Black and white cat sneezing.

Feline Calicivirus

As with rhinotracheitis, the feline calicivirus is a very contagious organism that can create both acute upper respiratory disease and chronic carriers in all ages. The incubation period of the calicivirus is anywhere from 2 to 10 days.

Sneezing, fever, nasal discharge, oral ulcers, and conjunctivitis are all characteristic signs of the acute dis- ease. The chronic form of the disease can be responsible for recurring gingivitis and oral infections in infected individuals.

The feline calicivirus has also been implicated in the disease syndrome of kittens known as “limping kitten syndrome” (LKS). LKS is seen in kittens less than 14 weeks of age and appears as a generalized arthritis (hence the name), especially affecting the back legs. This presentation of the disease will usually run its course without causing any permanent joint damage.