The feline coronavirus commonly affects cats. It usually causes mild to no symptoms and the cat is able to fight the virus off successfully. However, some cats go on to develop feline infectious peritonitis, a disease which is very deadly.
The coronavirus in cats is spread via saliva. An infected cat can spread the disease to other unvaccinated cats if they share his food dish or bedding. This is why the infection is common in cat shelters.
The signs of feline coronavirus typically appear about two weeks after the initial infection. Common symptoms include eye and nose discharge, decreased appetite, and diarrhea. Sometimes, cats develop shortness of breath, fatigue, or experience weight loss.
In order to make a diagnosis for the coronavirus, the vet will need to perform a blood test. This will check for antibodies to the virus. The veterinarian will also evaluate your cat’s symptoms and perform x-rays.
There is no treatment for the feline coronavirus. As mentioned earlier, it usually only causes mild symptoms. However, your cat will harbor the virus for the rest of his life. And as you have learned, there is a slight potential for the virus to mutate and lead to feline infectious peritonitis.