Cat flu is a common illness in felines that is usually caused by one of two viruses. Although it should be prevented through vaccinations, it’s extremely important that you take your cat to a vet if you notice any of the below symptoms.
What Causes Feline Flu?
This illness is usually caused by one of two viruses, feline herpesvirus or feline calicivirus; however, it may be caused by feline chlamydia. Once infected, your cat will shed the virus particles through nasal and eye discharges and in their saliva. Some healthy cats can be carriers of these viruses and they will infect other cats even though they show no symptoms themselves.
These particles can survive in the environment for up to one week, spreading through feed bowls, toys, and people’s clothing. This makes the virus particles extremely dangerous and contagious.
The Symptoms of Cat Flu
Generally, both viruses cause cat sneezing, discharge from the nose, loss of appetite, fever and behavioural changes. Feline herpesvirus can also cause conjunctivitis and painful eye ulcers. Feline calicivirus may be noticeable through mouth ulcers and excessive drooling. Young kittens can suffer lameness and fevers from cat flu.
In elderly cats, kittens, unvaccinated cats and those with immunity issues, cat flu is life threatening and may cause permanent eye damage.
Preventing and Treating Feline Flu
The best way to prevent this illness is by making sure you stay up to date with kitten vaccinations. Routine cat vaccinations for the flu will help your pet minimise their chances of contracting either virus. Luckily, most cats will recover from the flu after a few weeks. The virus may stay in your cat’s system for the rest of their life and can often resurface, so long-term antibiotics may be in their best interest.
To manage the symptoms, ensure your cat is drinking as much water as possible. Pay attention to their appetite because dehydration and starvation can be extremely dangerous to kittens and elderly cats. Cats that cannot eat due to mouth ulcers may need to be hospitalised for treatment.
Speak to Kedron Veterinary Clinic Today
If your cat is showing symptoms of feline flu, don’t hesitate in speaking to your Brisbane veterinary specialist. It’s important to manage these signs and ensure your cat makes a complete recovery as quickly as possible. Call (07) 3857 1785 or contact us online.