Tagged: “Orange Street Cats”

Thinking About Fostering or Adopting an FeLV+ Cat?

Thinking About Fostering or Adopting an FeLV+ Cat?

We at Orange Street Cats are thrilled to hear that you’re investigating fostering or adopting a FeLV+ cat. FeLV+ cats can live great lives. They deserve your love and affection as much as possible. Here are some things you should know about welcoming a FeLV+ cat into your home and keeping your cat healthy.

What is FeLV?

FeLV stands for “feline leukemia virus.” Despite its name, FeLV isn’t cancer. It’s a cat-specific virus that suppresses a cat’s immune system, which in turn makes a cat susceptible to illnesses that might not affect a FeLV- cat, including cancers, eye diseases, and stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth). It is estimated that 2-3% of cats nationally are FeLV+. In the Northeast, that figure is estimated at 2.9%.

How does a cat get FeLV?

The FeLV virus is transmitted via an infected cat’s saliva, urine, and feces, but it is not highly contagious, as the virus cannot live in the environment longer than a few hours. Cats can become infected through biting, grooming, mating, or sharing food, water, or litter boxes with a FeLV+ cat. Pregnant cats may transmit the virus to some or all of their kittens, although not all kittens born to a FeLV+ mother will contract the disease. Healthy adult cats are less susceptible to the virus; cats with weakened immune systems and kittens are more so.


What does it mean to have a FeLV+ cat?

While FeLV+ cats may have shortened lifespans, adopting one means the same as adopting any other cat; companionship, affection, and joy for as long as the cat is part of your family. They require no special environment and can live safely with dogs, kids, and other FeLV+ cats. Ownership requires a commitment to regular vet care, a quality diet, and an indoor-only home, with an increased responsibility to monitor the cat’s health and behavior to ensure any illness is dealt with promptly. Most importantly, FeLV+ cats need someone who believes even a shortened life has value, and cats facing that possibility are as deserving of loving homes as any other cat.

What are the Symptoms of FeLV?

• Loss of appetite
• Weight loss
• Lethargy
• Fever
• Diarrhea
• Unusual breathing patterns
• Pale gums or yellow around the mouth and whites of the eye

Can FeLV-negative & FeLV-positive cats live together?

FeLV+ and FeLV- cats shouldn’t live in physical contact with each other, as the virus is transmissible among cats that groom each other and that share food, water, and litter boxes.

Can FeLV be cured?

There is currently no cure for FeLV, but your cat’s symptoms and secondary infections, like respiratory illnesses or dental problems, can be addressed.

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Is There a Vaccine?

A vaccine is available that is effective for older cats, but its efficiency is only 75-80%, depending on the vaccine. Therefore, it is recommended that FeLV+ cats are kept separate from FeLV- cats.

How is FeLV diagnosed?

FeLV is diagnosed through blood tests performed by a veterinarian. It takes more than one test to confirm a positive diagnosis.

How long will a FeLV+ Cat live?

Predicting the lifespan of any cat is almost impossible; it varies by cat as well as overall health and daily care. FeLV+ adults can live healthy lives for many years; a FeLV+ kitten may not survive more than one or two years.


How can I keep my FeLV+ Cat as Healthy as Possible?

• Keep all household cats indoors.
• Have all cats spayed/neutered.
• Don’t allow your cats to interact with stray cats.
• Have your cat examined by a vet every six months.
• Keep your cat up-to-date on routine vaccinations & preventatives, such as flea treatments.
• Treat illnesses promptly!
• Bring your cat to the veterinarian as soon as you notice he/she is not feeling well.
• Feed a high-quality diet and avoid raw diets due to the increased risk of bacterial infection.
• Discuss the use of dietary supplements with your vet.

The Bottomline?

FeLV+ cats can live great lives. They deserve your love & affection as much as possible. 

Orange Street Cats thanks Dr. Kelly L. Spence, DVM for her expertise and The Binky Foundation for their generous support of this educational campaign.

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FIV: Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

FIV: Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Huh?  What?  It is 2014 already?!?  Where has the time gone?  It just seems like yesterday when we heralded in 2013.

2013 was quite a year for us!  We had a lot of firsts….

