Thursday, November 25, 2004

Mixed Signals

The past few days, people have been asking me how the boys are feeling. The reason I haven't posted a lot about the status of their respiratory infection is that it's hard to tell sometimes whether they are really getting better or I just think they are getting better.

Behavior-wise, they are rambunctious as always, though sometimes I'll see them calm down for a few hours and wonder whether this is "normal" resting or exhaustion from illness.

They eat and use the litterbox without a problem, but even when they were "sicker" that was not a problem. They chase each other and wrestle each other with great fervor, but even on Saturday -- the day we rushed them to the vet for coughing -- they did that.

So what makes me think they are probably a bit better today than they were a few days ago?

  • They're even more rambunctious than they were before
  • We witness them coughing less and sneezing less

That said, I had a disturbing incident this morning where Beowulf looked like he was going to cough up some phlegm and sat there trying to do it for about 30 seconds. Strangely, it sounded better than some of his coughs on Saturday because it sounded like it was more in his throat than chest. However, after that, it was off to the races with his brother.

The boys have been fighting the sneezes and coughs since we adopted them 10 days ago. We took them to the shelter doctor and they got a light antibiotic. Then, last weekend, they developed a frightening cough and we rushed them to a private vet who prescribed a more powerful antibiotic that they have been on since Saturday.

So my question is "how will we know when they are over this?" I continue to give them their daily antibiotics and, to be fair, it has only been 5 days that they've been on it. But how long does a cat URI (upper respiratory infection) last?


maizzy said...

ooh... sicky kitties... poor babies hope they are doing ok... lucky me i went browsing and walla got your page... as this weekend i, myself will be looking to get a kitty... there is an adoption weekend coming up at a shelter here... so i cannot wait... previously we had gone to like 3-4 pet stores looking for a kitty to adopt... and none were found... they had run out and didn't know when they were getting more... i was truly sad... and then decided to go on the net looking and found the shelter that has adoption days at different vet clinics... so that was great... cannot wait!!! heee... =^.^= ... a few months ago i wanted a kitty so much that i went and saw a stray and decided to take it in... she was sick... so i took her to a priv. vet (going back in 3wks, we never made it!) and she gave me some medz for her.. i even named her Grace... which she only had a few days to live, not knowing ofcourse... then on the fifth day she passed away... i was so sad i cried for like 2-3wks... i still miss her... she was a orange tabby & still a kitten.
i will be reading on your adoption... pretty good..

=^.^= meow-ciao =^.^=

Anonymous said...

Simple Feline URIs usually last approximately the same amount of time as human colds. So figure about a week to 10 days.

I have raised many cats from kittenhood and it is entirely normal for them to alternate periods of intense activity with periods when they are zonked out asleep. Just like little kids.

I have one tip on bonding. Petting and holding are important but the other big bonding activity is feeding. A & B will become more bonded to whoever feeds them so my advice is for you and Liz to switch off on the feeding.

If you are already using a covered litterbox I don't have any other further tips for containing litter. Just be glad that you are using a grain based ltter. That way when you have dinner guests and they find little bits of it on the dining room table you can tell them it's just cereal left over from breakfast :)

Vet insurance is kind of a problematic area. Insurance companies have to take in more money than they pay out so over a period of time you will be paying more than you will be getting back. Even if you had signed up for insurance the same day you adopted A & B neither of the insurance companies you mentioned would have paid anything toward your recent bills because they would have considered it a "pre-existing condition."

If you are like most people your cats will be pretty healthy for the first 10 years or so in which case you would be better off just trying to put $20 a month into a special account for the cats and letting it accumulate to a few hundred dollars. Of course, if one of your cats develops something serious while still relatively young you will be glad to have the insurance. That's not likely but if it makes a difference in how much treatment you can afford it will be worth it.

I would try to phone someone at the Vet insurance company and try to pin them down with a written list of what is covered and how much they pay out. Then take that to the vet's office and compare the figures. Most vet's offices have standard amounts that they charge for routine things, vaccinations, blood panels, etc. You can also ask if the vet offers any kind of low interest financing for large bills. Some vets do.

Good luck--I've been enjoying the blog. Those guys sure are cute. I have always been partial to the classic tabbies as opposed to the mackerel tabbies.

Ellen aka Calamintha (CATS forum)

Avram said...

Thanks for the advice. I know the insurance may not be the best investment, but it will give me some piece of mind in thinking about emergencies that could pop up.

I have a covered litterbox, but just yesterday I got a great little cordless hand vacuum to help me do quick clean ups of the area around the box a few times a day. Hopefully that will help a bit. I wonder also if a better matt (this is a flat rubber matt) would absorb more of the loose litter.

Anonymous said...

As far as the mat goes, you might want to go to a hardware store or Home Depot and look at the doormats that they have that are meant to be used outside on the porch or where ever. Those things are designed to catch dirt and debris and might work better with litter. I have seen one that is like astroturf but stiffer that might work well. A good vacuum is a necessity.

Ellen aka Calamintha