We don’t know how much time our beloved cat has

leafpool

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 15, 2021
Messages
8
Purraise
16
Our beloved family cat Chloe stopped eating out of what felt like nowhere. We took her to the vet and learned she has leukemia. She’s just nine years old. She’s an indoor cat and only cat so she likely got it from her mom and it can take years to show up apparently. She did go outside on a harness and has a few times pounced on outdoor cats who wander into the garden before being stopped so it’s possible she could have bit them and been infected with it... we never will know for sure,

The vet said she thinks she could have a month (but another vet who spoke to my dad on the phone said 1-6 months and they’ve been wrong before). Our family is reeling. She’s currently got a tube in and being tube fed at home and the hope is by the weekend she’ll be able to eat on her own. But if she doesn’t...

And even if she does eat on her own again we don’t know how long before she might stop eating again.

The costs have been insane. 5,000 just to learn she has leukemia. Several more thousand for the treatment and 3 night vet stay. Our family can’t afford more. It doesn’t seem at all fair. As my dad said they make you feel guilty by telling you all the things they could do... but only if you have the money. I know vets wish it wasn’t this way but it is and it’s hard not to feel frustrated by how inhumane it all feels. we can only do so much for her, because we don’t have the money to keep trying. this tube feeding perking her up and getting her eating on her own is our only hope

thankfully they didn’t find cancer in her but the lack of eating caused some problems with her liver but it’s doing better now but they did find a mass there and basically don’t know what it is and it could become something bad? it’s upsetting how little they can tell you. Just that she might not be with us much longer.

She is taking the tube feeding well like the good kitty girl she is. She’s always been docile and so gentle. she’s been playing with her favourite toys and is seeming more better in many ways though she is sleeping a lot more given the meds have her tired.

i keep hoping the vets are wrong and she has way longer than one or six months. I honestly have been in denial. I would always say Chloe was gonna live to 18 or 19. Losing her so soon i was like that’s not going to happen to her. No way. I don’t know how to deal with this.

I can’t find much info on adult cats with leuk so i’m curious if anyone has has a cat go through this. did the vet tell you they weren’t going to be here for much longer and they bear the odds or are the vets right? Is there still hope??
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2

leafpool

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 15, 2021
Messages
8
Purraise
16
I want to add at first we thought she was having a bad reaction to flea treatment the vet gave us because she started acting off a little after we gave it to her. but the vet clinic we went too doesn’t think it has anything to do with anything. it’s hard not to wonder... is it really some coincidence her leuk acted up so soon after her regular vet gave us her yearly flea treatment?? I don’t know. it’s hard not to question everything
 

Kflowers

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
4,008
Purraise
5,763
I'm sorry for what you're going through and that your vet had no idea what it was until they ran almost every test they could think of.

What is the yearly flea treatment? It's just that I've never heard of one that lasts that long.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

leafpool

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 15, 2021
Messages
8
Purraise
16
thank you. our poor kitty we felt so bad when she had to be at the vet overnight she’s never been away from us. but so glad she’s back home now.

oh her vet (we were sent to another vet for her testing and treatment now) just gave my mom this flea treatment you put on them they’ve given it to us every year. once a year thing she’s never had issues from it before and vet doesn’t think it’s connected to her leuk
 

Dos Gatos

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
May 6, 2021
Messages
31
Purraise
36
Never feel guilty about not having a ton of money to afford treatments, especially when it comes to something that is likely to only buy you a little more time with her. You have already done so much for her. Am I read it right that they found a mass in her liver? Did she have an ultrasound? I am going to be honest and say that my sweet Calliope stopped eating and the vet could find nothing wrong with her until the did an ultrasound and found masses in her liver that turned out to be cancerous. We chose to treat her with prednisone to give us some more time with her (vet thought ~4-6 months) but unfortunately we never could get her eating and we had to say goodbye after a few weeks. A feeding tube was never offered to us and I think that if it was, we could have had more time with her. I think your family is doing all they can for Chloe right now and just try to remember to enjoy her and love her as much as possible for however long she has left, whether it's weeks, months or (hopefully) years.
 

bear

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Messages
350
Purraise
651
Location
South Coast of California
I am sorry that your kitty and you are going through this.

