Feline Viral Upper Respiratory Diseases
Infectious upper respiratory disease is the most common and probably the most devastating respiratory syndrome recognized in cats. Three infectious diseases are responsible: feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), feline calicivirus infection, and feline pneumonitis (Chlamydia psittaci). Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis and caliciviral infection account for the majority of clinical cases and will be reviewed here. These two viral diseases comprise 80 to 90% of infectious upper respiratory disease in domestic cats and are isolated in approximately equal frequency. Both affect the feline respiratory tract and conjunctival membranes and cause a variety of clinical signs in infected cats. Both FVR and feline calicivirus have a widespread distribution throughout the world; serological studies have shown specific antibodies present in 80% or greater of adult cat populations.