All Creatures Vet Surgery | Factsheet: Cat ‘flu’

Many of the combination products providing flea and roundworm prevention require monthly application. The disease can be much more serious in young kittens, older cats and cats with other diseases, eg FeLV or FIV – these patients may need to be admitted to hospital for special treatment but, even so, may not survive. Always keep in close contact with your vet and let him know immediately if your cat appears to take a turn for the worse. Always keep in close contact with your vet and let him know immediately if your cat appears to take a turn for the worse. Even if you don’t have children, your neighbours do. Although your cat may not want to eat for the first few days, you should try to tempt her to eat by offering tasty warm food to keep her strength up.

But cats, just like people, feel pretty miserable when they have the flu and plenty of nursing care is needed to help her get over it. Your cat will have to fight off the infection by herself and fortunately most, otherwise healthy cats, will do this within a few weeks. Your cat cannot catch the disease from you and you are not at risk of catching it whilst nursing her. Although the mother did not appear to be sick, she passed the infection on to all her kittens. Can I catch ‘flu’ from my cat? Illness can range from mild to severe, depending on the strain of virus present.


There are many causes of cat flu. Can I catch ‘flu’ from my cat? In some cats the disease can cause ulcers in the mouth making eating difficult. It is transmitted from cat to cat mostly through direct contact of fighting. You can put a bit of warm water on a washcloth, wring it out, then hold it on her nose (if she’ll let you) to soften any dried mucus so it comes off. This treatment includes antibiotics, to treat any secondary bacterial infections as these can be life-threatening, and drugs to help loosen the nasal discharge and make breathing less of a struggle.

We may need to contact your vet and get information about your cat(s) – by paying the non-refundable deposit, you confirm that you are happy with this, and that you give us your permission to have access to your cat’s medical history. The course involves two visits to the vet 3 weeks apart. Try anything: water, milk, broth. Generally, the immunity that a kitten has at birth only lasts for a few weeks. It’s therefore advisable to vaccinate cats initially as kittens and then regularly as adults. Because the virus effects the outer membrane of the eyes causing conjunctivitis as already explained this can also lead to red eyes filled with puss.

Please note there are currently no vaccines available to protect against Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) which is usually spread by fighting between cats. However, these little felines were still feral and continued to attack us, whenever we tried to handle them. The Eyes:  The virus affects the membranes of the eyes (conjunctivitis) eyes appear swollen and red with a discharge filled with pus, as a secondary bacterial infection invades sometimes the cat can develop corneal ulcers. It can be associated with anaemia , immunosuppression and tumour formation (especially Lymphoma). Vaccination may not completely prevent infection in all cases; however, vaccinated cats will recover faster if they do succumb to infection. Why vaccination is important: Cats can and do become seriously ill or die from infectious diseases that could have been prevented through vaccination every year.

There are many vaccinations available for cats but not all cats need all the vaccinations every year. Feline leukaemia is a frequently fatal disease in any age of cat. Cats that do recover may continue to carry the virus for some time and infect other cats. What makes matters even more confusing, is that although vaccines are constantly being updated and improved, not all vet practices are offering the latest vaccines and protocols can vary greatly. When this occurs the heart is no longer able to pump the blood out of the heart in sufficient quantities to supply the body. FVR is caused by the feline herpesvirus (FHV-1).