Cat Protection re-opens for adoptions 10 September
Our cats are healthy and we will re-open for adoptions from Saturday 10 September.
We knew we weren’t dealing with ordinary cat flu when a cat who presented as healthy and full of beans on Saturday 27 August was severely ill and at the vet on Sunday 28 August. We were concerned and on Monday 29 August, we made the decision to close for adoptions and confined all our cats to their units and consulted our vets. We also contacted everyone who had adopted a cat from us in the previous 10 days to ask them to be alert to any flu-like symptoms, and referred them to our vets if these were present.
A program of testing, observation and highest-level measures of infection control began. In consultation with our vets, we started all our cats on a course of antibiotics.
A small number of cats in our care (five) showed moderate symptoms but none severe. A few more (four) had very mild symptoms but the rest were all fine (though not too thrilled at not being allowed out to play). As well as the first known case, nasal and throat swabs were taken from all cats showing moderate symptoms.
These swabs were sent for laboratory analysis and we anxiously awaited the results. Meanwhile, we imposed a quarantine system on our premises to ensure no cross-contamination. The results came on 8 September and showed those cats tested positive to bordetella infection – commonly known as kennel cough.
This is a relatively mild pathogen that can cause upper respiratory tract infection in cats – especially kittens whose immune systems are not fully developed. All our affected cats were young. It is a reflection of our general shelter health that the majority of our cats did not get sick.
Bordetella is relatively rare among cats but more common in dogs and can be transferred from dogs to cats. A number of our cat population had come from environments with proximity to dogs, however, it is impossible to definitively determine the original source of infection.
The incubation period is about a week, and as our cats have now been quarantined from each other for 12 days and the cats all appear to be healthy – and combined with our disinfection strategies – the risk of infection now is considered low.
We will not be accepting any non-urgent surrenders for at least a further week as we now have a ‘full house’ of adoptable cats owing to having been closed for adoptions for almost two weeks. We will be accepting surrenders as soon as we have room.
As a no-kill shelter we will not put to sleep cats whose illnesses are treatable (as this one is, easily, with antibiotics). We apologise for the inconvenience and trust that our supporters and clients will appreciate our efforts on behalf of our cats’ health and wellbeing.
Please be assured that the cats available for adoption now are healthy and as always, come with a seven-day health guarantee. Of course, cats are not mobile phones or whitegoods for which one can give a warranty: like us, they are feeling and caring; they get sick and they are well; they are living, breathing, sentient beings. And they really want loving forever homes to call their own, so please help make their dreams come true.
Our shelter at 103 Enmore Road Newtown is open for adoptions Saturdays 10am to 3.30pm; Sunday to Friday from 11am to 2.30pm plus Thursday evenings from 4.30pm to 6.30pm, and Fridays from 3.30pm to 5pm. All cats and kittens are desexed; vaccinated; microchipped; flea & worm treated and vet health-checked. The adoption fee is $150 or $250 for two cats. Inquires phone 02 9557 4818.