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Symptoms and Treatments of Cat Flu

(Last Updated On: 28/03/2017)

Symptoms and Treatments of Cat Flu

Can cats get the flu? What are cat flu symptoms? Can cats get the flu from humans or vice versa? All these questions are addressed in this important post.

Cold and Flu are viral, they spread in animals and humans in same way. Although symptoms of cold and flu are same, but cat flu could be more critical if it is of severe nature. Flu attacks the upper respiratory tract. Cold and Flu always take time to disappear. During cold and flu, cats are given supportive treatment. Antibiotics help to minimize other bacteria attacks in low immunity period.

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Major Viruses Causing Flu

  • Feline Herpes Virus (FHV)
  • Feline CalciVirus (FCV)
  • Feline ReoVirus
  • Bordetella
  • Feline Chlamydophia

FHV and FCV is major cause of flu in 80% cases.

Symptoms of Cat Flu

  • Sneezing
  • The eyes are swollen, their color changes to red and there could be a third eyelid. Some fluid discharges from eyes which could contain pus (in worst case).
  • Nasal discharge is also seen in cats with flu. The discharge could be watery or it could also be thick or green in color.
  • Cats catch fever, either mild or high, depending upon severity of infection. Kittens are more prone to catch high fever.
  • Cats go to acute depression when they face viral diseases. They also tend to isolate themselves.
  • Loss of appetite, which could be very dangerous and as a part of treatment, they are fed forcefully or by IV fluids. As a result of discharges from nose, cat losses its sense of smell, hence it is not attracted by any food around.
  • Cats also stop drinking water, which leads to dehydration and later the cat is forced to feed fluids.
  • Drooling in case of mouth ulceration. It happens in case of FCV.
  • Pneumonia in case of excessive cold.
  • In pregnancy, this could lead to abortion of kittens, specially the in case of FHV.


Taking your cat to vet is very important in case of flu because it is not a just a minor viral disease. Vets do laboratory examination to find the type of virus.

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  • Flu can spread to other cats from infected ones. It is always advised to keep the infected cat isolated.
  • Humans and other animals cannot catch the cat flu, but other cats could.
  • It is always advised to disinfect the house, furnishings, water and food bowls of the infected cat.
  • It is advised to wash hands before and after touching the infected cats.


  • Once cat catches flu, it is only provided with care and supportive treatments to prevent attacks of other infections and diseases.
  • Cats should be kept clean, specially the nose, mouth and eyes that are wet due to discharge. Use clean and soaked cotton pads for cleaning purpose. Clean each area with separate pad so that infections don’t spread.
  • Antibiotics are given by vets, but make sure that your cat is not allergic from any antibiotics.
  • Giving fluids forcefully is essential because cat stops eating and drinking. Give warm milk along with honey. If somehow it is not possible to feed cat by mouth, use IV as prescribed by doctors.

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Cats, at the small age, are vaccinated against FHV and FCV. It is always better to keep the cat vaccinated against viral diseases. Although cats can get into viral diseases anytime, but prevention is always advised.

Cures for Cat flu

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is used by the humans to prevent colds from developing. Vitamin C can be given to cats only when they are sick. Grind up 1/4 of a 1,000 mg tablet and mix it into your cat’s food until the cold is cured. Giving a cat too much vitamin C may result in diarrhea. Vitamin C tablet can also be dissolved in water and then can be given through a syringe.

Herbal Remedies

Antiviral herbs such as licorice and elderberry help treat cat flu and cold, and alleviate symptoms. They also help a cats immunity and make them healthy not only help fight off cold-causing viral infections, they also boost your cat’s immunity. Herbal remedies may best be administered by mixing them in with your cat’s food. They may not immediately cure your cat, but they will begin the process to restore her to a state of good health. Follow any directions on the package for dosage instructions.

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