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Cat Care Society Blog

Improvements Continue in The Cat Clinic

Friday, August 26, 2016

We are rapidly growing and expanding our all Cat Clinic to better serve you and your feline family.

Welcome Barbara Goodrich, DVM!

Our veterinary care staff continues to grow! We are pleased to add a second veterinarian, Barbara Goodrich, to the Cat Clinic team.  Previously owning her own feline practice, Dr. Goodrich brings a wealth of veterinary knowledge and expertise to CCS.  

With a combined 20-plus years veterinary care experience, the Cat Clinic team offers exceptional care to our shelter cats as well as our clinic patients.

Enjoy Our Expanded Services

To provide the highest quality care for your feline family, we have expanded our veterinary services to include extended hours, in-house bloodwork, urine culture testing, ultrasound testing and Royal Canin prescription food. In addition, we now offer additional surgery options and dental procedures using our digital dental X-ray unit.

With the addition of our second veterinarian, we are now expanding clinic hours to include Saturday, starting with 8:00am - 12:00pm, increasing to 8:00am - 5:00pm, beginning September 10th. In addition, starting September 13th, we are extending clinic hours further to include Tuesday-Friday from 7:00am - 6:00pm. Our goal is to better serve you, our loyal and valued clients!

All of these important upgrades mean less outsourcing; more savings we can pass on to you; faster turnaround on imaging and tests; and most important, the highest quality veterinary care for your cat!

September Dental Special

September is Dental Health month at the Cat Clinic! We are offering discounted dental procedures for a flat rate of $350 (for cats 7 years and under) and $425 (for cats 8 years and over). The cost includes exam, bloodwork, scale/polish, unlimited extractions, anesthesia and medication(s).

Dental care is critical to the health of your cat and proper dental care can prevent the onset of many health issues.

Clinic Makeover - Cat House Gallery

The Cat Clinic makeover is complete! We have repainted the Cat Clinic with calming colors, updated our waiting room furnishings and added new artwork. The final step was the completion of our mural which is displayed in the clinic waiting room. We want every customer and patient that enters the clinic to experience its warm and inviting atmosphere from a fear-free vantage point.

The artwork on display is part of the Cat House Gallery which hosts rotating artwork for sale in the Cat Clinic waiting area. Art shows will alternate every few months and include various themes. Best of all, 40% of the art sales directly benefit the cats at CCS and to date we have sold 24 paintings. Our new show, Walk on the Wild Side has already begun, so please stop by to purchase your own exotic wild cat art!

We're Not Done Yet!

We have accomplished so many of our important goals for the Cat Clinic and we're not done yet! We still have plans to upgrade our standard X-ray machine and purchase an in-house ultrasound unit in 2016.  We are planning a mix of fundraising and grant writing activities to help us fund these enhancements, ensuring that the CCS operating budget will be minimally taxed.

Thanks for your continued support, the future of the Cat Clinic at Cat Care Society looks bright and we look forward to serving you and your feline family for all of your veterinary care needs!

What is FeLV?

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

FeLV is more commonly known as Feline leukemia virus.  Despite its name, it is not a form of cancer or leukemia, it is a retrovirus in the same family as FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), and it is able to copy its own genetic material into infected cells, which is how it reproduces in an animal.

FeLV is known as a “friendly disease”, meaning that cats spread it to their friends.  It transmits very easily between cats since the virus sheds in high quantities from saliva and nasal secretions.  It can be passed from cat to cat as they groom each other, share food and water bowls, share litter boxes, and fighting amongst themselves, and it can pass from mother to kitten in the womb or to a nursing kitten by way of the mother’s milk.  It can also be spread by urine and feces, though that is not as common.  Even less commonly, it can be passed by way of flea bites, blood transfusions, or non-sterilized needles or surgical instruments.  

The only way to diagnose FeLV is by way of a blood test.  Your veterinarian can run a test in their clinic, and if the test comes up positive, a second sample is sent to the lab to confirm the diagnosis.  Cats can test positive within a few weeks of exposure, and most cats who are positive will be so within 30 days.  Younger cats are more susceptible to FeLV.  Some adults are able to fight off the infection after exposure and will never develop the disease.  Most veterinarians recommend retesting after 6 weeks if the test is questionable.

There is no way to diagnose FeLV from symptoms because there are no specific symptoms to watch for.  Cats with FeLV generally have weaker immune systems and are more prone to common infections such as dental disease and upper respiratory infections.  They can live normal lives, but their life spans are significantly shorter.  Kittens with FeLV will generally live one to three years; adults can live a bit longer.  FeLV does not cause death itself, but the cats develop other diseases due to the weakened immune system, such as feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), lymphoma, or bone marrow disease.

There is no treatment for FeLV.  Preventative and supportive care is the most important part of caring for a cat with FeLV.  Any illness or infection needs to be treated by a veterinarian as soon as it is noticed, and dental care is a high priority, since infections in the mouth and gums can pass through the bloodstream and cause more serious infections they can’t fight off.  Raw foods and unpasteurized dairy products should be avoided because of the risk for foodborne bacterial and parasitic infections from such items.  

