News Item | PAWS Chicago

Feline Fosters Needed!

Oct 01, 2015

An outbreak of panleukopenia has put the lives of many cats and kittens in danger. Can you help by fostering?

On Wednesday evening, an outbreak of feline panleukopenia at Chicago Animal Care & Control (the city pound) put the lives of many cats and kittens in danger. Panleukopenia, also known as cat distemper, is an incredibly contagious and often deadly virus that attacks a cat’s gastrointestinal tract. Traditional shelter management means euthanasia for entire banks of both the sick and those who were healthy but had been potentially exposed to illness.

PAWS Chicago and other rescue groups jumped in to save as many lives as possible. PAWS was able to pull a number of cats and kittens from the pound.

And now we are asking for your help: Foster families are needed to accommodate cats and kittens that do not need to be medically supervised so we can free up space at our Medical Center for incoming sick and at-risk animals.

The details:

Panleukopenia symptoms include extreme listlessness and a loss of appetite. Fever, vomiting and diarrhea are frequently seen, but some cats die suddenly with few clinical signs. Kittens and unvaccinated cats are most susceptible to this disease.

This virus is shed in the feces or vomit of an infected cat and can survive extreme temperature and humidity. It is spread by exposure to the infected feces or vomit by sniffing or licking. Panleukopenia is part of the vaccine series recommended for all cats and provides excellent protection. Vaccinated adult animals are at minimal risk for this illness.

Because these cats were possibly exposed to a contagious disease at CACC, we'd like to send these cats to homes without resident cats. Already have a cat at home? You can still help! We have plenty of rescued cats and kittens that don't need a feline-free home. If you agree to take one of those needy pets, it frees up a place for an at-risk cat to be taken into PAWS!

Getting started:

Please fill out our foster application here, and we will be right back in touch via email.

If you can’t foster, please share this page with anyone who may be able to help and consider donating to help us with the medical costs associated with helping these cats.