Almost one-third of the cats, including this kitten, at the Thunder Bay and District Humane Society are fighting off kitty colds.
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A cat cold has hit the Thunder Bay and District Humane Society.
About 20 out of 65 cats at the animal shelter have an upper respiratory virus, or a kitty cold.
Animal care supervisor Patti Dunfield says the virus is common in shelters or cat colonies where a large number of cats live together.
“Once you hear one or two sneezes from one cat, it’s already starting to spread,” she said. “It spreads like wildfire.”
For a cat with a healthy system, the virus is easily fought off. But for cats with lower immune systems or kittens and younger cats, it can be fatal if left untreated.
The Humane Society is working alongside a veterinarian to try to find an antibiotic to treat the virus.
“There can be secondary infection as well, so we’re trying to find an antibiotic that will help these cats and we’ve gone through two or three different kinds of antibiotics,” Dunfield said.
The shelter does have the sick cats quarantined from the healthy animals.
“If we notice cats are sneezing, any kinds of runny noses, we try to get them into isolation,” Dunfield said.
Sometimes it’s too late to get the cats into isolation, so then they close the cat rooms that are affected so no one is going in and out.
Healthy cats are still available for adoption and people can apply for the sick ones, but the Humane Society will hold onto them until the cold is gone.
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