Posts in Cats
Feline Breed Spotlight: Manx

The Manx cat is one of the oldest know cat breeds, they are thought to date back to 1750 or later. There are many legends and stories to how this tailless cat came about, however the Manx’s identifying characteristic is due to a genetic mutation. Either a tailless cat or possibly a Japanese corkscrewed tail cat landed on the remote location for the Isle of Man, off the coast of Britain from a trading ship. Due to the cat ending up on an island, it was easy for its genes to be spread throughout the cat population on the island. The name “Manx” comes from origin of this breed being the Isle of Man.

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Cats, Feline BreedsKari
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

The feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) causes immunodeficiency disease in domestic cats. This makes the cat’s body unable to develop a normal immune response. Once a cat is infected by the virus their immune system becomes severely weakened. This is a slow acting virus and an infected cat may not show symptoms until years after the initial infection has occurred. Cats with FIV that are kept in a stress-free environment, with proper supportive and medical care tend to not show symptoms and do live a normal, comfortable life. When the disease does reach its terminal phase, the cat becomes prone to developing secondary infections or cancer. This disease is primarily spread by deep bite wounds via saliva. It also has the potential to be spread from an infected mother to the kittens during passage through the birth canal or when the newborn kittens ingest infected milk.

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Feline Calicivirus (FCV)

Feline calicivirus is a very contagious virus seen in cats. It is responsible (along with FVR) for causing upper respiratory infections in cats. This virus is spread through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and lining of the eyelids. It can be spread by direct contact, inhalation of sneeze droplets and through sharing of dishes, bedding and litter boxes. This virus mutates readily during replication, meaning that there are many different strains of the virus out there.  Some strains are more pathogenic than others and can cause a more severe case of disease. This virus can remain stable in the environment for up to a month.

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Feline Panleukopenia

Feline panleukopenia (also known as feline distemper) is a highly contagious viral disease of cats. The virus responsible for causing feline panleukopenia is very closely related to the virus responsible for causing parvo in dogs (it is not related to the virus that causes distemper in dogs even though the name suggests that it might be).  This virus invades rapidly growing cells, such as cells in the digestive system, bone marrow and lymph tissue. This virus is transmitted through feces and/or urine of infected cats; it can also be spread by contaminated items such as bowls, litter boxes and bedding. The virus can also be transmitted from an infected mother to the kittens while still developing in the uterus.

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Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR)

Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) is also known as feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV-1). The term “rhinotracheits” means inflammation of the nose and trachea. This virus causes an upper respiratory infection of the nose and throat in cats. FVR is one of the most common diseases of cats in the world and many cats are exposed to the virus in their lifetime. Feline herpesvirus 1 is responsible for 80% to 90% of infectious upper respiratory diseases in cats. Cats of all ages are susceptible, but kittens, pregnant cats or those with a suppressed immune system or concurrent disease are more susceptible to infection. FVR is spread between cats through direct contact with the eyes or nose of an infected cat or through contaminated objects such as food and water bowls. This virus is easily spread and is very common in areas where multiple cats are housed close together, such as multi-cat households, catteries and shelters.

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Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease that can occur in wild and domestic cats. It is caused by a type of virus called a coronavirus. There are many different strains of feline coronavirus, which differ in their ability to cause FIP.  Most feline coronavirus infections are relatively harmless, but this initial harmless infection may later mutate to cause FIP in some cats. To further complicate things, cats with a strong immune system infected with a more harmful strain of feline coronavirus may be carriers of the virus. Meaning they may shed the virus without ever showing signs of disease.  Also, the virus can remain dormant in the body for months to years before infected cats eventually develop full-blown disease. This makes FIP a very confusing disease that is hard to understand.

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