The term “cat flu” refers to a highly contagious upper respiratory infection that affects cats and kittens. Feline Herpes Virus 1 (FHV1) and Feline Calicivirus are two viruses that cause this condition (FVC). Cat flu is a virus that causes a fever, runny nose, and itchy eyes, similar to human flu. In healthy cats, cat flu is usually not a major problem.
However, it can be fatal in kittens and adult cats with underlying conditions, so getting your cat to the vet as soon as possible is critical. The virus that causes it is not influenza. It’s likely that a cat infected with these viruses that cause cat flu will carry the virus for the remainder of their lives. Even if your cat receives treatment, he or she may experience symptoms for the rest of his or her life.
Symptoms of Cat Flu
It can take up to two weeks for symptoms to show after your cat has been infected with the flu virus. Kittens and geriatric cats both have weakened immune systems when compared to healthy adult cats. This can result in serious symptoms or possibly the development of a secondary illness. The symptoms of cat flu are very similar to those of humans who have the flu. Some of the signs include
- Inflamed throat
- Runny nose or discharge
- Coughing (gagging noise)
- Mouth ulcers are some of the most common symptoms.
- Drooling or dribbling
- Vocal loss
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye) or eye discharge
- Appetite loss
- Eye ulcers are very common in kittens, and if left untreated, they can cause permanent damage to the eyes.
Transmission of the Cat Flu
Flu viruses infect cats in the same way that flu viruses infect humans. Direct interaction with other cats, such as when they play or snuggle together, is one way. Droplets inside the air could be another option. Sneezing or coughing produces these droplets, which have a discharge.
Cats can potentially contract the flu by making contact with a virus-infected object, such as shared enclosures or food dishes. Life-long carriers of the virus can infect others since they shed the virus during stressful situations like boarding or entering a shelter. Consult a veterinarian if you suspect your cat has cat flu.
Cat Flu Treatment
Antibiotics or anti-inflammatories may be prescribed by your veterinarian to combat the infection or to help lower the fever. Pain medication, antiviral medication, eye drops, and antibiotics for any secondary bacterial infection are all examples of supportive treatment. If a cat stops eating and drinking, he or she may need to be admitted to the hospital and placed on an intravenous drip or provided nutritional support.
Many cats will carry the virus for the rest of their lives despite showing no or minor indications of sickness after recovering from cat flu. When you notice a discharge from your cat’s eyes or nose, gently wipe it away. To remove the discharge, soak a moist cloth in saltwater. Steam aids in the disintegration of mucus.
Prevention Of Cat Flu
Getting your cat vaccinated against the viruses that cause cat flu is the best method to protect them against cat flu. Your cat will require two flu vaccines, as well as booster doses, during the course of their lives. All kittens must consequently be vaccinated against the viruses that cause cat flu. Vaccination courses should begin at the age of eight weeks, and booster immunizations should be given as often as a veterinarian recommends.
Kittens should be kept indoors and away from other cats until they are completely safe. Vaccination can help prevent sickness or lessen the intensity of symptoms in sick cats. Cats suffering from cat flu must be kept separate from other cats until they have fully recovered. Separately washing their food bowls, litter trays, and bedding is also required. A two-week recovery period is common.
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