A few months ago we were brought a set of kittens with a mummy that had been taken from an old man. The plan, I was told, was to let mummy feed the kittens and then when old enough, find homes for them, get mummy sterilised and return her to her owner. We then had another set of kittens from the same place brought to us with another mummy. The kittens started changing mums to feed and they all seemed to get on very well. Then suddenly one of the kittens became really sick, very high temperature and died within a day. The other kittens started getting sick but by this time we had taken them all to the vets and they were caring for them. The person who brought the kittens had said it sounded like a virus that she had had and it is terrible, very resistant and hard to get rid of. I asked the vet if this was the same virus as she said yes its the Typhus virus which is the cat version of the Parvo virus in puppies.
After reading up about it we knew we had a nasty virus arrived on the farm. We spent the night neat bleaching everything, every wall, floor, crack and crevice. We burnt all the bedding we threw away every item we could find that was in the vicinity of the kittens at the time of their illness. We isolated every cat we had, 30 adults and 13 kittens. We bought boxes of rubber gloves, disinfectant spray, anti ban hand gel, we boil washed all our clothes, we bleached every crate and bed, every cat toilet. We bought new mops and buckets, new bedding, new cat toilets, new brushes and pans, new cat climbing trees ( we burnt the old ones). We bleaches shoes and kept a different pair in each room with kittens and cats in them. We wore one set of clothes per visit to the kittens then showered and boil washed the clothes. We burnt all the used cat litter, we bleached again, we bought special anti virus sprays and special typhus virus spray from the vets, we sprayed ourselves every time we entered or left a room with a cat in it.
Any sign of anything wrong with a kitten we rushed it to the vets and had it checked or left it there for observation. We had two more babies that contracted the virus but we managed to contain it and stop the spread very quickly due to our rigorous cleaning and barrier methods , our meticulous routines and instant burning. I even bought an incinerator just for this purpose. We have had all our cats on lockdown for two months. Wherever the cat was at the time of the outbreak they had to stay there and not leave the room so they can be vaccinated and the virus will not spread.
Although we had all our cats vaccinated when they were young (advice from the vets). As we have ended up with loads of rescued cats who we couldn't find homes for, the vets said it was best to vaccinate when young and they would gain immunity as they get older. This has worked for 10 years until this virus turned up on our farm.
So we have had to get every cat vaccinated again plus all the kittens which we have here at the moment, I have had to shut my business down for a while until we have the all clear from the vets and the stress of it all is unimaginable.
We have one little pussy cat who has survived this terrible virus. Dora was very sick and her little brother Monkey didn't make it. They were beautiful healthy little babies until we had these sick kittens arrive and unfortunately they were casualties. I am writing this blog on this subject because I wanted to make people aware of this terrible virus and also show you what can happen to a little cat if it survives this ordeal. We have Dora back from the vets and she was contagious for another three weeks so she was in isolation and we had to keep a strict cleaning anti contamination routine so as not to spread it. This said she is left with Cerebellar Hypoplasia. This is a condition from the high temperature. The virus starts with a high temperature and it then plummets to such a low temperature that the pussy cat dies of hyperthermia, its bone marrow is attacked and it becomes dehydrated and so weak before death. Anyway Dora has a neurological problem now and cannot walk properly, she has no balance and will need help now forever. She cannot be sterilised because the anaesthetic could kill her, so we have to be very careful that she stays healthy so she doesn't need any operations. She will have to be an inside cat and will need lots of special care to keep her safe.
This is one of the terrible side effects from this horrendous virus and I urge everyone who sees this or has the time to read it to spread the word and make sure your cat is vaccinated. I cannot express how bad this virus is and how sad it is to see the little bundles you have rescued being taken so quickly in such a horrible way. All the sleepless nights bottle feeding these babies only to have them taken within days.
I hope this has been of interest to you all and that you take action and keep your fur babies up to date with their vaccinations, you never know when this virus will come knocking on your door!