Feline distemper virus, also known as feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), infects unvaccinated cats or kittens and causes a a particularly severe disease in kittens of two to six months old. The mortality rate can be up to 75 percent.
About 3 to 10 days after exposure to the disease, infected kittens cough and sneeze, have eye and nose discharge, are feverish, lose their appetites, vomit, and have diarrhea. Treatment consists of fluid therapy , antibiotics, and supportive nursing care.
Vaccines offer effective immunity. A booster should be administered one year after the first vaccination, then no more than every three years. Immunity is sustained for at least seven years after vaccination. After receiving their vaccinations, some cats may have diminished appetite, lethargy, minor fever. Some will develop a mild tenderness or swelling at the injection sites. These symptoms should be minor and subside quickly, usually within a day or so. In the weeks and months following your cat's annual vaccinations, be especially alert for any unusual lumps, bumps, or swelling anywhere on your cat's body, but especially near any of vaccination sites. Report any bumps you find to your veterinarian. One reason for giving vaccines at separate sites on your cat's body is to more easily identify which vaccine may be causing problems.