Can Cats Get Distemper From Dogs?

Do you have cats and dogs living in your home? If so, you may be wondering if your cats can contract distemper from your dogs. Distemper is a serious virus that can be lethal if left untreated.

But don’t worry. Cats cannot get distemper from dogs directly.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what distemper is, how cats can contract it, and what to do if you think your cat has been exposed. Plus, we’ll provide tips on how to prevent your cat from getting the virus.

Distemper is a virus caused by Canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2). It affects the respiratory system and digestive tract of animals like cats and dogs, leading to symptoms such as fever, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration.

If not treated promptly, it can be fatal. Cats can get distemper from other cats or wild animals that carry the virus.

They cannot catch it directly from dogs; however, they may become infected if they come into contact with an infected dog’s saliva or feces. Eating prey animals like mice or birds that are carrying the disease is also a risk factor for cats contracting distemper.

If you suspect your cat has been exposed to distemper or has any of its signs—such as fever, coughing, vomiting or diarrhea—it’s important to take them to the vet right away for diagnosis and treatment.

Early detection and treatment give your pet their best chance at recovery without severe complications.

Knowing what distemper is and how cats can catch it will go a long way in helping protect them from harm.

How is Distemper Spread?

Distemper is a highly contagious virus that can be fatal for cats and dogs.

It is typically spread through direct contact with an infected animal or their bodily fluids, airborne transmission, or by sharing contaminated objects.

Although people cannot get distemper from animals, they can still indirectly spread the virus if they come into contact with infected animals and carry the virus on their clothes, shoes, or hands.

If any signs of distemper are observed in either cats or dogs, such as coughing, sneezing, fever, or vomiting, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately before the virus progresses and causes potentially life-threatening complications.

Can Cats Get Distemper from Dogs?

Cats need not worry when it comes to canine distemper virus – they are immune.

That’s because cats have their own distinct types of viruses that affect them differently. So, while your furry friends may be close companions, their health needs are worlds apart.

Regular vet visits are also essential in ensuring the health and wellbeing of both cats and dogs.

Feline Distemper vs. Canine Distemper

Feline distemper and canine distemper are two distinct viruses that can affect cats and dogs respectively.

Although they may have similar names, the viruses that cause them are completely different and there is no direct transmission of canine distemper to cats. Feline distemper, also known as feline panleukopenia, is caused by the feline parvovirus.

This virus attacks the rapidly dividing cells in a cat’s body such as bone marrow, intestines, and lymph nodes. Symptoms of feline distemper include fever, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration.

The disease is spread through contact with infected bodily fluids or contaminated surfaces; however it can be prevented through vaccination. Canine distemper is caused by the canine paramyxovirus which is highly contagious and potentially fatal.

It attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems of dogs causing symptoms such as fever, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, vomiting and diarrhea as well as neurological symptoms like seizures, tremors or paralysis. The disease is spread through contact with infected bodily fluids or contaminated surfaces; however it can be prevented through vaccination.

Although there is no direct transmission of canine distemper to cats they can still be susceptible to other respiratory and intestinal infections that dogs can acquire such as bordetella and salmonella.

Symptoms of Distemper in Cats and Dogs

Distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that can cause severe, sometimes fatal, illnesses in both cats and dogs.

As pet owners, it is essential to recognize the signs of distemper in our furry friends so we can seek prompt veterinary care if necessary. In dogs, distemper can cause respiratory symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and discharge from the eyes and nose.

It can also cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. Additionally, it can lead to neurological symptoms like seizures, tremors, and paralysis.

Cats with distemper may experience similar respiratory issues along with fever and dehydration; however, neurological symptoms are less common in felines. Prevention is key to avoiding the spread of distemper in cats and dogs.

Can Dogs Pass Distemper to Humans?

Canine distemper is a serious disease that can affect our beloved dogs, but it is not something that humans should worry about catching.

The virus that causes distemper is species-specific, meaning it cannot survive in humans and there are no known cases of transmission from dogs to humans. However, people who come into contact with wild animals such as raccoons, foxes, and skunks may be at risk of getting the disease.

In rare cases, someone with a weakened immune system may contract distemper from an infected animal. It’s important to remember that canine distemper is not a zoonotic disease; this means it cannot be passed from animals to humans.

Can Cats Get Canine Distemper from Raccoons?

The answer is yes, though it is not a common occurrence.

Cats can contract distemper from raccoons if their immune system is weakened, so it is essential to take steps to protect your feline friend. The virus that causes distemper in dogs and raccoons is different from the one that affects cats, but cats with weakened immune systems may be more susceptible.

To safeguard your cat, keep it away from raccoons and other animals that may carry the disease. It is also recommended to have your cat vaccinated against common viruses and diseases, including distemper.

Can Humans Get Distemper From Cats?

Distemper is a viral disease that affects both cats and dogs, but the virus that affects cats and dogs is different from the one that affects humans. However, if a human comes into contact with an infected animal’s bodily fluids, such as saliva, urine, or blood, they may be exposed to the virus and develop symptoms such as fever, coughing, and fatigue.

In some cases, the disease can be fatal – particularly for those with weakened immune systems like infants and elderly individuals. It is important to take measures to prevent the spread of distemper by keeping infected animals away from humans and other animals.

Additionally, good hygiene practices should always be followed when handling animals; this includes washing hands thoroughly after contact with animals and avoiding contact with wildlife that may carry the virus, such as raccoons.

Can Distemper Be Passed From Dogs to Dogs?

Distemper is a stealthy and deadly virus that can be passed from dog to dog, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

It is spread through direct contact, shared objects, and even airborne particles, making it highly contagious. Early symptoms include fever, lethargy, appetite loss, and discharge from the eyes and nose.

As the virus progresses, neurological symptoms such as tremors, seizures, and paralysis can occur. Unfortunately, there is no cure for distemper in dogs; treatment is supportive and aimed at preventing secondary infections while managing symptoms until recovery.

The best way to protect your pup from this insidious virus is to ensure they are vaccinated against it. In areas where there are known cases of distemper, pet owners should also take measures to keep their dogs away from other infected animals and shared items.

If you suspect your pup has been exposed to distemper, seek help from your veterinarian immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment plans.


In conclusion, cats are not directly affected by distemper from dogs.

However, if a cat is exposed to the saliva of an infected dog or ingests feces containing the virus, they can contract it. They can also become infected by eating rodents such as mice or birds carrying the disease.

If your cat has any symptoms like fever, coughing, vomiting or diarrhea, it’s vital to take them to the vet for diagnosis and treatment right away. Knowing what distemper is and how cats can get it will help keep them safe.

So, make sure you keep up with your pet’s vaccinations and practice good sanitation when handling animals.