How is the coronavirus spread?

Coronaviruses are ubiquitous among all cat populations and the principal one of cats is correctly referred to as feline enteric coronavirus (FECV). FECV is present in virtually all catteries with 6-8 or more cats and up to 40% or so of the kittens relinquished to shelters. The enteric virus in the cat population lives in the digestive tract and is shed in feces. Cats can shed the virus for 4-6 months or for a year or more in a continuous or intermittent fashion. Recurrent infections are also common. FECV is readily spread through litter and litter dust and can be carried from place to place on people’s bodies and clothing. Virus-contaminated material is easily transferred to the paws and fur of susceptible cats and then ingested during grooming. Kittens are infected by other cats at about 9-10 weeks of age, although one report places it as early as 3 weeks.


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