Calicivirus In Cats: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

Calicivirus In Cats: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

Calicivirus In Cats: Causes, Signs, & Therapy

Feline calicivirus (FCV) is a typical viral an infection of home cats. The virus causes higher respiratory illness that always intently resembles Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR), and each viruses may cause the syndrome often called “Cat Flu”, with generalised irritation of the higher respiratory tract and eyes, resulting in sneezing, bilateral ocular discharge, a excessive temperature, dullness and inappetence.

Whereas most cats finally recuperate, fatalities do happen, and lots of recovered cats turn into continual carriers of the virus. Vaccines given to kittens, with booster vaccinations in later life as wanted, make sure that FCV is often successfully managed in pet cats. Colonies of feral cats can undergo severe issues from the virus. There are practically fifty strains of Feline Calicivirus, inflicting illness of variable virulence and severity.

Feline Calicivirus Transmission

Feline Calicivirus is shed from contaminated cats primarily in discharges from the eyes, nostril and mouth, and it may also be present in blood, urine and feces. Cats might be contaminated by direct cat-to-cat contact (droplets can carry the virus for a distance of as much as 1.5m) and in addition through fomites (e.g. meals bowls, water bowls, litter containers and so on).

Cautious cleansing and disinfection is essential when treating contaminated cats to forestall unintentional transmission of the virus.

Calicivirus Signs

Calicivirus symptoms

The acute type of calicivirus may cause higher respiratory signs, together with a runny nostril and eyes.

The medical indicators of Feline Calicivirus an infection differ from cat to cat, from asymptomatic carriers to various levels of higher respiratory illness (from delicate to extreme). Hardly ever, the illness may even be deadly.

The acute type of the illness often causes typical higher respiratory indicators, which embody nasal discharge and sneezing, together with conjunctivitis and ocular discharge. Many cats develop distinctive ulcerations on the tongue, gums, onerous palate (roof of mouth) and lips. Pyrexia, dullness and inappetance are generally seen.

In some circumstances, pneumonia could develop, with coughing and problem respiration. Much less generally, lameness can happen because of involvement of the joints. Extra virulent strains of FCV could trigger different severe indicators, together with jaundice, edema of the top and limbs, and ulcerations elsewhere on the physique.

Some cats develop the continual (long run) indicators of illness, which might embody gingivitis and nasopharyngeal polyps, in addition to shedding of the virus into the long run. Round 80% of cats that recuperate from FCV go on to turn into continual carriers of the virus.

Calicivirus Therapy

The treatment of calicivirus in cats

Therapy for calicivirus in cats is mostly supportive, however anti-viral remedy may additionally be given.

In idea, anti-viral remedy (akin to interferon or immunoglobulin remedy) could also be given, however in follow, that is not often used.

As an alternative, the main target is on supportive remedy, maintaining affected cats comfy whereas the cat’s personal immune system offers with the virus.

  • This supportive remedy could embody common nursing, antibiotics to regulate secondary bacterial an infection, phenylephrine nasal drops as a decongestant, intra-venous fluids to fight dehydration, and dietary help.
  • Affected cats typically lose their sense of scent, leading to simultaneous lack of style, so it’s useful to supply extremely palatable meals with a powerful, enticing odor, warming meals within the microwave to make it extra interesting.
  • Cleansing of discharges from the eyes and nostrils a number of occasions each day is essential, utilizing cotton wool moistened with heat water. It could possibly assist so as to add 1 teaspoonful of salt to 1 pint of water.

Most (however not all) cats regularly recuperate from the acute, energetic, section of sickness over a interval of seven – 10 days.

Calicivirus Vaccine

Calicivirus vaccination

Vaccination in opposition to feline calicivirus is the easiest way to forestall this situation.

Efficient vaccination in opposition to FCV is accessible: that is a part of the routine FVRCP vaccine that’s given to kittens, with grownup cats being given common booster vaccinations at intervals applicable to their way of life. Normally, the first collection of vaccinations in opposition to FVRCP ought to be given to all kittens and cats.

Indoor grownup cats could also be given booster vaccinations each three years to keep up minimal immunity. Cats that go outdoors, mingling with different cats, or cats that go to boarding catteries or exhibits, could also be given an annual booster vaccination, however it is a matter for dialogue with your personal vet. Vaccinations ought to be given at intervals primarily based on a person danger evaluation for every affected person.

Present recommendation from the American Affiliation of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) Panel recommends that the primary dose of vaccine ought to be given at 9 weeks of age, a second dose at 12 weeks, and a 3rd dose at 16 weeks of age. A booster vaccination ought to then be given one yr later, adopted by additional boosters each three years.

These suggestions are primarily based on an “common” cat, and it’s at all times price discussing your personal cat’s wants with your personal veterinarian.


Together with Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR), Feline Calicivirus (FCV) is likely one of the most typical viral an infection of cats, with one or each viruses inflicting the syndrome often called “cat flu”. The illness might be prevented by vaccinations which ought to be given to all kittens, and to grownup cats as wanted relying on their particular person danger.

Incessantly Requested Questions

Can calicivirus in cats be cured?

The mortality fee from feline calicivirus an infection is low, however sadly, the illness is deadly in some particular person circumstances. Most cats do make a full restoration from the acute type of the illness, however even then, the virus is commonly not eradicated solely from the physique. It’s widespread for cats to undergo from low grade, continual illness (akin to gingivostomatis) and to turn into continual shedders of the virus.

What kills calicivirus?

There is no such thing as a efficient drug that kills calicivirus within the dwelling physique. The virus might be troublesome to kill within the atmosphere too, surviving for as much as a month on surfaces. Particular disinfectants (akin to bleach or chlorine dioxide) ought to be used to wash areas which were in touch with contaminated cats.

Is calicivirus lethal?

Whereas most cats recuperate from Calicivirus an infection, it may be deadly, particularly in animals with poorer immune programs, akin to kittens or immunocompromised cats (e.g. these with FIV). Moreover, there are some extra virulent strains which have a mortality of over 50%, even in grownup cats.

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