- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Contact with very sick kitty?

December 1st, 2005, 11:13 AM
This morning at 6:00 am, my neighbor called me and told me that her cat had broken her neck against a radiator. I picked her up with the intent on driving her to DVM. The cat was very skinny, very dehydrated, very very sick.

I drove instead to the SPCA. It was on its last breath. The SPCA says its highly likely that the kitty had panleukopenia and it was infested with fleas. They put the kitty to sleep. I'm not sure what her story is yet and will speak to her this evening when she returns home.


I have three healthy, indoor, vaccinated cats.
My contact with the sick kitty was minimal but I held the cat for about two minutes on my lap and petted her fur in my car as we drove to the SPCA which is about 5 minutes from my home. When I got home, I dropped my clothes in the hallway and jumped straight into the shower.

I'm so freaked out about having put my cats or my husband and I in dangerous through my contact with the sick kitty. Does anyone know how worried I should be about transferring fleas and panleukopenia or something more dangerous to my household? They didn't test the cat but made an educated guess. Could it have been something more contagious? Should I throw out my clothes? Should I wait for symptoms to appear? I'm so worried.

December 1st, 2005, 12:16 PM
I wouldn't worry, you didn't bring the cat into the house. If you used your own cat carrier, clean it thoroughly with a strong bleach solution then rinse many times.

More to the point, I would not think of replacing the poor dead kitty with one of your healthy homeless ones. Something's up with your neighbour.

December 1st, 2005, 12:53 PM
I'm worried that they didn't diagnose the sick kitty correctly and there is something more dangerous lurking in the car or on my clothes... Maybe i'm being super paranoid.

December 2nd, 2005, 10:54 AM
The neighbor isn't answering her phone!

OK. So I've since fumigated the car with flea spray and will be dumping salt all over the upholstery tonight and then taking it in for a shampoo tomorrow a.m. I made my husband, who drives the car, strip down to his underwear before coming into the house. ( He is sooooooooo p****ed!!) I don't want to transfer any fleas into my house in case they fell off the dying cat and into the car and then onto our clothes and into our house!

My vet told me to take normal precautions but I have one very stupid question (probably best answered by those who work in shelters that have been struck by panleukopenia):

I held the dying cat who probably had panleukopenia on my winter jacket. I intend on dry cleaning my jacket. But won't the virus survive the dry cleaning process? What if my cats rub against my jacket? If I hang my jacket in the closet after I dry clean it, will the closet be infested with panleukopenia?

December 2nd, 2005, 12:10 PM
I don't think the virus can survive dry cleaning- on top of the chemicals they use, don't they heat the clothes up too? You'd have to ask what their process is. As long as they heat the coat up to high temps, you should be ok.

December 2nd, 2005, 12:45 PM
I was just reading up on the virus and it's very hardy. It survives under heat, cold, and most chemicals.

On a good note, if your kitties have ever been vacinated to it, it is unlikely they will get sick, and if they do, it will be minor. So I wouldn't worry too much.

December 2nd, 2005, 03:35 PM
My cats are all vaccinated. Fortunately the sick kitty didnt come into my house. But it was in my car for over 5 minutes. I'm not sure how long it takes before the virus becomes present in the car. I mean, the SPCA has panleukopenia and they also deal with fleas. Don't the volunteers who work there transport anything home via their own clothes and shoes?

December 2nd, 2005, 03:38 PM

How Do Cats Become Infected With The FP Virus?


Infection occurs when cats come in contact with the blood, urine, fecal material, nasal secretions, and even fleas of infected cats. Pregnant females that contract the disease, even in its mildest form, may give birth to kittens with severe brain damage. In most cases, recovered cats do not transmit the infection.

A cat can become infected without ever coming in direct contact with an infected cat. Bedding, cages, food dishes and the hands or clothing of handlers may harbor and transmit the virus.

The FP virus is very stable and resistant to many disinfectants. It may remain infectious at room temperature for as long as one year.

So if this article is correct, then really as long as you didn't transfer fleas into the house on your clothing, and you washed up really good prior to touching any of your own kitties, you shouldn't have any trouble (given the measures you're taking - and I would do the same)

December 2nd, 2005, 03:45 PM
Panleukopenia is not an airborne virus so only items that the cat came in to contact with will be infected. 1/32 parts bleach is the most effective for Panleukopenia. Your cats are adult and vaccinated so it will not kill them where it would a small kitten. If you lightly mist your vehicle interior with the 1/32 it won't hurt the upholstery and carpet and will kill the virus. Have been through it twice now and this has worked best.

