A new case of deadly feline panleukopenia has been confirmed outside of the Upcountry area where the initial cases were found in late May, the Maui Humane Society announced Friday.
The most recent case involved a kitten in Kahului, the society reported. Confirmation that the disease has spread outside of where it originally broke out means that it's "more important than ever for owners to vaccinate their cats," the Humane Society said.
The latest outbreak spurred the Humane Society to schedule a series of vaccination clinics this month with the last one set for 8:30 a.m. to noon today at the Humane Society's modular building behind the Puunene animal shelter.
This vaccine clinic is by donation and is intended to be a temporary emergency response to the outbreak of the disease, believed to be new to Maui. The vaccines administered are a standard feline core vaccine, which includes protection against the panleukopenia virus as well as the herpes and calici viruses, which cause upper-respiratory disease in cats.
The clinics are meant for friendly, tame cats. Cats and kittens should be at least 6 weeks old, and all cats should be transported in secure carriers. Cats in improper carriers will not be accepted. Carriers are available for rent from the Humane Society, and cardboard carriers may be purchased at the shelter ahead of time for $10.
Feral cats should not be brought to the vaccine clinics. Call the Humane Society for vaccination options for feral cats.
Microchips are optional and may be purchased at a reduced price of $15 each. The fee includes the cost of implantation (a quick injection similar to a vaccination), a tag to wear on a cat's collar and local registration into the Humane Society computer system. Microchips provide a permanent means of identification and help the Humane Society reunite pets with their families if they stray from home.