Outbreak of deadly cat virus in Midlands

The RSPCA has issued a warning to cat owners after 31 cases of the deadly feline panleukopenia have been reported in the Midlands with kittens being more at risk than fully grown cat
The RSPCA has issued a warning to cat owners after 31 cases of the deadly feline panleukopenia have been reported in the Midlands with kittens being more at risk than fully grown cat

The RSPCA is urging pet-owners to vaccinate their cats after 31 strays in the Midlands have been diagnosed with a fatal virus.

Since the summer the animal charity has seen 31 cats suffering from the virus feline panleukopenia (FPV). The disease can be fatal to cats and kittens.

Joanna Szkutnicki, Senior Clinician at the charity’s Birmingham Animal Hospital, said: “FPV is a severe disease that can prove fatal.

“Most cats contract it from a contaminated environment via infected faeces rather than from direct contact with infected cats.

“The virus is very resilient and can survive in the environment for up to a year.”

While kittens are more susceptible to the virus, it can affect adult cats as well. Symptoms can include vomiting and diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, lethargy and sudden collapse. If your cat shows symptoms of feline enteritis then contact your vet immediately.

Joanna added: “We would like to remind people to ensure their cats are vaccinated as this is the main method of protection.

“Primary vaccination courses start at approximately eight weeks of age, with a second injection three to four weeks later.

“It is also important that your annual booster is kept up to date in adult cats as allowing it to lapse could put them at risk.”