Everything You Must Know About Cat Flu

by Sam Buddy

Similar to humans, cat likewise can suffer from flu. In fact, the symptoms are the same with human flu – it causes a sore throat, runny nose and teary eyes. Apart from that, the cat may also suffer from aches in the joints and muscles. Remember though that only the signs and symptoms are similar. These 2 diseases are caused by different pathogens, and that human flu cannot infect cats or vice versa.


Must-Knows About Cat Flu


This is an upper respiratory tract disease caused by several pathogens. These infectious agents are usually called as feline upper respiratory infection complex pathogens. Feline herpesvirus and calicivirus are the common causative agents of cat flu. Most of the time, 3-5 days is the incubation time. After the cat becomes symptomatic, the disease will usually run its course in 4-7 days; however, secondary infection can cause similar symptoms that can persist for weeks.


Diagnosing Cat Flu


Since viral particles are present in eye or nose discharge, these can be collected and tested using radio-immunoassay or ELISA or by virus isolation. But then, you must know that this isn’t done regularly. Positive diagnosis might be very helpful in catteries or perhaps when a cat is suffering from one of the long-term complications of infection. And since most cats do recover from the infection very quickly, formal diagnosis might not be necessary.


How Cat Flu Is Being Spread


When infected, the cat can pass on the virus via eye and nasal discharges and in his or her saliva. With this, cats with flu are the biggest source of infection. But then, there are some healthy cats that carry the viruses and may pass it on even if they seem unaffected by it. Also, cat flu may be passed from a mother to her litter and this is very harmful for the kittens because they still have low immune system.


One of the most important things to always bear in mind is that the viral particles may survive for more than a week within the environment. This further means that direct contact between cats is not a must for a certain cat to be infected. It is worth mentioning that infection can easily be spread through contact with infected food bowls, toys, litter trays, and human clothing or touch after they come in contact with an infected cat.


Prevention And Treatment


Vaccination is the best way you can protect your cat from acquiring flu. Your cat will indeed require yearly boosts.


Cat flu can be treated with anti-viral drugs. Corneal ulcers and conjunctivitis can be treated with topical antibiotics in cases of secondary bacterial infection.


Indeed, there are plenty of things you must know when it comes to cat flu. You will never know when your cat would acquire such illness. It is far better for you to be aware what this illness is all about. This will greatly help you in caring for your cats properly.


About the author: Sam Buddy is a pet lover who is fond of sharing pet care tips through writing. He usually reads related books as well as visit sites like Dubai Kennels & Cattery to boost his know-how about the pet industry.

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