Cuddles Cat Cafe acknowledges that seven cats died under its care

Cuddles Cat Cafe at *Scape in Orchard Road. The owners acknowledged in a Facebook post on Dec 16, 2014, that seven of its cats had died under its care. -- PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN FILE
Cuddles Cat Cafe at *Scape in Orchard Road. The owners acknowledged in a Facebook post on Dec 16, 2014, that seven of its cats had died under its care. -- PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN FILE

SINGAPORE - Cuddles Cat Cafe on Tuesday acknowledged on social media that seven of its cats had died under its care and apologised for causing animal lovers grief.

"We love our cats a lot, and we want the best for them. None of us here at Cuddles would want any of our cats to pass away," it said in a Facebook post.

The cafe, which opened its doors in Orchard three months ago, is being investigated by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority over the deaths. Some of its former employees have alleged that the cafe's staff were not properly trained to handle cats.

In its Facebook post, the cafe said three of its cats died due to "sterilisation and veterinary complications", while four died from Feline Infectious Peritonitises (FIP). All had been "certified completely healthy for sterilisation in accordance to a vet", it said.

One of the cats died from an "anaphylactic reaction to the sedation administered", while another died from "pneumonia/secondary drowning from fluids within the lungs", it said.

The cafe, citing a 1995 research paper in the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, said: "Veterinary anaesthesia for animals are at a significantly higher risk as compared to humans."

"A one-year study in a teaching hospital shows that dogs and cats typically experience a 1 in 9 chance of anaesthetic complications, with a 1 in 233 risk of death. For sick dogs and cats, it was 1 in 75 and 1 in 71 respectively."

It also said that FIP is a "fatal, incurable disease".

"Accepted wisdom is that there is no cure for FIP; treatment is symptomatic and palliative only, ie, typically the owner is advised to make the cat as comfortable as possible."

"Quarantine is not necessary as FIP is not truly an infectious disease," the cafe said.