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There is always something going on in a multi-cat household. Erm 9... cats and counting...... Plus stories from the Sheffield Cats Shelter

Friday, 26 July 2013

Room with a view

We decided it was time for the kittens to leave the small upstairs room and move into the official 'Cat Room'. It's a much bigger room with glass doors onto the outside world and a big window overlooking the garden.  Definitely a room with a view.

two tortie kittens playing in a paper bag
Millie and Willow playing in a paper bag

We still brought them into the living room too, so they could play on the cat tree.  It allowed them playtime and gave the other cats chance to familiarise under our watchful eye.

Things seemed to be going ok.  Then a few days later I went into the room and Millie had one eye partially closed. It also looked a little swollen underneath. 

tortie kitten
Millie with a sore eye

My thoughts were that maybe Willow had caught her with a claw when they were playing, I decided to monitor it for the day.  The following morning the eye was slightly more open, but you could see it looked darker than normal and just not right, so I made an appointment with the vet.

On Wednesday 10th July my Mum and Daughter took her as I had to work.  The eye was checked with the use of dye to highlight any scratches or foreign bodies.  There was nothing obvious and she came home with some cream.

I don't know if it was a natural progression of the problem or the cream, but the eye seemed to get worse and took on a very cloudy appearance.  Millie continued to eat but didn't play, she found places out of the way to curl up in.  Not a hint of spirit or the usual 'tortietude' When we returned to the Vet three days later I doubted Millie still had her vision in that eye.  As you can see from the photo below, it was also very red and sore looking around the edges.

This time I was able to take her myself, it was Friday the 12th.  The same vet examined her and decided that it could be a number of things and blood tests were needed.  She advised it could be FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus), FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) or Toxoplasmosis.  I asked about the seriousness of these and if they could affect my other cats.

The response was unexpected.  The vet was very abrupt.  In her opinion the damage would already have been done to my other cats.  Any virus would have travelled right through the household.  I was told it was likely that the kittens would need to be found new homes.

Millie went with the vet so that blood could be taken. My Daughter and I were in tears.  These little girls were part of our family.  We were asked to wait in the reception area for the in house results for FIV and FeLV.  It was an agonising wait. When I mention this to people they are appalled that we were asked to go back to reception in a clearly upset state.  I didn't consider it at the time, I love my furbabies and if that make me cry for them I don't care who sees it.

A short time later we were informed that the tests for FeLV & FIV were negative.  The final tests needed to be completed in an external lab.  I was told that the prognosis was not good, that it was pointless to split the kittens as the damage would already have been done. More worrying I was told I had put all my cats at risk. I was shocked by the blunt tone of the vet, she had no bedside manner at all.  I came out thinking all my cats could die.

I was told to call for the results of the lab tests on Monday.  We brought home steroid based eye drops and some painkillers.

Tortie kitten in a basket
Millie in the middle of a bath

That weekend was horrible.  At times I held the kittens close and sobbed.  I researched as much as I could about FIP and Toxoplasmosis. On the upside the painkillers really helped and Millie was back to her old self, playing, coming for cuddles and purring loudly.  There was even the hint of a little tortietude creeping back in. But in the back of my mind all I could think about was a killer disease wiping out my whole cat family.  The kittens were confined the their garden room, no longer able to play on the tree.  All we could do was administer medication and wait.


  1. If there is another vet living near you could try them - your current vet seems to be not at all caring and makes me wonder how the animals taken there are treated.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

  2. OMG.. seriously? I would be firing that vet pronto! What a... grrrr..