The Tri-County Animal Shelter (TCAS) is asking residents to delay turning over their cats until mid-September or to reach out to a rescue partner. A cat rescued from the shelter has tested positive for feline panleukopenia virus (FPV). FPV is a viral disease contagious to cats, both domesticated and wild feline species but not humans. TCAS will continue receiving both stray and owned cats but is striving to limit the number of cats potentially exposed to this virus.

TCAS is taking all necessary precautions to reduce the possible spread of FPV to other cats in the shelter; including consulting with our veterinarians, quarantining exposed cats, ensuring our cleaning procedures are followed, and continuing to vaccinate at the appropriate intervals. FPV is resistant to many disinfectants and survives a long time in an environment.

Vaccinations against FPV are very effective, and are part of the core vaccines routinely given to cats. Most vaccinated cats are completely protected from this disease. As part of a new pet cat program, your vet will recommend a series of vaccines, usually starting at 6-8 weeks of age. It is important to follow this schedule as the vaccinations will not fully protect your cat until the entire series is given. Different types of vaccines are available, your veterinarian can help you choose the one right for your cat.

Keeping kittens (and cats) indoors, and away from other unvaccinated cats, is the best way to prevent exposure to FPV and other viruses.

If anyone has any additional questions about FPV, please contact your veterinarian. If you need a list of our rescue partners, contact TCAS at 301-932-1713 or 1-800-903-1992.