or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Distemper
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:


post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have a friend that got a new kitten... I visited and did hold the kitten. My son held him last night, the kitten died this morning from distemper. I have two older cats (4 years).. they are strictly indoor cats and have not been vacinated. What are the odds of them contracting distemper from our clothing? I called the vet and they said to watch them for 5-7 days for symptons... I was just curious if anyone knew how contagious it is in this manner. I am just sick about this.

post #2 of 8
it's fairly contagious. It is either airborn or from contact with bodily fluids. It can be tracked into a home just from your shoes. I would make sure to get the cats their shots once this has past. There are many low cost clinics that travel around from location to location. I think some go to Petco and other pet stores. Call around for the best price.
I hope everything turns out for the best and call another vet and find out what other options there are in this situation.
post #3 of 8
The warning signs you need to look for is if your cats become lethargic or start vomiting, or have loose stools with blood contained in them. The coat gets dull and the eyes become glazed. Just keep your eye on your cats and know what to look for. Good luck! Cats normally get this off off contaminated stool or food from infected cats but you can also bring it in from outdoors on your shoes. There is hope though, the older cats can beat the disease usually, while kittens just simply can't.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the information... I will watch them carefully.

I fully intend on getting them vaccinated once this has passed (hopefully uneventfully)... I didn't realize that it was that contagious. I figured they were strictly indoor cats and that it would be okay.

My dog is an outside dog (until recently) and I have had him vaccinated on time... guess I dropped the ball with the cats.

Thanks again.
post #5 of 8
Having indoor cats doesn't offer them 100% protection from disease. My crew are indoors (with access to a cat enclosure), and last year I had problems with a "cold". It did the rounds. I hadn't been in contact with anybody elses cats. My crew are all vaccinated, and to be honest, they didn't get that sick. The only one who needed to see a vet was my Siamese cat Obee. The rest just had mild symptoms. Same thing happened to my friend, her cats are indoors & haven't been vaccinated, her cats were hit a LOT worse. She spent hundreds of dollars on one cat.

I asked my vet friend how this could happen, and she said that viruses can come in on the air. Keeping them inside does greatly reduce the chances of them picking up something, but it's not guaranteed. However, as hissy said, your cats are 4 years old, and would have a much better chance at fighting something like this than a kitten. Watch them closely for any change. Lack of enthusiasm, going off their food, sniffles etc. At the first sign, take them to a vet.

I adopted an adult cat who had the "flu" when I got her. She had lost her owner & been taken to the shelter where she picked up this infection, and she just looked like she had literally given up on living. She was on deaths door, but...with a great deal of supportive care, which included force feeding & giving her fluids twice a day sub-q, she was brought back. The fact that she was a healthy adult really stood her in good stead.

Also, I have a friend who's cats are indoors & one of them got Tapeworm. Her vet said she had most likely brought it in on her shoes.

I'm not a fan of vaccinating every year (although until recently I have been), but I think ALL cats need to be vaccinated.

post #6 of 8
Just remember that with distemper shots it takes about two weeks after the vaccination for them to develop any sort of immunity!

Also, be sure to have them vaccinated for rabies.
Rabies can be carried in doors through rodents, etc.
post #7 of 8
Hissy - I am so happy to be able to disagree with your comment "older cats can beat the disease usually, while kittens just simply can't."

I personally know of one 4 month old kitten that DID BEAT THE ODDS and recovered from distemper. I guess there is always the exception to the rule!!!
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I want to thank everyone who posted to my question. My cats are out of the woods and are doing great... I kind of freaked because Monday morning, one week from the first exposure, my son Ryan came in my bedroom announcing loudly that A.C. (short for Assassin Cat.. can you tell a boy who was only 8 and majorly into GI Joes at the time named her?? ) Anyway.. he said "Mom! AC is throwing up..." it was loose and wet, so I called our vet... they were closed.. so I took her to another vet.... he checked her out, she had an intestinal blockage...most likely a hairball... so he gave laxative and antibiotics..just in case...

He told me that older cats usually get sicker with the secondary infections that come with distemper due to the drop in the immune system... so he "covered her butt.." just in case with the antibiotics...

He told me there are two ways distemper hits... number one..the respitory system.. watch for clear discharge from the nose and sneezing with the discharge turning to mucus in a day or two.. the other is the intestinal... either way watch for no eating and dehydration.

I must have been sort of dumb cuz I never knew how to check for dehydration on a cat.. for those of you who join me on this... the skin on the back of the neck we all like to "lift" as we pet our cats... well, if it "stays up" when you lift it.... your cat is dehydrated... who knew??

Anyway.... thank you for all your answers and support on here... you guys are the best...<smile>

AC and Purdy say thanks too!!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Distemper