Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Update on FIV Rescued Kittens

Last May we rescued a litter of kittens that could hardly walk and one of the kittens eyes were barely open. We found the kittens in a sack on the side of the road.  At first we thought it was trash, and then saw movement, followed by a tiny kittens head. 

 Husband and I rushed them home to hydrate and nourish them. We kept them safe, warm and fed them for the next four critical weeks. During this time husband and I did not sleep.
Four of the Five kitten drinking KMR replacement milk

All of the kittens survived however they were very small.  When they were three months old the boys grew over night but two little girl kittens were still small and seemed to have less energy; they slept more than the other kittens.

The small kittens needed some help getting food out of the bowl so we made up their own bowl and fed them away from the boys. Even with feeding them separate they did not put on weight. Husband and I thought that perhaps we got a mixed litter (different queen cats).
8 week old kitten is smaller than littermates

All of the kittens were tested for feline leukemia and AIDS. The small kittens came back positive for feline immunodeficiency virus FIV which means their mom was infected and passed it on to them. It also confirms that we had found two litters of kittens. 

 On rare occasions infection is transmitted from an infected mother cat to her kittens, usually during passage through the birth canal or when the newborn kittens ingest infected milk.” http://www.vet.cornell.edu/FHC/health_resources/brochure_fiv.cfm

We did separate the FIV kittens from the boys, because the boys were typical boys and were playing roughly with the girls. They did not allow them to sleep, pushed them out of the food bowl and wanted to play hard. 

The boy kittens were gigantic at three months and girls were very small.  The boy kittens were adopted but the girl kittens were passed by, everyone was fearful of an FIV kitten and said it would be too hard to love them, when their life may be shortened due to illness. 

We kept the girls and they have put on some weight and are growing slowly. Here is a photo of Sally our calico FIV kitten she is 8 months old in this photo. you can see that she is small and kitten like for her age, she looks like 12 weeks old.  
FIV kitten at age 8 months is small but healthy

Update: The FIV kittens are doing great, putting on weight and both have a shiny coat. They play with each other and with the family dog. Are normal as they can be. They are still small and sleep more than normal cats but that is okay with us.

Read the First post on this topic here