There is a search feature on this site
I am going to surmise your use of the word leukemia is referring to the disease associated with Feline Leukemia Virus.
If so, there is an acronym, or abbreviated form FeLV (FEline Leukemia Virus) for this disease.
When searching this site or www using FeLV can help.

Keep in mind that many posts will be from folks that are just now learning about the virus/disease. So keep that in mind.

Here is a post where an owner summarizes what they have learned about the disease.
(1) FeLV Testing, Vaccines, Treatments... what I learned. Maybe it'll help someone else. | TheCatSite
 
Last edited:

fionasmom

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
4,321
Purraise
6,537
Location
Los Angeles
I am so sorry that you are facing this. Your family has certainly been willing to pay for care for Chloe and, as was stated, you should not feel embarrassed that you don't have a lot more money to spend. While it is true that the vet can only guess what is on her liver without doing some sort of needle aspiration and/or ultrasound, it is very possible that the results of either of those will only inform you of something else that might need to be treated. On the other hand, if it were to reveal that the liver had a benign mass, it would have been more money spent.

As I have moved through the years with animal care, I no longer do any test that is only "academic" which means that I know that no matter what the result I will not take action on it. You also need to factor in to this the question of how much Chloe can withstand and if other procedures might be high risk for her. Just knowing something and springing into action does not magically mean that you have cured the problem.

I also wondered what the yearly flea treatment was. Do you remember a name?

Chloe has good quality of life and is happy to be with you and your family. That is what she wants the most and she knows that you are trying to help her.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

leafpool

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 15, 2021
Messages
8
Purraise
16
thank you for all the kind words. Chloe is being loved on by all of us! she seems like she’s doing so well to me, taking the tube feeding well and playing. she sometimes hides but comes out quick - she takes the tube feeding very well but i think it can be a bit much at times! but we are scared for the weekend. will she be able to eat on her own? she did eat a stray chip my mom dropped when before she’d shown no interest in anything so that’s a good sign we hope! i can’t help but think she is wondering where her ‘real’ food is

the flea treatment the vet gave us was bravecto, the treatment you put at the back of the neck. vets make us do this every year. she’s never had issues but we again noticed she began acting a bit off after and not long after stopped eating. we washed her fur with dish soap to get any of it left off her. we told our vet and the new vet we got sent too for her care but they didn’t think it had anything to do with what’s wrong with her.

i confess its hard because i am no vet but given how soon she began acting off i worry they may be overlooking the possibility of flea med poisoning. but she tested positive for leuk so i don’t know, cats with leuk have bad immune systems so maybe the flea stuff triggered it or had nothing to do with it. i know us non vets should maybe not google and act like we’re professionals but it’s hard not too. she trusts us so much and so the thought we applied something to her fur that ended up hurting her is unbearable. she’s an indoor cat that goes out in the garden on a harness maybe she didn’t even need flea meds even if vet said she should be getting it.

we want her to be happy and loved so honestly even if we did have the money for loads more treatments we don’t want her to be unhappy. so it’s just scary because so much depends on whether she’ll begin eating on her own. i can’t stand the thought of watching her sniff her food and walk away. it’s like your life depends on this baby!! we don’t want to say goodbye yet. we will if we must hr comfort and happiness is what matters. i just want there to be hope.
 

bear

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Messages
350
Purraise
651
Location
South Coast of California
I am not a Vet. Yet I and others on this site are familiar with the questioning of our choices for our animal family members and how that second guessing can affect our thoughts.

I would like to ask for you, that you consider the following.
Is it likely that the FeLV progressed for some time before symptoms began to appear?
This could coincide with the advanced stage.
Although Bravecto provides two to three month protection, it might cover a "flea season" if you are in a climate/environment with a short season.
Is it possibly Chloe experienced one or more of the rare side effects of this insecticide application?
Since you say she is treated yearly, possibly the side effects were less or less noticeable in prior years, or another product was used.
Consider the possibility that FeLV enhanced her side effects, making them noticeable.
Fleas Ticks 12 Week Treatment | Merck Animal Health USA (merck-animal-health-usa.com)

This is not intended to suggest you not look for questions and answers.
It is provided to suggest one more probable progression of her path.
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
4,321
Purraise
6,537
Location
Los Angeles
It is very clear that Chloe has a wonderful home and is lucky to have spent her life with you and your family. Reactions to flea meds are all over the place. Bravecto for dogs is a chew pill which my very elderly and ill dog uses. He has been fine, but the cat preparation is a liquid and there is not much point of comparing them. It does contain the same ingredient classification as other flea preparations like Revolution Plus. I agree that on some level she might have had a reaction to it but it seems as if that danger is over now.

