Cat Flu

Cat Flu

We are all familiar with the flu and most of us have probably had it at some point in our lives, but did you know that your cat can catch the flu as well? Cat flu is different from human flu and cannot be passed between species, but it causes very similar symptoms. If you are a cat owner, it is important that you know how to spot the signs of cat flu and what the best cat flu treatments are. This page will give you all of the information that you need about cat flu.

What Causes Cat Flu?

Cat flu is the term used to describe an illness that affects cats and creates flu-like symptoms, but it is not actually caused by an influenza virus like human flu. Instead, it is caused by two separate viruses: feline calicivirus and feline herpes. In some cases, cat flu can also be caused by a bacterial infection.

Cats that are already sick can easily spread the virus, but healthy cats can still be carriers, so there is always the chance of your cat catching cat flu when it interacts with other animals. The virus can also be passed on through infected food bowls and toys, so if you have multiple cats, it can spread easily.

Cat Flu Symptoms

Although cat flu is not that serious in most adult cats, it still causes a range of symptoms that you should watch out for. Just like human flu and colds, it causes a runny nose and a sore throat. Your cat may also experience aches and pains, fever, mouth ulcers and loss of voice. Although these symptoms are unpleasant for your cat, they are not likely to be in any immediate danger.

However, cat flu in kittens or adult cats with existing health problems can be far more serious. In some cases, it may even be fatal, so it is vital that you seek the advice of your vet right away if you notice any cat flu symptoms in your kitten.

Cat Flu Treatment

Unfortunately, there are no effective antiviral medications to deal with cat flu, so cat flu treatment is all about managing the symptoms at home. If cats lose their sense of smell or have a very sore throat, they may stop eating. Mixing some water with their food is a good way to make it easier for them and you should also feed them strong smelling foods, like pilchards or chicken. If you speak to your vet, they will be able to advise you on the best diet for your sick cat but if you are unable to get them to eat, they may need to be hospitalised.

You should also wipe away discharge from the nose and eyes using a diluted saltwater solution to keep them clean and prevent infection. Encouraging them to drink as much water as possible will help to clear blockages a lot faster.

How To Prevent Cat Flu

The best way to prevent this illness is through the use of a cat flu vaccine, which all cats get as standard from the vet. As a kitten, they will have two jabs and then a booster jab every year. There are vaccines available to protect against bacterial strains of cat flu as well but these are not standard so you will have to speak to your vet about it if you are concerned.

The cat flu vaccine can help to prevent cat flu but it’s important to remember that, just like human flu, there are a lot of different strains and the vaccine doesn’t protect against all of them, so your cat can still get sick.

If you notice cat flu symptoms in your cat, you do not need to be too concerned unless they are a kitten or they have existing health problems. However, you should always take them to the vet so you can get advice on the best cat flu treatment options.

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