Coronavirus in cats is a disease that worries many owners, which is why it is so important to be well informed about its transmission, the symptoms experienced by the animal and the treatment to be applied in the event of infection.
The coronavirus is named for the small crown shape it has. Its special characteristics make it a particularly dangerous virus, so we must be very careful and we must be vigilant if our cat has been able to come into contact with infected animals. Find out in ‘ Love Cats and Dogs ‘ everything about the coronavirus in cats as well as the symptoms and the ideal treatment for cases of contagion.
What is coronavirus in cats?
It is a virus that has small projections on the outside, which gives it the characteristic shape of a crown, to which it owes its name. Feline enteric coronavirus is a weak virus in the environment, which makes it easily destroyed by high temperatures and disinfectants.
He has a particular predilection for the cells of the epithelium of the intestine of cats, causing mild and chronic gastroenteritis. The virus is expelled by faeces, the main vector of contagion. One of the main features of this virus is its ability to mutate, leading to another disease, known as feline infectious peritonitis. It is a disease typical of cats under one year of age or of weak and elderly cats, immunocompromised and living in groups.
Coronavirus in cats – Human contagion
There are different strains of coronaviruses, some only affect animals such as cats, dogs and pigs, while others are exclusive to humans. In this way, a cat with coronavirus cannot infect a human because it has a different strain than that which can affect our body.
For additional information, the WHO has stated that pets do not spread COVID-19, and have been shown to help people feel happy.
Coronavirus symptoms in cats
Feline enteric coronavirus produces mild and chronic gastroenteritis, causing symptoms such as the following:
- Abdominal pain
Many cats are fairly resistant to the disease, do not develop symptoms, become carriers and kill viruses through the feces. However, as we have said, the danger of the coronavirus is its mutation, which leads to feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)
Symptoms of infectious peritonitis in cats
Feline infectious peritonitis is a disease caused by a mutation in the feline enteric coronavirus. It can manifest itself in two different ways, the dry form and the wet form.
Dry BIP – Symptoms
In the first, the virus can affect several organs, generating a wide variety of symptoms, such as:
- Lack of appetite
- The Depression
- Accumulation of liquid
- Corneal edema
Wet BIP – Symptoms
The wet form is characterized by the formation of fluids in the body cavities of the animal, such as the peritoneum and the pleura (abdominal and thoracic cavity, respectively). In this way, the symptoms would be:
- Lack of appetite
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
- Inflamed kidneys
In both forms, fever, loss of appetite and lethargy are observed in cats (the animal is not attentive to its environment, it takes time to react to stimuli).
How long does coronavirus last in cats?
The life expectancy of cats with coronavirus will vary depending on the severity of the disease, although both shorten the life of the animal. In wet FIP, which is the most severe form of the coronavirus in cats, the disease can kill the animal 5 to 7 weeks after the mutation.
In the case of dry PIF, the life expectancy of the cat becomes a little over a year. For all these reasons, it is extremely important to consult the veterinarian as soon as possible.
How is coronavirus spread in cats?
Suffering and overcoming the disease generates in the cat a certain immunity which does not last too long, which allows the animal to reinfect itself again, repeating the cycle. When the cat lives alone, the animal can self-infect through the litter because, as we have said, the coronavirus spreads through the animal’s excrement.
In the case where several cats live together, the risk of contagion increases considerably, since they all share the same litter box and spread the disease.
How to eliminate feline coronavirus? – Treatment
Being a viral disease, she has no treatment. Symptoms and waiting for the cat’s immune response are often tried.
Preventive treatments are recommended to prevent the spread of the disease. Vaccination would be the treatment of choice, while offering cats several litter boxes, which reduces the risk of contagion between them.
If you want to introduce a new cat into the family, it is recommended to vaccinate it.
This article is purely informative, chatschiens.com has no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to bring your pet to the veterinarian in case he has any type of condition or discomfort.