She will try to eat without the feeding tube this weekend?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11

leafpool

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 15, 2021
Messages
8
Purraise
16
I think what has me so anxious about the flea treatment is i read one of the symptoms in the paper it comes with is anorexia which they mentioned for her since she stopped eating but they seem to think it’s the leuk where i worry maybe it was the flea treatment so i’m just hoping the tube feeding and meds will help if that was part of it. ugh it’s so upsetting and scary. i’m not a vet and if the vets were told about the flea stuff and don’t think it’s connected then...

my parents took her to the vet and spoke to the vets so i didn’t speak to the vets personally. i just feel so helpless. but again she’s responding well, playing more, following old routines she has like sleeping in her fave sun patch in her cat tree by the window (she has many trees!) she will still have her tube but she’s allowed to eat on her own saturday so hoping she eats!!
 

Kflowers

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
4,008
Purraise
5,763
I've read a lot about Braveto, but nothing I've read connects it with FelV.
When I asked, I asked because I'd never heard of a once a year treatment for fleas, the ones I'd seen were once a month or every three months. I'm sorry if you thought I meant there was a connection.

Feeding tubes are amazing things. We've used them with good results. The one thing to remember is to put the food in the tube in bite sized portions --a small squirt at a time - so the esophagus and stomach can react normally.

Chloe is a fortunate cat to have a loving family and she knows it, they always know.
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
4,321
Purraise
6,537
Location
Los Angeles
So Saturday is the day you are looking forward to...please let us know what happens. bear bear might have a point about overlapping side effects which you are seeing but which are not, in themselves, causing long term problems.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14

leafpool

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 15, 2021
Messages
8
Purraise
16
Update!! Chloe is doing really good! She’s getting the tube out Monday and has been eating on her own! She’s eating so well. She is in love with meow mix wet food whatever she wants to eat she can have it lol she has always been picky. She seems like herself again :D She’s happy and playful. My mom got vitamins for her too.

we are still worried of course. It’s hard to say if she’ll stay this way. She could eat well like this and end up stopping like before. But at least I can say for now she is happy and loved and hopefully has lots more time with us. Whatever happens she will be loved and taken care of.:D
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15

leafpool

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 15, 2021
Messages
8
Purraise
16
Update... it’s so easy to be happy one moment scared the next. She got her tube out but vet wanted it to stay in... even though she has been eating they felt she wasn’t getting enough but my mom felt strongly that we want her to be comfortable and it can’t be nice having that tube in her throat. At the end of the day we have to do what’s best for her and if she stops eating totally we will have too....you know. It’s scary because I liked the comfort of the tube she hadn’t been tube fed all week but it was nice knowing we could feed her that way too. It’s just scary. One moment I’m like she’ll be here for ages and the next I feel like it really will only be months
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16

leafpool

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 15, 2021
Messages
8
Purraise
16
Thanks for the love everyone!! She is eating well so let’s hope she has lots of time left!! She’s eating more wet food than she usually did before all this the vets said it should be five cans but she’s having several a day! Having hope! ❤
 

KK300

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Jul 3, 2021
Messages
58
Purraise
77
Sorry to hear that your little one has been unwell. It's so heartbreaking to see them sniff at their food and walk away. Our cat had a feeding tube, and I absolutely loathed the sight of it, he looked miserable, but it saved his life.

Thinking of Chloe (and her family who so obviously love her).
 

misty8723

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
5,523
Purraise
2,665
Location
North Carolina
I'm glad to hear she's doing better. One of our cats had a feeding tube. She didn't seem too bothered by it, and it kept her doing okay when she wouldn't eat on her own. She had cancer, and we eventually lost her, but we had almost 2 years with her after the one vet said 3 months. So don't listen to any numbers they give you, they don't really know. Same as with people, they just don't know. I hope she continues to eat and do well.
 
Top