  1. First annual Bowl-A-Thon!  This event was a raging success!  We had amazing volunteers, raffle items, and support!  Special Thanks to volunteers Iris, Samantha, Ilene, Jeremy, Kathleen for the AMAZING baked goods, and Eric better known as DJ KDeuce for his time and energy.  We already have the second annual bowl-a-thon booked in April.
  1. Our first annual “Cocktails for Kitties” event at McGearys.  Another Raging success!  We had a great time and Tess just makes it happen!  Thank you Tess, McGeary’s staff, volunteers Chris, Sam, Sandy, Diane, Andrea, and Maria.  Special thanks to Kathleen for the incredible baked goods and DJ KDeuce for DJ service.  We had some very positive response for this event and we hope to do it again on 2014.  Stay tuned!
  1. We had our first meet and greet using Face Time!  Clyde met his new Dad that way.  Very cool!
  1. We attended PetaPalooza for the first time this year.  It was not a total success for us however it was quite a learning experience!
  1. Little Grace started her blog this year and wrote about her story as an Orange Street Cat.  We have had other adoptees write their story as well and we are always looking for more!
  1. We met new volunteers and now die-hard OSC family members Tina and Rob, Dave, and Kate.  How did we ever get along without them?

So, looking back, we had a great year!  We saved 86 cats and found incredible homes for 61 of them.  We spread the word about Orange Street Cats and our mission to over 2000 Facebook followers and we continue to meet new friends every day.   We love Benson’sHealthy Pet, and PetSupplies Plus.  These businesses open their space and hearts to us and we are FOREVER thankful!   (An extra thank you and hug to the folks at Benson’s who allowed us to put up a Christmas tree at the Colonie store for the 2nd year in a row!)  We also want to give Shout out to Travis of On a Limb Tree Care who has come to help us in the drop of a hat.  Frankly, we could go on and on…..we have had that many supporters!

There are many people that donate their time and energy to us….David Louis of Talk toYour Animals has done wonders with some of our cats.  We are so thankful for David!  Jennet Jones-Rau of Feathered Nest Studio has done some incredible design work for us.  Joanne Brady made sweet fleece blankets for us!  A very special Thank You to Tina and Rob who have opened their home to numerous fosters, hosted several successful garage sales, got us in touch with the “Albany Cap to Troy Tap” folks and spearheaded the NYS Tax and Finance year-end fundraiser!  Wow!  We absolutely love you guys!  So many people have come to help bottle feed and socialize the kittens and cats.  Our foster families could not continue without this group of tireless warriors!

And how can we forget, the magnificent folks who have adopted our cats!  We at OSC are huge believers in the “Magic”.  You all have found the magic with your new family member and we LOVE IT!

All in all, we would like to send a great big THANK YOU to all who have donated time, money, food, litter, beds, linens, toys, carriers, medicine, and raffle items.  You have shared our stories, participated in our online fundraising events.  You have sent us positive thoughts, prayers and kind and encouraging words.   We are so proud and thankful for YOU, our supporters.  We could not continue this journey without all of you.  We LOVE you and may you all have a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Roy, Abby, and Bella… The Real Story

Roy, Abby, and Bella… The Real Story

Hello my faithful followers!  Little Grace here!  I have what us writers call “writers block”.  I put a call out to my fellow Orange Street Cats to see if anyone wanted to tell their story.  Roy has answered my call!  This is the story of Roy, Abby, and Bella.  Enjoy!
Purrs!  ~Little Grace

Me! Roy!

Hi All!  Roy here. I figured since Orange Street Cats wanted a story I could tell you all what really happened with me and my new family.   Abby (her name used to be Lynne) and I were rescued when the nice people at Orange Street Cats (OSC) saved our Mama.   We were the only two kittens left after our siblings found their forever homes. We were getting up there in age (6 1/2 months old)…..Pretty soon we’d be considered old….
What we didn’t know was that soon we would be able to go home together to our forever home AND we would have a new little sister (who clearly needed to be shown the ropes….)

Our little sister to be, Bella, was found when she was only about 3-4 weeks old.  A nice lady (Aunt Rebecca) heard her crying in a rainstorm and went out to see who was crying.  Aunty R found Bella all by herself with no mommy, no brothers or sisters to keep her company or warm or dry or fed. No wonder she was crying! Aunty R took Bella in (despite being allergic to cats) and warmed her up, gave her some milk and took her to the vet the next day. Bella was really lucky. She only needed someone to help feed her to get her on the right track.



