Feline Leukemia (Felv):
Cats persistently infected with FeLV serve as sources of infection. Virus is shed in very high quantities in saliva and nasal secretions, but also in urine, feces, and milk from infected cats. Cat-to-cat transfer of virus may occur from a bite wound, during mutual grooming, and (though rarely) through the shared use of litter boxes and feeding dishes.
Symptoms of Felv:
- Loss of appetite
- Poor coat condition
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Persistent fever
- Pale gums and other mucus membranes
- Inflammation of the gums and mouth
- Infections of the skin, urinary bladder, and upper respiratory tract
- Persistent diarrhea
- Seizures, behavior changes, and other neurological disorders
- A variety of eye conditions
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP):
Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease of cats caused by certain strains of a virus called the feline coronavirus. Cats with weak immune systems are most likely to develop the disease, including kittens, cats already infected with feline leukemia virus (FeLV), and geriatric cats. Most cats that develop FIP are under two years of age, but cats of any age may develop the disease.
FIP is not a highly contagious disease, since by the time the cat develops clinical disease only a small amount of virus is being shed. The most common transmission of feline coronavirus occurs when infected female cats pass along the virus to their kittens, usually when the kittens are between five and eight weeks of age.
Symptoms of FIP:
Cats that have been initially exposed to the feline coronavirus usually show no obvious symptoms. Some cats may show mild upper respiratory symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes, and nasal discharge. Other cats may experience a mild intestinal disease and show symptoms such as diarrhea.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV):
In the United States, approximately 1.5 to 3 percent of healthy cats are infected with FIV. Rates rise significantly-15 percent or more-in cats that are sick or at high risk of infection. Because biting is the most efficient means of viral transmission, free-roaming, aggressive male cats are the most frequently infected, while cats housed exclusively indoors are much less likely to be infected.
Symptoms of FIV:
- Poor coat condition and persistent fever with a loss of appetite are commonly seen.
- Inflammation of the gums and mouth and chronic or recurrent infections of the skin, urinary bladder, and upper respiratory tract are often present.
- Persistent diarrhea and a variety of eye conditions.
- Slow but progressive weight loss is common
- Various kinds of cancer and blood diseases are much more common in cats infected with FIV, too.
- In unspayed female cats, abortion of kittens or other reproductive failures have been noted.
- Some infected cats experience seizures, behavior changes, and other neurological disorders.