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This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Feline Panleucopenia virus is a highly infectious disease which affects domestic cats and wild cats. A very effective vaccine is available but large numbers of cats are not adequately protected - so a major outbreak could occur at any time.

The virus that causes Feline Panleucopenia (also known as Feline Infectious Enteritis) is similar to that which causes Canine Parvovirus infection. The virus causes diarrhoea and also damages the white blood cells which are responsible for immunity.

In susceptible cats the severe form of the disease causes sudden death with no signs. When signs are seen they include :

  • Initial stages :
    • Dullness and depression
    • Off food (anorexia)
    • Fever
    • Lethargy
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhoea - not common in early stages
    • Abdominal discomfort
    • Gas in intestines - causes loud rumbling noises
  • Later stages :
    • Diarrhoea
    • Dehydration (dry mouth)
    • Death

The mortality rate is 25-75% and highest in young cats. This virus can survive for over a year in the environment and transmission need not be by direct contact from cat to cat, it often occurs through indirect contact with bedding, cages etc. The incubation period - the time until  the disease occurs following contact with the virus is only 2-10 days.

There is no specific treatment for the virus so vaccination should be widely practiced to provide protection against an outbreak.

Provet Recommendation to Owners

Get your veterinarians advice about vaccination for your cat(s)


Updated October 2013