Feline Coronavirus

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: February 22, 2018
Feline Coronavirus

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Feline coronavirus is a disease that concerns many owners. As such, it's very important to be properly informed of its transmission, the symptoms displayed by the animal and the required treatment in case of infection.

Coronavirus gets its name because of its crown-like shape. It has particular characteristics which make it an especially dangerous virus, so you should be very careful and pay close attention if your cat has been in contact with infected animals.

Find out all about feline coronavirus at AnimalWised, including the symptoms and treatment in case of infection:

You may also be interested in: Feline Calicivirus

What is the coronavirus virus?

The coronavirus is a species of virus with small projections on its exterior surface, giving it a distinct crown-like shape to which it owes its name.

This kind of virus has a particular preference for the epithelial cells of cats' intestines, which causes mild and chronic gastroenteritis. The virus is expelled through the cat's feces, which becomes the main vehicle for its transmission. One of the main features of this virus is its ability to mutate, leading to another condition known as feline infectious peritonitis.

Feline enteric coronavirus has little resistance to the environment, and as such it's easily destroyed by high temperatures and disinfectants. This is good to know in order to prevent it.

Feline Coronavirus - What is the coronavirus virus?

What cats are at risk of coronavirus infection?

Feline enteric coronavirus causes a mild but chronic form of gastroenteritis. Many cats are fairly resistant to this disease: these cats will not develop any symptoms, but they can be infected without us knowing. They will become carriers and eliminate the virus through their feces.

Carrying the disease, and subsequently getting over it, causes a type of short-term immunity in cats. This means that the animal can become infected again and pass through the same cycle. Even when the cat lives alone, it can still become infected through its own litter box.

In the case of various cats living together, the risk of infection increases greatly. By sharing the same litter box, the disease can be passed between one cat to another.

But the most dangerous thing about this virus lies in its great capacity for mutation. When it infects other cats with a weak immune system, the development of the virus produces distinct symptoms which pave the way for the disease known as feline infectious peritonitis.

This disease is common in kittens under one year of age and also old, weaker cats, as well as immunodeficient and cats that live in a group.

Feline Coronavirus - What cats are at risk of coronavirus infection?

What are the symptoms of feline infectious peritonitis?

Feline infectious peritonitis is a disease caused by a mutation in feline enteric coronavirus. It can come in a dry form and a wet form.

In the former the virus can affect various organs, causing a wide range of symptoms. The wet form is characterized by the formation of fluid in the animal's body cavities, such as the peritoneum and pleura (abdominal and chest cavity respectively).

Both forms of infectious peritonitis cause cats to suffer from fever, loss of appetite and lethargy; it will look as ifthe animal is not aware of its surroundings and it will take time to react to stimuli.

Feline Coronavirus - What are the symptoms of feline infectious peritonitis?

What is the treatment for the disease?

Being a viral disease, there is no treatment. Most people try treating the symptoms and hoping for a response in the cat's immune system.

Preventative treatments are recommended to avoid the spreading of this disease. Vaccination would be the treatment of choice. If you want to bring a new cat into your family, it's recommended that you make sure it has been properly vaccinated.

Moreover, if you have more than one cat you should have different litter boxes so as to reduce the change of infection spreading between them.

Feline Coronavirus - What is the treatment for the disease?

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Feline Coronavirus, we recommend you visit our Viral diseases category.

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