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There is always something going on in a multi-cat household. Erm 9... cats and counting...... Plus stories from the Sheffield Cats Shelter

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Sunday (not quite) at the shelter 25-08-13

I'm on holiday at the moment, but I've been keeping up to date on Shelter news.
If you read last weeks entry you'll know that fighting cat flu was the most pressing task. The situation continued into this week.

Libby and I spent additional time at the shelter on Monday to help out with the cleaning.  I started in Room 5 which contained the lovely Mika and her man Marvin. Mika was her usual self, chatting to me and wanting cuddles and kisses.

Unfortunately she and Marvin were sneezing. Despite wearing a clean suit, complete with hood, gloves and overshoes, kisses were strictly off the agenda.

Poor Marvin was curled up in a basket looking very sorry for himself.  With his third eyelids visible, crusty deposits under his nose and no interest in food, it was obvious he was really suffering.
I gave everything a thorough clean and did the floor on my knees with a cloth.  This gave Mika the opportunity to give the top of my head mutiple chin rubs and kisses,  so she was happy :)

The Shelter Manager,  Shirley,  brought in a bowl of hot water with a few drops of olbas oil in, to try and break through their stuffy noses. Its very difficult to get a cat to eat if they can't smell the food.
Its for this reason the shelter have been asking for donations of smelly fish!  

Shirley then spent time cleaning Marvins nose and giving him medication.

We then headed down to Infirmary, with just 3 occupants, again we wore disposable clothing.

Libby (not the cat) in her clean suit

Lottie was full of flu and Shirley had been trying to encourage her to eat by hand feeding her.  She'd also cleaned her eyes, as they were full of puss,  fortunately cleaning showed they weren't as bad as first feared.
There were also olbas oil bowls in each cage here too.

We cleaned out Lottie and then moved onto Tigger.   Tigger was seriously stressed about me going near him, which is a big deal as stress can make flu worse. I slowly cleaned around him as best I could.

Finally we had Libby. Another very timid cat.   She was so full of flu, with a sore eye and blocked nose, poor soul.

Libby (the cat!)

Despite having worn protective clothing we showered and changed at my parents house. I needed to be sure I couldn't take any infection home.

During the week the Flu infection pretty much went through the whole shelter, with the exception of Room 4 (where the kittens were) and the old bathroom (used for single cats).

It seems the problem may have started in Infirmary and quickly spread to Room 1.  Its the occupants of  these rooms who are now starting to recover.  They are eating well and should hopefully be available for adoption soon.

Room 2 and Holding  then became the worst affected.  Medication plus smelly food, such as pilchards have really helped.

At the height of the problem the shelter had no option but to close its doors to new cats.  As cats from Infirmary have now been relocated into Room 3, Infirmary has now undergone a deep clean.  Deep cleans are performed periodically when a room is entirely empty of cats.  Once no cats are present, harsher cleaning materials such as bleach can be used. The staff make sure all traces of harmful chemicals are then rinsed away prior to the introduction of any further cats.

Once this is completed new cats will be able to come into the shelter under strict quaranteen procedures.

This last couple of weeks has been a real lesson to me about the importance of keeping vaccinations up to date (all mine are vaccinated).  Even those who have had the vaccine can still get ill, but those who haven't fair much worse.

The staff and volunteers have worked so hard to care for the cats in the shelter and, amongst all of this, have managed to rehome several well cats and kittens, plus arrange the pre-adoption of sick ones.  I'm very happy that Marvin and Mika will be going to their new home as soon as they are well enough :)

Lets hope next weeks blog is 'Flu free' :)


  1. Sending enormous purrs for this flu to be over quickly, it's like a forest fire when it gets a grip.

    Those clean suits are so stylish, mmmm glamour!

    Friar's Balsam is a good inhalant too, it's less stingy than Olbas and very gentle on sore noses. One teaspoon in a pint of steaming hot water. I've used it when the mentholatedness of Olbas puts some cats off. Good for human sinus problems too (and it's cheap from chemists)

    Hope all cats recover and shelter staff get a bit of a break soon!


    1. Thank you, it seems like the battle is being won finally. I'll mention the Friars Balsam :)

  2. PS: Well done to all for rehoming too!