Viral diseases of cats

Sad cat face

Viruses are one of the microorganisms that can cause the most damage to living beings, unfortunately also including our beloved cats. Therefore, it is very important to monitor them since any small changes that their routine experiences could be signs that the furry ones are beginning to have a weakened health.

But What are the most common viral diseases of cats and their symptoms? 

Feline leukemia

Also known as the Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is a disease transmitted by a type of oncovirus. This microorganism infects the cat's body when it has direct contact with the body fluids of another sick feline, be it urine, feces, sneezes or even saliva. The symptoms are:

  • Ulcers in the mouth and mucous membranes
  • Severe anemia
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Enlarged nodes
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration

Viral rhinotracheitis

It is a disease transmitted by feline herpes, which is transmitted mainly by contact with saliva and other fluids of sick cats. The symptoms are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nasal secretions (mucus)
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Tearing
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Fever

Feline AIDS

Known as Feline Immunodeficiency, is a disease caused by a lentivirus, which is spread through contact with the blood of sick animals. The symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Dull coat
  • Diarrhea
  • Abortion and / or infertility
  • Mental impairment
  • Inflammation of the conjunctiva
  • Gingivitis
  • Stomatitis
  • Appearance of secondary diseases

Feline panleukopenia

Also known as feline distemper or infectious gastroenteritis, is a disease caused by a life-threatening parvovirus and contagious (between cats). The form of infection is through direct contact with body fluids, with puppies and youngsters up to 1 year old being the most vulnerable. The symptoms are:

  • Anorexia
  • Weakness
  • Increased hours of sleep
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Hypothermia
  • Fever over 40ºC
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration


Also known as feline alicivirosis, it is caused by a picornavirus, which it's life threatening. It can reach the cat's body if it has contact with feces, saliva and / or nasal secretions from sick cats. The symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Malnutrition
  • Blisters and wounds in the mouth
  • Sneezing
  • Excessive salivation

Sad kitty

If we suspect that our cats are sick, what we have to do is take them to the vet as soon as possible. In any case, we must know that a good vaccination plan, as well as a correct diet and an early castration (around six months of age), will help a lot to prevent them from contracting any of these diseases.

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