Vaccinating any cat who goes outdoors or may be exposed to cats with FeLV with the FeLV vaccine can help prevent transmission of the disease.  If your cat goes outside, or if you bring unvaccinated cats into your home (or cats that you are not familiar with their vaccine history), the vaccine can protect them from the virus.

FeLV cats must reside indoors, so they do not expose other cats to the virus, and can live in homes with FeLV negative cats as long as they live completely separately.  They can never share food bowls, litter boxes, and can never come into contact with each other.  They may have a shorter life span, and they do require more attentive preventative care, but they are worth it.  FeLV cats are wonderful, amazing animals, and deserve the chance to live happy lives filled with love.  

Join Us at the Festival of Felines on Saturday, August 27

Monday, August 08, 2016

Cat Care Society's Festival of Felines is back with a twist- Saturday, August 27, 2016, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the CCS shelter, 5787 W. Sixth Avenue.

With Tails of the Painted Cats starting bi-annually in 2017, we are adding new activities to our beloved annual festival.

The following free, family-oriented activities will be available for Festival attendees:
  • New in 2016: Meet the CCS Painted Cat Mascot, Sue Sioux
  • New in 2016: Browse our Craft Fair with high quality handmade items for sale (100% proceeds benefit the shelter cats)
  • New in 2016: Browse the Cat House Gallery with rotating artwork for sale in the Cat Clinic waiting area (40% of the proceeds benefit the shelter cats)
  • Browse our fully stocked Meow Mart store (proceeds benefit the shelter cats)
  • Pet and play with the CCS shelter cats and kittens
  • Enjoy free refreshments: Champagne Punch (non-alcoholic also available), Coffee and Cake
  • Giveaways  and Spin The Wheel of Cat Swag with every $10 Meow Mart purchase
The public is welcome to come and celebrate the Cat Care Society shelter cats and our love and support of the art community! 

Rocky and Rigby's Crowdfund is Off to an Amazing Start

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Rocky and Rigby require specialized surgery and they need your help! More than 50 donors have already stepped up to take us 30% of the way in achieving Rocky and Rigby's Crowdfund.  Please donate now!

CCS has teamed with LoveAnimals.org to raise funds for Rocky's liver tumor removal surgery and Rigby's adrenal gland removal surgery.

Our sincere thanks if you have already donated to help Rocky and Rigby. If not, please consider donating today so our sweet boys can receive the critical medical care they need. The minimum donation at LoveAnimals.org is $2.00. We thank you in advance for whatever level you're able to contribute.

Rocky has faced some challenges the last 8 years of his life. He was adopted and returned to CCS several times. In the fall of 2015, Rocky was returned to CCS for aggression towards the resident cats. Shortly after Rocky arrived back at the shelter he became quite ill. Rocky was diagnosed with cholangiohepatitis and a liver mass. He made a full recovery from the cholangiohepatitis and although the liver tumor appeared benign, the veterinarians wanted to monitor Rocky and recheck the liver tumor in 6 months.

Rigby is a 9 year old declawed senior that was brought to CCS when he began acting aggressively towards the cats in his home. Rigby had a tough time when he arrived at the shelter; he was very shy and reclusive. It took several weeks until he felt safe to come out of his shell and trust the staff caring for him.

We noticed right away that Rigby had a strong odor (like an intact male cat) and it was thought that he was cryptorchid (that he had a retained testicle). After further testing it was determined that Rigby had an issue with his adrenal gland.


Rocky's ultrasound results determined that his liver tumor has grown. Because the tumor has grown we need to address this issue right away. Based on the location of the tumor and its current size, surgery by a specialist is the best option for Rocky. Having the liver tumor surgically removed will provide Rocky with longevity and quality of life. With surgery, our sweet Rocky should make a full recovery and find his forever home!

Rigby saw a specialist for an ultrasound and the test determined he has a tumor on his adrenal gland. Based on the ACTH test results, surgery by a specialist is the best long-term option for Rigby. Surgery will provide him with comfort and quality of life; surgery will also give Rigby the option of finding an adoptive home (right now folks don't want to adopt him due to his odor). With surgery, our sweet Rigby should make a full recovery and find his forever home!


  • Surgery to Remove Liver Tumor: $3,500

  • Supportive Care: $1,600

  • Continued Care: $900

  • TOTAL: $6,000


  • Surgery to Remove Adrenal Gland Tumor: $4,600

  • Supportive Care: $1,800

  • Continued Care: $600

  • TOTAL: $ 7,000

Rocky has faced many challenges in his life but he never let it affect his loving personality. He absolutely adores every human he meets; he especially loves belly scratches and playtime. With your support, Rocky can have a long and happy life!

