Categories: Cat shelters

Methods to prevent the entry of infectious disease in cat shelters

Infectious disease is a major problem in cat shelters. The infection rate goes up 2 to 3 fold when a cat enters a rescue shelter. Some shelters at certain times may be worse places for a cat than being left out as an uncared for stray cat.

Animal Shelter Cats. Photo: believed to be in public domain.

Methods used to try and prevent infectious diseases taking hold in cat shelters are:

  • Quarantine for new cats entering the shelter.
  • “Maintaining cats in small, stable groups that are allowed to dwindle as cats are re-homed. Small groups should not be combined for easier management.”
  • House kittens together and apart from adult cats.
  • Cats should be vaccinated 7-10 days after arrival “when general health and disease status have been evaluated”.
  • Short stay cats should be housed apart from long stay cats.
  • “..care should be taken to restrict access of any shelter cats as they are sometimes allowed to roam free and may carry infection into or spread infection around the rescue facility.”
  • Accommodation should be easy to clean and should be designed to prevent the spread of disease to other cages e.g. sneeze barriers, wide corridors and a room for cleaning and grooming.
  • Equipment should be confined to each group or individual and hygiene measures taken such as ‘boot dips’.
  • “Cats should be cleaned in the order from the least likely to be infectious to the most likely group.”
  • Shelters staffers should be fully trained on the principles of hygiene in shelters.
  • Stress levels should be minimised through environmental enrichment and good caretaking.

Reference and quotes: Kit Sturgess MA, VetMB, PhD, DSAM, CertVR, CertVC, MRCVS writing in The Welfare of Cats pages 218-219. I quoted extensively for accuracy and it was impractical to personalise the text as it is technical.

Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

Recent Posts

Legislation to end private big cat ownership in America passed in the House of Representatives

NEWS AND COMMENT: The Big Cat Public Safety Act is federal draft legislation which "prohibits…

4 hours ago

Tragedy in Lexington County, SC: 72-year-old feral colony caregiver killed during dispute over cats

A Lexington County, South Carolina feral colony caregiver was shot to death Thursday evening by…

11 hours ago

Veterinarian performs “humane declaw” against adoption contract

The Instagram post tells you what is happening. This is a "doctor", a veterinarian, who…

14 hours ago

16 facts about the Somali cat

Here are 16 facts about the one of the most attractive of all the purebred…

18 hours ago

Birdfeeder placement to help avoid attack by cats

I can think of two instances (but there are many more) of exposing, through good…

22 hours ago

My neighbour’s cat asks to be let in all the time, so is he neglected?

It is not uncommon for neighbourhood cats to want to visit neighbour's homes. You won't…

1 day ago