26th Oct, 2020

Cats’ virus sparks plea to Redditch pet owners to vaccinate

Redditch Editorial 19th Oct, 2017

PET owners in Redditch are being urged to vaccinate their cats after an outbreak of a potentially fatal virus.

The plea from the RSPCA comes after an increase of stray cats being presented with the disease at the charity’s Birmingham Animal Hospital in Frankley.

In the last couple of months, the hospital has seen 31 cats suffering from the virus feline panleukopenia (FPV), which can be fatal to cats and kittens.

Symptoms can include vomiting and diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, lethargy and sudden collapse and if the cat shows symptoms of feline enteritis a vet should be called immediately.

Most cats contract the disease from a contaminated environment via infected faeces rather than from direct contact with infected cats.

Joanna Szkutnicki, Senior Clinician at the hospital, said: “The virus is very resilient and can survive in the environment for up to a year.”

“We would like to remind people to ensure their cats are vaccinated as this is the main method of protection.

The infected cats were collected from across Birmingham.

“Primary vaccination courses start at approximately eight weeks of age, with a second injection three to four weeks later,” she added.

“It is also important that your annual booster is kept up to date in adult cats as allowing it to lapse could put them at risk.”

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care visit www.rspca.org.uk/give

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