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Everett euthanizes cats, closes feline shelter to stem disease outbreak

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By Rikki King
Herald Writer
EVERETT — The Everett Animal Shelter has been temporarily closed to cats after a kitten reportedly died from a highly infectious disease Monday.
Two kitten deaths since Sunday led to tests that showed feline panleukopenia in one animal’s feces, said Kate Reardon, spokeswoman for the city of Everett.
Feline panleukopenia is a viral disease that infects and kills cells in areas such as the bone marrow and intestines, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
The shelter humanely killed all 21 cats and kittens in its adoption area to keep the disease from spreading, Reardon said.
“Once a cat or kitten is infected with it, it does oftentimes lead to death,” she said.
The city expects to reopen the cat area of the animal shelter Thursday. Meantime, shelter staffers will use bleach to disinfect the area to make sure the disease doesn’t linger, Reardon said. The shelter is not accepting any cats right now and asks people to hold off on bringing in strays whenever possible.
Reardon asks pet owners to keep an eye on their cats. Signs of feline panleukopenia can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and fever.
“If the cat is not behaving like it usually does, the best bet is to check in with their vets,” Reardon said.
The disease does not pose a threat to humans or dogs.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449;
Story tags » EverettDiseasesAnimals

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