Feline calicivirus (FCV) is a viral infection that affects cats. Here’s an overview of what causes FCV, how it spreads, its symptoms and complications, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention:

Causes: FCV is a highly contagious virus that can affect domestic and wild cats. It mutates easily, leading to various strains. The virus spreads through direct contact with the saliva, nasal mucus, and eye discharge of infected cats and through aerosol droplets produced when cats sneeze. It can also be found in urine, feces, and blood. The virus can survive on surfaces for up to a month in certain environments.

Infection: Cats can become infected in multi-cat environments like shelters, catteries, and pet stores. Cats that are carriers can shed the virus intermittently for months. After exposure, there’s an incubation period of two to 14 days before symptoms appear. FCV primarily infects the lining of the mouth and can lead to upper respiratory tract infections and, in severe cases, pneumonia.

Symptoms and Complications: Symptoms can vary depending on the strain of FCV. Common symptoms include:

  1. Sneezing
  2. nasal congestion
  3. Fever
  4. Drooling
  5. Eye and nose discharge
  6. Ulcers in the mouth

Cats may also experience lethargy, lameness, and loss of appetite. In more severe cases, opportunistic bacterial infections can occur, leading to weight loss and, in pregnant cats, abortions. Most cats recover completely, but some may develop chronic gingivitis.

Diagnosis: Veterinarians diagnose FCV by examining the cat’s symptoms. Swabs can be taken from the eyes, nose, or mouth and sent to a lab for testing. Lab tests can include viral culture or reverse transcriptase PCR.

Treatment: There is no specific treatment to stop the virus. Treatment is mainly supportive, including keeping the cat’s nose and eyes clean, using vaporizers, saline drops, mucus-breakdown drugs, fever-reducing medications, and antibiotics if bacterial infections are present. Severely affected cats may require hospitalization for fluid and nutrition support.


Vaccination can help reduce the severity of FCV infection. Kittens should receive a series of vaccinations, and adult cats should have regular boosters.

Preventive measures include quarantining infected cats, cleaning and disinfecting the environment, and isolating new cats for observation when introducing them to your household.

In summary, it’s important to be aware of the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention measures of Feline Calicivirus to protect your feline companions. If you suspect your cat has FCV or is at risk, consult your veterinarian for guidance and care


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