Cat Flu

We all suffer from flu from time to time (or at least we think we do) but cats can catch flu too!
Cat flu is actually a virus called ‘feline calicivirus’ and there are lots of different strains that can cause a variety of diseases. The most common is ‘upper respiratory tract disease’ and is generally referred to as cat flu.

The symptoms of cat flu can be very painful with fever, runny nose and mouth ulcers which can be found on the tongue, the roof of the mouth or the nose. Infected cats are often unable to eat. Other strains of the virus can cause a number of other illnesses and diseases.

As cat flu is caused by a virus there is no specific treatment. They may need intensive nursing, nutritional support and maybe even tube feeding. Secondary bacterial infections are common so they may need antibiotics as well.

Cat flu survives in the environment for several weeks and spreads easily from cat to cat. It can also be transmitted on clothing and food bowls. If cat owners come into contact with other cats that are infected, they can pass it along to their own cats.

The only real protection is through regular vaccination. Annual boosters are really important to maintain protection. Don’t put it off!