How old is Riley?

The vet’s is fully booked until next Tuesday for surgeries. So I made an appointment for a check-up and if Riley is not old enough to be neutered, perhaps we could deworm and vaccinate her first.

Getting Riley into the carrier was quite a challenge. She was quite happy hiding under the side table beside the patio door. From the time we “captured” her, she refused to eat. I offered all kinds of food, but I think she only ate some canned food (not sure), but the kibbles were untouched. She normally has a fantastic appetite and can down two cans of food at one seating.


She ran off from here to another side table, but I managed to scruff her (wearing gloves this time!) and put her into the carrier. She struggled in the carrier from the house to the car. I was quite worried if she would still struggle when we reached the vet’s as I sometimes have to park quite far away. Thankfully, I got a nearby parking bay. Throughout the car trip, Riley did not make a sound.

I carried the carrier out from the car to the clinic without any issues.

At the examination room, pandemonium broke out. Riley rushed out of the carrier and went berserk inside the room for a good 10-15 minutes. She went totally crazy. Poor thing. There’s just too much excitement and anxiety for the day, I know, but I also have some time constraint so I needed to get this done when I could. Husband was home looking after Jayden (who happened to be ill and we had just taken him to the paediatrician’s this morning).

From Riley’s size, the vet thought she was only 3 months old, but if there is an urgency, she can be neutered. I asked if there were any risks and dangers, neutering at this young age, and the vet said there were none except maybe in the suturing (which may be a bit difficult). So I said if there was even the slightest risk, I would want to wait until she is older. We can keep her in the house; we have space (but will she be happy, I don’t know).

The senior vet passed by and peeped in to see. One look at Riley and she said Riley can definitely be neutered. The vet would still have to check her teeth to determine her age. It was very challenging catching Riley and holding her down as she was in panic mode in the examination room. Finally, the vet managed to catch her with a towel and she held her to calm her down.

Upon checking her teeth, Riley already has her adult canines (80% out) so Riley is actually already MORE than 5 months old!! From her size, this is totally and completely unexpected. The vet said Riley is a small-sized cat…but incredibly cute. She is also definitely feral, very alert and smart. The alert and smart part – I totally concur.

The vet said I could board Riley at the clinic and if they have a slot, they would slot her in for neutering. Or I could get Riley vaccinated first, wait 1-2 weeks (preferably 2 weeks) before getting her neutered.

I decided to get Riley dewormed and vaccinated first. Since she is so small in size, it might be better for her to grow a bit bigger in 2 weeks for the procedure. I also wanted Riley tested for FIV/FeLV. Riley weighed 1.8kg today.

So Riley was dewormed, vaccinated and the vet also gave her Gabapentin to calm her nerves. Blood was taken for the test and I requested for a PCV check as well. The vet also managed to give her Advocate spot-on for defleaing.

The check-up took almost an hour because so much time was spent trying to catch her in the room and calming her down. We went home after that (no issue in the car) and the vet later texted over the results.

Riley is FIV/FeLV negative. Yay! Her blood PCV is 39%, which is good enough, especially for a street kitten. An ear-prick blood test at the clinic also showed that her white blood cells are really good, platelets are good, everything was good. Her heart and lungs are all good as well.

So the plan now is to rehabilitate Riley for 2 weeks before the neutering procedure. I’ve already checked the upstairs room thoroughly and there are no escape routes. It should be fool-proof because Minnie and her boys were quarantined in both rooms when they first came back.

Jayden trying to get Riley out of the carrier in the upstairs room.

She refused to come out of the carrier and is refusing to eat too. Her last meal was at 7am this morning. Maybe she ate some canned food after that too.

Her favourite Cindy’s tuna with seabream. Tak mahu jugak. Mogok lapar. 

I hope she will settle in soon. Another option is to bring in Ginger’s cage (his sick bay) into the living room and put Riley in it. We shall play it by ear.

Tabs keeping vigil outside the room. Aww… I hope Riley and Tabs can be best friends. After all, Tabs has no friends.

Fact: The vet told me that cats can mate at as young as 3.5 months! Wow…

Fact: Cats are recommended to take the FIV/FeLV test at 6 months and again at 1 year. Some can test negative at 6 months but positive at 1 year even though the cat is not exposed to any other FIV/FeLV cats. Younger cats have more receptors for the virus and are more susceptible to it. Older cats are not as easily infected.



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