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    Coronavirus in Cats - Can Your Cat Get The Coronavirus?

    Coronavirus in Cats

    Contrary to popular misconception, coronavirus isn’t just one singular infection. In fact, there are multiple virus strains, each of which may affect animals differently, or not at all.

    If you’re a cat owner, the more knowledge you have of how to spot the signs of coronavirus in cats, along with the preventative measures available, the better chance you’ll have of keeping your beloved pet safe.

    Are humans at risk from feline coronavirus, and vice versa? 

    It’s currently not possible to say that you definitely won’t become infected with coronavirus from your cat, although all of the research undertaken up until this point tells us that it’s very unlikely to occur. In fact, there haven’t yet been any confirmed cases of cats infecting humans with the virus.

    Evidence is constantly being tested for this, so it’s still important to protect your cat as much as possible. 

    But, the fact remains, that if your cat does indeed become infected, it’s probably contracted the virus from a human or animal within your household. Although the number of reports is small, it’s certainly true that close contact with someone suffering from coronavirus is a direct risk to your cat’s health.

    How does coronavirus affect other animals? 

    Thankfully, animals haven’t suffered anything like the frequency of coronavirus cases as humans have. There have been, however, case reports from several countries around the world.

    Examples include:

    • A tiger in a New York Zoo
    • A cat in Russia
    • A dog in Hong Kong

    These cases have been exceptionally rare, and in each instance, the infected animal had been in close contact with a human suffering from Coronavirus.

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    Coronavirus symptoms in cats  

    Feline coronavirus, otherwise known as FCov, can develop into a very serious health risk if left untreated. In general, cats with the infection won’t display any symptoms whatsoever, although the ones that do almost always experience diarrhea, as the small intestines become infected.

    In the worst cases, FCoV can mutate into feline infectious peritonitis, which can put a cat’s life in critical danger.

    Signs your cat is sick: symptoms to look out for -

    • Frequent fevers
    • An increase in lethargy
    • Stunted growth (in kittens)
    • Seizures
    • Inflammation or infection in the eyes
    • Breathing problems
    • Jaundice
    • Bloat in the abdomen
    • A noticeable increase in fluid intake
    • Cat vomiting
    • Frequent urination
    • Loss of appetite

    Clearly, there are a lot of signs to consider, but the earlier you spot these symptoms, the better chance your cat has of a full recovery.

    Diarrhea in cats can be attributed to many issues, so it won’t necessarily mean that they’re developing peritonitis, but you should still take them to the vet immediately to be certain.

    Other symptoms like a loss of appetite can also be attributed to many other less serious illnesses, but issues like skin damage, infected eyes and increased thirst are a sign of serious problems within the cat’s organs, like their liver or kidneys.

    What are the causes of coronavirus in cats? 

    While there are many different strains of feline coronavirus, each one will only infect the cat when they ingest the virus directly. Researchers around the world are still working to confirm the primary mode of transmission.

    There’s no doubt that cats can infect each other with the virus. It’s possible that it spreads through saliva, urine, or feces. Therefore, it’s particularly contagious between cats. 

    If a cat uses an infected litter tray, food tray, or even just the same garden area as a cat with the virus, any contaminated area would in all probability linger on their face or paws, making ingestion extremely probable.

    How to determine whether or not your cat has coronavirus 

    The only way to know for sure is to have your cat tested by a vet. Feces, blood or hair may be collected to make an assessment, or in the more critical cases, an X-ray and blood test might be necessary to determine whether or not the cat has developed feline infectious peritonitis.

    As it stands, a fully accurate diagnosis isn’t always possible, so a determination will generally be made based on the symptoms the cat displays.

    How to treat cats with coronavirus 

    If all you’re dealing with is diarrhea, it’s easy. There’s plenty of medicine available to treat this. Although, FIP is currently incurable. So, the focus will be to negate any pain as much as possible. No matter the severity of the symptoms, a visit to the vet is always the best choice.

    Treating such issues can often become very expensive, particularly with some of the rarer feline breeds. Therefore, insurance for cats is a wise option. In the vast majority of cases, it’ll save the owner a lot of money in the long term. Not only that, but it'll give you peace of mind, with the knowledge that should your cat become ill, it’ll get the proper care required.

    What can I do to prevent this? 

    As previously mentioned, your cat is at great risk of contracting the virus from other cats. So, the less contact your pet has with others, the better.

    Coronavirus particles aren’t easy to completely remove from the home, so it’s also important to maintain as clean an environment as possible. This applies to their littering, feeding, and sleeping area especially.