Feline Leukaemia is a very serious, incurable disease which can take months or even years to fully develop – it is currently considered to be the single most significant infectious cause of death among the cat population in the western world.
Cats of any age, particularly those up to 3 years of age, can be affected. The symptoms vary widely and range from damage to the immune system (making your cat much less able to fight off other infections) through to persistent anaemia and cancer.
Once the symptoms have appeared, your cat will almost certainly die, but even those which appear healthy can harbour the virus and spread the infection to other cats when they share food or water bowls or when they suffer bites during fights. If a pregnant cat has the virus, her kittens will be infected when they are born.
Feline Panleucopaenia, more commonly known as ‘enteritis’, occurs as an epidemic every few years. It is highly contagious and can affect cats of any age but is most common and severe in kittens.
Signs and Symptoms include:
- Acute depression
- In many cases death.
The few cats that do survive the disease tend to suffer from other diseases due to the damage caused to the immune system.
The virus which causes feline enteritis can remain active in the environment for a long time and spreads easily via contact with infected cats or their saliva, urine or faeces.