Calcivirosis in cats: symptoms, treatment and prevention

Calcivirosis is a highly contagious disease that is ubiquitous. Fortunately, feline calcivirosis is no more dangerous for humans than any other species-specific infection. But cats are less fortunate - if the disease is not detected on time, the pet may die.

Infection pathways

Four strains are known, and all four are found worldwide. The incubation period of calcivirosis is up to five days. A cat can get sick without even contacting the virus carrier, smelling the feces of the carrier or resting on the grass stained with urine. The virus is transmitted by airborne droplets at a distance of a meter from the source. Calcivirosis in people on the skin, hair and clothing remains viable for several days, so even pets who are never on the street are sick. Calcivirosis disease in cats is transmitted through saliva, efflux from the eyes, nose, and genitals.
Cats after recovery for two months, and sometimes throughout their lives, secrete the virus into the external environment. Signs of calcivirosis in cats may not appear at all, and the animal is already contagious during this period. Therefore, it is important to be careful when visiting exhibitions and other places where cats are crowded, since an apparently healthy animal can be a carrier of this disease. If the cat has calcivirosis, immediately isolate it from other cats.


As a rule, calcivirosis in kittens proceeds in an acute form with pronounced symptoms. In adult cats with strong immunity, and in vaccinated animals, the disease proceeds in a latent form, signs are hardly noticeable or absent.
Typical symptoms of calcivirosis:
  • fever with fever up to 40.5 ° C. It lasts about three days, then the temperature returns to normal;
  • outflows from the nose and eyes, initially transparent, then serous, very profuse and foul-smelling, increased salivation (chin and chest are constantly wet);
  • multiple sores filled with fluid form on the tongue, lips, in the sky, and on the nose. They cause discomfort to the pet: when the cat has calcivirosis in the initial stage, it seems to the owners that the pet is choking or is stuck in his throat (the cat carefully chews food and constantly clears its throat, as if wanting to free itself from the stuck bone). The gums become inflamed, swollen, pale or red. Bubbles burst, wounds hurt, bleed and heal for a long time. From the cat's mouth it smells rotten unbearably;
  • a clear decrease in appetite, lethargy, apathy to everything. Sometimes diarrhea appears, which is replaced by constipation after two to three days. Single vomiting is possible at the very beginning of the disease.
Calcivirosis disease in cats often affects the airways - dry coughing, sneezing begins, wheezing, shortness of breath, pneumonia, bronchitis, pulmonary edema are possible. If the virus enters the brain, a week after the appearance of the symptoms described, the cat begins to cramp, impaired coordination of movements, insecure gait, aggressive behavior, irrational fear. Chronic calcivirosis is asymptomatic, in rare cases, slight discharge from the nose and eyes, lameness, mild apathy. At the slightest exertion of immunity, the disease becomes acute.


The disease is most dangerous for small kittens and weakened animals. The incubation period of calcivirosis in newborn babies is less than a day. Unfortunately, if the cat has not been vaccinated against this virus, the probability of death of the litter is about 80%. Strongly immune adult pets survive in 70% of cases if you turn to the veterinarian in time and start treating calcivirosis in cats until the condition of the pet is complicated by secondary infections. Elderly and weakened cats die in half the cases, even with the right and timely treatment.

Diagnosis and treatment

Symptomatically, calcivirosis in kittens and adult animals is similar to many other diseases, including gingivitis, panleukopenia, herpes, and even rabies. Of course, you should take tests to identify the pathogen, but treatment should be started immediately. And here it all depends on how experienced the veterinarian is. As a rule, in the first place, symptoms are removed and broad-spectrum antibiotics are prescribed. Since treating calcivirosis in cats will be long and tedious, it is important to maintain the pet's immunity: stimulants, vitamins. In order to combat dehydration and depletion in the event of a complete rejection of the feed, nutrient solutions are prescribed.
It is imperative that the treatment of calcivirosis in cats is not interrupted after a visible improvement. Sometimes after two or three days the cat seems completely healthy. Owners stop "torturing" the pet with injections, the disease returns, and with a relapse, the chances of recovery are very few.

Caring for a recovering cat

Incompetent people distribute through the network and through word of mouth that cats calcivirosis is dangerous to humans. It is not true. The disease is species-specific, that is, the virus affects only cats. It is absolutely safe for people, dogs and other pets. Therefore, do not be afraid of infection and protect relatives from a recovering cat, whose fate largely depends on the quality of grooming procedures.
Like panleukopenia, feline calcivirosis depletes the strength of the pet: it is important that the cat is well fed and ate only easily digestible foods. The diet is prescribed by the veterinarian. It is equally important that the cat is kept clean - every day you need to change the litter and ventilate the room. It is necessary to promptly remove the discharge from the eyes and nose, clean the adhering coat and treat the sores in the oral cavity.


The word calcivirosis in people who have come across this disease causes almost panic. This is a very serious disease, accompanied by pain, draining the pet and shortening its life expectancy. During treatment, the cat is almost impossible to leave, as she needs constant monitoring of the condition, careful care and moral support. Therefore, the calcivirosis vaccine is the best preventive measure. Of course, you need to protect the cat from unwanted contacts and observe hygiene, but since the disease is very contagious, even ideal conditions of detention do not guarantee safety. Vaccination is carried out annually, it is better to choose a complex drug. Kittens are vaccinated at the age of nine to twelve weeks.

Watch the video: Emergency Cat Health Care : Treat a Cat with a Calicivirus (February 2020).