Cat ‘Flu Information for breeders

What breeders need to know about cat flu

source: Feline Advisory Bureau Volume 39 (1) 2001
starts page 11, 3 pages long

Cat flu is a respiratory tract infection and is problematical in breeding colonies in spite of vaccination. The symptoms can be mild or severe and causes include feline herpesvirus (FHV), feline calicivirus (FCV) and Bordetella bronchiseptica. FHV is usually more severe and some kittens or immunocompromised adult cats may die. Recovered cats may go on to develop problems such as chronic rhinitis and will also be carriers, shedding the virus at times of stress. FCV is often milder than FHV, but there are several strains and these can cause conjunctivitis and oral ulcers, as well as ‘limping syndrome’. Many pedigree cats infected with FCV are found to have gingivitis. FCV is shed continuously, although the infection is eventually eliminated in most cats. Bordetella bronchiseptica (BB) infection usually causes a mild nasal discharge and possibly a cough, but can lead to fatal pneumonia if FHV/FCV are also present. There have been a few cases of transmission of BB from dogs to cats.