Aunty R told people at work that she had found Bella and was hoping someone would want to be her new Mom and Dad (she was trying to avoid the sneeze factor). Bella’s picture was passed around and it was oohhed and aaahhed over.   (They really like kittens and cats and even (gasp) dogs in that office.)

Well, our soon to be new Mom had lost her cat “Lucky” a while ago and had talked about being ready for a new cat.  The others in the office suggested she look at Bella….one look at the picture and she was completely won over.  Those big bright eyes and tufts of hair sticking out her ears sure did make her look cute.  (Hey….I am cute too!  Ok, more regal, handsome, stunning….eehhh hemmm…..lost track of the story a bit).

Bella couldn’t come home right away because Mom was cat sitting for our cousin Missy.  Missy is a little set in her ways (old fuddy) and would not have been very welcoming. Kind friends, Karen and Tommy, took Bella into their home until we could take her into our home.  Karen and Tommy’s house is full of animals, 2 dogs and 3 other cats,  Bella had a grand old time playing with them!  Here, she met Grover (originally named McGregor) who told her all about Orange Street Cats (Grover was an Orange Street Cat too!) and how he got to be in this awesome house with others to play with.

This is Bella’s Pesky look!

Missy went home (finally!) with her mom and now Bella was able to go to her permanent home.  Karen thought Bella might get lonely or scared being the only kitten in the house so she suggested to our (soon to be) Mom and Dad that Bella may do well with a brother or sister and meowed about how great the furry family at OSC is.

Well my Dad was looking at the OSC website with Mom and he took one look at me and decided I was the one! I would be a perfect big brother (handsome guy that I am). Mom and Dad called Chris at OSC and asked if we could get together to meet.  At first, there were some schedule issues but Chris, Mom and Dad worked together and decided we could meet at the adoption day at Miller Animal Hospital. How neat was that? A cool place to meet with lots of friendly people!

Shy Abby!

There was a lot going on and Abby was not as keen to be in the spotlight. She was laying low. Dad took a shine to me right off the bat! (of course….Stunning, you know!)  Mom had wanted to meet Abby and she fell in love with her.   Abby is a little shy yet she is a love who is a “little lady”; never in trouble and never gets caught……

When the nice lady helping Chris said, “Oh! This is Lynne, Roy’s sister”.  Dad (just dripping with sarcasm…he is funny like that!)  said “Thanks a lot.”   She asked “Why do you say that?” and Dad answered “You think my wife will leave here without Roy’s sister?”   What a relief for me – I know I can take care of myself being the big strapping guy I am but Abby is smaller than I am and she is a little shy and timid and doesn’t always stick up for herself.  Once I heard that, I could just relax in Dad’s arms knowing we would go home together…..The surprise was we didn’t go home! We went to meet our sister Bella and her foster family. Grover’s parents agreed to take all of us in for a few days so we could meet each other and all come home together.  Now there were 6 cats and 2 dogs with only 2 people to cater to our whims and desires.  Wow! Were they busy!!!!

Don’t I look regal?

We were able to stay there for three days and got to know each other.  Then, Mommy came to pick us up. We drove home and there was a whole new house to explore.  For a while, we only got to see 3 rooms. We even had our own water fountain in our room.  Our big sister Lady, (more on her later on) has her own water fountain also.  There are extra water bowls all over the house!

At first, we got a little jealous of Bella because she got to have more of Mommy’s attention because she was little and then she got sick- we almost lost her twice. The nice doctor at Chatham Animal Hospital, Dr. Amanda, helped take care of Bella. After a lot of love and time Bella is much better now – she’s still a pesky sister though.

Abby, Me, Bella

Abby took her time getting used to the new place.  She didn’t believe this was real.  She wondered if this was her forever home. Once Bella was better, Mommy started to find ways to make Abby feel special. She got brushed and petted first, she got her food first and she got to sleep with Mommy in the best spot.


Mommy lets all of us sleep on the bed with her and Daddy. Bella and Abby still get scared when there is thunder and lightning and Mommy likes to pet them all night long.

Grandma giving me a ride!

After a few weeks, we got to explore the rest of the house. Now, we have chairs to sit on so we can look out of the front windows – the birds and bunnies are a nice distraction.  We have a couple of other beds and we get to watch the bird feeders in the back yard.  The kitchen door has a view of the deck and we got to see a squirrel come to the window – it’s tail looked a lot like Bella’s. Mom didn’t take to kindly to my idea of having Bella and the squirrel meet, it didn’t matter that indoors was the plan. Sheesh – what did she think- I’d let Bella go out when I can’t?  As if!

