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Topic: Longer tale, with more details of the disease and the circumstances...
Posted by: Louise Cole
Date/Time: 13/10/14 16:15:00

I will be very grateful if anyone can donate any amount of money through Golden Giving.† And I thank everyone in advance.† I will also post the outcome of the tests on the forum and when the kittens (and Mum) have found their permanent homes).

The Author Kittens
I am fundraising in order to try and raise the £500 needed to have (in photo clockwise from top left) Bronte, Dickens, Auden, Shakespeare (Billy) and Byron, the Author Kittens, tested to ensure that they do not have a potentially life threatening virus.† Not quite the Ebola of the cat world but these cute little souls cannot be rehomed until they have had what is known as an FIV PCR test to make sure they donít have Feline IV.† The risk is small but here is the story of why we need to test these little cuties:

These 5 and their exhausted mother were bought to HAWs attention when their ďownerĒ abandoned her when they moved house, she was heavily pregnant and they couldnít or wouldnít take her with them.† A kindly neighbour contacted the local rescue centres and cared for Mum until I freed up as a foster carer when the kittens were 4 weeks old and we were able to go and collect the brood and Mum.†

This lovable little lot have now become a prime example of why selfish, indiscriminate breeding of kittens for cash is so cruel.† For a start, this was the motherís 13th litter!!!† Thirteen!† Sheís still young but came to us having given nearly her all to her kittens.† And then, having got them all nearly over a stomach bug I became worried she wasnít recovering and started to deteriorate, so I rushed her into PetCare on Chiswick High Road, she was put on a drip and blood tested for FIV and FeLVÖ. And she turns out to be positive for FIV.

The Mum was being mated by whatever tom cats there were in the neighbourhood.† And all this breeding of kittens to sell for cash via newspapers and online, had lowered her immune system.† And the exposure to unneutered, fighting tomcats has put her life, and that of her kittens, at risk.

FIV is transmitted between cats through body fluid exchange (cats cannot pass it onto any other species, including humans), normally through the cats fighting but also from mating.† FIV is not as serious in cats as HIV in humans (and humans can't catch FIV!).† In fact, cats often live longer than non-FIV+ cats once they are diagnosed because they must only be kept indoors.† The condition can lie dormant for a long, long time before the catís white blood cells may start being destroyed.† Or they can get an infection and die quite quickly.† We donít know what will happen to Mum.† It looks like she is now recovering from her infection but she canít come back to her kittens and we will have to place her into an indoor only adoptive home.

It is quite rare for a mother cat to pass FIV onto their kittens, but not impossible.† However this means these little bundles of fun will have to wait to be rehomed as we canít responsibly and in good conscience assume they are clear and adopt them out.† If we test them with the same test as Mum, though, they probably will have the FIV antibodies in their blood from her milk so if we do a straight forward blood test as per the mother catís test, they are likely to come back with a false positive.†

Until recently there was nothing to do other than wait until they were 16 weeks old, test and retest any positives a few weeks after that.† But now, there is a test called an FIV PCR blood test which will test for the live virus in the kittens, not the antibodies, and tell us if they are all clear.†
But as with all special tests, itís not cheap - the cost is well over £100 per kitten.† And this cost is after the wonderful vets, James Bennett and Clare Lissman, at PetCare on Chiswick High Road have waived their fees and discounted the costs of the lab tests, but HAWS are very short on funds as they are just coming out of their busy time of year, rescuing kittens whilst most people are on summer holidays and therefore not adopting.† So I am trying to raise some or all of the money to test these 5 kittens so we can get them adopted out, knowing they are healthy, into loving homes as soon as possible.† We had a lot of interest in them from the website but have had to remove them until we know what their situation is.†

So the sooner we can pay for the tests, the sooner they can go back up for adoption - if any are positive they will be put into a home where they can go on to become indoor only cats, without knowing they are missing anything, and all that are negative can go with confidence to homes with access to the outdoors.

HAWs is a no-kill charity, meaning they never put a healthy cat (or one with a reasonable expectation of good quality of life) to sleep.† This means they are one of the leading cat rescue charities of choice for West London, therefore any funds donated in excess (she says hopefully!) of the £500 will go towards the vaccinating, chipping and other emergency treatment costs the other animals in their care.

Entire Thread
TopicDate PostedPosted By
Fundraising for special blood tests for my foster kittens...13/10/14 16:07:00 Louise Cole
   Re:Fundraising for special blood tests for my foster kittens...13/10/14 16:10:00 Louise Cole
      Longer tale, with more details of the disease and the circumstances...13/10/14 16:15:00 Louise Cole
         Re:Longer tale, with more details of the disease and the circumstances...13/10/14 16:23:00 Claire Moran
   Re:Fundraising for special blood tests for my foster kittens...13/10/14 21:41:00 Louise Cole
      Re:Re:Fundraising for special blood tests for my foster kittens...13/10/14 21:58:00 Claire Moran
   Great news....24/10/14 22:02:00 Louise Cole

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