After four cases of a deadly disease halted cat adoptions in early February, the Humane Society of Tacoma and Pierce County is back on track after being declared clear of the disease.
Feline panleukopenia (FP) is a highly contagious disease that causes potential sudden death in cats. A month ago, four cats were found to have the disease, which forced the shelter to stop adoptions and quarantine its cats.
“The great news is that despite having 96 cats in the shelter when the first cats tested positive for FP no other animals have shown symptoms, and we now have the all-clear from our Veterinary Department,” Stuart Earley, Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement. ‘This demonstrates the effectiveness of a comprehensive vaccination program and shows how important it is for pet owners to ensure that their vaccinations are up to date.’
The fact that the four cats that tested positive were already infected when they came into the shelter, however, shows that FP is prevalent in local communities.
To prevent the disease, pet owners should begin vaccinations at eight weeks in kittens and provide boosters every three to four week until a kitten is at least 16 weeks old, according to Earley. Adults should be seen annually for booster shots.