Feline Respiratory Disease
Feline respiratory disease (Cat Flu) can be caused by a number of organisms, however most cases are due to feline rhinotracheitis virus (herpes virus) and feline calicivirus. These organisms are usually spread when an infected or carrier cat coughs or sneezes. Multi-cat households and boarding catteries are both high-risk environments for transmission of Cat Flu.
After infection, cats usually become carriers of the virus for many years (often lifelong). These cats continue to spread the virus to other cats, even after they have recovered from the initial infection themselves.
Symptoms may include a fever, sneezing, coughing, discharge from the nose and eyes, ulcers on the tongue, loss of appetite and lethargy. These symptoms may persist for 3-4 weeks, however the cat may still act as a carrier for many years after recovery.
It is important that all kittens commence a vaccination program from 6-8 weeks of age and that all adult cats have their boosters.