DESPERATE. 10 of 16 cats with Giardia - how the hell can I contain this?

Bratcat31

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I second Furballsmom Furballsmom . Sam's clubs around me have a HUGE bin of boxes right before you walk out the door. I have my parents grab me some every time they go. Absolutely any size is good for me. I just take a box cutter and cut it down to size. They also have a great price on some decent size and quality plates. I use these for all my fosters.

Another option is to ask on Nextdoor or Facebook. It's Christmas time, so lots of Amazon deliveries. I posted on Nextdoor because I had ran out of nursing boxes and had 5 FABULOUSLY sized boxes within a couple days. And those are tough to find because they need to be pretty big and sturdy.

Big thing on the cardboard boxes, tape down the flaps on the inside. Otherwise the inside flaps can cause annoyances when the cats use them. Probably not a big deal for a daily toss but mine often stay down for a few days.
 

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moxiewild

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That’s a great idea about Costco and Sam’s! We would have already gone by now if there was one near us. We would still like to go, it’s just SO hard to find the time to travel right now! Maybe I can try calling first to ensure it won’t be a wasted trip?

Nextdoor is also a REALLY good idea, and we have been debating over and over again about it because of Christmas.

But we have an HOA that technically has a pet limit of 2 that we are obviously majorly violating, so there’s an inherent and pretty steep risk. We’re trying to figure out a different excuse as to why we need them, because I know at some point someone will ask.

The boxes you received are exactly what we need, and we’ve been saving any we receive in the mail right now. We just cut off flaps with a box cutter 😆
 

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moxiewild moxiewild - just tell them you are collecting for a friend in Austin (or even San Antonio) who is fostering for APA!. Or tell them you are doing temp (holiday) fostering for them. If I had to wager a guess your HOA wouldn't care, even if they did know. Maybe a Landlord. But likely not an HOA.

Then, do pick ups only, not drop offs, so peeps don't know your address. Even if they did know you lived in X subdivision they wouldn't know your address. Plus, for an HOA to ticket they would not only have to know your address but also have proof.

Maybe go out on recycle day and cruise the neighborhoods?

Yeah, Costco's can he pretty annoying to find, but there are a ton of Sam's clubs in San Antonio. If memory serves you can even go in the out easily and far enough without having a membership or anything. Just in case you ever travel into San Antonio proper it might be easy to quickly check. Costco is a little harder because their boxes are at check out. <<shrug>>
 

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If I had to wager a guess your HOA wouldn't care, even if they did know. Maybe a Landlord. But likely not an HOA.
Some HOAs are jerks. People have been fined for their kids playing outside. I wouldn't put anything past them. And there are no laws regarding their behavior like there are for landlords.

Liquor stores tend to have a lot of good heavy boxes, if there's one close to you that might be more convenient.
 

Bratcat31

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Some HOAs are jerks. People have been fined for their kids playing outside. I wouldn't put anything past them. And there are no laws regarding their behavior like there are for landlords.
That's very true. I guess I figured if they were, she likely already would have been in trouble. It's gotta be pretty impossible to hide 16 cats from someone who is trying really hard to be a jerk. But, you're 100% correct. I have no idea on the jerk level of her HOA. I've lived in both versions, and though I never had either actually care about indoor pets, her's very very well could!

Great idea about the liquor store. I may have to hit up the one by me next go round. Thoses boxes would have to he super strong. I know the Total Wines by me has a ton right by the door. Petco and Petsmart also have a lot of canned food boxes as well. They are really really great about letting people have those. Another idea maybe!
 
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moxiewild

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By posting on Nextdoor, they will know my address.

16 cats are luckily easy to hide when they’re all inside! It’s one of the reasons I focus on cat rescue a whole lot more than dog rescue now.

There is a Costco’s and Sam’s in SA. I know where they are, I just don’t live in SA.

The good news - well, as it pertains to this - is that we’ve decided to stop crating the kittens. We had been crating them, and then letting them out to play together for an hour 3x a day.

But frankly, the work is too much. To clean 5 crates, the room, and rest of the house.

And pee pads don’t help with Salem and Binx because they use them to cover the litterbox - as well as their food - so it creates a huge mess multiple times a day. And Oreo likes to dig into them and hide under them for fun.

But the switch to clay litter, low litter levels, and smaller litterboxes really did us in, and five separate crates really exacerbates these issues.

I cannot stand any clay litter, and now I’m reminded of why. I thought I’d be fine using it temporarily and absolutely wanted to given how much more cost efficient it is and having to do so many litter changes.

But dirty paw prints are being tracked all over the crate, and dried clay is not easy to clean. It just tracks everywhere.

The clay often sticks to their paws along with the poop, too. They shake and it gets everywhere, or they end up grooming it off, which may lead to reinfection. I’ve had to clean Oreos paws of poop at least once a day since switching to clay.

