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How long to quarantine?

James Gryphon
September 24th, 2011, 06:42 AM
So about a week ago, I'm lying in bed one night. My cat -- five years old, female -- is cuddled up with me, left side. I reach out to rub her and feel something gooey -- which is strange, but as it's late, and pitch-black, I think little of it and assume all is well.

This misguided hope was dashed the following day when someone noticed her eyes were draining liquid -- vet time.

We easily load her into the carrier (which proves she's sick -- she normally never goes without a fight) and go off. Three or so hours later we return with some Baytril 68 mg tablets and teramycin eye ointment. Since the virus is contagious to cats, and we have another one, we lock her up in my room with a litter box, food and water. I figured this would work since she likes me best and I can be there with her at least eight hours a day. ;)

Excepting one brief escape, this has largely worked well. However, when I'm out of the room, she tends to get upset, and maybe a little stir-crazy. My formerly-pristine carpet under the door has been torn to shreds as a result of her trying to claw her way out. When I come back in, she responds as though I've been gone for a month.

Since we didn't think to ask the vet, I'm wondering how long we should wait before letting her out. I don't want to keep her stuck in here too much longer, 'cuz it's driving all of us crazy, but I don't want to endanger the other cat either.

In case it matters, the other cat is probably about 3, a stray we rescued, with definite Bombay traits and appearance. They tolerate each other; occasionally they'll play at chasing each other around and fighting, but nothing chummier than that.

Finally, one insignificant question -- since the quarantine, the other cat has become unusually affectionate, and even jumped up in my lap earlier -- something she has done before, but not nearly as often as the ill cat. I remembered reading an article about how, when a cat is deceased, other cats will begin to occupy that cat's territory. I'm curious if this is just a coincidence, or if black cat is trying to make a land grab while its greater rival is gone. ;)

September 24th, 2011, 10:04 AM
Since the virus is contagious to cats, and we have another one, we lock her up in my room with a litter box, food and water.

Did the vet say what virus they think it is? Herpes? Calicivirus? Any other symptoms besides runny eyes?

My opinion, for what it's worth, is that your other cat has probably already been exposed to the virus but her immune system was able to ward it off. And if it's the herpes virus, she will continue to be exposed to it as your other cat will continue to shed it throughout her life. I'd be less inclined to keep them separate because stress is actually a known factor in the development of symptoms. A better idea would be to keep the immune systems of both cats in top form, with the best food you can feed them (quality canned or raw - no dry), minimal vaccinations, extra-clean litter boxes, and as little stress as possible. Instead of getting antibiotics every time there's a flare-up (cause antibiotics are useless against viruses, they'll only help if a secondary infection occurs), supplement their food with L-lysine powder (up to 500mg twice a day).