Friday, November 09, 2007

Caring for the cat when ill

I was just speaking to a caregiver who sent in a claim for a friend. The latter claim said that the caregiver could not ward the cat for a blood test and so the friend released the cat and the cat disappeared and is presumed to be dead.

I explained that in general, when we reimburse caregivers we want to know the cat is being cared for. Honestly there isn't much point in bringing a cat to the vet, having it checked and then releasing it if you know it's very sick - or not finding out why it's sick. Nor is it very helpful if the caregiver knows it needs treatment and home care and releases it anyway.

I realise some people genuinely cannot keep the cat at home - but releasing it on the streets is not an option either. Money again is limited (and while I have whittled down the claims and written more than 35 cheques this week, there are still at least 10 claims to be processed) and as a result, it has to go to the cats that have caregivers looking after them and hence the best chance of recovery.

We once paid out a substantial amount in reimbursement to a woman who brought in a community cat that had to have a strict diet or the problem would reoccur. She let it go and the cat promptly got sick again. It's not just the money as well of course - it isn't good for the cat to keep going through treatment after treatment if it could be cured more effectively. In order to do that, the cat does need someone to help care for it.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

CWS reimbursement does not include blood test. Therefore I can understand why the caregiver don't want to do blood test. CWS also does not reimburse hospitalisation when cats warded, so can you blame the caregiver released the sick cat back to the streets, as caregiver could not afford the vet fees. It is not easy to get foster for sick cats. CWS itself lack of fosters.
Sick cats end up boarded in vet clinic, but CWS not reimbursing hospitalisation.
Bulk of sick cat bills paid mostly by caregivers. CWS reimbursement covers only a fraction of cost like medical and vet consultant fees, and that's peanuts.
Not being ungrateful here to CWS reimbursement methods, but I can understand why the poor caregiver end up putting sick cat back in the streets. Caregiver be broke if she paid everything and get only a small reimbursement sum from CWS.

10/11/07 12:56 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

We can and have paid for blood work ie the vet recommends it and the caregiver cannot afford it)and hospitalisation if there has been a real need for it . The reason we did NOT want to pay for these things routinely is that we realised that people were sending cats in and hospitalising them for days on end - one woman for example ran up a bill into the thousands and the vet had asked her to take the cat back days before, but she was too 'busy'. Her original estimate (which was in the region of a few hundred) went into the thousands and she was a financial hardship case and wanted us to pay the whole amount.

We also have some people who decided that since they were at the vet they might as well test for everything under the sun and just send us the bill. Some cats have been tested for FIV/FELV/FIP and full blood work, and when I queried the caregiver, they just did it since they were sterilising the cats. Others hospitalise the cats for weeks after a sterilisation and want to claim for that.

The woman could have called us as we do have other methods (for example special appeal).

As you rightly pointed out, medical fees are expensive and our main concern is sterilisation. The amount we pay out usually for one rescue case amounts to several sterilisations.

In addition, we want to be sure the cat HAS a caregiver who is responsible. There have been several people who want to send it to the vet but if the cat is unable to live on the street do not want to take it in. I realise some people may not be able to - in which case then some other options have to be found.

What I am puzzled by is why the woman released the cat onto the streets if she thought it was so sick.

10/11/07 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are thousands of sick cats on the streets. If the care-giver feels very strongly about one particular cat, then he/she would have to be prepared to take on the responsibility of paying for its medical bill and its care after hospitalisation.

If diagnosis costs a lot, what about life-time care (indoors probably) and medication?

If you test a community cat for FIV - then you have to be prepared of having to care/keep that cat indoors/away from other cats if the cat is tested positive for FIV.
What is the pt of testing for FIV and then releasing the cat back onto the streets knowing it could infect other cats in fights.

If you test for creatinine and BUN (could be tested under $50) and the cat is a renal failure - the cat needs life-long care & medication. You cannot reverse kidney failure - you can only manage it for the cat to have quality life measured in mths or years. Is a care-giver prepared to do that?

It is best to consult a vet - consult could be very low for a community cat - and individual blood test which could be as low as $20 - and care-giver makes a decision if he/she is in a position to see the cat thru its medical problem. There is no pt paying hundreds of dollars (not knowing what the cat is being tested for) and then releasing the cat back because care-giver to unable to care for it for longtime.

11/11/07 8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why not ask friends, neighbours, other feeders or caregivers to help. Each one can chip in some money (maybe $15-$20). that's why it is important to work as a team. the caregiver need not hospitalise the cat if she don't want to. she can always tell the vet.

It's so sad to release the sicked cat back to the streets and let it suffer and die slowly and painfully. In the first place, what did the caregiver do for this poor animal??

I found a very sicked cat at the void deck in the neighbouring block. It's not my cat but I have no heart to see it dying. I took him to the vet and it was hospitalised for 10 days. The bill was about $550.00

I told the vet I want to take the cat home since it had made 80% recovery and he agreed. I am a full time housewife/home maker with no income. But I love the cat so much and I just want to do something for the poor animal.

I really hate to see people putting sicked cats on the streets.

12/11/07 12:11 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

That's very kind of you!

I also wasn't sure why the caregiver had written that the vet said the cat needed to be warded for bloodwork to be done as I don't believe this to usually be the case. The caregiver didn't know either so she said she would check with her friend who has asked her to send in the bill.

12/11/07 12:25 AM  

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