Cats + Infectious Diseases

  • Famciclovir is given by mouth and is used off-label to control feline herpesvirus. Give as directed. Side effects may include vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, and increased drinking and urination. Do not use it in pets that are allergic to it or penciclovir. If a negative reaction occurs, call your veterinary office.

  • Fechavirus is a chapparvovirus, which is a type of parvovirus. It is a newly discovered gastrointestinal virus identified in cats in 2018. The virus was discovered during an outbreak of vomiting and diarrhea among cats in three animal shelters in British Columbia, Canada. The significance of fechavirus in pet cats is unknown at this point. The most common signs associated with fechavirus are diarrhea and vomiting. If your veterinarian suspects fechavirus, your cat will receive supportive care in order to control clinical signs and prevent dehydration.

  • Feline calicivirus is a virus that is an important cause of upper respiratory infections and oral disease in cats. The typical clinical signs of an upper respiratory infection involve the nose and throat such as sneezing, nasal congestion, conjunctivitis, and discharge from the nose or eyes. Calicivirus is highly contagious and infected cats can shed the virus in saliva or secretions from the nose or eyes. The standard core vaccines that are given to cats include immunization against calicivirus and will help reduce the severity of disease and shorten the length of the illness if your cat is exposed.

  • Feline hemotrophic mycoplasmosis (FHM) is caused by a microscopic bacterial parasite that attaches itself to the surface of the cat's red blood cells. The infected blood cells may break down, or they may be treated as “foreign” by the cat's immune system and be destroyed. Anemia occurs if enough red blood cells are infected and destroyed. The test of choice is called a PCR assay. Broad-spectrum antibiotics such as doxycycline, enrofloxacin, or marbofloxacin are used to treat M.Haemofelis infections. Transmission is not fully understood.

  • Feline herpes viral conjunctivitis is a form of primary conjunctivitis caused by the highly infectious feline herpesvirus (FHV-1), which is the most common cause of conjunctivitis in cats. This handout outlines the clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis for affected cats.

  • This handout provides information on Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) in cats. Included is information on how the disease is transmitted, the clinical signs, the recommendations for isolation of the infected cats, and potential treatment guidelines should your cat be infected with this virus.

  • FIP results from a mutation of Feline Enteric Coronavirus. Many of the clinical signs of FIP are vague and occur with other diseases found in cats. Most cats will develop the wet or effusive form of FIP, which refers to the accumulation of fluid in body cavities. Unfortunately, there are no laboratory tests available that can distinguish between the enteric coronavirus and the FIP-causing strains. Supportive treatments may extend longevity and improve quality of life. New treatments are currently in development.

  • Feline leukemia virus is a virus that infects cats and can cause a variety of diseases in addition to leukemia. It suppresses the immune system and makes cats susceptible to infections and disease, including causing cancers. It is transmitted between cats through the exchange of bodily fluids, although usually an extended period of contact is necessary. It is easy to diagnose, but there is no cure for it. There is a vaccine available that is recommended based on a cat's lifestyle and risk factors.

  • Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a virus that infects only cats. It depresses the immune system and cats tend to remain infected for life. FeLV vaccines have been available for many years and have been continuously improved upon. They are helpful in preventing infection with FeLV and, therefore, in controlling FeLV-related disease. Your veterinarian can discuss the pros and cons of vaccinating your cat against this disease based on her specific lifestyle and risk of exposure.

  • Feline panleukopenia (FPL), sometimes also called feline distemper, is caused by a virus of the parvovirus family known as feline panleukopenia virus (FPLV). The virus is present in all excretions, particularly the feces, of infected cats. A susceptible cat can be infected by direct contact with an infected cat, or the virus can be transferred via contaminated water, food bowls, or on shoes and clothing. Clinical signs include rough or dry haircoat, dehydration, depression or listlessness, and collapse. If the gastrointestinal tract is affected, vomiting and diarrhea occur frequently. If the cat receives aggressive supportive care through the initial stages of illness, the prognosis for a full recovery is good. Fortunately, excellent vaccines are available and are part of the core feline vaccination program.