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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a volunteer at a animal rescue/shelter association and I am seriously considering adopting one of the adult cats.

The thing is: we have already two cats at home and I want to make sure the other cat (let's call him Sylvester since I have chosen this name for him :001_smile: ) is not sick or has anything that could be harmful to my other cats.

I do not know anything about Sylvester's past. He seems fairly healthy. His eyes are clear, his stools look okay, but we can never know since he is sharing litter boxes with other 24 cats...

What tests should I ask our vet to do to him? What other important health checks should be made? I do not know if he has ever been inoculated before, so is the process the same as kittens, will he have to take a few initial inoculations doses before his yearly?

What else do you recommend that I might be missing out?

Thanks in advance and sorry if I am posting this in the wrong place, I was not sure where else to post it. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello!

Thank you both for your replies. :)

No, we don't have pet insurance. It's all sponsored by us.

I am literally writing down all you say so I can make a list of what we need and plan around it. :)

About the tests for Felv and FIV, will we be able to know the results immediately or does he have to overnight at the vet?
 

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Hello!

Thank you both for your replies. :)

No, we don't have pet insurance. It's all sponsored by us.

I am literally writing down all you say so I can make a list of what we need and plan around it. :)

About the tests for Felv and FIV, will we be able to know the results immediately or does he have to overnight at the vet?
The blood tests will be done at the vets in your presence and sent off to determine the results. No need for an overnight stay :)
 

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Do you know his age? (Roughly) is he a breed of any type?

I cannot recommend insurance highly enough - I spent over £5k in 6 months on test for my last lad (sadly he died) and even with Bibi, in her first year she has had conjunctivitis (twice), vet found a heart murmur, and had a dental (all over £1500) - despite a supposed clean bill of health from the rescue I got her from!

Of course, photos are a must:D:D
 

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Agree with everyone else, a thorough check including ears, heart and bloods.
If he is a bit feisty you may have a vet that will want to sedate him for the bloods, so if you think anything else might be needed it is worth getting it done while he is sedated.

We had the FIV etc. done at the same time as Xrays to check for spinal problems as we took in a boy with no tail, so everything that needed doing was done at that time.

If you don't know his background it would be worth asking the vet about the vaccinations, he may have been done recently and there isn't a way of finding out, so not sure how it works if he gets another lot before the first ones have expired.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi everyone!

Thanks for all your replies :)

I doubt he took any vaccinations recently, because his previous "owner" was not a very caring one...

I think he is at least 5 years old. He looks fairly well, but I want him thoroughly checked before bringing him home. I am looking into the insurance option, (that was a great idea, thanks ella!) because even if he is healthy, I sense that all these tests are costly.

He is not feisty, he seems to have a very relaxed personality. He arrived very stressed at the shelter (his former "owner" brought him wrapped in a box and almost asphyxiated...), but he has settled in and seems to have adapted pretty fast. And this made me love him more, because he has such a nice temper and heart considering what he went through.

Is it okay to take him home without knowing the tests results? Is it safe enough to keep him in a separate room from the other cats? The room is carpeted, so more difficult to clean thoroughly, is that alright? (sorry, I am being paranoid :rolleyes::)

And now photos!:D

Sylvester:
 

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Before you pay for a vet to do those checks and vaccs on him, check that the shelter hasn't already done so! Many shelters will vaccinate for FIV, FeLV etc as standard :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the suggestion izzy, I will check with the shelter lady. :)

In any case, I asked for a quote at a local pet insurance and I am just waiting for their reply in order to send my application. They seem to be around for awhile and they also seem to have a good feedback from customers, so I am giving them a go.

I found a musician that has made quite a lot of music including music for pets. It has been proved that it can have a calming and relaxing effect on animals. So, I am going to play it tomorrow at the shelter while I clean and spend time with the cats. I think it might help them heal.

If anyone wants to check it out, here is a link to listen to the melodies for free:

CAT DREAMS Vol. 1 | pets love music

there is also a vol 2 as well as albums for dogs and horses. I found this very interesting and the music very relaxing, so I thought of sharing with everyone.

