Information on Feline Panleukopenia (FP)
- What is feline panleukopenia (FP)?
Feline panleukopenia [pronounced “loo-koh-PEE-nee-ah”] (FP) is a highly contagious viral disease caused by the feline parvovirus. It is also known as feline distemper, feline infectious enteritis, cat fever or cat typhoid.
- How can I prevent feline panleukopenia (FP)?
Because the FP virus is everywhere in the environment, all kittens and cats are exposed to the virus at some point in their lives. Vaccination is extremely important, because the rates of illness and death from FP are high in unvaccinated cats.
- Is feline panleukopenia (FP) contagious for people?
No. The virus does not infect people. People cannot develop FP, if they come in contact with an infected cat.
- How do cats get affected with the virus that causes feline panleukopenia (FP)?
Cats “shed” the virus in their urine, stool, and nasal secretions. Infection occurs when susceptible cats come in contact with the blood, urine, stool, nasal secretions, or even the fleas from infected cats. An infected cat tends to shed the virus for a relatively short period of time (1-2 days). BUT: the virus can survive for up to one year (!) in the environment. That’s why cats often become infected without ever coming into direct contact with an infected cat.
- How can I tell my cat has feline panleukopenia (FP)?
Signs include depression, loss of appetite, high fever, lethargy, vomiting, severe diarrhea, nasal discharge, and dehydration. Hint: Sick cats may sit for long periods of time in front of their water bowls but not drink much water. Normally, the sickness may go on for three or four days after the first fever. In some cats, the fever will come and go during the illness and abruptly fall to lower-than-normal levels shortly before death.
- Which cats are susceptible to feline panleukopenia (FP)?
While cats of any age may be infected with the feline parvovirus that causes FP, young kittens, sick cats, and unvaccinated cats are most susceptible. It is most commonly seen in cats 3-5 months of age; death from FP is more common at this age.
- I have multiple cats, how can I prevent the virus from spreading?
Unfortunately, the virus that causes feline panleukopenia (FP) is difficult to destroy and resistant to many disinfectants. Ideally, unvaccinated cats should not be allowed into an area where an infected cat has been, even if the area has been disinfected. Therefore, it is very important to have all your cats vaccinated.
- How is feline panleukopenia (FP) treated?
The likelihood of recovery from FP for infected kittens less than eight weeks old is poor. Older cats have a greater chance of survival if adequate treatment is provided early. Since there are no medications capable of killing the virus, hospitalization and treatment are critical to support the cat’s health with medications and fluids until its own body and immune system can fight off the virus. Without such supportive care, up to 90% of cats with FP may die.
- How can FP be prevented?
One word: Vaccination!
To schedule an appointment or talk to our vets for more information:
Groovy Vet Care
Phone: (+6221) 7280 0617 / 7279 6089
Hotline: 0811 8882 490
Source: American Veterinary Medical Association