Many cats have a very hard life on the streets, especially homeless unneutered male cats. Entire male cats fight other cats for territory and wander a lot further in search of females in heat than neutered male cats. These cats are sometimes aggressive to our beloved moggies, and because of this can sadly become targets themselves.
A timely intervention…
This was the case with a black and white stray male cat who was living rough and fighting with other cats in Langley Green. Thankfully a concerned resident called Felines 1st for help, when they noticed he was injured. Jeeves, as we named him, was quickly trapped, and at the vet a large, infected abscess was found on his neck, most likely from fighting with other cats.
Jeeves was not microchipped, nor neutered, and no-one had reported him missing. He was sedated to clean the wound, and during the procedure, a blood sample was taken to test for FeLV/FIV. He was also microchipped and treated for fleas and worms, before being settled into a Felines 1st foster pen.
A slow recovery…
The wound on his neck required regular bathing and took a long time to heal. Finally, just over two weeks after his admission, he was well enough to be neutered. Just having this operation had a remarkably beneficial effect on him… his spraying of pungent urine in the pen stopped, and he became less aggressive towards his fosterer.
An FIV positive diagnosis…
Jeeves’ blood test results came back to show that he was FIV positive. FIV stands for feline immunodeficiency virus, and is the cat equivalent of HIV. FIV is only transmitted between cats and cannot be transmitted to humans.
FIV is mainly transmitted through deep bite wounds, the kind that usually occur outdoors during aggressive fights and territorial disputes involving at least one entire male. Less often, FIV is passed onto kittens from an infected mother.
FIV often goes undetected for many years following the initial infection. Although the virus is slow-acting, a cat’s immune system is severely weakened once the disease takes hold. This makes the cat susceptible to diseases and secondary infections, which if untreated, are life-threatening.
FIV is not a death sentence…
FIV positive cats that receive proper veterinary care and are kept in a stress-free, indoor environment can live relatively healthy and comfortable lives. It is essential to keep FIV positive cats indoors, to protect them from exposure to infections from other cats, as well as to protect other cats from FIV.
In early July, Jeeves’ neck wound had healed enough for him to be rehomed. A kind couple, who were able to provide a suitable indoor-only home for him, were identified. He has settled down really well and is now a very much loved part of the family.
The moral of the story…
Jeeves is one of the lucky ones, having been rescued and found a loving home. His story could have been very different, had the concerned Langley Green resident not called Felines 1st to intervene. However, all the hardship that Jeeves went through would likely have been prevented, had he just been neutered as soon as it was safe to do so.
There is the mistaken belief held by some people that it is cruel to neuter cats, because you are taking their manhood away. This couldn’t be further from the truth…! By neutering your cat, you are being a responsible pet owner, ensuring that your cat is less likely to fight and to wander, and to get lost. You are also preventing the increase in stray cats and unwanted litters. Neutered cats are happier, healthier cats.
Please speak to your vet about neutering if your cat is older than 4 months and this has not been done. Schemes are available if finances are tight… your vet can advise you about this.
Jeeves today, happy in his forever home!