We also got a grandma in this deal. She spoils us a lot (especially when mom isn’t looking).

Dad and I spend great quality time together. Dad wanted someone to play with outside and I don’t go outside.  He wanted a (gasp!) dog!  You know the kind of 4 legged furry thing that barks?!  Since we three “rescues” (We have come to learn that “rescue” means love!) worked out so well, Dad decided to look for a playmate at all the rescue groups.

Me and my Dad!

Dad went to meet Lady and he instantly fell in like (That’s right!  He likes her, I KNOW he loves us).
He asked Mom to go meet her too. Well, Lady came for a week to see if she would get used to us and if we would tolerate her. All things considered, it’s ok. Bella likes to get Lady going – sprinting and running by as quick as a jack rabbit so of course Lady has to make chase (Ugh! Dogs!)

Me and Lady

Abby and I saunter right past Lady and she doesn’t move. I think Bella just likes to get her going (I told you she was pesky!)

So now 15 months later, we have a furry and fuzzy home of 6, the 4 of us and Mom and Dad.   Who could ask for anything better?

What is the moral of this story?  Share the love, adopt a rescue!

The Story of Curtis and “Keebie”

The Story of Curtis and “Keebie”

Hi All- Little Grace here!  Been a while.  I made a call out to all Orange Street Cats to share their story and Curtis stepped right up!    Here is Curtis’s story.  It is guaranteed to make you smile.  New to Orange Street Cats?  See this postthis post, and this one to learn about the beginning!  See here for an inside look at OSC.
Blinks and Purrs!

Madonna feeding her babies

My name is Curtis and this is my story. My cat mom, Madonna, was one of the 88 cats rescued from that awful Orange Street home in the summer of 2010. Madonna had 5 kittens. I was not born in the house (luckily). My foster Mom, turned adopted Mom, reminds me often just how lucky I am.  Some of my siblings did not make it.   I am the orange and white one with my foot on the dinner plate (cute from the very beginning!).

My human Mom really, really wanted me but the good people at Orange Street wanted to be sure we were not sick before we went to our foster or adopted homes.   Mom kept checking in and finally that nice lady, Chris, came to our home and gave my Mom a chance.   My Mom had already rescued 2 other sisters and raised them from a week old. (They are a bit aloof but hey…they’re girls)

Sisters: Mileek and Joey

I also met a really cool older cat named Tiger. He just loved kittens. He really seemed to thrive and get younger when kittens arrived.  He was 22.(he’s gone now and we sure do miss him) We learned a lot from him and think of him often.


Just when I thought this place could not get any more fun, that nice lady, Chris, told Mom that my brother Caleb (Mom calls him Keebie) was not doing so well.  He was very shy and just did not seem to be flourishing. Mom was really not sure; there were already 5 of us here. She agreed to foster Keebie and see if he adapted. Keebie was very shy.  Mom would hold him and he would curl up in a ball and hide his head.  It took awhile for him to come out of his shell and I stayed right by his side the whole time.

Me and “Keebie”

I was so happy to see my brother and soon he felt right at home (so much so that Mom officially adopted him too!)  He really is very special! He works hard bringing socks up from the laundry all day long.  (I keep telling him that’s women’s work). He insists on helping Mom because he is so grateful (ecstatic, thrilled, joyous….Keebie said to use all these words) she took him in.

We have a human brother too, Dan (He has really cool friends).   Every day, Dan stops and greets us. Old Tiger was his cat and now that Tiger has passed, we try to make him laugh so he won’t feel sad.

After a day of sock gathering

Dan’s socks are the target of Keebie’s obsession!  He brings them up from the laundry every day!

It may seem like a full house here but we are all very different and special in our own way.   Our Mom wouldn’t part with any of us. (I’ve heard her say it).

Our story ended happily but there are many more cats that deserve a good home and would give you so much love in return (and maybe do some laundry).

So please, if you have a warm place and a big heart, think about being a foster parent or better yet adopting a cat!

Little Gracie is Surfin’ the Web

My Guy leaves the computer in the table so I can write my blog.  He leaves it on the blogger site just for me.  A couple of weeks ago, Wendell (he is a total goober!) walked across the keyboard and the screen changed!


