Ten Tips for Nine Lives

Ten Tips for Nine Lives
by Arnold Plotnick MS, DVM, ACVIM, ABVP

“I have another litter that needs placement”.

I’ve heard this sentence many times in the past few years. The speaker of the sentence is Theresa Bachu, a local animal rescuer with a mission: to spay and neuter as many feral cats in the New York City area as possible, and to find good homes for kittens born to those who’ve escaped her spay dragnet.

In 2003, I began collaborating with Theresa to help her achieve her lofty goals. By placing her kittens in my veterinary hospital display window (taking advantage of the brisk neighborhood foot-traffic), we’ve managed to place over 200 kittens into responsible, loving homes.

There are few things in life more endearing and enjoyable than a fuzzy new kitten. But caring for a kitten is a great responsibility, a commitment that often lasts 15 or even 20 years. To ensure that these kittens complete their kittenhood with flying colors, we educate our clients as to the many health, behavioral and well-being issues that need to be considered.

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  1. Excellent article. However I must object to Dr. Stone's uniformly grim prognosis for FeLV+ kittens that "rarely live a few weeks after diagnosis." Feline leukemia is not an immediate death sentence. With good nutrition, a low stress indoor environment, and good prophylactic care an FeLV+ kitten can have a good quality of life without major diseases for up to several years. FeLV+ kittens deserve a chance to live and be loved and they can bring great joy to their owners, as I can attest. It bears repeating that no cat should be euthanized solely on a diagnosis of FeLV infection, as you state in your excellent FeLV Update. Thank you for all that you do for cats.


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