Adopts new inoculation policy, offers to pay for medical expenses for customers’ own cats.

At the beginning of the month, cat lovers were heartbroken to hear of an outbreak of feline parvovirus at a Tokyo branch of Mocha, a chain of cat cafes known for their cute kitties and fashionable interior spaces. The outbreak was detected at Mocha’s Tachikawa branch, located northwest of the capital’s downtown area, and claimed the lives of seven of the branch’s cat population of 25.

In addition to the seven cats that died, three more of the Tachikawa Mocha animals were found to be infected with the virus, which is spread through cat vomit and excrement. Mocha subsequently temporarily closed not only the Tachikawa cafe, but all 15 of its branches nationwide (nine of which are in Tokyo, including locations in Akihabara and Harajuku) on August 3.

As of August 22, though, Mocha’s cafes are open once again. During the interval, all of the company’s cats were tested for the virus, with none being infected at any locations other than Tachikawa. The remaining three infected Tachikawa cats are receiving medical treatment, and their lives are in no danger as they recover. Mocha Tachikawa also underwent multiple cleanings and disinfections by specialized technicians, and has had its carpeting, as well as some other upholstered surfaces, replaced.

Prior to the incident, KI Corporation (Mocha’s parent company) said that all cats were inoculated twice against feline parvovirus between the ages of two and four months, with adult cats receiving a single inoculation every year, as per the advice they’d received from consulting with licensed veterinarians. However, following the outbreak the company has announced that from now on it will be following the stricter protocol established by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association.

While humans cannot become infected with feline parvovirus, it can be spread via humans who have been in contact with cat vomit or excrement particles, even in amounts too small to be easily noticeable. As such, there remains the possibility that some Mocha Tachikawa customers unknowingly transferred the virus to cats in their own homes after visiting the cafe. Because of this, KI Corporation has stated that it will cover the medical expenses of any customers’ cats which have been diagnosed as infected.

Source: Mocha (1, 2) via IT Media
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