Cat flu has many of the same symptoms as human flu and can affect adult cats and kittens. It is more serious in kittens and older cats or those with a low immune system. Cat flu can also be a sign of a secondary infection in your cat so it is important to get them checked out by a vet.
Cat flu is an upper respiratory tract infection caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Cat flu can be spread by cats coming into direct contact or by indirect contacts like sharing a food or water bowl. Where cats are together or in larger numbers like in kennels, the risk of it spreading are increased.
Cat and human flu are caused by different viruses and you cannot catch flu from a cat and a cat cannot catch flu from a human.
The signs of cat flu include:
- Runny eyes
- A runny nose
- Loss of voice
- Sore eyes which can become infected and ulcers develop which can lead to long-term sight damage
- A sore throat which can become inflamed
- Muscle and joint pain
Cat flu when managed can clear up and with no problems but if left untreated it can lead to conditions like pneumonia especially in kittens which can be fatal.
A vet will check your cat and advice a course of action. As cat flu is usually a viral illness, there is no real treatment but antibiotics Can be given if there is a secondary infection. Eye infections can be treated with antiviral eye drops and decongestants can be given to clear the airway. Multivitamins are also often given to help them fight off the infection and strengthen the immune system.