Nov 2, 2009

Feral Kitten Photo of the Day - Feral Tabby Kitten Pair

Two Feral Kittens by Pagani, all rights reserved

These two feral kittens are perhaps four weeks apart in age but they share a common bond that comes from the need to group together for warmth and protection. We've seen these two separately... the larger silver tabby appears to be the sole survivor of its litter and has been coming to feedings on its own for a while.

Best Friends Poster

The smaller brown tabby kitten has a mostly-white brother and they have been photographed together. It's good that they can have new friends - warmth is always good. And you can't have too many friends!
Two feral tabby kittens photo by Pagani, all rights reserved - please do not take!
"Thank you for watching over us..."

These two seem to be pretty healthy so far. I wish the same could be said for the other group of ferals and their kittens. Right now, though, we're dealing with almost inevitable viral infections that plague feral cat colonies...

Kittens always face various diseases. Respiratory illnesses are very common - not unlike human children, really - but the common respiratory illness here is feline herpes, which is a bit rougher than our common cold - probably more like a severe case of swine flu. Most cats get over the symptoms of feline herpes although some do not.
sick kittens
You can see the classic runny eyes and noses. By the way, I must remind everyone again that humans cannot get feline herpes. It is not a cross-species infection.

As you know, I'm there to feed twice a day. If I see a kitten that is sick enough that I think I can catch it, I will always try. If I succeed, I will at least clean them up, warm them up, give them a flea-combing etc. I will take them to the vet if I can afford to do so.

There isn't really a medicine for feline herpes. A vet may give antibiotics but it doesn't help; feline herpes is a viral infection. A significant factor in survival, however, relates to flea infestations.

Fleas, on their own, severely debilitate kittens and a sick kitten can easily die of anemia due to fleas. Therefore, removing fleas helps a lot. As they get bigger and depending on cash on hand, they can get treatments with Revolution or Advantage - and this has saved many little kitten lives.

feline herpes kitten
When they get this sick, I can often catch them and give them some basic treatment. I've also managed to tame and adopt some this way. Since I'm at my personal legal limit for cats however, these days I can only tame them if there are homes waiting. It can be a heartbreaking decision but there are also some wonderful success stories too. I always remind myself of that.

You may remember that one of our more recent rescue stories with a happy ending involved a little tabby kitten that had respiratory infections aggravated by a massive flea infestation and roundworms (also very common). Read her story HERE ... when I'm feeling down I always go back and read how sometimes things turn out okay. It helps a lot.

I hope you'll hang in there with me, believing that things will turn out all right ...somehow. There are kitties out there who believe...

Rescued kitten meows "thank you...!"