Cat flu is potentially one of the most serious illnesses your cat can suffer and in some cases is life-threatening. Kittens in particular are at high risk, so it’s important to vaccinate as soon as possible, usually at nine weeks and then on an annual basis.
It’s not only a ‘winter bug’ as human flu tends to be – it can be transferred between cats at any time of the year. This is why, if your cat stays in a boarding cattery, you should make sure it’s one that only accepts cats from owners with proof of vaccination.
What symptoms should you watch out for?
Common symptoms of cat flu include:
- Sneezing • Coughing
- Runny nose • Dribbling
- High temperature
- General lethargy
- Loss of appetite
- Sore or partially-closed eyes
Helping your cat through this serious illness
The vet may prescribe antibiotics if your cat has a secondary bacterial infection, which is a common occurrence with cat flu. Apart from that, however, wiping the cat’s eyes and nose with a warm clean cloth soaked in salt water can help.
Regularly washing their bedding, and making sure water bowls are cleaned several times a day with hot water, also helps to prevent re-infection once your cat begins to improve. Cats with flu often lose their appetite, so having plenty of nice food to tempt them to eat is a good idea and also helps to build up their immune system after they’ve recovered.
By Ann Haldon