At the cat show : a breeder's guide on prevention of infectious diseases | Q&A from our last webinar !

I'm running late tonight, we just finished our last webinar series on prevention of infectious diseases at the cat show. We had two days of great discussions with cat lovers from all over the planet ! A great online experience, that's for sure ! We also got many questions. You will find our written answers ! And if you wonder about anything else on this topic, feel free to ask ! We'll be happy to help if we can, as usual ! 

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Not enough time for the cages to be disinfected between cats : is this a valid concern?

 If we wanted to be strict in terms of sanitation and always have a cleaning AND a disinfecting step, it could be a valid concern… but reality is, it is not always feasible to perform those two steps.

That is why the following concept is so important at the cat show : “ a good cleaning is always better than a poor disinfection.”

 Performing a good cleaning phase (using a soap, a degreaser, or what is called a “disinfecting cleaner”) will help a lot here when it comes to prevention of infectious diseases. 

What about judge tables? we know that they disinfect them but....

Same as above.

What do you think about using pheromones ?

 I think it is a great tool when it comes to relieve stress ! Many breeders use them when going to the cat show, don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian about them.

 As I mentioned during the webinar, the priority these days when it comes to prevention of infectious diseases in cats is first, to fight the effects of stress !

 I was recently speaking to one of our shelter contact and she was telling me that since they started focussing on stress prevention in cats they saw a dramatic decrease in the amount of clinical cases. 

What does bleach not address ?

 Bleach will not be effective against some protozoa cysts, like Coccidia and Cryptosporidium.

Remember that it is not ONLY about using bleach, it is also about using it properly :

-          You need to use it at the right dilution (when addressing nude viruses like parvo and calicivirus, the dilution rate should be 1/32 of a 5.25% bleach solution ; when addressing ringworm, the dilution should be 1/10 !) ; don’t hesitate to use this bleach dilution calculator

-          You need to follow the instructions : clean first, then let bleach sit for 10 minutes, then rinse it.

If not used properly, bleach will not be effective against the pathogen we want to target. 

Can the coronavirus be spread by saliva or only through excretion ?

 I quote the textbooks here : “ in healthy cats, the virus is only shed in the saliva for a very brief period of time (hours).” 

Can the coronavirus be transmitted from mom to babies during pregnancy ?

 The virus has been isolated from a 1-day old kitten, implying that transplacental transmission could be possible. However, the practice of removing kittens from infected queens (known as “early weaning”) protected kittens from the infection, which would not have worked had transplacental transmission occurred. 

I have been using dish soap prior to disinfecting. Is this sufficient ?

 It is always a good way to start in my opinion. More efficient alternatives obviously exist, if you use a degreaser for instance. 

Should I be concerned with Mycoplasma felis and how long is it active in the environment ?

 Mycoplasma felis is NOT a major concern at the cat show.

Moreover, mycoplasmas are intracellular bacteria that are not resistant in the environment. 

What does address coccidia?

 Steam-cleaning is the best way to address coccidia. High temperature will indeed make the coccidian cysts rupture.

 More on this disease in our blog here :

What about spread of FHV at shows?

 Feline Herpes Virus will not be a major concern at cat shows. The virus is already very frequent in the feline population and is usually reactivated because of a stress (which can definitely be related to cat shows).

We discuss this more in depth in one of our previous webinar, materials are available here :

When judges are judging the cats they touch them and of course they disinfect their hands between each cat : is this is enough?

 Remember the study I mentioned during the webinar concerning the veterinary students in shelter environments (more in the e-book about that).

 Best results were obtained when hand-sanitizers were used. As long as their hands are not heavily soiled, this is a great option to start with them.

What about using lysine before to boost the immune system ?

 L-lysine showed promising results in some studies that were published in the early 2000s. However, since then more recent papers have been published, showing that in fact this supplement brought no benefits in terms of URI prevention in catteries…

More information here :


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