Cat Parvovirus: Important Facts Every Pet Owner Should Know
Your responsibility as a cat owner doesn’t end with providing food, toys, and a litter box. You also need to take care of your cat’s health with cat teeth cleaning, regular check-ups, and vaccinations.
Parvovirus is one of the diseases that can be prevented through vaccination. Here are some facts you should know about parvovirus.
What Is Cat Parvovirus?
Cat parvovirus, feline parvovirus, or feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) is a highly contagious virus that affects cats. The virus is closely related to the parvovirus that affects dogs, and both viruses can be deadly to their respective hosts.
The virus is spread through contact with infected feces, either directly or indirectly. It can also be transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces, such as food bowls, litter boxes, or bedding. In addition, the air can also play a role in the spread of the virus, as it can be aero med through infected respiratory secretions.
Once contracted, the virus attacks a cat’s immune system, leading to severe dehydration and anemia. The virus can also cause intestinal bleeding, leading to death.
What Are the Symptoms of Cat Parvovirus?
The symptoms of cat parvovirus can vary, but the most common include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
If your cat starts to show any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to take them to the vet immediately. The sooner the virus is diagnosed, the better the chances of recovery.
How Is Cat Parvovirus Treated?
There is no specific treatment for cat parvovirus. Treatment is focused on supportive care, which means keeping your cat hydrated and managing their symptoms.
In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary. Intravenous fluids and blood transfusions may be required to stabilize your cat. Intravenous fluid is the most important part of treatment, as it helps prevent dehydration.
Whereas blood transfusion is necessary if your cat is anemic. This can be a life-saving measure, as it helps to increase the red blood cells and improve blood oxygenation.
These are why some pet owners opt to get their cats and dogs veterinary wellness plans that cover all kinds of illness and injury, including parvovirus.
How Can Cat Parvovirus Be Prevented?
The best way to prevent cat parvovirus is to vaccinate your cat. Like the puppy first vaccination in dogs, kittens should receive their first dose of the vaccine at 6 to 8 weeks of age, with booster shots every 3-4 weeks until they’re 16 weeks old. After that, an annual booster shot is all that’s needed to keep your cat protected.
If you have an indoor cat that doesn’t go outside, the risk of contracting the virus is very low. However, if they ever come into contact with an infected cat, they can still pass the virus to other cats in your home, so it’s essential to keep them up-to-date on their vaccinations.
Outdoor cats are at a higher risk of contracting the virus, so ensure they’re vaccinated. In addition, avoid letting your cat roam freely in areas where other cats congregate, such as parks or playgrounds.
Here are other ways to prevent the spread of cat parvo:
- Wash your hands thoroughly after handling an infected cat.
- Clean and disinfect any surfaces an infected cat has come into contact with.
The Bottom Line
Cat parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that can be deadly to cats. The best way to protect your cat is to vaccinate them and keep them up-to-date on their shots. If you have an outdoor cat, avoid letting them roam in areas where other cats congregate.
If you think your cat may have contracted the virus, take them to the vet immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical for a successful recovery.