Despite Rigby's medical challenges he has become a very well-adjusted, social and loving cat and he is quick to greet new visitors entering his room. With your support, Rigby can have comfort and quality of life!  

Please visit our LoveAnimals.org Crowdfund page to read Rocky and Rigby's entire story and see why they need our help.

Watch their YouTube videos: http://bit.ly/2aCXyPx  and http://bit.ly/2aGFP7j

Please help Rocky and Rigby heal so they can have the second chance at life they both deserve! Thank you for your support!

The Reality of FIV

Thursday, August 04, 2016

FIV:  it sounds scary, but what exactly is FIV?  FIV stands for feline immunodeficiency virus, and it is a retrovirus (similar to HIV).  That means it uses the RNA in cells to reproduce.  It is also known as a lentivirus, which means it is a slow virus, that can take months or years to incubate, and is capable of lying dormant in the body before causing any symptoms.

What does FIV do? FIV causes an immunodeficiency in the cat’s body, meaning that the body is not able to create a normal immune response.  Most cats infected with FIV have a normal life expectancy, and do not show symptoms of the disease.  However they are prone to developing infections and certain types of cancer due to their weakened immune system.  Some cats can fight off the infection after they are exposed and become immune, some may become carriers who never get sick themselves, but most commonly they become infected and develop a compromised immune system.

How do cats get FIV? One place the virus lives is in the salivary glands of an infected cat.  FIV is transmitted cat to cat, usually through deep bite wounds, where viral cells can pass from the infected cat’s mouth into the uninfected cat’s blood stream.  There are less common ways of passing the infection on, occasionally it can be passed from mother to kitten in utero, during the birthing process, or when kittens are nursing.  Because of the way it is transmitted, cats infected with FIV can live normal lives in homes with cats who do not have FIV.  

It is extremely unlikely (and may even be impossible, if they are properly introduced) for a cat to contract FIV from being around infected cats, from grooming infected cats, from sharing food bowls, playing with another cat, sharing a litter box, or from secondary contact with a person who has touched an FIV positive cat.  

How is a cat diagnosed with FIV? There is no way to tell that a cat has FIV just from looking at them.  FIV is diagnosed by way of a blood test, which tests for antibodies in the blood stream.  Most veterinary clinics use an in-house test, which is good, but can give false positives on occasion, so if a cat does test positive for FIV, a secondary test is always sent out to a lab to confirm the diagnosis.  Also, kittens can test positive for FIV just from their mother’s antibodies, which may remain in their system for up to 6 months.  This is why a kitten who tests positive for FIV is not considered positive until they are retested once they are over 6 months old.  Another thing to remember is that if you test a cat for FIV who has been outdoors, they may test negative, but still have FIV.  The test is checking for antibodies in the blood stream, and the antibodies may not show up for several months.

What symptoms will a cat with FIV have?   It depends; some cats will show no symptoms, others may show signs, and others may have periods of appearing healthy interspersed with being ill.  Some of the symptoms may include enlarged lymph nodes, recurrent fever, weight loss, poor coat condition, inflammation of the gums, recurrent infections of the skin, bladder and upper respiratory tract, diarrhea, and behavioral changes.  They are also more prone to get other infections, such as ringworm.  Since all cats react differently, there is no way to tell what signs will appear in an individual cat.

How can FIV be prevented?   The only way to prevent a cat from getting FIV is to keep them from being exposed.  Keeping cats indoors is the best measure of prevention.  An FIV positive cat can live with an FIV negative cat, as long as they do not fight.  There is a vaccine for FIV, but it is not recommended for cats because not only does it have poor efficacy, but any cat who receives the vaccine will test positive for FIV.  Although cats who have FIV live normal lifespans, a cat who is vaccinated and happens to escape their house may well be euthanized at a shelter because they test positive for FIV.

How should a cat who is diagnosed with FIV be cared for?   Cats who are FIV positive can live full and healthy lives, with our help.  They should be kept indoors, so they don’t risk infecting other cats, and to limit their exposure to outside infections.  They should also be spayed or neutered, so they can’t pass the infection to other cats by breeding.  They should eat nutritionally balanced diets, with no raw meat or eggs, or unpasteurized dairy products.  This is because they are at higher risk for food-borne bacterial and parasitic infections from such items.  They should have wellness visits with a veterinarian at least once a year, preferably every 6 months, so that any infection or illness that starts can be caught and treated early, before it overwhelms their immune system.  Be vigilant and notice any changes in an FIV cat’s behavior or attitude, so that any changes that could be a sign of illness are caught and recognized early.

What is the most important thing to know about FIV positive cats?   Know that FIV positive cats are wonderful, playful, social, and loving animals, who deserve the same chance at life and happiness as all other cats.  Having FIV is not the end of a cat's life, it’s just a change.  They can live full lives, chase sparkly balls, eat catnip, and curl up in your arms, because having FIV doesn’t make them less, it only makes us less, when we don’t give them a chance.

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