Cat Diseases –  Feline calicivirus

Cat Diseases – Feline calicivirus

Feline calicivirus

Feline calicivirus (FCV) is one of the common respiratory viral infectious diseases in cats. The main clinical features are bipolar fever, catarrhal rhinitis, conjunctivitis and pneumonia. The morbidity rate is high, and the mortality rate is high.


Feline calicivirus (FCV) belongs to the RNA-type virus of the Calicivirus family Calicivirus. The diameter of the virus particle is 35-40 nm, icosahedral symmetry, and no envelope.

FCV is not sensitive to acetone, chloroform, and deoxycholate, and has strong resistance to acidic environments. It is stable when the pH is 4 to 5, and loses activity in 30 minutes when the pH is below 3. FCV is sensitive to alkaline liquids . 20% NaOH can effectively inactivate the virus.

FCV can proliferate on cat kidney cells, fetal lung cells, cat tongue cells and thymocytes, and produce cytopathic changes after 48 hours without forming inclusion bodies. The virus can also grow on canine and monkey cells. FCV has only one serotype, which has related antigenicity to swine vesicular disease virus and can agglutinate red blood cells of various animals.


The disease mainly infects cats under natural conditions, and other animals in the feline family can be infected. In the cat population, young cats under 1 year old are most susceptible, and the mortality rate of cats aged 2 to 3 months is 30% to 40%.

Sick cats and cats with poison are the main sources of infection. The virus is excreted through the saliva, nasal secretions, urine and feces of sick cats, polluting the environment (such as cat food, cat bedding and cat cages, etc.) or forming aerosol droplets to make susceptible cats infected through the digestive tract and respiratory tract. Pregnant female cats can also transmit the virus vertically to the next generation after infection.


The incubation period is 1~3d. Due to the difference in the virulence of the FCV strain and the age of the infected cat and the individual immunity, the symptoms of sick cats are also quite different. The symptoms of cats over 1 year old are mild, and the body temperature rises to 39.5. Around °C, sneezing, nasal serous nasal fluid, depression, loss of appetite, oral ulcers, salivation. The course of the disease is 1 to 2 weeks. Cats from 1 to 3 months old have a body temperature of more than 40°C, a high degree of depression, difficulty breathing, nasal mucus purulent secretions, and sound on auscultation of the lungs. The course of the disease is about 5 days, and the death can reach more than 40%.

Pathological changes

Nasal mucosa hyperemia, swelling, conjunctival hyperemia, tongue, hard palate mucosa ulcers, a large number of protein exudates in the bronchus and bronchioles. Red consolidation areas appear in the site.

Histological examination: there is a large number of neutrophil infiltration at the edge of the ulcer, fibrin exudate and macrophage accumulation in the alveoli, bronchial and bronchiolar epithelial cells fall off.


According to epidemiology and clinical symptoms, the possibility of this disease is suspected. To confirm the diagnosis, the nasal secretions of the cat can be taken, and the tonsils and lung tissues can be inoculated with cat kidney cells for virus isolation and identification.


Cat distemper, feline infectious rhinotracheitis, feline infectious rhinoconjunctivitis and rabies quadruple vaccination can be used for immunization. Specific immunization procedures: first immunization of kittens 7-10 days after weaning, once every 2 to 3 weeks, 3 consecutive immunizations; thereafter, immunizations are twice a year, adult cats are immunized once every 3 to 4 weeks, and immunizations are twice a year. In normal times, strengthen feeding and management and pay attention to the cleanliness of the cat house. All newly introduced cats need to be quarantined and observed for 15 to 30 days, and it is confirmed that they are free of respiratory diseases before they can be kept in mixed groups.


There is no specific treatment, usually symptomatic treatment and measures to control secondary infections are used for treatment.

Rinse the nasal cavity with warm normal saline or 1% soda solution. When the nasal cavity has a lot of mucus and purulent secretions, it can be washed with 2%~3% boric acid solution, 10% Mingji solution or 0.1% acid solution , 1 time / d.

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