Cat flu: symptoms, treatment and long-term effects

Influenza in cats is just like the flu in humans.

Symptoms will include runny nose, sneezing, fever and muscle aches.

What are the symptoms of cat flu?


If you’ve had the flu before, you can empathize with your cat. The disease is not that different from the human variation. Just like humans, most cats can fight it; however, the situation may be more serious for older animals, kittens or cats with another underlying disease. Therefore, do not try to treat your cat as you are trying to treat yourself, and the drugs you use for yourself will be toxic to cats. Also, cat flu is viral, meaning antibiotics will not be sufficient and effective.

Whether your cat is sneezing or sniffing, spotting the symptoms of cat flu can be pretty easy when you know what to look for. Here is a list of some of the more common signs you should be aware of:

sneezing and sometimes coughing: (This is the main way the disease spreads.)

runny nose



Eye watering and redness

Difficulty in breathing or noisy-noisy breathing

Behavior change

Loss of appetite

high body temperature (fever)

Eye ulcers in severe cases

The severity of symptoms varies greatly from patient to patient: One infected cat may recover with just a little sneezing and a runny nose, while another can lead to infections secondary to life-threatening complications.

No matter how mild or serious the symptoms are, don’t take the risk. As soon as you notice cat flu symptoms, take your pet to your veterinarian.

Is it contagious?

Cat flu, like the flu in humans, is very contagious. The virus is spread by sneezing from infected cats. Therefore, direct contact is not always necessary for another cat to become infected.

Make sure your cat’s bedding, food bowls, water bowls and litter box are cleaned regularly to help prevent contamination. Keep in mind that the virus can hide and survive in unexpected places. Healthy-looking cats can be carriers of the disease without showing any signs of the disease.

The only way to prevent contamination is to regularly clean your cat’s everyday items and keep infected pets isolated from others.

How is it treated?

Although antibiotics can help with certain complications in secondary infections, they will not be sufficient on their own. You must follow the treatment protocol given by your veterinarian.

Keeping your cat relaxed and stress-free, feeding them well is the best way to heal them.

If their appetite has decreased, encourage them to eat. Their throat may be sore, so you can offer canned foods that are not difficult to swallow. They may also have lost their sense of smell., Therefore try to keep their eyes and noses clean: Gently wipe off any accumulated discharge with a cotton swab dipped in salt water or eye cleaning solutions. You can try fragrant foods that he likes, and don’t forget to encourage him to drink plenty of water.

If you have other uninfected cats in your home, separate them and create an isolated area for your sick cat to heal.

What are the long-term effects?

Most animals that get cat flu recover without any long-term adverse effects on their health. The most common problem for cats with the disease is that your cat could be a carrier of the virus.

Relapses can happen during your cat’s stressful times. Sometimes, if ‘chronic rhinitis’ is not treated, there may be a permanent runny nose.

Some untreated patients may experience dental and gingival disorders in the long term.

Another concern may be eye damage caused by Viruses to the eye. This can cause your cat to lose an eye if left untreated in the long term. Watch out for painful, runny, completely closed or partially closed eyes: If you see these symptoms, go straight to a veterinary clinic.

In most cases, cats recover within a few weeks.

Seek early advice from a veterinarian to make sure your pet is back to being healthy and happy.

Focus on what you will do to avoid getting sick, not what to do after you get sick. This requires vaccination at the very beginning.

Remember that you can protect yourself from this disease with vaccination.

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