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Cat Diseases Explained

Information about the most common cat diseases

  • Feline Leukaemia Virus (Felv)
  • Feline Infectious Enteritis (Fie)
  • Cat “Flu”
  • Carrier Cats

Feline Leukaemia Virus (Felv)

  • Of all the infectious agents that affect cats, this virus is the single most important cause of mortality.
  • Most cats die within three years of becoming persistently infected.
  • Your cat can become infected through contact with an infected cat. Those infected by FELv may show no symptoms for months or years.
  • Vaccination and regular boosters will protect your cat from the virus.
  • Felv Kills cats in a variety of ways including causing cancer or anaemia or destroying the immune system allowing other infections to develop.

Feline Infectious Enteritis (Fie)

  • FIE is an extremely contagious disease associated with a high death rate in young kittens, although cats of all ages can be affected.
  • Once affected a cat may deteriorate rapidly with vomiting, diarrhoea and depression being common symptoms.
  • The disease is mainly spread through direct contact with an infected cat or its faeces. It is extremely difficult to treat

Cat “Flu”

  • FVR is a highly contagious sever respiratory disease causing sneezing, loss of appetite, fever and sore eyes. Although few adult cats die from FVR it can be fatal in kittens. Death is often the result of dehydration ad secondary bacterial infections.
  • The two most important causes of cat “Flu” are feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) and feline calicivirus (FCV).
  • FCV causes symptoms similar to those of FVR although infected cats also commonly have mouth and tongue ulcers. Direct contact with infected cats is the most common method of transmission. Feline calicivirus severely affects kittens and poorly cats and although the death rate is low, it can pave the way for other viral or bacterial infections which can cause pneumonia.

Carrier Cats

  • Cat “Flu” and feline leukaemia virus remain widespread in the cat population because of carrier cats. Carrier cats appear perfectly healthy but “carry” and shed the viruses. These cats are capable of transmitting disease to any unvaccinated cats that they meet.
  • Ensuring that your cat is vaccinated is part of responsible pet ownership.
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