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)
- Inflammation or infection in the eyes
- Breathing problems
- 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.