More Cat Care Information:
Enteritis in cats is a very serious disease. It's often referred to as distemper, which is a disease that dogs commonly get. However, feline enteritis isn't the same. A common other name for the condition is panleukopenia.
|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.
This disease normally strikes kittens younger than six months old. However, older cats also have a relatively increased risk of developing it. Older cats may be strong enough to fight off the affliction, but kittens can easily succumb to it.
Feline enteritis is caused by a virus. Wild animals such as cats and raccoons can harbor the highly contagious virus. Infected animals can pass it to your cat by coming into direct contact with him. If your cat comes into contact with nasal or oral secretions, he can get infected too.
Owners should also know that the virus that causes enteritis in cats can also contaminate items such as bedding, litter boxes, and food dishes. Owners can also pass the virus along to their cats because it's capable of contaminating human hands.
|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.|
After being infected with feline enteritis, your cat may not show any symptoms for up to ten days. Common signs include high fever and loss of appetite. Cats may also vomit frequently, producing yellow-tinted bile in the process. If you touch your cat in the abdominal region, he may cry out in pain. It is also common for cats to have diarrhea and produce stool that also has a yellow color, although it may appear to have blood in it instead.
As mentioned, enteritis in cats is quite serious. That's why it is important that you get your cat checked out and diagnosed with the condition as soon as possible. The chances of your cat surviving a bout with this virus rise considerably the earlier that treatment is started.
There is no way to battle the virus that causes cat enteritis directly. The vet will simply need to provide supportive measures to help your cat make it through the disease. Antibiotics will likely be given to stave off any bacterial infections. IV fluids and nutrition therapy may also be necessary.
It is very easy to prevent enteritis in cats. Simply have your feline vaccinated. The virus can live virtually anywhere in your home, so your kitten would be at risk if left unvaccinated. Using a standard disinfectant won't be enough to kill the virus either.
If your cat survives an episode of feline enteritis, then you should be aware that he will continue to shed the virus for a few weeks. Other cats in the household can easily be infected. The good news is that cats that survive an infection from the virus will be relatively safe from reinfection since their immune system will be boosted.
|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).|