Monday, May 30, 2011

Mr. Bean, the kitten

We are all loving having a baby in the house! A baby kitten that is!
We finally agreed on a name for him; Mr. Bean.

A couple of weeks ago, our babysitter Emma (pictured below---is it obvious how popular she is around here!), who works in a vet office, sent me a text. She said a  2 week old (or so) motherless kitten had been brought in, and would we want him? Of course I'm always a sucker for abandoned kids and stray animals, and John said yes. Sooo.....

Here he is, Mr. Bean....Isn't he cute? He has a little chip missing from his ear. Who knows why. (I wanted to name him "Chip" but nobody else thought it was as clever as I did.)

So far he is getting along just fine. We have had to bottle feed him-Who knew they made teeny tiny little bottles--He is now lapping up milk from a saucer and eating solid foods. I had no idea how quickly cats pick up on litter box training! What a smart little cookie!

The dogs are warming up too. Luke seems to think he is the mama. Yesterday he licked him until he was sopping wet. So cute.

Yes, we are loving having a kitten in the house....

Try it out here:


Sylvia MiaSara Truewell said...
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Sylvia MiaSara Truewell said...

Aw, he's very cute!

That "chip" in his ear is likely due to an infection.
He probably had a small scratch or a flea bite that got infected. The infection eats right through the thin tissue of the ear.

As long as it's no longer an open wound (no scabbing, redness, inflammation, etc.), he's good! Otherwise, he'll need a round of antibiotics.

Kittens are especially at risk of infections, as they have a weak immune system, though this does bring up concerns of an autoimmune issue like FIV (the cat version of HIV) or FELV (feline leukemia.)

I imagine he's probably from a feral or stray (typically the case with orphan kittens)? If so, that places him at high risk for FIV/FELV. So please get him tested ASAP, especially if you have other cats!!
(Exception: if you know who his mother and father are, and you know for a fact that they've both had very recent negative tests for FIV/FELV.)

Be sure to avoid letting him run loose outdoors until he's been tested for FIV/FELV! If he's positive, he'll spread these deadly diseases to other neighborhood cats.

For a kitten under 6 months, it's possible to retain mom's antibodies for FIV (resulting in a false positive), so you need to ask for a special test. Do NOT get the antibody test; you need to get the test that tests for the presence of the actual virus, not the antibodies.

If he does test positive, please don't just euthanize him. (This is usually the vet's recommendation). I have 3 FIV+ cats, who are living happy, healthy lives. One day, they will succumb, but for now (and for the past few years), they've been very healthy! Just like HIV, FIV's latent phase can last for years.
There are people who will adopt FIV+ cats (like me!). And if he's your only cat, he won't pose a danger to anyone, as long as you keep him indoors!
FELV, unfortunately, is a bit more fast-acting; most kittens don't reach adulthood.

There is an FELV vaccination, but the FIV vaccination is known to be ineffective in many cases. The FIV vaccine protects against 2 of the 5 strains of FIV, so.
If he was already vaccinated for FIV, an antibody test will come up positive. So that's another reason to opt for the test that detects the actual virus.

Best of luck with your new baby! He's so very sweet!

Charissa said...

Thank you Sylvia. I guess this post shows how much we have to learn!! :)