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Transmission

Direct: close contact between infected or carrier cats via saliva and nasal or eye discharge and sometimes through infected feces

Indirect: contaminated food dishes, people’s hands and clothes, or bedding. Calicivirus can be maintained in the environment for a very long time and cannot be killed with soap and water – 4% bleach solutions should be used.

Cats who are carriers, meaning they are infected with the virus but do not show symptoms, can begin to shed if they are stressed. Overcrowding such as occurs in shelters and multi-cat households or physical stress such as extreme temperatures and other illness can induce a carrier to shed and spread the infection to other cats. Even if a cat is vaccinated, they can become infected and pass the virus to other cats. The advantage of vaccinating is that they will not experience the symptoms.