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Hello I am going to LECTURE and my mentions will probably turn into TRASH but I don't really care right now!!!!

Yesterday I had to put down a beautiful three-year-old cat named Chansey who was just days away from going to his forever home
Chansey came to me on August 10th because his family left him behind after they moved. When he arrived he hadn't been neutered and probably hadn't ever seen a vet. Though he was deaf, he was an outside cat according to the family's landlord
He was scared and stressed and I worked with him every day to gain his trust and make him feel safe. He opened up to me and proved himself a gentleman in all respects. He wasn't happy in a house with lots of other cats though so I worked to find him a place where he'd be happier
I did.

Yesterday I took him to the vet for his final checkup before being adopted. Among other routine things they did a Feline Leukemia test which, despite an earlier test done at another vet's office being negative, ended up positive.
The disease was advanced enough the only kind and ethical thing to do was humanely euthanize him. He was only three years old and now he's dead.

Because of Feline Leukemia
Feline Leukemia is an incurable disease that destroys a cat's immune system and often ends with the cat dying of cancer or related illnesses. It's also very contagious....cats can transfer it via saliva, blood, urine/feces. It runs rampant in feral/stray cat colonies
There is a vaccine for it but the vaccine's effectiveness isn't absolute. At most it's 85% effective against preventing Feline Leukemia. Which is good of course, and your cat SHOULD be vaccinated but the vaccine isn't a complete guarantee
So where is the lecture you may ask?


Pet cats who get feline leukemia are usually cats allowed outdoors unsupervised and then get in fights with stray/feral cats who are infected. The disease is passed through blood/saliva remember

I've said this so many times on here and every time I say it, I get people in my mentions arguing how it's CRUEL to keep a cat indoors, how they knew a cat that lived the FORTY-FIVE and went outside every day of its life

And you know what? Shut up. SHUT. UP.
There are so many reasons NOT to let your cat outside unsupervised. They can kill local wildlife causing mini ecological crises in your area. They can get hit by a car or poisoned. They can get killed by another cat or dog. They can run afoul of (in the US at least) wild animals
like raccoons or coyotes or lynxes or whatever and die. There are literally a million things that can happen to a cat who is allowed outdoors unsupervised and I don't care about your anecdotes because anecdotes aren't data.
Chansey died at three years old because he was probably bitten by an infected feral cat.

Another of my cats, Martha, who died of advanced lung cancer caused by Feline Leukemia, was five years old. She was formerly feral before a rescue org took her in.
I understand about barn cats. I'm not TALKING about barn cats (who still run the risk of getting Feline Leukemia but barn cats are mostly not suited for indoor life and I get that)

I am talking about YOUR PET CAT
Who you, I hope, love & want to keep safe & healthy
When you let your cat outdoors unsupervised it runs the risk of feline leukemia and you can take that cat to the vet every three months to make yourself feel better but guess what FELINE LEUKEMIA IS INCURABLE. IT IS INCURABLE. It is manageable for a while but YOUR CAT WILL DIE
Read this. Read what Feline Leukemia does:…
An infected cat MAY live three years or so IF the disease is caught early. But the cat WILL develop cancer. The cat WILL suffer. And the cat WILL die.

Indoor cats so rarely get Feline Leukemia
Outdoor cats--EVEN IF VACCINATED--are at a much higher risk

Think about that
Think about it every single time you let your cat outside unsupervised. Think about knowing your cat has a disease that will kill them. A disease that will cause lymphoma, lung cancer, and an increased risk of deadly infections. A disease that you cannot cure.
And I know you'll come at me with excuses. I know you'll tell me how it's different with YOUR cat, how YOUR cat never gets into fights how YOUR cat would just DIE if it couldn't go outside.

And honestly? That's bullshit.
I have a lot of cats because I run a sort of unofficial rescue here in Spain. None of them go outside EVER and hey I don't have issues! Because I spend time playing with them, I have lots of toys, lots of cat trees, lots of interaction for them. None of them are overweight
they don't fight or spray or destroy my furniture. It is not HARD to keep cats happy inside. You just have to make a little bit of an effort.
And look, you can let a cat outside SUPERVISED.

Teach your cat to accept a harness/leash
Build an outdoor "catio" type thing so the cats can hang out outdoors in a safe way
There are cat beds you can buy that attach to your windows so cats can watch what's going on outdoors safely.

There are safe options. They exist. If you make the effort
And it is also possible to turn outdoor cats into indoor cats.

Chansey and Martha, my poor babies, transitioned. I JUST took in a totally feral cat who is having 0 issues adjusting to life inside, who is safe now from all the harm she'd faced before.
Literally. Totally feral. And she has used her litterbox without issue and though she's quarantined right now she's not yowling and screaming with sadness because I deprived her of the ability to die before her third birthday.

I joke a lot about how this is probably my most controversial take here on twitter dot com but I'm not joking now. I had to watch a good sweet cat die yesterday when he should have had years and years of love and happiness.

I watched him die.
I watched him die
I watched him die
If it's not enough for me to tell you your outdoor cat faces dangers from cars and poison and dogs and wild animals and other cats and other people and weather

If it's not enough for me to tell you your outdoor cat can do irreparable harm to the environment

Then listen:
Feline Leukemia will kill your cat in the most heartbreaking way. You will watch your cat die, just as I watched mine. You will watch your cat die of a disease that it would never have developed if it stayed inside.

You will watch your cat die knowing this never had to happen
You will watch your cat die knowing whatever justification you had for letting your cat roam outdoors doesn't matter because you are watching a being that loves you, that trusts you, that needs you die.

You will watch your cat die.
If you'd like to help me pay for the immense vet costs I'm now dealing with because I have to test all of the cats in my "rescue" for Feline Leukemia you are more than welcome to:
Oh and I want to add something:

I know culturally a lot of European countries embrace the notion cats NEED to be outside. I live in Spain so I know it very well. And I know in the UK people often say they don't have predators like in the US, so their cats are fine outdoors
(despite the fact that last time I checked the UK has cars and other cats and dogs and poisons and bad weather)

So I know there's resistance to keeping cats indoors that is deeply ingrained. I get it. I do.

But it's possible to change things
I've seen it here in Spain. Organizations telling adopters it's not good to let cats outdoors, organizations making sure homes are secure so the cats can be kept inside, organizations explaining WHY it's not great to let cats outside.

It's possible, it is
And I know in the UK, the RSPCA and other organizations basically make it a condition of adoption that the cat be let outdoors. I hope there are people in the UK trying to change this.

Anyway, I know these things.

But they don't change the fact Feline Leukemia exists
Anyway, I have a wishlist for my many rescued cats so please check it out and consider getting them a gift. Thank you…
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