An outbreak of feline panleukopenia, or distemper, the second in as many months, has forced a Hayward, CA animal shelter to take actions to prevent further spread.


The Hayward Animal Shelter announced yesterday that they had two positive cases of feline panleukopenia, commonly known as feline distemper. They are not accepting healthy, friendly, or feral cats for the next 21 days.

Eleven cats and kittens in total had to be euthanized due to testing positive or being exposed to the viral disease.

This will help reduce the risk of exposure to healthy cats and allow animal shelter staff to throughly disinfect the shelter. All cats currently in the shelter are on a 14 day quarantine and will be monitored daily. No cats are available for adoption during this timeframe.

Feline panleukopenia is a highly contagious, often fatal, viral disease of cats that is seen worldwide. Kittens are affected most severely, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual. It does not affect dogs.

Cats are infected oronasally by exposure to infected animals, their feces, secretions, or contaminated fomites. Feline panleukopenia is now diagnosed infrequently by veterinarians, presumably as a consequence of widespread vaccine use.