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FPV - What Do I Need To Know?

Feline Panleukopenia Virus is a highly contagious viral disease of cats caused by the feline parvovirus - you might have heard it referred to as “parvo for cats”.

The feline parvovirus infects and kills cells that are rapidly growing and dividing, such as those in the bone marrow, intestines, and any kittens if mum is pregnant as it can be transmitted in utero.

How do cats become infected?

Because FPV is everywhere in the environment, virtually all kittens and cats are exposed to the virus at some point in their lives. During the warm months, urban areas are likely to see outbreaks of FPV because cats are more likely to come in contact with other cats. Kittens are most severely affected by the virus, however it can affect cats of any age.

What are the symptoms I might see?

Symptoms of FPV vary a lot, but can include:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhoea (sometimes containing blood)

  • High temperature

  • Lethargy (weakness)

  • Loss of appetite

  • Stomach pain (hunching, growling, hiding away)

  • Wobbly kittens – due to brain damage

If you notice any of these symptoms, please call us for advice on next steps.

Can it be treated?

There is no specific cure for FPV, instead, treatment involves supporting your cat with fluids and medicines whilst their body fights the infection. If they are diagnosed with FPV, we can start treatment and they will need to be isolated from the outdoors (and any other cats) in the meantime.

Can humans catch it?

No - the virus cannot be spread to people.

What can I do to prevent my cat from becoming affected?

Vaccination. The easiest way to protect your pet is to get them vaccinated early on. Most free-roaming cats are thought to be exposed to the virus during their first year of life so it’s important to get them vaccinated when they are young.

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