It also smells so bad compared to our regular litter, even with frequent scooping and daily complete changes.

But one of the worst parts has been clay ending up in their water bowls, despite keeping those quite a ways away from the boxes. This is another potential source of reinfection, as well as the concern regarding their ingestion of clay. I’ve had to clean out and disinfect all 5 water bowls 3x a day since switching to clay and it’s still not enough.

We’ve tried 5 different brands, and it’s becoming more costly to find a clay litter that works than to just use our usual litter, so we’re switching back. Our litter seems to do better in terms of mess, tracking etc, even at a low level. Rarely does any get into the water.

But the low level still creates a bigger mess in itself. So does having a smaller box in general - even the 9 week olds are pooping (often diarrhea still) alllll over the edge and onto the floor all of the time 🤮

So not spending so much time cleaning up all of these individual messes will also save a couple hours, and money in puppy pads.

It also means we don’t need to limit the size of cardboard for litter boxes since they no longer need to be a “crate friendly” size. So most boxes we can find will now work, our request doesn’t have to be so specific anymore, and one box = two litter boxes!

We’re still going to be locking up Ash and only letting him out for play time due to the ringworm just to help limit direct contact. Ash is one of the two relatively clean ones, so this is more than manageable.

If any other kittens develop lesions, we’ll have to re-evaluate our plan. But for now, this is where we are.

It’s not ideal but what we’re doing is just not sustainable. I can more thoroughly and frequently clean the room and one already reasonably clean crate than I can clean and disinfect 5 (mostly messy) crates + room. It’s also less laundry (each crate has a washable floppy sisal scratcher we zip tie to the crate for stability, a hammock, and a “cave” with towel bedding).

So definitely posting to Nextdoor now!
 
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moxiewild

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Here’s a picture of the kitten room occupants laying in my lap - or the “black blob” as we sometimes refer to them 😂
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moxiewild

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Vet just called to officially confirm ringworm :(
 
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moxiewild

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Double check Nextdoor preferences, I think you can hide your actual house number so it only shows the street and nothing more specific...
I tried that before and saw an option to hide it from “non-neighborhood” folks, but not the neighborhood.

Granted, this was when Nextdoor first came out, so I should definitely check again!
 
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moxiewild

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Question - not sure if I mentioned this before, but most of the diarrhea we’ve seen throughout this entire thing has been on the very light yellow-tan side. In fact, this is a big thing that tipped us off with Titan initially - he has diarrhea very often, but it has NEVER been anywhere near this color/light in color before.

Before the PCR results came back, I was actually pretty sure it was Coccidia rather than Giardia. There also does not seem to be that distinct giardia smell (still smells to high heaven though, of course).

We asked our vet about this, she seemed to think it’s normal. All stool samples we sent in tested negative for coccidia of course, too.

I may very well just be paranoid at this point, mind you - I just find it very odd that every single cat with diarrhea has the very yellowish, light tan color (occasionally with blood) diarrhea but haven’t seen a single one with the very dark, mucus-y look and smell that I most often associate with giardia.

Surely all of the PCRs that were positive for giardia didn’t somehow all miss coccidia, right? That seems so incredibly unlikely.

Is giardia’s presentation just a lot more variable than I thought? Maybe it’s just this particular strain/subspecies or something?
 

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What about Dog crates? The large ones? If I had that many sick cats, I would just go buy a bunch of large dog crates. Bed goes in front, Litter box in back, food and water in front. Only a small amount of water to prevent spills. Add some towels under the cat bed so you only have to wash the towels if they get wet. Then the healthiest cats get turnout time. The sick cats remain isolated, and you wouldn't have to keep disinfecting every single thing in the house each day.

I have no experience with giardia but have had coccidia in kittens. That causes projectile diarrhea. My poor kittens were isolated in the bathroom for 6-8 weeks or so. I had to cut open garbage bags, tape them to the floor, and add newspaper on top. Not fun but we survived and because I am strict with quarantine, no one else caught it. Pounce did get it twice. He cleared up on the medication and then when we stopped, he relapsed a few days later and we had a second round of treatment

Instead of cleaning the entire room, perhaps use the bathrooms? because you need a smaller area that is easier to disinfect. I can't imagine doing an entire room with that level of cleaning.

What about chicken feed? I do not use clay cat litter that often. I do keep some in stock but mostly I use chicken feed. $12 a bag at Rural King for 50lb bags. The only problem is the poop smell isn't covered as well but it tracks a lot less than clay litter and is easy to clean. It clumps as well. I just get the crumble chicken feed- make sure it's not medicated chicken feed.

