The cold and flu season can affect all family members, including your pets. Of course, you want to keep your cat healthy during the flu season. So if you are a new cat owner, you may be asking yourself, "Can I give my cat the flu?" Fortunately, we sat down with Trupanion's veterinarian Dr. Sarah Nold to learn more about cats and the flu and what to expect from your best friend.
Can I give my cat the flu?
Of course with any illness or disease that may affect your pets, you may have concerns. You want your cat or kitten to have a healthy life, and an illness like the flu can lead to more issues. Nold weighs what to think about during the flu season.
“You can give seasonal flu to your cat, but the risk is low. Cats do not seem to be easily infected. For this reason, there is no flu vaccine for cats. If you have the flu, consider avoiding close contact with your cat as long as you are symptomatic. The usual precautions to cover your cough, immediately discard used tissues and frequent hand washing are helpful.
Are there other cat health conditions that are similar to the flu?
Although flu may not be as common in cats and kittens, there are similar cat health conditions that can affect your hairy friend throughout the year. Nold breaks down what to look for.
"Upper respiratory tract infectious cat infections can cause similar signs in cats as human influenza in humans. Unlike human influenza, it is not seasonal. A variety of viruses and bacteria have been linked to the disease. "Infection with more than one is common. Infections are also more common in places such as catteries and animal shelters, where there is a higher population density in cats. Preferably, cats with upper respiratory distress should be isolated from other cats."
Signs of an upper respiratory tract infection in cats and kittens
Every cat and kitten is different and may react differently when they are sick. Cats do not always report that they are unwell. Nold points out common signs that your cat and kitten may experience if they have upper respiratory disease.
Consider the following:
Your cat and kitten may not always experience all of these signs. If your pet seems unwell, consult your veterinarian for medical attention. They can run some diagnostic tests and determine the next best step for your best friend.
Treatment options for your cat and kitten
Depending on how serious the cat's infection is, they may of course need different forms of treatment. At the end of the day, all you want is your hairy family member to feel better. Consider giving your cat a chance to rest and relax while they recover from feeling unwell. Nold mentions the supportive care that your veterinarian can prescribe to help your pet feel better.
- A humidifier or a steaming bathroom can help your cat breathe.
- Consider offering hot foods with a strong odor, which can help encourage. eat.
- Antibiotics and appetite suppressants may be helpful during your cat's treatment.
- If your cat has difficulty breathing or refuses to eat, hospitalization may be necessary.
Regardless of the season, your cat can get an infection at any time. Of course, the colder season can lead to more sniffles from your pet. But by talking to your vet, sticking to your pet's treatment plan and giving lots of snuggles to your hairy family member, your cat can get back to play in no time!
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