Feline Calcivirus is a highly contagious virus that causes respiratory infection and oral disease in cats.
It most often affects young cats in shelters or breeding colonies, so it is most common in multi-cat environments.
In shelters or pet stores, 20 to 45% of the cats may be carriers of the virus.
The virus spreads through direct contact with saliva, nasal mucus, or eye discharge. Lab tests can also detect the virus in urine, feces, and blood.
Symptoms can include sneezing, nasal congestion, fever, and drooling. In more severe cases the cat can develop inflammation in the mouth and ulcers on the tongue.
Vaccines do not protect against Calcivirus completely but they can greatly reduce the severity of the infection.
Once kittens reach 6 to 8 weeks of age they should recieve the vaccine every 3 to 4 weeks, with the final vaccine being at 16 weeks of age.
Cats that become carriers will continue to shed the virus even after they recover from the infection.
Whenever you bring a new cat into the home you should isolate the cat from other cats in the household for 1 to 2 weeks while you watch for any sign of the disease.