Managing Cat Flu Symptoms

Cats often get colds and flues; the cat flu symptoms may point to a cold or an infection, but may also point to allergies. Managing these flu symptoms can be done in multiple ways including antibiotics, interferon, antihistamines, steroids and other topical treatments.

Cat Flu Symptoms

The cat flu may be a broad term referring to a disease of the respiratory tract. The disease may be caused by different viruses: feline herpesvirus (causing the feline viral rhinotracheitis), the calcivirus or the Bortadella bacterium.

The main symptoms of feline flu include nasal and ocular discharges, lack of appetite, frequent mouth ulcerations, coughing, fever, sneezing and breathing problems.

These symptoms may vary, depending on the viruses or bacteria that cause the infection.

However, a cat with allergies will also display flu like symptoms.

A vet can differentiate between cat flu and cat allergies by performing a few tests.

Managing Cat Flu Symptoms

The symptoms caused by cat flu may be managed, but it is important to determine the source of the infection.

Cat flu caused by viruses and bacteria may be treated with antibiotics. Unfortunately, if the cat is infected with the herpesvirus, this cannot be eliminated with antibiotics and the cat will remain a virus carrier for life. However, the flu symptoms may be managed.

If the cat is coughing he should get antitussives or cough suppressants.

Interferon is a common medicine used for cat flu.

If the cat has ocular discharges, the vet will prescribe eye drops containing steroids or some topical ointments with corticosteroids. The eyes must also be cleaned on a regular basis with a solution of lukewarm water and chamomile tea.

The elevated fever may be decreased by administering antibiotics.

In addition to medication and ointments, the cat also needs a lot of fluids and plenty of food. If your cat lacks appetite, you should try administering wet food; try to force feed your cat if he refuses to eat.

If the flu symptoms are caused by allergies, there are a few methods of treatment. Antihistamines may be administered orally and these will relieve the flu like symptoms after a few doses. The vet may also recommend the administration of corticosteroids, which may bring immediate relief. The cat may also receive a few steroid topical ointments or eye drops, if he displays symptoms such as eye discharges.

Cat flu is very contagious, so it is important to keep infected cats isolated. In kittens, the flu may be fatal. If you have an infected cat, you should avoid any contact with other healthy cats, as the cat may carry the virus, even if the flu symptoms are gone.

To prevent the occurrence of cat flu, there are vaccinations available. Talk to your vet and get these vaccines.

Cat allergies may not be prevented; however, allergies occur in cats with a weaker immune system, so keeping your cat healthy and getting some supplements to fortify his immunity may prevent the occurrence of allergies.