With the current flu season leaving many people sick, it's reasonable to be concerned about your risk of catching the flu. However, it might surprise you that your cat could be at risk, too. Read on to learn more about the feline flu and what you can do to defend your cat from it.
How Cats Get the Flu
Cats can catch the flu from other cats, just like you can from humans. However, it might surprise you to learn that your kitty could potentially catch the flu from you directly.
Cats and humans' physiology is similar in many ways, and that includes susceptibility to the H1N1 virus, which is responsible for most flu infections. If you or anyone in your home has the flu, you should keep them away from your kitties, as it could make them sick too. You should particularly prevent an infected person from coming into contact with your cat while a fever is present, as the human may be more infectious at this time
Protection From the Flu
Cats, like humans, can be inoculated against the flu. If your cat isn't currently sick, you should take them to the veterinarian for a vaccine shot. This shot will help to keep them from getting the illness, and if they do still catch it, it will lessen the severity. As a result, your kitty will suffer less and if your cat is elderly or has poor overall health, it may help them to survive catching the flu.
What To Do If Your Cat Gets It
In cats, flu symptoms can be easily confused with other illnesses. Cats tend to have upper respiratory symptoms when they catch the flu. This means that if you notice your cat is sneezing, coughing, or producing discharge from their nose, they might have the flu.
If you think your cat is infected, you should visit an animal hospital immediately. While it's too late for the flu vaccine for the current season, you can seek medical attention to bring down any fever and improve their breathing.
Flu is a big deal for humans and cats alike. If you consider vaccinating yourself a common part of fighting the flu, make sure to include your cat in your preventative plans, too. The only thing worse than getting the flu yourself is giving it to your cat. A simple vaccination at your vet's office can help to protect your kitty from getting sick.