December 2nd, 2005, 03:50 PM
Catsnatcher,now to your neighbor,her poor cat broke his neck against a radiator:confused: full of fleas and infectious:confused:
I certainly hope she has no other animals:evil:
But thank you,for putting an end to this poor kittys suffering.

December 2nd, 2005, 04:09 PM
Thanks all,

I'm trying to ensure that fleas dont get transfered from my car to my house at this point.

I'm gonna vacuum it tonight and fumigate it again and then vacuum it again. Meanwhile our clothes are going straight from the front door to the laundry.
I'm not taking a single chance.

As for the neighbor,

She has 5 cats. I think she lied about the broken neck. I think the cat was dying and fell over when she reached for her coat. When I saw that cat i FREAKED! It was so sick, so skinny that I thought it was already dead. It had no weight whatsoever. I asked if it was vaccinated and she said no. So I don't think the rest of them are vaccinated. She said the cat was healthy and it clearly wasn't. The SPCA said it died a minute after we brought it in. She seemed not to know that the cat had fleas either and she said she had it for 5 weeks! Then again, she lied about the broken neck so who knows how long the cat has even been with her.

She's not answering her phone! I'm very mad at her for lying and at myself for being so gullible.

To top it all off, I'm such a germaphobe that I've been decontaminating everyting for the last 2 days. The whole place smells like bleach and fantastic and I've got nothing left to wear since every time we get into the car, the winter coats we wear go straight to the dry cleaners.

December 2nd, 2005, 04:20 PM
She's not answering her phone! I'm very mad at her for lying and at myself for being so gullible.

Don't be mad at yourself, you were only trying to help the poor kitty. Whether she was lying or not, the kitty needed help, and you were there. Now that you know about your neighbor, you can keep an eye on what is going on with her other cats.

December 2nd, 2005, 05:49 PM
If her other cats are in the same condition - remember they have been exposed to whatever the disease was - I'd report her to the SPCA.

December 2nd, 2005, 06:58 PM
I'm trying to reach her first and sorta skirt around the condition of her other cats. But she's not answering her calls and this is only the second time we've spoken.

I've fumigated my car. It's still not vacuumed since all "lave-auto"s are closed at this hour. But I've sprayed the car again with flea spray and dropped a bucket of salt all over the seats. Tomorrow, I'll take it to be vacuumed by pros and then spray with BMDLUVER's chlorine solution.

I'm not sure if there are any fleas in the car and from what I've read, they take ten days to hatch. But the suspense is KILLING me.

December 2nd, 2005, 10:27 PM
Aww, it really sucks that you are going through all this after trying to help...:( You're a great person for not doubting your neighbor and helping that kitty. You definitely don't deserve all this crap.:grouphug:

December 3rd, 2005, 07:19 AM
Thanks Prin,

I'm taking the car for a wash this a.m. and Max ain't going in the car for a long while.

My hubby and I have been itching like crazy since Thursday. Funny thing is the cats and Max are absolutely calm and unbothered.

Weve become quite paranoid.

December 3rd, 2005, 07:23 AM
If you go to a pet supply store before heading to get your vehicle detailed, pick up a can of Endalsec or Zodiac flea spray. Once the car is cleaned, give upholstery and carpets a spray. This product kills fleas on contact. I think with all you have done, that you will be hard pressed to contaminate anything further. :thumbs up

December 3rd, 2005, 07:34 AM
Thanks BMDLuver,

I've sprayed the car twice but have yet to vacuum it. Gonna spray it once more tonight after the vacuum and then, :fingerscr

I've also been keeping the windows open a bit because I read that flea eggs won't hatch under 4 degrees Celcius. Thank gawd for winter!

December 3rd, 2005, 07:54 AM
lol, I definitely think you have everything covered!

December 7th, 2005, 04:56 PM
6 days and no sign of fleas! I passed a lint brush (the sticky paper kind) on the car floor and no fleas were stuck to the paper. So I don't think any of 'em left the sick cat after all.

Thanks everyone for your help. If anything "springs up", I'll be sure to update in a fit of rage.