Should I bring in another stray???????

oreocookie

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Hi everyone,

     I need to ask for some serious advise from you that have been rescuing cats for a while now!  As many of you know I rescued Oreo about a month ago now and have been through a lot with her, however she is now doing great and putting on tons of weight!  I have no concerns for her at this point and she has settled right in with no issues.  My dilemma is that I have come across yet another pregnant female at one of my clients homes (I am a social worker).  This family tells me the cat showed up pregnant several months ago, had her kittens although they never found them, and is now pregnant again!!!!!  I saw her for the first time two weeks ago and she is not very far along in her pregnancy, about half way.  I am VERY concerned for this mama because the dad in this family told me he will kill the kittens if she has them and has made treats to poison the mommy kitty if she does not go away!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I asked him to PLEASE not hurt her for the next week so I can make arrangements to take her (he agreed).  My concern is that the local shelter has an automatic kill policy for all pregnant cats who are in poor health (she is thin and ill looking).  I would like to bring her home but am worried about the fact that I just took in Oreo and what, if any ill effects this may have? 

I can take her to a vet before bringing her home, but my concern is more with acclimating them and ensuring they will not hurt one another!  Am I CRAZY for even thinking of doing this?  Will I be endangering Oreo or this other pregnant cat?  I know I cannot save every stray, but I do feel like I cannot stand by and ignore a cat in such dire need!!!! 

Some info on the new cat:  She appears to be young, but not a kitten (about 1), is calico (white with orange and black patches on her head and body).  VERY friendly, will walk up and rub all over me and meow for affection.  The people next door have MANY cats wandering all over/breeding and she gets along with all of them (I asked and they said she is not theirs).  She is thin, but not at all as thin as Oreo was!!!!  I saw some fleas, but not a ton.  No eye or nose gunk, they were clear looking. 

Please let me know your opinions and any advice you can give!!!  If I do this then I would have to place all the kittens because my apartment has a two pet limit!!! 
 

orientalslave

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Can you keep the two cats separate at least to start with?  Or, although it would be hard for you, could you find Oreo a new home?
 

StefanZ

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As she is such a social cat, no problems with any others cats nor humans, the self meeting of Oreo and her shouldnt give problems.  Although it is wise to have the possiblility to keep them separated at least in the beginning, giving you and them some extra safety.  If you dont have spare rooms/bathroom, at least a dog cage.

Other risks...  Yes, there may be if you want maximum security for Oreo.

But philosophically speaking.

It is dangers they both had in common. Their fate is mutual, so hope for the best, I think.

As the newbe seems to be essentially healthy, and if she gets a postive vet check up...

I say, go along if you can and want. This here calculated risk  should be taken.

Last comment.  This man threating about dumping her or poisoning her. My guess is it was a show he did it to impress you. Ie, manipulating you into taking her...

Someone other would ask you and beg to help. His experience is perhaps, not many helps them because they are asked. Being manipulated may be safer, and so he dont risk to be denyied into his face...  Better a bully than a loser.  Which may even be healthy for him and his family.

I mean, if he wanted to dump her, he could surely do  it earlier.  He wouldnt either to talk about it to you, the social worker. Better to keep the illusion of being decent person deserving help...

Thus, even he has surely a heart, although well hidden.

Good luck!   *vibes*
 

happykitty

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Oh my, quite a dillema.  I'm an in-home family therapist and have faced similar situations before.  For me, I must be careful in keeping my boundaries and making sure I am staying in my role as therapist and helping the family to find solutions rather than fixing the problem for them.  In social work profession, my understanding is that these boundaries are not as clear and social worker ends up performing mulitple roles at times. 

The only concern I would have is if you are dealing with some borderline personality d/o client who then later makes a claim against you that you stole their cat.  In most states, the animal must be held in animal control or shelter for minimum of 5 days.  I would take her to the shelter and let them know that you intend to adopt her after the minimum holding period.  That way, no one else can legally claim the cat after you adopt it.  Of course, you will have to decide if this is something you honestly have time and money for.   Good luck!
 
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oreocookie

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I also have to be VERY careful to not allow boundaries to be crossed as I do have many clients who will and do attempt to breach the line between client and friend!!  This is a family, that while I do not feel would go on to make any claims, I would still get it in writing and signed that they request the cat be removed permanently from the property to protect myself.  I did go through the legal aspect of ownership when I found Oreo and the local shelter/law requires I post an add in the paper, hang fliers and fill out a found pet add with the shelter and vets describing the cat, after seven days of going unclaimed she would be legally mine.  The shelter informed me that they can not "hold" animals for people and as such any animal that is surrendered will have to be dealt with by the same guide lines (euthanasia of pregnant females).  I know this man means what he threats, I have see him shoot and kill domesticated baby pigs that came into his yard (not illegal in my part of FL), he is capable of doing what he said!!!   
 

