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Worries over my old cat

Worries over my old cat

Old Jan 14th 2009, 8:39 pm
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Default Worries over my old cat

We are moving to Oz in April and have had our 15 year old cat, that we intend to bring with us, in for a geriatric test. Unfortunately it has been found that he is suffering from a heart murmur, the onset of kidney failure and bad teeth.

So today he has had his problem teeth removed under anesthetic and vet said "if he recovers quickly it is a good sign". Well I have had him home for about an hour and he has already wolfed down a load of food and seems not too bad considering. To me he seems quite healthy and he has moved house about 8 times over the last 15 years so quite used to moving around to new places.

The vet says it might be better not to put him through the stress so over the next week I have to consider if I risk taking him or I try to find him a new home.

Like the vet I have worries over the journey and the quarantine process, I really want him in Oz but I dont want the process to kill him.

Has anyone else sent out an older cat who did not have the best health and how did they get on?
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Old Jan 14th 2009, 9:27 pm
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Default Re: Worries over my old cat

I have not done that but have had plenty of older cats. I think when they are old familiarity is the main thing. Do you have a family member who would take him.

We want to go to the UK for an extended trip but we have two dogs one 14 and one 12 and are loathe to put them in kennels so we are not going it would be too hard for them. I know people would say how could you but I would rather put them to sleep than cause them any distress as they have had a long happy wonderful life. I would worry all the time about them.
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Old Jan 14th 2009, 9:34 pm
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Default Re: Worries over my old cat

Originally Posted by timebandit View Post
We are moving to Oz in April and have had our 15 year old cat, that we intend to bring with us, in for a geriatric test. Unfortunately it has been found that he is suffering from a heart murmur, the onset of kidney failure and bad teeth.

So today he has had his problem teeth removed under anesthetic and vet said "if he recovers quickly it is a good sign". Well I have had him home for about an hour and he has already wolfed down a load of food and seems not too bad considering. To me he seems quite healthy and he has moved house about 8 times over the last 15 years so quite used to moving around to new places.

The vet says it might be better not to put him through the stress so over the next week I have to consider if I risk taking him or I try to find him a new home.

Like the vet I have worries over the journey and the quarantine process, I really want him in Oz but I dont want the process to kill him.

Has anyone else sent out an older cat who did not have the best health and how did they get on?
I have 2 old cats aged 12, one has an irregular heart but all ok otherwise and we do intend to take them as I have volunteered at a local rescue centre here in Uk and old cats 7 yrs plus taake years to rehome often and all they will do on the journey is what they do at home - sleep! its only 30 days in quarantine.
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Old Jan 14th 2009, 9:54 pm
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Default Re: Worries over my old cat

Originally Posted by timebandit View Post
Has anyone else sent out an older cat who did not have the best health and how did they get on?
Our two cats are the same age as your, if not a little older. One of them is still as sprite as a young kitten (and dense as a cabbage) but the other is sickly has more problems than you can shake a stick at and costs us a fortune (though we love her so and would do anything to help her).

We were very worried about her being OK on the long flight, but ours were fine and LOVES the sun out here, lazing about and purring loudly all day. Best thing we ever did for them.

However, get advice from your vet on the suitability for your cat. If she is on meds which have to be taken every day this might be an issue. The cat must be checked by your government approved vet a couple of days prior to leaving. Then the airport vet will check the cat again prior to the flight and will not be allowed to fly if they disagree. Air Supply (great animal shipping company that we used) explained that the animals are alone during the flight and are not monitored.

Hope this helps
Al

Last edited by bigAPE; Jan 14th 2009 at 9:58 pm.
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Old Jan 14th 2009, 10:46 pm
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Default Re: Worries over my old cat

Hi there

As the others have said get him checked out by the vet.

Our cat had a heart murmur which was only discovered when he had a bad liver infection so it was never an issue and never caused any problems. Bad teeth - well cats are prone to this and can quite happily munch away with no molars - ours did!

Kidneys - expert on this! With the right medication they can trundle on for years - pills and the right food. If it is early onset then (the vet can tell you how much tissue is damaged) go sooner rather than later. You just have to make sure they have plenty of water.

We actually put off coming out because our cat was 18 when the visa came through and we thought we couldn't ship him at that age, however, he went on until almost 22 so looking back at 18 he was fit as a fiddle! It was only the last year that he started having major problems but a lot of that was the after effect of the liver infection. He was a Burmese who are quite robust cats.

You know your cat better than anyone else to know if he can cope with it all. You can visit them in quarantine so that makes it a bit easier. I think maybe cats cope better than dogs, I've read a few stories on here about ill health with dogs and travelling but none about cats.

I know it's really hard which is why we put off coming for so long! In the end we had to make a decision to come (before the visa expired!) and he was going downhill fast and in the end he passed away naturally just before we were going to have to make the awful decision.

I think at the end of the day if you are going to really miss him and if it affects you settling down out here then take the risk and bring him over.

Good luck with your decision - it's a hard one!
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Old Jan 14th 2009, 10:53 pm
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Default Re: Worries over my old cat

Originally Posted by koalakim View Post
Good luck with your decision - it's a hard one!
In my view if the cats are cleared by the vet for transport then there is no decision. I wouldn't, couldn't, leave them behind.