Thanks all for your advice, I can't wait to bring Sylvester home! I will keep you posted.
 

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Hi Aum

Personally I would not just go ahead and have a cat vaccinated when I did not know its history. Over-vaccination should be avoided for the sake of the cat's health.

So I would ask the vet to do an antibodies blood test for FIV, FELV, Herpes, FIP etc. If the antibodies are high then there is no need for vaccinations.

Even if Sylvester were to show up positive for any of the cat viruses it should not necessarily rule him out as an adoptee. if your own cats have all been vaccinated then they will not be at risk of catching anything from him. Though I appreciate there are some diseases than cannot be vaccinated against.

Here is some useful information from the Feline Advisory Bureau (FAB) about vaccinating cats.

Vaccinating your cat

What I would be much more concerned about in adopting a cat who has been in a crowded Shelter where multiple cats (with all sorts of health issues) share litter trays would be that the cat might have caught something infectious like Giardia, Campylobacter or Toxoplasmosis, whilst in the Shelter. Or could even have brought it in with him. Any of these could cause havoc amongst your own cats, and Giardia in particular is a nightmare to get rid of in the home. So I would want any potential adoptee I was considering tested for those. But you would need a stool sample -- impractical in the circumstances possibly?
 

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Is this shelter not in the UK? All rescue centres will vaccinate and neuter if the cat is old enough and most will check felv/fiv. If these aren't done, especially if the cats are mixing, then it's not a very good shelter. ;)
 

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My experience with UK shelters is they do not test for FELV, FIV etc unless there are symptoms that might suggest the cat has such a disease.

It would be far too expensive for most shelters to test every single cat that comes in on the off chance they may have something, when the cat appears to be healthy.

However, I think many (if not most) shelters vaccinate before re-homing, unless they have evidence the cat has been vaccinated in the past. As I say, this is not something I would want doing automatically with any cat I was thinking of adopting as the cat may already have good antibodies to a number of viruses, particularly if it is more than a few years old. And as FAB points out there are dangers in over-vaccinating. In fact they are now recommending vaccinating every 3 yrs in most cases, not annually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
No, this shelter is not in the UK. It is indeed very expensive for a non profit organization to perform these tests in all the cats. However, as soon as one of cats shows symptoms that something is wrong with him/her, he/she is thoroughly checked and tested by the local vet.

I spoke to the manager of the place and the lady said that the local vet will do every test we request. I was happy to hear this! I am going now to fill in an application to the pet insurance and then we will work from there.

Chillminx, you mentioned these infections: Giardia, Campylobacter or Toxoplasmosis. It is difficult to get his stools, since he shares the litter boxes with all the other cats. I can try and put him in one of the individual rooms for one day and collect the stools in the morning. Would this work or the stool has to be "fresh"? Is there any common symptoms, behavior or signals that can be noticed if these infections are present?

Thanks everyone :)
 

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Aum, I think it would be worth seeing if his stools appear normal. If you can do this by isolating him for 24 hours I would recommend it.

If he has loose stools or diarrhoea it would be advisable to get a sample tested. The fresher the sample the better. Remove it from the litter tray as soon as you can and place in a little container in the refrigerator until you are able to take it to the vet. Try and take it the same day.

As Labs generally do not do routine testing at weekends it's best to collect the sample early in the week (Monday to Wednesday) to give enough time for it to reach the lab, and get tested.

If his stools look formed and a normal colour, with no signs of blood, then I think you would be OK to assume he does not have a bacterial gut infection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Chillminx, sorry I just saw your both replies to this thread and to the raw food one. :eek:

I had a lucky moment on Friday morning :D. I could watch him go to the litter box. The stools seemed normal. Texture and color were normal and everything seemed clear. In any case, I will arrange with local vet and ask for a stool analysis just to be 100% sure.

I feel positive that he does not have any health issues and he will only need vaccinations and deworming, but even if he has any issues, we will want to help him and treat him. We really want to give him a loving home!

Thank you :)
 
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