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Rescued Kitten -- Help, what do I do?

jesse's mommy
October 25th, 2005, 09:58 PM
Hi there. I'm a new member, but have read many posts in the past to help with questions I have with my 1 1/2 year old female pit/lab mix we rescued from the humane societ (very sweet, loves to give kisses!).

Anyway, I have a question because I'm known to constantly pull over on the side of the road and rescue animals from dogs, to chickens -- don't laugh at that one -- to my newest a kitten who has to be under a month old. Unfortunately because we have the active puppy we are not able to keep the kitty, though she is the sweetest thing. She is very thin, but eating on her own and has been eating since I got her. Her stool is now normal and everything seems fine. My questions basically have to do with the fact that she is a stray. We have found a non-kill sanctuary to take her for adoption, but we have to wait two weeks, which is fine. We set up the spare bathroom for her with a bed, blankie, food, water, toys and a litter box while we aren't here or need a few minute break from the puppy's amazement with this little creature. I have never owned a cat in my life so this is completely new to me. We are not going to take her to the vet and spend the money on shots since we aren't keeping her and know the sanctuary will take care of them. I've bathed her and sprayed her with a kitten safe flea formula and also have cleaned her ears. Is there anything else I should be looking for? Her ears were just dirty, no mites. As I said before she is very thin -- you can feel her ribs and her bones in her legs, but she does have a little belly on her (could be because she has been eating regularly the past two days). Her stool seems fine and doesn't look like it has any worms or anything in it. The only thing I did notice is that she has some black spots around her anus. Not fleas or worms, just spots. It's rather weird. So to the naked eye she seems fine, but again I know nothing about cats. I just want to know if there is anything I should be looking for and I also want to make sure my puppy won't get any diseases. I really don't know where to start. Thank you so much!!!

Lucky Rescue
October 25th, 2005, 10:33 PM
The kitten probably has worms, which accounts for her emaciation yet having a potbelly.

In tiny kittens, a large infestation of worms can kill or at the very least rob her of the nutrients in her food. Two weeks is too long to wait to have her treated. Worm medications aren't expensive, and she needs them. I would take her to the vet now.

Your dog could catch the worms if he gets into the litterbox and has a snack there. Otherwise, there aren't many diseases communicable between cats and dogs.

I'd like to make a guess that by the end of the 2 weeks, you'll be wanting to keep her!;)

jesse's mommy
October 25th, 2005, 10:51 PM
Thanks so much for the info. I think I'm going to call around tomorrow and see if I can find a vet who is willing to split the costs of curing a stray. I really appreciate you helping me out.

doggirl
October 27th, 2005, 09:59 AM
If the kitten is 4 weeks old it may or may not eat enough to sustain itself, supplementation of milk replacer would be wise.

Vaccines should not be given til 6 or 7 weeks of age as they are generally useless until then.

I take it you live rurally? Do you know anyone who has horses? You could get a small dose of Strongid from them which would take care of most worms.

BTW...lots of people manage a dog and a cat...if you want to keep the kitten, go for it! It would leave that spot at the rescue for another homeless orphan... :)

doggirl
October 27th, 2005, 10:01 AM
BTW, kittens this age can crash quickly, esp if it's thin. You might want to try your best to get some weight on it and just do some supportive care on it to build up it's reserves. A heating pad covered with a towel on a low setting would be a good idea too. Good luck.

jesse's mommy
October 27th, 2005, 03:07 PM
Good News (and bad news) about the kitty. First the bad news, we won't be keeping her :sad: . Being that my fiance and I live together, it is a joint decision and he says one of the three of us have to go (Me, the dog, or the kitty). I asked him again this morning if he wanted to keep her and he said no. I have to respect this because it is a joint relationship and there are times that he does give in to my temper tantrums when I absolutely want something or put my foot down about things so I do need to respect that -- give a little, take a little.

Now the good news, kitty is going to the vet tomorrow for her checkup, shots, etc. The non-kill facility we are working with is actually going to pick up the entire cost of the visit. They are happy that there are people out there that are willing to stop and rescue animals instead of letting them run on the side of the road. Provided everything is allright with the kitty immediately, they have a home for her. If her health isn't up to par, we need to keep her and "nurse" her back before we can adopt her out. So I guess we are fostering her for now. I let you know how her visit to the doctor goes tomorrow. Thanks for all the advice.

She's been eating very well and making regular visits to the litter box (she adjusted to that immediately -- too bad the dog wasn't that easy). She is very rested and relaxed and has started playing with the little toys we have for her -- so basically her energy level is really picking up. I think she is in love with my dog, or thinks she is the mommy because she is always going up to her to be cleaned and rolls over so her entire body is cleaned and my dog is more than happy to do it -- remember she is the tongue on four legs. So I'm happy to say it seems to be working out rather well. I just think it's going to be a bit hard for me to let her go. I hope my fiance is ready for that!

CyberKitten
October 27th, 2005, 03:15 PM
She must be at keast 4 wks if she is going to the litter box and eating well - that's good news!! Is she getting KMR in addition to her food? Kittens love to play and it's great the dog likes her. Remember to keep her warm and she will need her vaccinations as soon as she weighs enough and is better. (usually by 6 weeks but if she is not feeling well, that's different.)

I am so glad you rescued her. Bravo for you! I hope your bf relents - it will be tough for you to relinquish her but if s agood home is found, that will be great for her too. (tho I know tough for you!)

doggirl
October 28th, 2005, 02:54 PM
Has this rescue group seen this kitten? You better get an age estimate from someone there, or the vet - 4 weeks is WAY too young for vaccines, 6 weeks is bare minimum, I go for 7 weeks minimum. They won't protect kitten, the maternal antibodies interfere at this age.

jesse's mommy
October 28th, 2005, 06:06 PM
Well we went to the vet today and the vet is giving kitty a clean bill of health and is ready to be adopted. Because she is thin she looks younger than she is, but the vet is estimating her at three months and here's another, she is actually a he (I missed that one, I didn't see it!). The facility that we are working with has found kitty a home and he will be meeting his new family on Sunday! We are very excited to know that things have gone so well with this rescue. I love happy endings!

CyberKitten
October 28th, 2005, 07:14 PM
How wonderful he has a home already!!

jesse's mommy
October 30th, 2005, 03:36 PM
Just got the call, we are taking kitty over to his new home in about 1/2 hour! I'm so happy we found him a good home so fast! Yeah!