Dead Cats Likely Victims of Virus Not Poison

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MESHOPPEN -- A veterinarian who was testing to see if more than 20 dead cats in Wyoming County were poisoned now said that is not likely.  She said tests show they were more likely victims of a virus.

There were concerns in Meshoppen after numerous cats were dying during September.  Many feared they were being poisoned because so many died in such a short amount of time. 

A group in Meshoppen has been feeding, trapping and spaying stray cats for years then finding them homes.  Some of the volunteers feared a feeding station used for those strays was targeted with poison.

Dr. Michele Zajac at the Bunker Hill Veterinary Hospital did testing on one of the dead cats and some of the food from that feeding station.  Those at the hospital said the results returned to show no toxins, meaning poisoning was unlikely.  The dead cat did test positive for Panleukopenia.  It is a virus that is easily transmitted from cat to cat.  It can be fatal especially in younger cats. 

There is a vaccine for Panleukopenia, but because many of the dead cats were strays they were vulnerable.  Volunteers say there were house cats that roamed the neighborhood and died as well.