A contagious and potentially life-threatening viral disease, cat distemper is also referred to as feline panleukopenia. The disease, which cannot be spread to people, is contracted through contact with an infected feline’s bodily discharges, including saliva, urine and feces. The virus that causes cat distemper is persistent, as it can exist for months indoors unless it is strenuously disinfected, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual. As the virus attacks a feline’s immune system, an infected cat will suffer from fever, diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration.
1. Carefully handle an infected cat. Give the cat attention by constantly petting him. Put the cat in a warm area that has good air circulation. Keep the infected cat away from other felines while he is fighting the disease.
2. Feed the animal high-calorie food that can easily digested several times during the day. If the cat is too weak too eat on its own, you can try to feed the animal out of your hand.
3. An infected cat will need treatment that can only be given at a veterinary hospital. The feline will need to be monitored closely. Interventions include infusion of fluids intravenously. Intravenous treatment assists in replenishing lost water and salt.
4. With the disease diminishing white blood cells, a blood transfusion may be required. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to treat any bacterial infections that may arise. The extra antibodies will help raise the cat’s line of defense against infections until the animal’s own immune system is strong enough to ward off diseases on its own.
5. During treatment, infected animals will receive vitamin B and C. The vitamins assist the cat’s immune system by offering an energy boost. A high energy level leads to a greater production of cells to ward off infection.