Usually you end up with a pile on the floor by the box. If you sweep frequently and don't walk through it, it doesn't spread everywhere like clay does. I hate clay because it sticks to everything and the vacuum doesn't pick it up easily at all. It spreads EVERYWHERE. On the bed, on the desk, on the floor etc.

I skipped most of this thread, so sorry if i repeated something someone else has said.
 
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moxiewild

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What about Dog crates? The large ones? If I had that many sick cats, I would just go buy a bunch of large dog crates. Bed goes in front, Litter box in back, food and water in front. Only a small amount of water to prevent spills. Add some towels under the cat bed so you only have to wash the towels if they get wet. Then the healthiest cats get turnout time. The sick cats remain isolated, and you wouldn't have to keep disinfecting every single thing in the house each day.

I have no experience with giardia but have had coccidia in kittens. That causes projectile diarrhea. My poor kittens were isolated in the bathroom for 6-8 weeks or so. I had to cut open garbage bags, tape them to the floor, and add newspaper on top. Not fun but we survived and because I am strict with quarantine, no one else caught it. Pounce did get it twice. He cleared up on the medication and then when we stopped, he relapsed a few days later and we had a second round of treatment

Instead of cleaning the entire room, perhaps use the bathrooms? because you need a smaller area that is easier to disinfect. I can't imagine doing an entire room with that level of cleaning.

What about chicken feed? I do not use clay cat litter that often. I do keep some in stock but mostly I use chicken feed. $12 a bag at Rural King for 50lb bags. The only problem is the poop smell isn't covered as well but it tracks a lot less than clay litter and is easy to clean. It clumps as well. I just get the crumble chicken feed- make sure it's not medicated chicken feed.

Usually you end up with a pile on the floor by the box. If you sweep frequently and don't walk through it, it doesn't spread everywhere like clay does. I hate clay because it sticks to everything and the vacuum doesn't pick it up easily at all. It spreads EVERYWHERE. On the bed, on the desk, on the floor etc.

I skipped most of this thread, so sorry if i repeated something someone else has said.
We have 4 XL crates and one medium crate that's still pretty large. That’s what we were using for the kittens, but I can’t afford them for all 16 cats, and I’m not sure I could deal with the adults’ misery being crated for weeks without taking a downward spiral myself!

We definitely paired down our usual set up after diagnosis to something more basic.

I just started cleaning this crate. There’s usually a small tote with a hole cut in for them to hide in on the top shelf, a floppy scratcher I secure to the sides, and a plastic ball tower up front on the bottom floor, but just took those out for cleaning -

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Binx had been in there earlier since he’s an escape artist, which is annoying when I’m constantly going in and out of the room to clean. His puppy pad work is on full display!

We have very small bathrooms. Our largest bathroom is being taken up by another, older kitten who was under very strict quarantine when she arrived.

For her, I put down a folded shower curtain, with sticky puppy pads on top, and loose ones on top of those, haha.

One of our bathrooms is in the master bedroom, where one of our geriatric and immunocompromised cats who doesn’t get along with others lives full time. So that’s out. The other is just a half bath, not much bigger than a crate.

And we’re not cleaning and disinfecting an “entire room”........ it’s an entire 2400+ sq ft house 😭

Granted, the kitties who are isolated in their own rooms for other reasons only end up having their rooms done only every 2-3 days due to time, energy, soreness, etc, so we don’t actually manage 2400 sq ft a day!

I actually used chicken feed for about 2 years until we got bugs a second time (first time was with shwheat scoop). Totally forgot about chicken feed! That’s a fantastic idea! Honestly, I would go out and get it right now were it not for one thing - they’re kittens, it’s “food”, and it clumps.

Back when I used it, I had a couple of fosters I couldn’t use it for because they ate it. For young kittens, that would feel of particular concern :( Otherwise, that is such a good idea! I really liked chicken feed, too. Ugh. :(

Everything that’s not clay based is always a lot more expensive, as far as I’m aware. Well, except for chicken feed and stove pellets - but I’m not sure if kittens would use stove pellets?

Might look into that now. May not have been your exact suggestion, but thank you for the idea anyway! Could be a workable solution!
 

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I would go out and get it right now were it not for one thing - they’re kittens, it’s “food”, and it clumps.
I don't think it's the bad kind of clumping. It only clumps because it's slightly glutinous and the grains stick together a bit when they get wet. But it's not a hard kind of clumping like clay. I'm pretty sure it's safe for kittens. I mean, if chickens can eat it, right? ;)

I've heard of some people who use kiln-dried pine shavings as cat litter, since you can get a huge block of it for just a few bucks. It's awfully lightweight so the tracking would be terrible, but that might be better than muddy footprints everywhere (I know what you mean because my basement once got water in it, and the cats tooks great joy in running through the water and then the litterboxes, and those dried clay pawprints do NOT come off easily!).

