ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Cats are currently not being accepted at the Abilene Animal Shelter due to a viral outbreak.

Abilene Animal Services, local veterinarians, and staff at the Abilene Zoo are working together to curb the outbreak of panleukopenia in the cat room.

“At this time we cannot accept new cats or release the ones who may have been exposed,” a social media post explains.

Panleukopenia, also called feline distemper or feline parvo, is far less lethal than it used to be due to availability and use of very effective vaccines.

The American Veterinarian Medical Association says, “feline panleukopenia (FP) is a highly contagious viral disease of cats caused by the feline parvovirus. Kittens are most severely affected by the virus. The names feline distemper and feline parvo should not be confused with canine distemper or canine parvo— although their names are similar, they are caused by different viruses. The viruses do not infect people. The feline parvovirus infects and kills cells that are rapidly growing and dividing, such as those in the bone marrow, intestines, and the developing fetus.”

For more information on panleukopenia, visit the AVMA website.