At the end of March five Persian cats arrived at the centre from a multi-cat household of 22. They were living in a country house with an elderly lady who was extremely unwell and has since been taken into care.
The cats were in no better condition, matted, emaciated and suffering with respiratory infections from living in a home covered in their own urine and faeces. We were only able to take five of the cats, now named, Pearl, Peggy, Priscilla, Percy and Puffin, as all of them turned out to be suffering from ringworm and had to be isolated from the other animals in the centre. Despite the name, ringworm is not a worm, it is a highly contagious fungal infection caused by mold-like parasites that live on the cells in the outer layer of the skin. It requires a strict cleaning and treatment ritual for at least six weeks before the cats can go out into the main cattery block. Twice a week the five cats have to be bathed in a treatment solution then put into a cat carrier while staff set about a comprehensive deep clean of the cat pod. Staff have to wear protective clothing which should be discarded after the clean due to re-infection risk. Staff also have to discard all towels and cleaning cloths post clean.
The ringworm could still infect members of staff at the centre as it is very infectious, even to humans. Fortunately, it is much easier to treat humans with a six-week course of antifungal medication and a patch to cover the skin which has been infected which usually takes the shape of a ring. Persian cats are generally more prone to ringworm so we shaved all the cats as a precaution, also they are easier to examine and bath with les fur! Once the treatment has finished they will be retested at a cost of approximately £80 per cat. If the test is clear they will be ready for rehoming, if it is negative the treatment will continue. A two week course of treatment costs £46 plus the cost of special shampoos, not to mention all the extra attention they demand from staff.
UPDATE August 2019: Five months later we have found homes for three of the girls as they have been given the all clear from our vet and are all in a fit and healthy condition. Unfortunately Percy has had to remain on the treatment and Puffin has not been put up for adoption yet.
If you would like to spare a few pounds to help us pay for their care. DONATE HERE Pearl, Peggy, Priscilla, Percy and Puffin are very grateful!
Pictured above is Peggy post treatment and looking much more content with life