Infections Disease Prevention for Cats owned by Cat Shelter Volunteer

Changing Clothes, Washing Hands Best


I’d like to volunteer at a cat shelter, but I’m wondering if I could inadvertently transmit disease to my cats at home.


Dr. Nichol:

That’s an important question. After caring for stray kitties infectious organisms like upper respiratory viruses and feline distemper could get a free ride to your cats on your hands and clothing.


For the latest on preventing the spread of infectious disease I contacted Dr. John Romero of the Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department. Clearly, the best ways to avoid being the Typhoid Mary of feline infectious disease are to change cloths and thoroughly wash your hands after handling shelter cats. Any good detergent should work well; bleach being the safest bet. Your healthy, well vaccinated cats should do fine. Thanks for volunteering.