The Otago SPCA is looking for up to 10 people to foster cats
or kittens for up to three weeks, in the wake of a deadly
virus which has hit the facility's cat population.
Although the cat adoption centre was closed and put under
strict quarantine conditions last week, Dunedin residents
continue to bring cats and kittens in for adoption.
Executive officer Sophie McSkimmings said about five cats or
kittens were brought in each day, and about 10 fosterers were
needed to look after them at their own homes until the highly
contagious feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) had been
eradicated from the facility.
About 40 cats came into contact with the virus last week when
a stray cat infected with the disease was brought in by a
member of the public.
FPV primarily attacks the stomach lining and the bone marrow,
and symptoms include vomiting, profuse and bloody diarrhoea,
anaemia and severe dehydration.
Six cats were known to have died from the virus as of last
Thursday, but she declined to say how many since.
''There's been a number of cats that have succumbed to the
''We seem to have this terrible disease under control at the
moment, but we have to go through two weeks of animals not
showing any kinds of symptoms, before we can open again.''
She said fosterers would be provided with food, food bowls
and litter trays.
''All they [the fosterers] have to do is look after the
animal for two to three weeks - we provide everything else.''
The Otago SPCA would be closed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
while a cleaner disinfected the quarantine room with ''some
pretty powerful chemicals that we don't want the public
Dunedin residents were reassured FPV could not be contracted
by humans or dogs, and pets already adopted from the cat
adoption centre were not expected to be affected.