Dog Flu…Now Cat Flu
So I get an email from a pet sitting client wanting to book dates to care for her cat. In her next sentence she asks me about the cat flu. I was like “Dog Flu…Now Cat Flu?” I had no clue what she was talking about. She told me it was on the news last night & it can be transferred by clothing. Now she had my attention! 70% of our clientele is cats! So I did some research into this “cat flu”.
It was announced yesterday by Cornell University that this Canine Flu virus that has hit the Midwest is now effecting cats. Apparently the initial strain of the canine flu being seen is caused by a different strain of the virus than was thought earlier. This strain has never been seen before in the United States. Recent tests results are that a virus closely related to Asian strains of influenza A H3N2 viruses has caused the outbreak. H3N2 is know to cause respiratory illness in cats.
The PREVIOUS cat clue H1N1 influenza, majority of infected cats suffer mild to moderate symptoms. The H1N1 influenza virus is the virus responsible for the flu strain originally known as “swine flu” which first surfaced in 2009.
Symptoms of infection from either strain manifest as high fever, appetite loss, cough, runny nose and lethargy.
Most cat owners will want to know how it is spread. It can be spread through both direct & indirect contact.
Direct contact: Infection is passed from a sick or carrier cat via eye, nasal, and mouth discharges.
Indirect contact: Contaminated food bowls, bedding etc.
It is encouraged to wash your hands with hot soapy water. Bedding, dishes, and toy should also be washed in hot soapy water to help prevent the spread of the virus. However Calicivirus is resistant to many disinfectants and can live in the environment for long periods of time.
If you feel your cat may have the flu and is exhibited symptoms contact your vet to make an appointment to have them seen.
Dog Flu…Now Cat Flu