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Upon reading your original post my first thought was a concern about the newbie giving Oreo any illnesses she may have (fleas obviously but maybe even more subtle things such as ringworm). But, after reading Stefan's post, I have to agree with a lot of what he said. Both Oreo and this new little one do not have good odds outside of you. It is a risk, but perhaps one worth taking given the other options. I would for sure get the new Momma tested for FIV/FeLV first, and keep Oreo and her separate until her tests come back. If she is positive, separation is going to be critical, especially with FeLV, which can be transmitted through grooming and shared litterboxes. Also, give newbie a quiet place to have her babies away from Oreo until they know each other better. Most importantly, make sure you are up to the challenge of having 2 adults and a litter of kittens. You can't care for them if you aren't taking care of yourself! 

And, your thoughts are right on with getting them to sign a contract. Make sure both the woman and her husband sign it and if possible take a friend with you and have her/him sign as a witness to the exchange.

Let us know what you decide!  
 
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oreocookie

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Thank you guys for the feedback.  I do have the ability to keep them in separate rooms until acclimated to one another and the home, however I live in a small two bedroom apartment so I do still have some concerns about disease transmission!  I am so very confused because both vets that I have taken Oreo to when she lost her kittens and so on did NO blood work, tested for nothing.  I keep seeing many people mention FIV and other diseases in other threads that can be passed on from one cat to another and this is where my concern lies for both cats.  The reality is that I have only had Oreo for about a month now and as neither she nor the prospective new mommy have been tested they could pass something to one another.  Please can someone give me a break down of what blood work I could request the vet do on both cats?  I have an appointment on Tuesday for the new kitty to be checked and would like to take in a list to request they do.  I live in Florida, do not know if this will have an effect on what is tested for?  I do not want to leave this kitty at the home due to concern she will be harmed so in the morning I will be bringing her home; keeping her separate and isolated, but in the apartment.     
 

eb24

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So I have no medical training so someone please correct me if I am wrong, but in my experience the vet usually does a CBC (complete blood count) which gives them an idea of general health. Then, I would ask for them to test for FIV and FeLV. It is pretty standard testing (they can use the same blood sample) and it just takes a few minutes for the results to come back. FIV/FeLV are really the things to check for in otherwise seemingly healthy cats. 

Just as a side note, Cats with FIV (which is similar to human HIV) and FeLV (similar to human Leukemia) can still live long and healthy lives. Neither illness is transmutable to humans or other animals (such as dogs). It is cat to cat only! Shelters always euthanize cats that test positive but it really has little effect on their everyday lives. I guess I'm trying to say don't be put off by the label. If one does test positive and the vet recommends euthanasia I would highly recommend doing your research before making that decision. 

Hope this helps!
 

catnamedpanda

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At the very least I would request a FIV/FeLV combo test (some include heartworm too) and a fecal exam to check for paracites. If you didn't do this with Oreo it wouldn't hurt to run this with her too, that way you know both are safe from passing anything to one another when they are introduced. I personally don't ussually run other test on my kitties unless there seems to be something wrong. Just in case you need to know the only vaccine that is safe during pregnancy is a rabies shot.
 
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eb24

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At the very least I would request a FIV/FeLV combo test (some include heartworm too) and a fecal exam to check for paracites. If you didn't do this with Oreo it wouldn't hurt to run this with her too, that way you know both are safe from passing anything to one another when they are introduced. I personally don't ussually run other test on my kitties unless there seems to be something wrong. Just in case you need to know the only vaccine that is safe during pregnancy is a rabies shot.
I would agree on the fecal exam. Make sure you bring the stool samples with you! 
 

orientalslave

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In the UK we would simply give Milbemax which is a tiny tablet and safe for all cats and kittens over .5 kg (1 pound) and treats all the worms we get here.  We would only pay for a test if there were ongoing problems, and the test would be a specific one looking for more unusual things for example T. foetus.
 
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Well I am very sad to say the pregnant mama I was going to bring home was hit and killed by a car over the weekend before I could capture her. 
 

kittycatnap

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Oh that's terrible!!!!!!!! Not to sound like this will probably sound but, I guess you don't have to decide on keeping her.... 

 
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It was sad, but at least she is not suffering and this may sound mean, but it is one less cat to have even more babies!  If people would just spay and take care of their cats this would not need to take place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  GRRRR, this was someones responsibility at one time and that is the most difficult part! 
 
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