It was also the correct choice for our cats. They LOVE it here.
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Old Jan 14th 2009, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: Worries over my old cat

Our old cat had undiagnosed kidney problems (I suspected) in the UK but was on monthly injections to balance her hormones, we transported her over to Australia without any problems. Once we arrived and she was out of quarantine and in need of a top up for her hormone injection the vet here refused to give the same treatment as it was detrimental to her health and put her on something else instead. The new treatment worked very well. Her Kidney problems escalated after a while and the vet kept her in overnight, did lots of bloods and tests and diagnosed her with high blood pressure, heart murmur and kidney problems, so again new meds.

It does seem that in Australia they use different drugs to the UK and also use more tests to diagnose (obviously this costs a lot of money). So you may find your cat receives different treatment here.

You really need to go on the advice of your vet here and have a very frank discussion with them. Is your cat fit to fly? if not then it is likely at some point a vet will not let them on the plane (even if you have paid up), irrespective of if you wish to take the risk, as they are considering the cats wellbeing. However, as I know because I have been there, that if your cat is unfit to fly you have to make a very difficult decision to leave them behind and if the condition is that problematic and requires lots of vet treatment it may be difficult to rehouse them.

When we booked quarantine you had to book 5-6 months ahead, so bear this in mind.

I hope your cat perks up and is fit to come out to Australia, I can't imagine how we would have felt leaving our little ones behind.
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Old Jan 15th 2009, 7:49 pm
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Default Re: Worries over my old cat

Thank you everyone for your replies.

I spoke to a couple of pet shipping companies today and asked about the availability of quarantine spaces for Sydney and currently there is no waiting time.

He has made a great recovery from having his teeth out yesterday and already seems to have a new lease of energy with a much increased appetite. If he can recover that quickly from having 4 teeth out im hoping that he can deal with quarantine process just as well.

Here's hoping Wednesday's check up goes well and I can get on with organising his move. Having thought about it more today I really dont see how I can leave him behind.
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Old Jan 15th 2009, 7:55 pm
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Default Re: Worries over my old cat

Where do I get info about what I need to do re: my cat as my vet has not been able to advise me about what needs to happen and what the costs are.

thanks
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Old Jan 15th 2009, 8:15 pm
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Default Re: Worries over my old cat

Talk to one of the pet shipping companies like airpets or passportforpets (airsupply).

They will send you an information pack advising what is required and how much it will cost.
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Old Jan 15th 2009, 9:01 pm
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Default Re: Worries over my old cat

Originally Posted by timebandit View Post
We are moving to Oz in April and have had our 15 year old cat, that we intend to bring with us, in for a geriatric test. Unfortunately it has been found that he is suffering from a heart murmur, the onset of kidney failure and bad teeth.

So today he has had his problem teeth removed under anesthetic and vet said "if he recovers quickly it is a good sign". Well I have had him home for about an hour and he has already wolfed down a load of food and seems not too bad considering. To me he seems quite healthy and he has moved house about 8 times over the last 15 years so quite used to moving around to new places.

The vet says it might be better not to put him through the stress so over the next week I have to consider if I risk taking him or I try to find him a new home.

Like the vet I have worries over the journey and the quarantine process, I really want him in Oz but I dont want the process to kill him.

Has anyone else sent out an older cat who did not have the best health and how did they get on?
My dog was about 15 when I moved to Aus. I left him with my mum in the UK as he had a bit of arthritis and I didn't want the move to stress him out. I went back once about a year after I moved out here, he was looking very old + frail. I was glad I went back to see him as he died about 6 months after that. His back legs gave out and he also had kidney problems.

Edit: I think there is a pic of him in my gallery for anyone that's interested.
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Old Jan 15th 2009, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: Worries over my old cat

Originally Posted by Petals View Post
I have not done that but have had plenty of older cats. I think when they are old familiarity is the main thing. Do you have a family member who would take him.

We want to go to the UK for an extended trip but we have two dogs one 14 and one 12 and are loathe to put them in kennels so we are not going it would be too hard for them. I know people would say how could you but I would rather put them to sleep than cause them any distress as they have had a long happy wonderful life. I would worry all the time about them.
We are in a similar situation. A good way out is if you can get a good housesitter which normaly doesn't cost you a cent. We know an elderly lady who does it because she is on a government pension. She stopped renting and chose to be a housesitter instead. In most cases it involves looking after dogs and cat. At the moment she cares for 2 dogs and 2 cats where the owner went to the UK for 6 months. The couple waited until the lady was free to look after the house and animals. She is booked out for the next 18 months if I remember correctly.
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Old Jan 15th 2009, 10:25 pm
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Default Re: Worries over my old cat

Originally Posted by killamarsh View Post
Where do I get info about what I need to do re: my cat as my vet has not been able to advise me about what needs to happen and what the costs are.

thanks
You can get info as has been said by the shipping agent and also you will need to get in touch with your local DEFRA who will provide you with all the official forms that need to be filled out so you can apply for Licence to Import to Australia. They will also talk you through what is required, but for cats it is pretty straight forward as they don't need blood tests.
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Old Jan 17th 2009, 3:26 pm
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Default Re: Worries over my old cat

Thanks for the info.
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Old Jan 17th 2009, 9:17 pm
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Default Re: Worries over my old cat

I really feel for you.

My 16 year old cat goes to his new home tomorrow He is moving in with a old lady thats own cat died. I am sure he will be fine, infact better than me. We are taking Jack my 10 year old dog.

good luck to you both
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