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Feline herpes is also known as feline viral rhinotracheitis or FVR for short. The upper respiratory tract is affected by this illness. Caused by the feline herpes virus type 1 (FHV-1), it can affect a cat of any age or breed.

General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home
You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.
General Cat Care #2: Feeding
An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).

Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.

Transmission

Cats infected with this virus shed it in secretions from their mouth, nose, and eyes. These secretions will infect cats who come into contact with them. Cats that come into contact with contaminated food dishes and litter boxes are also at risk. Owners can also harbor the virus on their clothes and hands.

There are also felines who are particularly prone to this type of infection. Those who live in poorly cleaned or ventilated conditions are at risk. Kittens and cats around plenty of other cats are also susceptible. Cats are also at risk when they're sick from some other diseaes and have a weakened immune system.

Symptoms

General Cat Care #3: Grooming
Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs
General Cat Care #4: Handling
To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.
General Cat Care #5: Housing
Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.

As you should already know by now, the upper respiratory tract is affected by this illness. Some of the most common signs include nasal discharge, sneezing, and nasal inflammation. Cats with this condition also routinely develop pink eye, or conjunctivitis. Complications during pregnancy is also a side effect of the herpes virus since it affects the reproductive tract too.

Diagnosis

This virus is pretty simple to diagnose in cats. Your cat's nasal and eye secretions can be tested in a lab for the virus. The virus can be detected using various tests.

Treatment

Treatment of feline herpes virus mainly consists of supportive care since there is no cure. You will need to ensure that your cat eats and drinks. You will also need to clean any discharge from the eyes and nose. Cats that develop eye inflammation may be given eye drops.

It is also beneficial to minimize the amount of stress that your cat endures while he's sick. If secondary infections occur, your cat may need to take antibiotics.

Prevention

You should be aware that after a bout with this disease, most cats become latent carriers. Latent carriers show no sign of disease although they are still capable of spreading it via their bodily secretions. Cats can be protected from thsi virus through vaccination.

General Cat Care #6: Identification
If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.
General Cat Care #7: Litter Box
All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).
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