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Paws and Whiskers Cat Shelter has temporarily suspended adoptions and intakes of cats and kittens after persistent cases of Feline Calicivirus – commonly known as Calici. This viral infection is common in shelters and presents as an upper respiratory infection. While usually not life-threatening, this viral infection can spread in shelter and veterinary clinics. The closure is expected to last until December 16, 2017, or until the veterinarian gives clearance.

Cats that are unaffected will still be in the main shelter but it will close during this time to allow for any other cats that may have been exposed to show symptoms. Approximately one third of the shelter’s cats are affected.

Paws and Whiskers is taking veterinary recommended isolation protocols for cats displaying the symptoms – runny nose and eyes, tongue sores – by moving them to their facility next door. The affected cats will be isolated and treated for their symptoms, administered new vaccines, as well as strict cleaning guidelines and limiting any interaction with the public.

 “Unfortunately this happens in shelter environments,” stated Cassandra Tefft, Shelter Manager of Paws and Whiskers. “However we are taking this additional step of isolating our Calici kitties to make sure our cats and kittens have time to recover and are ready for adoption.”

All cats are given a four-way vaccination to protect from Calici as well as other common diseases as soon as they enter the shelter. Calici is highly contagious and can be difficult to control, similar to flu or thrush in humans. Vaccines are effective against Calici; however other aspects of disease prevention, such as disinfection and separation, are also important.

If you would like to assist Paws and Whiskers with any in-kind donations, supplies such as cat litter, Clorox Bleach, garbage bags, towels and small blankets are needed. These can be dropped off at Sylvania Vet or at Pet Supplies Plus on Talmadge Road to limit the public interaction at the shelter during the closure. If you would like to make a donation to help, please visit our Donate page. The support of the community is greatly appreciated.

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