Cat Diseases

Introduction
You can protect your pet from these diseases by getting vaccinations according to the schedule recommended by your veterinarian. Do not allow your pet to come in contact with stray animals, as they may be exposing your pet to any of these diseases.

Contact an Animal Control Officer at (912) 576-7395 if there are stray animals in your area.

Calicivirus
This virus is also an upper respiratory disease with an incubation period of 2 to 6 days. The common symptoms are discharge from the eyes and nose, fever, loss of appetite. It is not transmissible to humans, and can be controlled with bleach.

Chlamydia
This is also an upper respiratory disease very similar to Calicivirus and Rhinotracheitis. It commonly causes ulcers in the mouth. It is not transmissable to humans, and can be controlled with bleach. (While humans can get Chlamydia, they do not get it from cats.)

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
This virus is very similar to Feline Leukemia, except there is no vaccine for it and we do not test for it. It differs from the FeLV in that it is a little more difficult to transmit from cat to cat, repeated cat bites usually being needed for transmission. Therefore, it is most commonly seen in intact males that go outside, primarily between the ages of 3 to 5 years. The incubation period, symptoms, fatality, and control measures are the same as FeLV, adding inflammation of the gums. It is controlled by bleach, and it is not transmissible to humans.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis
This rarely transmitted disease is spread by contact with infected blood or urine. It is not very contagious, but it is usually fatal. Incubation can take weeks or months, common symptoms are vague, usually depression, fever, loss of appetite, as well as respiratory or abdominal fluid collection. Often the virus affects the kidneys, and is often seen in cats that have been also infected with FeLV. It is controlled by any cleanser. There is no test for it, and no vaccine. It is not transmissible to humans.

Panleukopenia
This is a highly contagious disease commonly called "Feline Distemper". It is not related to Canine Distemper. This virus is shed through all the cat's bodily secretions. The incubation period is 3 to 7 days, infected cats show signs of depression, fever, loss of appetite, sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms develop very quickly, so quickly that kittens may be bright and alert one day and die the next. It is not transmissible to humans, and can be controlled with bleach.

Rhinotracheitis
This is an upper respiratory disease caused by the feline Herpes virus, therefore having the ability to lie dormant and recur many times throughout a cat's life. It is spread by aerosol droplets from sneezing and coughing and is highly contagious. It has an incubation period of 2 to 6 days and the common symptoms are sneezing, coughing, fever, loss of appetite, and a greenish yellow discharge from the eyes and nose. This disease is self-limiting in adults, while kittens become weak and often dehydrated and may die. This is not transmissible to humans, and can be killed with bleach.