LOGAN – Earlier today, the Cache Humane Society euthanized 30 cats due to a fatal virus known as Virulent Systemic Feline Calicivirus. The shelter’s Executive Director Roland Bringhurst said they’ve seen increasing numbers of cats with Calicisvirus. At first it was nothing out of the ordinary but the highly contagious virus quickly spread.
“It was one or two a week but then it increased to one or two a day. Then on Monday, we had four cases and yesterday it ballooned out to 10 cases,” he said. Bringhurst reported that the remaining cats were showing early signs of the virus.
Virus symptoms include ulcers in and around the mouth, runny nose, watery eyes, and coughing. The virus takes the cat’s entire immune system to fight and most often leads to death.
“I began discussions with a number of vets and shelter managers and it was pretty much a consensus that the only way we could control it in a closed environment was a complete humane euthanasia of all the cats in the facility,” explained Bringhurst.
Bringhurst said the shelter will go through a disinfection period of 10 days before they will accept any new cats.
Virulent Systemic Feline Calicivirus is something that Bringhurst said nearly all felines carry and it’s just a matter of if that virus manifests itself in the animal or not. That’s why Bringhurst stressed how important it is to get your cats vaccinated.
“I really think there are a couple feral cat colonies in the Logan area that are carrying the Calicisvirus,” he said. “A lot of times cats are vaccinated as kittens, and then people figure its fine and don’t ever get a booster vaccination.”
Bringhurst said cats should receive a booster every one to three years. He also said that often times the vaccinations do not prevent the virus totally, but they do lessen it.