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Cats And Human Going Though Chemo

Discussion in 'The Cat Lounge' started by rogue22912, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. rogue22912

    rogue22912 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Jul 13, 2015
    Mods feel free to move thread if this is not the right place.

    So my mom just got diagnosed with cancer and she owns a cat(Charlie). She is going to start chemo on monday. She is wondering if she can have Charlie around while she goes though chemo. If it is not possible I would take Charlie in while she goes though that but I have 5 cats of my own and I also live in another state and Charlie has only been around dogs never other cats so I wouldn't know what he would be like. So I guess what I am saying is it safe for Charlie to stay with my mom?
    raysmyheart and tarasgirl06 purraised this.

  2. margd

    margd Chula and Paul's roommate Veteran

    Feb 24, 2015
    Maryland USA
    I'm so sorry to hear about your mom having cancer. :hugs: Cancer runs in my family, too, so I know first hand how devastating it is to get this news.

    Your question about your mom keeping Charlie around while she goes through chemo is really an excellent one. There is no set rule but this article by The American Cancer Society should help you and your mother come to a decision.

    From the article:

    "If you have pets, tell your cancer care team about them and your routines for caring for them. You can find out what might not be safe during cancer treatment. It’s also a good idea to visit your pet’s veterinarian to find out what kinds of illness might be passed from your pet during times when your immune system is weak.

    One other important thing to think about: Make sure you have someone who can take care of your pets and their living quarters if you get too sick or have to be in the hospital. Keep written instructions for feeding, cleaning, medicines, toileting, and veterinary contacts ready if needed".

    Having read the article, it sounds like it's okay for chemo patients to keep pets who are current with their vaccinations and in good health. I'm sure your mom would be happier if Charlie was with her, which is a big point in favor of keeping him there. He would definitely be happier not having his life suddenly turn upside down.

    Here are a few of the guidelines the article mentions that are important to follow.

    She should keep a watch on Charlie for any symptoms of ill health, such as runny nose, cough, weight loss, vomiting, or diarrhea. Make sure he gets to the vet immediately.

    Ensure that Charlie's claws are kept trim to minimize the chances of accidental scratches. If your mom does get scratched, she should clean and cover the area until it's healed. In case of any signs of infection, or if the skin is broken, she should call her doctor immediately.

    Someone else should clean up his litter box and any vomit or other bodily waste that he leaves outside of it. (An aside: If she is alone with no one to help her, it may be okay to wear a mask and gloves but she'd have to run it past her team).

    She should wash her hands after touching him, or wear gloves.

    My feeling is that it's best to keep our loved, furry and four-legged family members with us, if at all possible. My sister spent several weeks in the hospital being treated for leukemia and longed to get home to be with her dog. When she got home, his loving goofy presence made a big difference in her mood and outlook. We often laugh about our pets being nurses for us when we're sick but there is a bit of truth to that!

    I wish the very best for your mom. :bouquet:

  3. AbbysMom

    AbbysMom At Abby's beck and call Staff Member Moderator

    May 18, 2005
    I don't have an answer, but good luck to your mother. :crossfingers: :hugs: to you as well. I know my SIL has had chemo before and she has three dogs and there were no issues.

  4. Draco

    Draco NOT Malfoy! Veteran

    Apr 26, 2011
    LawnGuyLand, NY
    @margd has made some excellent advice and suggestions- I have nothing to add. But many prayers to your mom and your family!
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  5. Kreatorcat

    Kreatorcat TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Jan 1, 2018
    Jack(my avitar)was my mom's constant companion during her chemotherapy. But he is by far the most gentle cat to have around. He camped out on her chest whenever she laid down in bed. That was 4 years ago or so,when he was 15...And at that time he was an indoor/outdoor cat.
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  6. di and bob

    di and bob TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 12, 2012
    Nebraska, USA
    Chemo patients can usually be around their own pets since their immune systems have adjusted to the animal's germs. etc. by being exposed to them for a while. That being said, the cat should not go outside to carry in any strange pathogens. It would be great to have someone come in to clean the litter box and any messes the cat may make, but if not a mask and gloves should be worn. Pets can give a lot of support and comfort during these trying times, and as long as they are up to date on vaccinations and are not appearing sick, everything should be OK. If in doubt ask your chemo team.
    I'm so sorry for your mom to be going through this, I'll keep her in my thoughts and prayers, a positive attitude is essential, and caring fro and loving for a pet can be a strong incentive to keep going!
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  7. tarasgirl06

    tarasgirl06 TCS Member Top Cat

    Sep 19, 2006
    Glendale, California
    IDK if this will be of any help, but Kate Benjamin, who owns hauspanther.com and shares life with many sweet and beloved cats, is currently undergoing chemo and writing a blog to share her experiences in hope it will help others. You may wish to contact her regarding this subject. Here is the link: Feline So Fine – Tips for living a healthy, vibrant life from one cool cat lady and my heartfelt *PRAYERS* for your mom, Charlie and your family.
    raysmyheart and rogue22912 purraised this.

  8. zed xyzed

    zed xyzed TCS Member Top Cat

    Nov 10, 2015
    Toronto Canada
    I too just wanted to say that I hope your mom is ok. I think that Charlie will be a source of comfort as your mom battles this. My thoughts are with your family
    raysmyheart, rogue22912 and tarasgirl06 purraised this.

  9. rogue22912

    rogue22912 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Jul 13, 2015
    Thank you all for the info I will let my mom know. An update on my mom she is going in for surgery today to remove two masses on is in her abdomen they think that one is cancer. The other masses is on her kidney so they have to remove her kidney when they remove the mass. They are going to biopsy the masses after they take them out; and then see what the course of action will be.:crossfingers::grouphug2:
    raysmyheart and tarasgirl06 purraised this.

  10. tarasgirl06

    tarasgirl06 TCS Member Top Cat

    Sep 19, 2006
    Glendale, California
    My heartfelt *PRAYERS* for her.
    raysmyheart and rogue22912 purraised this.

  11. Max's Human

    Max's Human MAX Alpha Cat

    Nov 25, 2017
    I too went through breast CANCER in 2010 and besides surgeries and hospital stays at the time I had 4 cats and 4 dogs! The dictor forbid walking the dogs so my nephew walked them and petsat till i

  12. Max's Human

    Max's Human MAX Alpha Cat

    Nov 25, 2017
    My Oncologists said it could be dangerous to be near pets if having Radiation but Chemo should not be a problem. Since I had surgeries I had my nephew take care of my 4 dogs and 4 cats while i ended up having almost a dozen surgeries. They were no worse for wear and CHEMO was my only treatment no one was in danger and I think they sensed my bad days, they would lay in bed like little nursemaids. Please take care and know you are iin my prayers ♡♡♡♡♡♡

  13. Caspers Human

    Caspers Human TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Feb 23, 2016
    Without going into a lot of detail, I have known a couple of people who took chemotherapy and they didn't have any problems being around pets.

    However, there were a few things to watch out for:

    1) Be careful around the litter box. You should probably have somebody else do that for a while.

    2) If you will be taking any meds via central line ( Central venous catheter - Wikipedia ) I would be careful about letting the cat be around the catheter or the injection port. Keep everything covered when the cat is near. If you will be injecting meds into your own catheter, at home, you should set up a "clean room" where the cat is not allowed to go. Use a spare bathroom or something like that and keep the cat out of that room at all times.
    raysmyheart and tarasgirl06 purraised this.

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