What Causes Distemper in Cats?

cat distemper

As a responsible pet owner, it’s essential to understand the various diseases that can affect our feline friends. One such disease, often misunderstood, is Feline Distemper. This serious, highly contagious disease can have severe implications if not treated promptly. 

Today, we at All Kinds Veterinary Hospital are breaking down everything you need to know about Feline Distemper, its causes, symptoms, and most importantly, prevention. 

Remember, you can always reach out to us at (301) 994-9919 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

What is Feline Distemper?

Also known as Feline Panleukopenia Virus (FPV), Feline Distemper is a life-threatening viral disease in cats. Despite its name, it is not related to canine distemper. It affects the blood cells in a cat’s body, most severely impacting the intestinal tract, bone marrow, and in some cases, the nervous system.

Causes of Feline Distemper

Transmission of Feline Distemper

Feline Distemper is primarily caused by the Feline Parvovirus. It is highly contagious and can be transmitted in several ways. The virus can be passed directly from cat to cat through body fluids, feces, and fleas. Indirect transmission can also occur through contaminated objects like food bowls, clothing, shoes, or bedding. Surprisingly, the virus can survive on these objects for up to a year, making it very resilient and difficult to eradicate.

The disease often affects kittens, unvaccinated cats, or those with weakened immune systems. However, it is crucial to note that no cat is completely immune, and even the healthiest felines can be at risk.

Symptoms of Feline Distemper

If your cat has contracted the virus, some signs and symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and general lethargy. In severe cases, sudden death may occur. Given the severity of these symptoms, it is crucial to contact your vet immediately if your cat shows any signs of illness.

Preventing Feline Distemper: Vaccination and Care Tips

Prevention is always better than cure, especially in the case of Feline Distemper. The most effective way to prevent this disease is by maintaining a proper vaccination schedule for your cat, which should start at an early age. This includes a series of vaccinations for kittens, followed by regular boosters throughout their life.

Additionally, maintaining good hygiene practices such as regular cleaning and disinfecting your cat’s living area can help reduce the risk. It’s also advisable to prevent direct contact with stray or unknown cats that may be carriers of the virus.

How All Kinds Veterinary Hospital Can Help

At All Kinds Veterinary Hospital, we understand how much you care for your feline friend. Our team of dedicated veterinary professionals is committed to providing comprehensive and compassionate care for your pet. We offer preventative care, including vaccinations for Feline Distemper, and are well-equipped to diagnose and treat this disease should your cat contract it.

The health and happiness of your cat are paramount. Understanding the causes and symptoms of Feline Distemper and taking preventative measures can go a long way in ensuring your cat leads a long, healthy, and happy life. 

If you have more questions about Feline Distemper or if your cat needs a checkup, we’re here to help. Feel free to call us at (301) 994-9919 to make an appointment or for more information. With All Kinds Veterinary Hospital, you can trust that your furry friends are always in safe and caring hands.