in , ,

Meet Hugh, The Handsome Cat With Feline Leukemia And Incontinence Who Has Spent Most Of Life In A Shelter Waiting For His Forever Home

When Hugh was taken to Austin Animal Center by the good Samaritan who discovered him, he was just three months, unable to use his back legs, and incontinent. An examination revealed the young black cat had a broken vertebrae, and when Hugh tested positive for feline leukemia (FeLV), he was transferred to Austin Pets Alive! (APA!), a Texas shelter dedicated to helping at risk animals.

Image via @adopt_hughthefelvie on Instagram

“Feline leukemia is a virus that weakens the immune system and tends to shorten the life of cats who have it,” explains Allie Wassel, Cat Matchmaker at Austin Pets Alive!. “Hugh likely got it from his mother since he tested positive for it so early in life.”

Image via @adopt_hughthefelvie on Instagram

Because feline leukemia can be transmitted via blood, saliva, and even urine and feces, it’s important for cats without the virus to be kept separately from those who have it. Thankfully, Austin Pets Alive! has an adoption room designed specifically for FeLV+ felines, giving Hugh the perfect place to call home. When he arrived at the rescue, both of Hugh’s back legs were paralyzed, but more than a year later, that’s no longer the case. “He’s since regained use of one of his legs,” explains Allie. “The other one kind of just hangs out behind him as he scoots around. It’s super cute!”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Hugh (@adopt_hughthefelvie) on


Also, while Hugh is still incontinent, being unable to control his bladder isn’t anywhere near as messy or inconvenient as a lot of people might think. “He doesn’t leak urine,” says Allie. “He just goes when you express him, and he can defecate on his own as well, provided you’re giving him the right doses of his medication.”

Image via @adopt_hughthefelvie on Instagram

Allie has also found people often assume cats with feline leukemia are suffering or constantly ill, but that simply isn’t true for Hugh. In fact, even though he is FeLV+, incontinent, and has a wonky leg, Hugh is just as active as other cats his age, if not more so. “Hugh loves playing,” says Allie. “Any chance he gets to be out of his kennel he’s climbing up the scratching post, playing with wand toys, and scooting around. He’s an incredibly happy, sweet cat despite all he’s been through in his life.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Hugh (@adopt_hughthefelvie) on

Sadly, Hugh has spent almost his entire life at the shelter, which has been particularly challenging for him and the staff at Austin Pets Alive! because he’s a not a fan of his fellow felines. “He doesn’t love other cats, so he’s stressed in the shelter, which makes expressing him pretty difficult,” explains Allie. However, when Hugh was in a foster home, his caregiver didn’t have any trouble expressing his bladder, indicating it isn’t an issue when he’s in a fairly stress-free environment.

Image via @adopt_hughthefelvie on Instagram

“We do give him time out of his kennel to run around and play, and since he can’t move that fast he doesn’t get into fights with other cats, but he would prefer to have his own space,” says Allie. Consequently, Austin Pets Alive! wants to find Hugh a home without other cats, although he is able to live with dogs.

Image via @adopt_hughthefelvie on Instagram

His ideal family would also be willing and able to express his bladder two to three times, and the staff at the rescue’s clinic is happy to provide expression training to Hugh’s adopter. “Once you learn how to express your kitty and develop a routine, it’s not so hard,” says Allie. “It can be scary at first, but once you get the hang of it, expressing cats is easy.”

Image via @adopt_hughthefelvie on Instagram

Austin Pets Alive! is also willing to provide free medical care related to Hugh’s feline leukemia, and they will waive his adoption fee, so potential adopters shouldn’t avoid this special boy because they’re afraid he’ll come at a high cost.

Image via @adopt_hughthefelvie on Instagram

Lastly, the people who adopt this remarkable cat will need to give him lots of toys, because Hugh — who will celebrate his second birthday in June 2020 — is as playful and affectionate as a kitten. “He’s been in the shelter almost his entire life, and he has never lost his spirit,” says Allie. “He plays, he snuggles, he purrs.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Hugh (@adopt_hughthefelvie) on

Without a doubt, Hugh is living proof special needs cats are capable of having great lives filled with fun, although not everyone agrees with this sentiment. “These cats deserve to be adopted, and many shelters would euthanize them even though they are perfectly happy,” says Allie.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Hugh (@adopt_hughthefelvie) on


Eventually, the perfect family will come long to adopt Hugh, and everyone at Austin Pets Alive! will miss him, but there’s no way they’ll ever be able to forget this handsome cat with the irrepressible lust for life. “Hugh represents resilience,” says Allie. “He is a life worth saving, even if it takes longer than most cats.”

Image via @adopt_hughthefelvie on Instagram

To learn more about this handsome cat, you can follow Hugh on Instagram.

If you’re interested in adopting Hugh, please contact Austin Pets Alive!.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

water bottles for cat lovers feature

Water Bottles For Cat Lovers That Will Help Keep You Hydrated!

Cat Leggings For Women Who Love Kitties!