Cat distemper is a completely different disease than canine distemper, and dogs and people cannot catch feline distemper.
The medical name for feline distemper is feline panleukopenia (FP). Other names for feline distemper are infectious enteritis, cat fever and cat typhoid.
Like dog distemper, cat distemper is very contagious and can hang around in dirt, furniture, clothing and other items for a long time, so it’s essential that your cat is vaccinated against feline distemper. The vaccination against cat distemper is part of the 4 in 1 vaccination that your cat needs each year.
The most common symptoms of cat distemper are excessive thirst, high fever, vomiting, depression, lethargy, loss of appetite and dehydration.
However, cats with feline distemper have lots of different symptoms, so if a cat or kitten becomes sick, call a veterinarian immediately
Feline distemper usually lasts for 3 or 4 days after the cat or kitten first develops a high fever, and its temperature will go up and down during the disease (the cat’s temperature will suddenly drop below normal levels right before it dies).
If a cat survives feline distemper, it usually becomes immune to the disease. Kittens born to a mother who is immune to feline distemper are also immune, but only up to the age of about 12 weeks.
As with canine distemper, pet owners should prevent feline distemper rather than try to cure it.
Kittens should get their first distemper shot when they are between 6 weeks and 12 weeks of age (or as soon as they are taken from their mother).
The first vaccine must be repeated about two weeks later and then once each year.
The vaccine must be given for the first time before the cat has been exposed to distemper.
Treatment of cat distemper may involve intravenous feedings, antibiotics and possibly injections of Vitamin B.