What is Distemper in Cats?

Cats are so lazy.

If they are not spending time grooming themselves they willingly hit the snooze button.

Can you believe that a cat sleeps for over 20 hours a day?

That’s crazy! And the four hours left is spent either grooming or feeding.


Whiskers can spare a minute or two for you, but that’s about it.

So you find it normal that your cat always lays around lethargically waiting for its food.

But what if that lazy feeling is a sign of something else?


Turns out there are deadly diseases that can cause your cat to sleep a lot.

One of them is the silent-killer known as distemper.

A lot of cat owners are clueless or have little information on the dangers of distemper in cats.


This article will cover everything you need to know about distemper in cats.

If you catch the problem early, you could save your kitty’s life.



Distemper is a viral infection that is common in cats.

Scientifically, the distemper in cats goes by the name Feline Panleukopenia Virus or FPV.

This infection is not contagious to humans but dogs can contract it.

Canine distemper carries the same symptoms as feline distemper.


The only difference between the two is that canine distemper affects the nervous system as well.


How is distemper in cats transmitted?

3D Render of Feline Panleukopenia Virus

Now you must be feeling a little spooked. But there is nothing to worry about.

There are actually early measures you can take and never worry about your kitty catching this deadly disease.

You only need to know what causes the disease and the early symptoms of distemper that serve as a warning sign.


What are the symptoms of distemper in cats?

Symptoms of feline distemper vary from cat to cat.

It could show up as a sudden fever that grounds your cat for days.

Besides the fever, your cat may also vomit and diarrhea a lot.


This can cause your cat to be severely dehydrated.

Distemper may also cause depression in your cat.

Some cats will appear disoriented and quite irritable, to say the least.

Your feline keeps to himself and does not welcome any advances even from its owner.


Now that is confusing.

Many of these symptoms could be a sign of any other disease.

The last thing you will think of is distemper when such symptoms show up.

Which takes us to our second set of symptoms.


These are severe in nature and may take your cat’s life if not dealt with.

As the infection progresses, your cat may start having problems like keeping a straight gait.

The nose will be runny while discharge comes out of its eyes.

Another escalated symptom is constant sneezing.

Migraines are also a common problem in cats suffering from distemper.


The last thing you want is your cat suffering from distemper.

But if your cat still catches the deadly disease, there are still ways to help him live a comfortable life.


What Should I Do if My Cat has Distemper?

First of all, there is no cure for distemper.

Fortunately, it is possible to manage the ailment and ensure your feline friend lives his life to the fullest.

If you suspect your cat to have symptoms of distemper, have him checked by a professional vet.

Since distemper masquerades under common symptoms, it is easy to mistake it for some other disease.


Distemper affects cats with a low immune system more.

The disease will allow other opportunistic ailments to invade your cat’s body.

Intestinal bacteria is one of the common culprits.

Your vet will start your cat on a cocktail of drugs that includes plenty of antibiotics.


Fluid therapy is necessary to keep your cat hydrated and replenish lost electrolytes.

Treatment for distemper in cats aims to kill opportunistic disease and slow the progression of the disease.

The best part, if your cat follows through with the treatment, he will develop immunity against the disease.

Though the virus still lives in the cat, it remains dormant for life.


How can I protect my cat from Distemper?

The best way to treat distemper in cats is to protect your cat from the virus.

The virus can dwell on any surface and your cat can get infected if they touch any contaminated surface.

Keeping your home clean is one way to protect your cat from FPV.


Bear in mind that panleukopenia virus is resistant to home cleaning detergents.

You can never say you have completely wiped the virus from a contaminated area.

Which brings us to our second way of preventing distemper in cats.


Ensure your feline friend is vaccinated against the virus.

Vaccination helps your cat develop an immune response against the virus.

This improves the chances of your cat surviving the virus.


The Takeaway

Distemper in cats is caused by a deadly virus that lives on contaminated surfaces.

Keeping your home clean and getting your cat vaccinated helps prevent infection.

What other ways have you ensure your cat is not infected with distemper?

Comment below and let us know.


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A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.