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What Are Cat Flu Symptoms?

How to Tell if Your Cat Caught a Virus

By Meredith Alling. January 02, 2014 | See Comments

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    vet verified

    PetCareRx Staff Veterinarian

    DVM

A Cat Laying Down

When flu season comes around, your cat is susceptible to getting sick just as easily as you. Find out here what symptoms to look out for as well as prevention and treatment options.

When flu season rolls around, many people take steps to protect themselves from getting sick. But did you know that cats can get the flu, too? In cats, the flu is a disease of the respiratory tract caused by a virus — most commonly the feline herpes virus. Cat flu can also be caused by the feline calicivirus, bordetella, or H1N1 (swine flu). So what flu symptoms should you look out for in your cat?

Here are the most common cat flu symptoms:

Cat Flu Treatment and Prevention

Most flu outbreaks just need to run their course. There are no medications to cure the viruses that cause the flu, but you can help your cat to be more comfortable while they recover by keeping their eyes and nose clean and providing a quiet place for them to rest.

If your cat’s flu is accompanied by pink eye, your veterinarian may prescribe eye drops or ointment to help with the symptoms. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to treat secondary infections that can occur as the result of the flu.

Preventative vaccinations are available for the viruses that most commonly cause cat flu: the feline herpes virus, the feline calicivirus, and bordetella. Talk to your veterinarian about which vaccinations are right for your cat.

Additionally, some research suggests that humans can pass the flu virus on to their pets. Getting your own flu vaccine each year may help to prevent the spreading of the virus to your cat.

More on Cat Health Problems

Warning Signs of a Sick Cat
The Importance of Taking Your Cat to the Vet
7 Common Reasons for Cat Puking

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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Cat Flu Symptoms at a glance

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  • 1Cat flu is a disease of the respiratory tract caused by a virus, most commonly the feline herpes virus
  • 2Symptoms of cat flu include sneezing, coughing, loss of appetite, fever, pink eye, and more
  • 3Vaccinations are available for the viruses that most commonly cause cat flu
  • 4Getting your own flu vaccine may prevent you from spreading the flu to your cat