Hmmmmmm.  It seems the Wendell has rather big feet.  We did quite a bit of investigation and we now can use Wendell to move around the internet.
(I will be honest, my discovery has slowed down my blog writing.  Hey, it happens.)  So now, I spend hours trolling around the internet.  I have a set path…

First, I check the weather.  It is very important to know when the sun will be out.  I like to stake my window claim early.  My Suzanne has made it quite clear to the other cats that no one is allowed to pick on me so I pretty much get what I want.

Second, I check for Pet Food recalls.  This is very important.  I do not want to be sick and my Guy needs to know when something is bad, bad, bad.   I go straight to the source, the

Third, I check for new cute cat videos.  Like the new one with Mystery!  So cute!  Chance and I practice doing cute things in hopes that one day my Suzanne will take a video of us.  I was in the Playtime video but I wasn’t the star.  There needs to be one starring me and maybe Chance (certainly not Wendell).

Fourth, I check for funny dog videos.  (Yes, I do.)  Dogs are funny.  Do not misunderstand…. there is no room for a dog at my house.  I mean, really!!!

Fifth, I go to PetFinders and vote for the Tyra picture.  My Suzanne says that Orange Street Cats could get lots of money of Tyra wins!  And then I check the YouCaring site!  Right now, there is a fundraiser for Mystery.  I can’t donate though…..Suzanne keeps her credit cards under lock and key after the last donation incident.

Sixth, I check Orange Street Cats website.  I like to see the cats that are available for adoption, who is available to foster, and if there any other upcoming events like PetApalooza! I wonder…what is PetApalooza anyway?  Is there going to be a band there? The Mouse Chasers or Milkbone featuring Barky Von Schnauser, maybe?

Lastly, I check my Suzanne’s Facebook page.  One day, I saw a post shared by Dog House Adoptions  (who shared it from Maddie’s Cornerthat explained fostering really, really well.  Remember when Radley posted the Scoop Issue 1 and he reported on the 12 cats in one week?  Remember when Chance posted about fostering?  (We seem to talk about fostering quite a bit here.  I guess it is that important!) This Facebook post that I saw is probably the best, most understandable description I have seen and I would like to share it.

“What does being a pet foster parent mean? Think of it as having a furry house guest who may be around for just a few weeks or several months. It may be a house guest who is like a foreign exchange student- he needs to learn the ropes a little, be educated about the culture and the rules. He may need a little extra TLC. Or this guest might be a fun-loving kid who fits right into your family and never misses a beat.

Fostering is not adopting. It is not forever. You may fall in love with your guest and decide to adopt. “Foster failures”, as they are called, do happen, but no one is going to pressure you to adopt.

Fostering is being a guardian angel. It is giving love and safety to an animal who may never have known these things. It is giving them confidence and joy and helping them get ready for their forever home.

The day your foster joins his new forever family will be like graduation day. Yes, there might be tears but like good teachers who give their students wings to fly, you will have given an animal a chance for a wonderful, happy life. Your heart will smile and swell with pride. You will have touched a life. You will have saved a life. The feelings you’ll feel will flood your soul and fill you up. You will have made a difference! Isn’t that what life is all about?”

See?  Doesn’t that make a whole lot of sense?

So anyway….as followers of my blog and Orange Street Cats, you know that OSC is bursting at the seams….we have some cats that need foster homes.  Some are listed on our website and one was listed in a new featured on Facebook called “Featured Foster of the week”  (I already told my Suzanne that the name is a little blase and needs some spicing up.  She said she would work on that…although an eye roll was involved).  The first cat featured is Mia!  I have never met Mia but I hear that she is very nice and maybe a little shy.  Hey, I get it.  I was the same way and look at me now!  I am a famous blogger.  (What Mom?  I am not famous?  We will see about that!)

Here is Mia’s picture and some information on her.

Mia ready for a foster home!

Mia is a beautiful little tortie. She is one of the 7 apartment cats. She has made some strides however needs some extra time to adjust to living in a house. She plays and allows petting sometimes. She needs a patient foster home who is willing to work with her. She can definitely come around in a new environment. She does like other cats and would be best with pal to help her along in her journey.

Email cats@orangestreetcats.org if you are interested in learning more about Mia or if you have questions about fostering in general.

Well folks…gotta go!  I hear there are some new dog videos that require my attention.