What is Cat Flu?
Is an acute infection of the upper respiratory tract of cats. Also known as Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR), Rhinotracheitis or Feline Herpes Virus. It is the cause of up to 40-45% of cats with upper respiratory tract infections.
What happens to the body?
The incubation period for FVR is between 2-17 days. There will initially be fever with ocular (eye) and nasal discharge which can become quite copious. The cat may become depressed, and visibly lose weight. Signs of the disease can last for up to 6 days in milder cases and up to 6 weeks in more severe cases.
The mortality rate for cat flu is low, it is self limiting so most cats will recover well, but up to 80% will then become a life time carrier of the virus. There may be recurrent infections when the cat’s immune system is compromised, in times of stress or other infections or illnesses.
It is a highly contagious disease, and is spread via sneezing, cat to cat contact, or owner to cat contact, for this reason it is more likely to be found in boarding catteries, shelters and more than one cat households.
There can sometimes be secondary bacterial infections associated with cat flu that will follow on after the disease, with more severe cases developing into ulcerative stomatitis. If you are at all concerned with your cat’s health then veterinarian advice should be found.
What are the signs?
There will be a lot of sneezing, the cat will have nasal discharge which can either be bland or acrid and burning, with the colour ranging from clean, cream, yellowish to green. There may be coughing, corneal ulceration, fever, anorexia, excessive salivation and conjunctivitis.
What can you do to help?
Keeping your cat well hydrated is very important, they will be losing a lot of fluids also making sure they have a good nutritious diet. Keeping the eyes and nose clean of discharge. Keeping them away from other cats as the disease is very contagious. Antibiotics will need to be administered if a secondary infection has developed.
Remedies in the Natural Pet range that can help to support the normal immune response of your cat that is suffering from Feline Herpes Virus, Feline Rhinotracheitis or Cat Flu are: