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Struggles faced by RANA: Parvovirus

The Feline Parvovirus, also known as Penleukopenia or Feline Distemper, is a dangerous virus that causes diarrhoea, vomiting and fever. It can cause severe disease and in the case of kittens, is often fatal. It is highly contagious and has a high incidence of disease in feral and stray cat populations.


This specific virus only infects cats, not dogs, although a similar dog parvovirus does also exist and is very dangerous.

Here at RANA we are passionate about saving lives. In the past few weeks we have dealt with several kittens who unfortunately died suddenly of Feline Parvovirus. One of the biggest challenges to us, is that we have few foster carers with a high number of animals. Should such a contagious disease spread, it is very dangerous.

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What are the symptoms of Feline Parvovirus?

  • Diarrhea

  • vomiting

  • difficulty eating and drinking

  • depression/lethargy

  • dehydration (may have dry gums or sunken eyes)

  • painful belly

Feline Parvo is most common in cats 3 to 5 months old. The feline parvovirus is widespread in the environment, and almost all cats are exposed to it. Apart from young kittens, sick cats and unvaccinated cats are most likely to get this disease.


Help us to support cats and kittens by contributing to funding vaccines. Please click here to donate to RANA

The virus attacks the cells in the cat’s intestines. It also attacks the bone marrow, causing shortages of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. FPV can significantly decrease the body’s ability to fight infection. Therefore infected cats are susceptible to developing other infections, such as respiratory diseases and have symptoms caused by other infections too.

Cats can be infected during pregnancy and give birth to brain-damaged kittens, which have difficulty walking and feeding. Kittens younger than 5 months old are at greatest risk of death. Kittens that do survive that were infected before, or shortly after birth may suffer brain damage; incoordination, tremors or seizures. They can also develop blindness. If cats do survive, the infection usually lasts no more than a week.


Treating Feline Parvovirus is different to each cat; depending on the symptoms they are expressing, whether they are vaccinated or not, or been exposed to other cats. Blood tests will be necessary and supporting cats with fluids, nutrients and other essential needs until their condition improves.


This involves isolation from other cats, either at the vet hospital or at home.
Severely ill cats are at life-threatening risk of shock and dehydration, they need intensive care and around the clock monitoring.  


One of our biggest challenges is available space for animals to be isolated for recovery. With such a contagious disease and overcrowded foster homes, this is a big struggle for RANA and all animals we aim to help are at risk of contagion, unless we have more space or funds to support isolation at the Vets.  


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Feline Parvovirus can exist in the environment for months, so extremely strict cleaning is necessary. Prevention is always important, so vaccinating kittens from a young age is crucial. Ensuring cats have their regular vaccines against disease is extremely important and we are proud to strive to support animals.

Please support our work to help animals struggling in North Africa 

Donating to RANA means we can continue our life-saving work, through the Trap Neuter Release, vaccinating animals and rehabilitating, fostering and rehoming animals for their forever homes.


Please donate to support cats affected by Parvo so RANA can continue to save lives!

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