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Risk of Pseudorabies Virus (Swine Porcine Pseudorabies Virus) In Cats

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Risk of Pseudorabies Virus (Swine Porcine Pseudorabies Virus) In Cats

Update Time:2023/9/11
Basic Information
Pigs are the only natural host of pseudorabies virus, but most domestic animals (cattle, sheep, dogs, cats, and goats, but not horses) and many wild animals (rats, mice, raccoons, possums, rabbits, and several fur-bearing mammals) are susceptible to the virus.
Feline infection
Transmission Route

Pseudorabies virus infection in cats and dogs can be associated with ingestion of infected meat or carcasses, and infection as an abnormal host can be fatal.

Pseudorabies virus is transmitted in cats mainly through ingestion of raw pork, especially pig lungs or organs. It is also possible that it is not in contact with pigs, but indirectly transmitted through other vertebrates other than pigs to cause disease in cats. For example, feline cases have also been observed during outbreaks of pseudorabies in other species, such as sheep.


Key words: acute encephalitis, short incubation period, rapid death.

Pseudorabies in cats occur sporadically, mainly in urban cats fed pig offal. As with dogs, the incubation period is short, lasting 2-4 days. The infection can lead to acute encephalitis, the initial clinical signs of which are excitement and excessive salivation. Cats can exhibit anorexia, sometimes accompanied by intense itching, and can cause lesions from scratching and self-harm. This is followed by a lot of saliva production, and neurological symptoms become more pronounced, resulting in loss of balance and even paralysis. When this clinical manifestation is observed, it may be mistaken for rabies. However, cats with pseudorabies are rarely aggressive, and the disease progresses more quickly than rabies. Death can occur within 12-48 hours of the onset of clinical symptoms.

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) developed to detect pseudorabies virus in pigs can be used to homogenize brain and lung tissue in cats. However, when clinical signs of encephalitis are found in cats (pseudorabies), a differential diagnosis of rabies must be ruled out.


Fatal and incurable.


Pseudorabies virus has been eradicated from pigs in several countries and there is no longer a risk of transmission to cats. However, the probability of infection with pseudorabies virus in pigs in other countries may be high.

In at-risk countries, infection in cats and dogs can be prevented by cooking meat and pig offal, feeding commercial pet food, and avoiding contact with infected pigs. Although vaccines are available to protect pigs, they are still toxic to carnivores, including cats. Although inactivated or subunit vaccines are safe, they unfortunately have no effect on pseudorabies in cats.

Effects of Infected Cats on Humans

Humans are generally thought to be resistant to PRV viruses. However, rare cases of human infection have been reported in the literature. The excreta of cats infected with pseudorabies virus has no epidemiological consequences and does not transmit the virus.

Killing temperature
60°C 60 minutes; 100°C for 1 minute

PRV is stable in the PH range of 4-12 and can take hours to be inactivated even at extreme PH levels.
PRV remains infectious for 6, 9, and 20 weeks at 5°C(77°F), 15°C(59°F), and 4°C(39°F), respectively.
It can take weeks for PRV to be inactivated at low temperatures; At temperatures of -40°C(-40°F), the virus can remain stable for many years.
PRV is destroyed at high temperatures, such as 60°C(140°F) for 60 minutes or 100°C(212°F) for 1 minute.

Contaminated areas and non-infected areas
Contaminated areas:

Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia, China (variant)

Non-infected areas:

The United States, the United Kingdom (Northern Ireland), Canada, New Zealand, some European Union member states

List of non-infected EU Member States: Belgium [territory], Czech Republic [territory], Denmark [territory], Germany [territory], Estonia [territory], Ireland [territory], France [territory], Italy [territory], Cyprus [territory], Luxembourg [territory], Hungary [territory], Netherlands [territory], Austria [territory], Poland [territory], Slovenia [territory] , Slovakia [territory], Finland [territory], Sweden [territory], United Kingdom [Northern Ireland]

It is very important to eliminate porcine pseudorabies virus at its root. Breeding pigs need to be screened for porcine pseudorabies virus before entering the enclosure, and pigs with positive results need to be disposed of.

The ISENVO Swine Porcine Pseudorabies Virus Rapid Test Kit can easily detect PRV infection in pigs.