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Feline panleukopenia virus, also known as distemper, is a highly contagious and fatal viral disease. It is a disease in which all defensive cells in the feline body are destroyed by viruses.

Cat leukopenia is caused by a type of parvovirus that is very similar to parvovirus that can be found in dogs. The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with infected people. It can survive for a long time in a normal environment and is resistant to various disinfectants.

Red blood cells play an important role in the immune response against infection and disease. When blood cells are attacked, the virus causes anemia and makes the cat's body vulnerable to infection or bacterial diseases caused by other viruses. Cat leukopenia virus attacks fast-growing cells such as the digestive tract, bone marrow, lymphoid tissues, and the nervous system, and causes symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, leukocytosis, and seizures.

Normally, a kitten that is two to six months old is at a high risk of getting caught, and it starts with mild symptoms that can not be noticed at an early stage. Cats that survive in this infectious disease are resistant to the virus.

Signs and Symptoms

Clinical manifestations vary, but usually depress the symptoms of depression or indifference. Because the virus attacks fast-growing cells, the first thing affected is the gastrointestinal tract. Vomiting and diarrhea are common, and diarrhea is mixed with blood. Due to dehydration, the hair becomes rough and the skin loses elasticity. Kittens with this infection can die suddenly.

Cat leukopenia has symptoms similar to dogs infected with parvovirus or distemper. Therefore, the disease is called 'cat distemper'. Cats Cats with leukopenia can have other infectious diseases because their immune system is weakened. And purulent secretions from the eyes and nose.

Severely dehydrated cats may experience hypothermia below normal body temperature and fall into a coma. If you tolerate these symptoms for more than 5 days you can survive, but it may take several weeks for a complete recovery. And even if it survives, permanent irregularities may occur in the iris.

In addition, when the virus is infected during pregnancy, it becomes still. Even if you are born, the virus will affect the development of the brain, resulting in a disease called cerebellar ataxia. Cerebellar ataxia is a disease in which a part of the brain is damaged and its ability to regulate exercise is lost. It can also cause seizures and other diseases.


The diagnosis of cat leukopenia is based on history, symptoms, and physical examination. A test kit can be used to detect viruses in the feces, and a blood test can find antibodies. However, blood tests are being used for research rather than for diagnosis.

Veterinarians conduct physical examinations by routine laboratory tests, complete blood cell counting, biochemical profile analysis, and urine testing. Lab test results are usually not specific, but can reveal blood loss from cat leukopenia.


Cat leukopenia can not be cured and treatment is to manage the symptoms. This disease requires hospitalization, which can take several weeks and requires considerable cost.

Treatment of cat leukopenia consists mainly of adjunctive therapy. First, treat body fluids with intravenous or subcutaneous injection to treat dehydration. A cat can also have a transfusion. Other treatments that stop vomiting and antibiotics that prevent bacterial infections can also be prescribed. If vomiting stops, provide a small amount of non-stimulating diet. Kittens who do not eat colostrum can benefit from immunosuppressive serum injections.

This infectious disease can affect your physical and mental health. Therefore, during the recovery period, cats should be helped by people. Be sure to follow strict hygiene rules, but be careful not to let sick cats contact other cats to prevent the virus from spreading accidentally.

Unfortunately, feline leukopenia has a mortality rate of 90%. However, if it is treated quickly and effectively, cure is possible.

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