Cat adoptions at the Bermuda Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter in Paget have been temporarily suspended because of the cat “flu”.
Two cats known to have the virus have been isolated along with four sneezing cats and all other felines are being monitored, according to interim executive director Deborah Titterton Narraway.
“We currently have over 40 cats living together waiting to be adopted,” Ms Titterton Narraway said. “This is an extremely high number of cats living in our indoor and outdoor playroom, so we have taken precautions and isolated two cats known to have the ‘flu’ as well as an additional four sneezing cats.”
According to the SPCA, cat flu is a common illness that affects the upper respiratory tract of felines.
Rather like the human flu, cat flu is spread by droplets of moisture containing the virus passing from cat to cat, through sneezing, direct contact or sharing food bowls.
The virus, which cannot be passed to humans, is passed out of an infected cat in the saliva and nasal discharge.
Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose and eyes, quiet and subdued behaviour, loss of appetite and a high temperature.
There is no treatment for the virus in cats, and the cat flu can be life-threatening to kittens and older cats.
But the SPCA stressed that most cats recover, even though it can take several weeks.
“Our staff and volunteers are making sure the sick cats are receiving lots of TLC,” humane education officer Jodi Corbett added.
“The cats are set up in individual cages with comfortable and warm bedding and are given plenty of water to drink.”
Dog and small mammal adoptions have not been affected but cat adoptions are on hold until June 28.