TSC has a corn cob-based pellet that I like better than the pine pellets. It costs more but not as much as cat litter, and it's not messy.

But anyway, yeah, some kind of horse bedding or chicken feed would likely be cheaper and better for this purpose.
 
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moxiewild

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I don't think it's the bad kind of clumping. It only clumps because it's slightly glutinous and the grains stick together a bit when they get wet. But it's not a hard kind of clumping like clay. I'm pretty sure it's safe for kittens. I mean, if chickens can eat it, right? ;)

I've heard of some people who use kiln-dried pine shavings as cat litter, since you can get a huge block of it for just a few bucks. It's awfully lightweight so the tracking would be terrible, but that might be better than muddy footprints everywhere (I know what you mean because my basement once got water in it, and the cats tooks great joy in running through the water and then the litterboxes, and those dried clay pawprints do NOT come off easily!).

TSC has a corn cob-based pellet that I like better than the pine pellets. It costs more but not as much as cat litter, and it's not messy.

But anyway, yeah, some kind of horse bedding or chicken feed would likely be cheaper and better for this purpose.
I don’t know, I think I’d just end up stressing with kittens and the corn litter all the time. I had a suspicion a foster was eating it and put a camera in his room and he was chowing down. I swear he ate half the litterbox.

I worry because of 3 things - 1. The clumping, though perhaps it’s not as bad with this feed (chickens might have digestive tracts that make blockage less likely maybe? I don’t know, I don’t do birds 😆), 2. It is corn, and these are tiny obligate carnivores already struggling with GI upset, 3. They do not need to be potentially ingesting giardia cyst contaminated litter!

Plus... it just gross 😂

We’re trying pine pellets right now, though doing a slow introduction. So far, most are okay. Wednesday has been caught in the act of peeing outside the box, and we think she pooped too. Elvira has also been peeing outside the box, but she’s also in heat... so maybe she’s potentially spraying? I don’t know, never dealt with s spraying female before!

Someone suggested pine shavings a few months ago when I asked about something... they confirmed tracking is terrible 🤣 Since I cant easily disinfect the carpet, I think I’d like to avoid that. Might look into the cob-based pellet though!

Also, YES, HOW DO I GET CLAY FOOT PRINTS OFF THE CRATE TRAYS AND MY DRESSER?!?! I swear we have tried everything and they just re-emerge like a permanent stain!!!
 
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moxiewild

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Update -

We’re approaching giardia retest time, but we might hold off until we’re sure everything is in order this time since we know we’ll probably need to do another round. Just need to work some kinks out in our system for the best chance of success. We really want to be ready this time.

As for ringworm, no else is showing signs yet... but I noticed a new lesion on poor Ash tonight on the back of his leg :(

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Last but not least, someone appears to have roundworm. We think it’s Wednesday, since whoever it was went on the bed and we literally caught her peeing outside the box as we were inspecting it.

Also, I have been complaining about her wormy belly since day one. I actually asked the vet for a second deworming, and even mentioned Wednesday’s belly (which she thought was fine), but she said she only wanted to do deworm a second time if I saw worms - which obviously makes no sense. They were almost guaranteed to have them, and it’s pointless to do only one round of deworming.......

But I digress - I had some drontal at home anyway, so I dosed them myself.

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Normally, roundworm would be NBD. But I am surprised and find it a little concerning that any of them have roundworm since they received Pyrantel, followed by drontal, and then Revolution twice now...

My question is this... do we deworm now, or should we wait?

I ask since we should be sending in fecals some time next week, and their next giardia treatment this round will be metro + panacur. So it seems like it would be best to just hold off (but I hate doing that!).

None of them have particularly concerning symptoms, other than diarrhea and gas that could be from sooo many things right now. Wednesday’s belly and being less food motivated than the others - but still eating well - are the only other concerns.

So I assume best course of action would be to keep an eye on everyone just in case and wait for the giardia follow up?
 

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I'd dose them now. Particularly since the worming meds already haven't worked. But, I normally foster neonates so the shelter I foster for tends to throw everything and the kitchen sink at illness. 🤷‍♀️
 

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HOW DO I GET CLAY FOOT PRINTS OFF THE CRATE TRAYS AND MY DRESSER
Is the dresser painted? You may need to repaint it. A Rockler store employee could help more specifically, if it's milk paint, or even if not.

If it's not painted, find some cigar ash from a cigar/wine bar, smokeshop or cigar herf if you don't know anyone-just the soft material from the outside of the ash, with none of the gritty hard stuff from the center (-- this is a super mild/gentle abrasive) and a drop of mineral oil. Try one print first, apply and rub with your finger and no pressure. Wipe completely with a dry cotton t-shirt, and buff with a second dry cotton t-shirt.
 
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