An Overview of Feline Distemper Symptoms

Feline symptoms for distemper are easily mistaken for other diseases or conditions. The key symptoms include diarrhea, fever and vomiting.

Feline Distemper Explained

Feline distemper spreads through the mucus, saliva, urine and feces of an infected cat. The feline distemper virus enters a cat's nose or mouth. The virus infects many cats and kittens, but most kittens receive vaccinations and never develop the common feline symptoms.

The distemper virus attacks the lymph nodes before spreading to the intestines causing diarrhea and vomiting. The virus also enters the bone marrow where it blocks production of white blood cells allowing other infections to set in. Cats and kittens with distemper quickly become dehydrated from repeated vomiting and diarrhea. They also develop deadly bacterial infections leading to fevers.

Vomiting and diarrhea do not always mean distemper is present in a cat. Poison substances within your home can also cause these symptoms. Make sure you keep household cleaners and medications out of the reach of your cat.

Preventing Feline Distemper

The feline distemper virus is hard to kill off. Extreme cold and heat are not enough. Moreover, the virus remains alive for years. Spray strong solutions of bleach onto surfaces where the virus is present and let it soak for at least ten minutes.

The best prevention is stick to a kitten care schedule that includes distemper vaccinations. If your pet needs cat surgery, ask your veterinarian how about room sterilization practices. Keeping your cat indoors also helps prevent exposure to the distemper virus.