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chemo and cats....


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My father has sclc and was just dx 2 weeks ago, it has spread to the adrenal as well. He has had 2 radiation treatments and now he is going on his 3rd day of his first batch of chemo.. He wants to come home as soon as he can. He has 2 cats at home that are the loves of his life. We keep getting conflicting information as to if they are a danger to his immune system or not when he comes home.. Can anyone tell us from experience? They don't go outside very often and they won't from now on..

Thank you, Heather

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Hi Heather,

I wouldn't be too concerned with having cats, especially if they are well cared for indoor cats. My husband and I have two cats, and I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said, one of them would prefer to be attached to him at all times. It hasn't caused any complications with Keith's chemo, which he has been receiving now for 5 months. The only change that has happened is that now I clean the litter box.

We haven't heard from any doctors where that is necessary, however I felt that it was better safe than sorry, and if his immune system was low that cleaning urine and feces wasn't the best idea.

A doctor did tell us it was important for Keith to was his hands often to avoid illnesses transferred from contact with surface bacteria and then to food and mouth. I would think that if your father spends a lot of time petting his beloved cats, he would want to make sure to wash his hands before eating.

Other than that, being surrounded by love from all types of living beings is so beneficial and healing, I can't imagine giving that up.


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