The Cat Plague has returned: how to protect your feline friend from contagious viruses

Recently, the RSPCA released a statement (read it here) outlining the return of a highly contagious feline virus that has spread across Victoria. The parvovirus affects rapidly dividing tissues and localises in the digestive system, resulting in bad cases of diarrhoea, fatigue, fever, weight loss, vomiting, and in some cases sudden death. Here are some things you should be aware of to take the necessary precautions:

1. Get your cat vaccinated

This may seem obvious however being well organised and knowing when yours cat is due for their next vaccination is essential. Also, keep those communication lines open with your vet to see if any new vaccines have been released. Note that kittens require ongoing booster shots as they grow.

2. Clean up after your puss

Given feline parvovirus is highly infectious, spreading through excrement, it’s advised to keep an eye out for faeces around the areas your feline frequents, and disposing of it in a hygienic manner.  We can’t wait for this poo-scooping robot to hit the market!

3. Avoid potential infections or viruses by revising the area where your cat is littering

If the cat litter is near carpet or a fabric floor, you may want to make sure no ‘extra gifts’ are hiding there -especially when your puss likes to kick the litter around nooks and crannies. Tile floors are the most hygienic surfaces because they are smooth, giving less chance for the virus to get in porous surfaces and in contact with other materials or fabrics.

4. Still unsure? Ask-An-Expert

Ask your vet for any additional information or advice that is specific for your breed and cat history. The Cat Lovers Festival will feature the Ask-An-Expert area where you will be able to ask all health-related questions.

Visit the Cat Lovers Festival website for updated schedules of health-related topics and demonstrations here

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