Cat flu is caused by a virus, parvovirus, which infects the cat’s stomach and intestines. The virus spreads with the feces of an infected individual for about two weeks. The infection is spread even before the cat gets symptoms.
Cat flu is a very serious infection that can be life-threatening especially for young individuals. Unfortunately, not all cats are vaccinated against feline plague, which is why the infection is not completely uncommon. The vaccine protects well against parasitic infection / feline plague.
The virus is very resistant and can survive several years in the environment. It is therefore important to also vaccinate indoor cats as the owner can potentially bring the virus home on their clothes and shoes.
Parvovirus infection often results in high fever, severe general malaise, intense vomiting and bloody diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The course of the disease can be very fast, sometimes just a few hours after the first symptoms. Diarrhea can cause severe fluid loss.
Diagnosis is made with the help of stool samples where viruses are detected. It is a rapid test that can often be performed directly at the animal hospital/animal clinic. Repeated sampling may sometimes be required to detect viruses.
Treatment of a parvovirus infection / feline plague is supportive of drip.
In the case of a suspected parvo infection, it is very important to maintain the correct hygiene routines to minimize the risk of infection. The cat must not stay among other cats and must not go out.