Updated: Jul 20
As a cat owner, one of your main responsibilities is to keep an eye on your cat's health and ensure that they stay healthy. There are various diseases that can pose a threat to your cat's health, so it's important to familiarize yourself with common viruses and illnesses that may affect them. Understanding their symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention is key to maintaining your cat's overall health.
Five Cat Diseases to watch out for
Here are five feline viruses that can potentially impact your beloved cat and should be watched out for:
Corona Disease in Cats (FCOV)
Feline Leukemia (FeLV)
Feline Panleukopenia (FPV)
Feline Coronavirus (FCoV)
Feline Coronavirus (FCoV) is a virus that affects cats and can cause diseases of the digestive system. The virus generally causes mild infections, but in some cases, it can develop into more serious diseases, such as Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP).
FCoV Cats Symptoms
FCoV attacks the cat's digestive system. It is generally asymptomatic, but can cause mild diarrhea. In a small population of FCOV infected cats, FCOV can undergo mutation and cause serious health complications which leads to the development of Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).
Causes of FCoV in Cats
FCoV in cats is generally transmitted through contact with an infected cet feces or saliva. The virus can live in the environment for several weeks and can be transmitted through contaminated objects. Cats living in crowded environments or cats sharing litter boxes or feeding utensils are also at higher risk of contracting FCoV.
FCoV in Cats Treatment
Currently, no specific treatment for FCoV has been shown to be effective. In most cases, supportive care is provided to help manage symptoms, such as keeping the cat hydrated by administering fluids through an IV. If a secondary infection occurs, veterinarians usually prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. It is important to keep the cat's environment clean and isolate the infected cat to prevent the spread of the virus to other cats.
FIP Cats (Feline Infectious Peritonitis)
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease that causes inflammation and damage to various organs in the cat's body. FIP is caused by a mutation of the Feline Coronavirus (FCoV) that infects cats.
FIP in Cats Symptoms
FIP symptoms in cats can vary depending on the form of disease. Wet-type FIP is characterized by fluid buildup in the body cavities, such as the abdomen or chest. Other symptoms include fever, weight loss, loss of appetite, lethargy, and several other symptoms. In neurological FIP, cats may exhibit a lack of balance and staggering movements. Ocular FIP may cause cloudy or hazy appearance in the cat's eyes.
Causes of FIP in Cats
FIP is caused by a mutation of the FCoV that infects cats. Although many cats are exposed to FCoV, only a small percentage develop FIP. Genetic factors and individual immune responses are believed to contribute to the development of the disease.
Treatment for FIP in Cats
The disease is often considered incurable, posing a significant concern for cat owners. However, there is now an effective treatment for FIP in cats, using a FIP antiviral drug called GS-441524 developed by Dr. Niels Pedersen.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is a virus that disrupts and weakens a cat's immune system, rendering the cat susceptible to other potentially fatal infections. The virus is similar to the Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that attacks the human immune system.
Symptoms of FIV in Cats
Common symptoms include fever, fatigue, weight loss, and infections of the skin and respiratory system. Vomiting, diarrhea, mouth infections, and hair loss can also indicate the presence of FIV in a cat.
Causes of Feline FIV
FIV is primarily transmitted from one cat to another through deep bite wounds that involve saliva and blood. In rare cases, FIV can be transmitted from an infected mother cat to her kittens.
How to Cure FIV in Cats?
As FIV has no cure, our main focus is to treat the condition by strengthening the immune system. Regular wellness visits every six months are crucial, during which the veterinarian will gauge the strength of the cat's immune system and may recommend antiviral medications, dietary changes or supplements. You need to be very proactive in treating new infections if they arise.
Feline Leukemia (FeLV)
Feline leukemia (FeLV) is a disease that affects a cat's immune system and is often mistaken for cancer because it affects the bone marrow.
Symptoms of Feline Leukemia
Symptoms of feline leukemia include weight loss, fur damage, chronic diarrhea, enlarged lymph nodes and seizures. FeLV transmission can occur through the saliva, urine and feces of infected cats. Cats born to infected mothers are also at risk.
Causes of Feline Leukemia
Feline leukemia is highly transmissible through bodily secretions such as saliva, urine, and feces. Kittens born to infected mothers are particularly susceptible, especially during the nursing period.
Feline Leukemia Treatment
Currently, there is no treatment that can cure FeLV, but medical treatment can help manage symptoms and extend a cat's life span.
Feline Panleukopenia (FPV)
Feline Panleukopenia (FPV) is an infectious disease caused by a parvovirus. This condition is susceptible to cats, especially kittens. This condition primarily affects cats, particularly kittens. It is crucial to be vigilant about this highly contagious virus as it can significantly weaken the cat's immune response.
Feline Panleukemia Symptoms
Cats affected by this virus will usually show symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. Unvaccinated 3-5 month old cats may have more severe symptoms such as refusal to eat, vomiting, and decreased in white blood cells. Within 3-5 days, the cat may become dehydrated due to severe diarrhea.
Causes of Feline Panleukemia
The virus can survive in dirty environments and at room temperature. Transmission of FPV occurs through direct contact with urine or feces and indirect contact with contaminated equipment, such as eating and drinking utensils, mattresses, toys and more.
Feline Panleukemia Treatment
In most cases, hospitalization is necessary for cats infected with FPV. However, antibiotics have proven effective in combating the virus and treating secondary gut infections. Administering antibiotics can prevent the progression of the virus. Once recovered, the cat will develop immunity to the FPV virus.
How can I tell if my cat has the virus?
There are several signs that may indicate your cat has a viral infection, including fever, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes. Other symptoms may include loss of appetite, weight loss and fatigue. If you suspect your cat has a viral infection, it's important to take them to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. The vet will perform a physical examination, take a history of symptoms, and may perform diagnostic tests such as blood tests or x-rays to help determine the cause of the illness.
FIP is a serious disease, but early detection can help improve the chances of a positive outcome.If your cat is showing FIP in cats symptoms, please take them to your nearest veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment and if you have any questions or concerns about FIP and its treatment, please do not hesitate to reach out to us aat WhatsApp or visit our Instagram. You can read the Complete Guide to Treating FIP Cats by clicking here.