What is Cat Flu and How to Handle It

Cat flu is a common illness that affects the upper respiratory tract of cats. The symptoms of cat flu include:

sneezing
runny nose and eyes
sore throat
aches
pains in the muscles and joints
mouth or eyes ulcers
dribbling
loss of voice
fever
breathing problems
coughing
fatigue
poor appetite
ulcers on the mouth or eyes

If the condition gets serious, it can give rise to the loss of an eye, pneumonia or even death. Cat flu is not usually serious in adult cats. As a result of lower immunity, the situation of kittens and older cats can be severe. 

The Causes of Cat Flu

Some cats are carriers of cat flu. The virus is generally spread by direct contact between cats. Apart from that, it can easily be spread indirectly by contact with infected feed bowls, toys, bedding, litter trays, human hands or clothing after touching an infected cat.

As cat flu is caused by viruses, there are no effective antiviral drugs or direct cure. Supportive treatment can help relieve clinical signs until the immune system can clear the infection.

What should I do?

Nursing care at home is important to help the cat. What you can do is:

Steam inhalation to assist with breathing (e.g. via use of a humidifier),

Wiping away discharges from the nose and eyes regularly using salt water and

Preparing some attractive foods to encourage your cat to eat and drink.
 

Following infection, many cats are left as carriers without any symptoms. They are potentially infectious to others.

This article is written by Dr. Jack Roberts.

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