by Susan Hoch
I found a kitten outside about 6 months ago, and he has been with me as a inside cat since then. I have never taken him to get his shots or gotten him fixed yet. I have 2 other cats that were rescues with their shots up to date and both fixed.
Last night, the new cat has been acting funny, not wanting to play with the other 2 cats, stays in my bathroom, and has been sneezing a lot since last night.
What could be wrong? Could my 2 other cats catch it? Thank you. I have no money to take him to the vet at this time. I am in the army.
For future reference, you should never introduce a stray cat to your other cats without going to the vet first to have your cat tested for contagious feline diseases like feline leukemia and FIV.
Sneezing in cats is most often due to an upper respiratory infection, or a cat "cold," which is contagious to your other cats. The purpose of the kitten series of vaccines is to make cats not get so sick when they contract upper respiratory infections or viruses. Because your other cats are vaccinated, if they catch this feline upper respiratory infection from your new cat, they will likely recover well, although may still need veterinary care. However, cat diseases like feline leukemia and FIV are also contagious, and your healthy cats will not recover from these serious diseases.
Between this suspected feline upper respiratory infection and your new cat not being tested for feline leukemia or FIV, dewormed, vaccinated, or examined, I would have to strongly suggest you find a way of bringing your cat to a veterinarian for an exam.
Especially if money is a concern, getting pet insurance for your cats would be wise for you to help off-set your veterinary expenses!
All the best,