He took a swipe at me when I attempted to shoo him from the yard but missed me. I'm not sure if he's feral/stray, there was no collar but it looked fed/healthy.

You make a good point about not knowing or seeing a wound. Leo is quite fluffy and furry so a wound could be beneath all that fur. I think I will err on the side of caution and bring him. Thanks for the advice! I hope your Seteria is better now!
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:17 PM
 
35 posts, read 27,831 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by =^..^= View Post
It's impossible to say. This is why it's no longer recommended to leave cats outside unattended. Google cat enclosures for your yard. They're not all expensive and are easily made by any handyman or teenage boy.
I'll denitely look into the cat enclosures. It would do great for our peace of mind and his safety! thanks!!
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
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A feral feline would waste no time putting distance between itself and you. So on that score, at least, you can breathe easy.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:25 AM
 
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Exposure to Feline Leukemia (FeLV) or Feline Aids (FIV) can take as long as 3 months to show up on a blood test. Keep him inside and wait the three months then have him tested. FIV requires deep bite wounds to spread. FeLV only requires direct contact but chances are even if he was exposed to the disease his body is healthy and strong enough to fight it off.

I have read that cats do develop a natural immunity to FeLV as they get older. Not something I would rely on for a predominately outdoor cat, but I don't believe in letting cats roam anyway.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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If you think there was any chance at all that your cat was bitten, I'd bring him in for a thorough physical exam by a vet. He could have an injury that may develop into an abcess.

I didn't know that exposure could take three months to appear, but ITA with cats mom in waiting to get any bloodwork done (unless, of course, your vet thinks he has an infection or other medical condition).
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:57 AM
 
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That brings back memories--our cats were always outside during the daytime in summer when I was a kid, and sometimes they'd get into fights with other cats. I remember once one of the cats got bitten and developed an abscess, and the vet told us that since a cat's skin closes up almost immediately after a bite, germs are trapped inside the closed wound and will create an abscess. So abscesses following cat fights seem to be quite common. Our kitty was okay, and I'm sure yours will be, too, but do drop by the vet's office, just to be on the safe side.
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Waiting for a streetcar
1,137 posts, read 1,136,815 times
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Chances that a random neighborhood cat would have feleuk would be very small indeed. Chances that it could be transmitted during a typical backyard encounter are close to zero. We lost a cat to feleuk in the days before the vaccine. Had the two other cats retested, but they were clean, even after having shared food, water, toys, nap places, and litter boxes for about a decade.

As noted above, it is abcesses that are the major risk from cat fights and spats. Most abcesses are easily resolved, but some become well-established. It's important in those cases to keep up treatment even once the original infection site seems clear. Escapee bugs wandering around inside your cat looking to form a new colony somewhere are something you definitely don't want.

The idea of outside cats is statistically not a good one anywhere, but plainly some environments are better suited to it than others. It's a local call. Where we are, neighborhood cats, plus hawks, foxes, deer, and an occasional coyote at nightfall are issues. On nice days (the cats themselves are not good judges of this) they can go out into the substantial and well-fenced back yard for an hour or so with adult supervision. It's kind of like taking pre-schoolers to the swimming pool. They have a great time, but somebody needs to be keeping an eye on them. On the other hand, we had a stray who was an outside cat when he enlisted and remained outside whenever he wanted to be for the rest of his 17 years.

Last edited by fairlaker; 12-06-2013 at 09:18 AM..
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