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Fresno Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center

What Your Client Can Expect When Their Cat Goes Home


Your cat will still possess very low levels of radioactivity after the I-131 treatment. This radioactivity is decreasing each day by natural decay, and by release into the urine and feces. Upon coming from this hospital, your cat does not need to be totally isolated from you or your other pets. We do, however, ask that you follow the following safety precautions.

1. Avoid prolonged (more than 5 minutes) including cuddling, face to face, or direct contact with your cat’s saliva or footpads (sweat glands are located there). Keep your cat in a room by itself at night. Hold or pet your cat for short periods of time (no more than 5 minutes, 3 to 4 times per day), then wash your hands. Please wear gloves if you need to pill your cat or come in direct contact with the urine/feces/vomit.

2. Line the bottom of your litter box with a plastic liner (underneath the litter). If your cat shreds the liner, discard the litter box after two weeks. Keep the litter box out of any occupied bedrooms, kitchen, or within reach of dogs or young children.3. Wear rubber gloves (that are not used for anything else) to clean the litter box. Use litters that can be flushed down the toilet, place solid litter in toilet and flush it as many times as needed to clear the toilet. Remove remaining litter (without touching it) by placing it in a plastic bag, seal the bag, and place the bag immediately outside in the trash. DO NOT collect all of the litter from the two weeks in one bag.4. When removing rubber gloves, be careful not to touch the outside of the used glove with your bare hands.5. If your cat vomits or has a bowel movement outside the litter box, put on rubber gloves and clean up the spill, and place in a sealed plastic bag. Place the bag immediately into the outside trash.6. DO NOT let your cat walk on any surface area you use to prepare foods. If your cat does wander onto the food preparation area, do not prepare foods in that area until after the remaining two weeks. Indeed, use a cutting board for food preparations if necessary.

7. Anyone under the age of 18, pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, should avoid handling the cat at all times (never handle the litter box) for the first two weeks after arriving home.8. Instruct children to avoid the cat. Wash their hands immediately if they handle the cat. Young children do not always understand or remember instructions, so extra precautions should always be followed.

9. Keep the cat confined to your home. Neighbors and their pets are unaware of the radioactivity in the urine and feces.

10. After two weeks, discard any remaining litter along with gloves. Your cat will have lost thesignificant radioactivity. You may then return to your normal routine in caring for and loving your cat.