December 27, 2018

Can Cats Get Parvo

Parvo, or canine parvovirus is an extremely contagious virus that commonly affects dogs via contact with an infected dog’s feces. A lot of cat owners want to know whether can cats get parvo from dogs. While cats technically can’t get the parvovirus from dogs, cats do have something similar called feline panleukopenia. It is thought that the parvovirus to have originated from cats and mutated into the current form.

The parvovirus is species specific and as such you should not have any worries about your cat contracting this contagious virus from any infected dog. Rather, if you have a dog at home, you should worry about your dog contracting it from an infected dog or even a cat with feline panleukopenia. As mentioned, the canine parvovirus is thought to have originated from cats infected with feline panleukopenia which is also a form of parvovirus.

Feline Panleukopenia

The Feline Panleukopenia virus (FPV), also known as feline distemper is a disease that is highly contagious diseases that can affect all cats. This disease will cause the white blood cells in a cat to be lowered to the point whereby the immune system can longer function well on its own. This in turn will result in a series of secondary infections to attack the affected cat, causing a lot of medical issues and even death.

There are vaccines available to combat this disease, so this disease has been under control in recent years. There are very few reported cases of this disease in recent years. This disease is more prevalent in places such as animal shelters and rescue centers due to the close proximity of the cats there. The highly contagious nature of this disease also makes it easier for the disease to spread in these places.

Cats are normally infected by coming into contact with infected cats. The disease is usually spread via contact with blood, feces and urine of cats infected with feline panleukopenia. Another way the disease is transmitted is via fleas that have fed on infected cats previously. These fleas will infect other cats when they feed on other cats. Humans can also spread this disease if they did not clean themselves properly after handling infected cats.

It is important to note that the Feline Panleukopenia virus is very hard to kill off. The virus can survive in most types of environment and is resistant to most types of disinfectant. In order to get rid of this virus, bleach can be used as a cleaning agent. Ensure all items used by an infected cat are thoroughly disinfected using bleach or else the virus can still be spread around.

Most cats infected with the Feline Panleukopenia disease will require some form of medical treatment immediately. However, there are cats which display only mild to moderate symptoms and may not even any form of treatment to recover. These cats will be immune to the Feline Panleukopenia virus for life.

The symptoms will normally manifest within five days of contracting the virus. If you notice your cat displaying some of these symptoms, do bring your cat to the vet immediately for an examination.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Anemia
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea with blood
  • Dull and rough coat
  • High fever
  • Lack of coordination
  • Loss of interest in food and water
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss

While cats can’t get parvo from dogs, cats have their own form of the parvovirus in the shape of the feline panleukopenia virus. The Feline Panleukopenia virus is a serious disease if left untreated, will have disastrous consequences for your cat. Bring your cat to the vet if your cat displays any symptoms of having the Feline Panleukopenia virus. I hope the above information does answer your question about whether can cats get parvo.


Image Credit

Photo by TonyParkin67CC BY 2.0

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