Can Feline Coronavirus Cause Diarrhea in Cats?

Feline coronavirus occasionally leads to gastrointestinal discomfort.
i George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

If your little fluff ball becomes infected with feline coronavirus, moderate and subtle symptoms are typically the name of the game. Many cats with feline coronavirus experience unpleasant but comparatively light cases of diarrhea and watery stools, while on the other hand, some don't experience any discomfort at all.

About Feline Coronavirus

Feline coronavirus is a very common virus that generally shows up in the form of light to moderate symptoms, if any. Some cats with the virus don't exhibit any outward signs at all. In most situations, feline coronovirus is no cause for alarm, though in rare instances it can mutate into feline infectious peritonitis, a dangerous and often deadly viral condition.

The Feline Advisory Bureau states that the virus is spread via feces, as it resides within the gastrointestinal tract. For instance, if an infected cat's fecal matter somehow is ingested by another, perhaps by mutual grooming, the virus may be transmitted.

Intestinal Disease

The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine indicates that cats with feline coronavirus occasionally get diarrhea as a result of a non-severe intestinal disease. If your cat is passing watery and loose bowel movements much more often than usual, diarrhea is the likely culprit. Though some kitties have to deal with a little tummy distress, many felines with the virus don't notice anything different, health-wise.

Other Symptoms

If your precious pet has diarrhea and you're worried that it may be associated with feline coronavirus, keep alert for other potential signs of the virus, although they are uncommon. An infected cat may encounter very light symptoms of upper respiratory infection -- think runny nose, watery eyes and excessive sneezing.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis

As mentioned previously, in extremely rare situations feline coronavirus can mutate into the serious and life-threatening condition feline infectious peritonitis. When a cat develops the condition, the symptoms tend to emerge abruptly and in an extreme, progressive manner. Some of the symptoms include a messy-looking coat, depressive mood, fever, exhaustion, weight loss and reduced appetite. If you're worried that your cutie may have the viral disease, waste no time in getting her to the veterinarian, as it is very often deadly. Unlike feline coronavirus, diarrhea is not a common symptom of feline infectious peritonitis.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

the nest