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Cat FLu Symptoms In Cats

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Cats and the Flu Symptoms …

A short intro on what is Cat flu ( feline rhinotracheitis, R) and what are the Cat Flu symptoms. When you talk to your veterinarian he will call it Feline rhinotracheitis, R, and he will tell you it is widespread for young cats and it can be life-threatening.


Feline Rhinotracheitis, R is caused by two viruses.

The calicivirus and the herpes virus. Bordetella, mycoplasma and chlamydia might also be part of the infection. When Cats have been infected once and have survived the acute disease, it does not mean the cat cannot get it anymore.

The Transmission will be through direct contact with nasal secretions or contaminated Toys or objects. How does the cat flu begin? It begins with sneezing, fever and less appetite.

You will see it when your cat has inflammation of the eyes and nasal mucous membrane. You have to watch out for it as it, as it can quickly progress to pneumonia or it can cause blindness in your cat.

The virus will stay in the body even your cat survived the disease, relapses can promptly occur when your cat is under stress and or pressure.

Cat Flu symptoms can kill a cat My Cat is vaccinated can she get the Cat Flu?

Cats can get the cat flu even after vaccination. But when it breaks out, the cat flu symptoms are mild, and it can be treated quite fast and efficient. Cat flu is widespread in Cats and out of 10 cats five cats will have cat flu. 

Said this, when a cat has cat flu it does not mean my cat sniffs, it might not even show symptoms on eyes and nose the word cat flu is somehow a bit misleading. 

To be aware a small cold in a cat can quickly become a cat flu. Don’t wait too long, let your cat check out by a veterinarian when you suspect that your cat has the symptoms of cat flu. 

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When the Cat flu comes from the Herpes virus than the typical symptoms are :

Glued eyes, part of the face is swollen. Festering even stronger. Left untreated the cat will go blind.

The Calicivirus manifest more on the tongue or ( the aggressive form also in the neck and abdominal area) This produces the so-called ulcer ( ulcer) which is an open spot on the tongue, and needless to say, it is excruciating for the cat. It looks like it ’s the first skin layer is gone.

The animals are then mostly drooling ( also bloody), severe or mostly not eating and smacking.

Is there a cure for the cat flu, and how to treat the cat flu symptoms

Unfortunately, a virus is much harder to treat than a bacterium. In diseases of the mucous membranes, an antibiotic is sometimes given in addition to so-called secondary infections (on the weakened site is still a bacterium) to avoid.

Incidentally, Mieze, a former stray cat of ours, disappeared for 2 weeks and when she came back it looked like she was sick. We brought her to the veterinarian and she got diagnosed with the aggressive calicivirus. It all started with an ulcer and in the end, she had blood run out of her mouth; it is a sad story.

We brought her to the Hospital, and she was in intensive care for more than a two weeks, but unfortunately, she did not make it, the virus had infested the heart muscle, and that was sadly her death sentence. 

Teddy was another stray, when we started to feed him and look after him he had a few times survived the cat flue. 

He was very strong and lived another 5 years with us looking after him. He was really traumatised, missing an ear and his eyes are nearly blind when we started to care for him he was so thin and somehow got injured with many scars our veterinarian guessed that he was around 10 to 12 years old. 

cat flu symptoms in cats this is teddyUnfortunately, he died 2 years ago. He was the strongest cat I have seen so far. The willpower he had to live was amazing. 

All our strays who die of old age or of a disease we normally cremate and leave them at the animal cremation centre with their picture on the urn. 

I know it sounds strange but even they are strays, they live continuously in our heart and are not forgotten. 

Please do not take the treatment of cat flu into your own hands, let a veterinarian decide what your cat has and let him do the treatment. ( Remember to wash your hands when you wash the eyes of your cat or come in contact with the fluid.)

Your veterinarian will know when and how to give the antibiotics and how strong they should be.
You can support your cat’s immune system with Echinacea or Engystol ( homeopathically )

When treated on time and with the support of the immune system the glued inflamed eyes show rapid improvement.

Cat flu symptoms in cats

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Important Points to consider

Such animals belong in quarantine! Treat the hands after treatment of the animals with Sterilium, boil the rest with a good disinfectant (not Sagrotan! Virkon S, Descosept or more from the pharmacy) and all accessories in the washing machine hot wash. ( not a quick rinse) Doing it correctly is important.

Important Note
Cats with cat flu will go into quarantine if you have more than one cat make sure your infected cat is in quarantine and all the toys and cushion, blankets etc. are washed with hot water in the washing machine to avoid spreading it to your other cats. Cat flu can spread quickly under the cats.

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Cat flu symptoms are not easy to detect. But first warning signs are watery eyes and less appetite. Do not think that you can take the health of your cat into your hand. Let a veterinarian decide and treat your cat. 

Good protection is to keep your cat healthy and happy. Give your cat a healthy and balanced diet. Take your cat for vaccination I know there are pro and cons about vaccinations, but when your cat is hit with the cat flu symptoms they do not progress so badly when your cat is vaccinated. 

All our strays are nurtured and vaccinated since we went through the experience with Mieze our stray cat. 

Do you have experience with the cat flu? Share with us your experience and tips on how to handle the situations. We love to hear from you.

All Yours


Pet Plus Membership


Having more than one pet can be expensive. Save on your bills by joining the pet plus membership.

Access a vet specialist 24/7 via email, chat or phone.

Our members can easily save between $300 and $800/year on unnecessary vet visits

Normally a $170/year value. Free with PetPlus.



Mandy Allen April 22, 2018 14:23:20

It’s so helpful to know what to look for. I have never had a cat with flu but know friends who have, all have luckily survived as I understand from this article that is not guaranteed at all. Very good point made when you say go straight to the vet and don’t try to treat them yourself. I always consult a vet.

Enjoy the journey!

    Melanie April 27, 2018 22:11:47

    Hello Mandy
    A lot of people underestimate the cat flu. It should not be treated on his own.
    Cat flu is a draining and ugly disease for cats. Cats will suffer a lot, and sometimes they do not survive.
    We help street cats, and I have seen many times, how quickly this disease can kill the cats. The thing is that a lot of cat owners are not aware that it spreads so fast between the cats that it is for every responsible cat owner to vaccinate their cats.I am aware that a lot of cat owners do not like to hear that but for the sake of the cat protect the cat. There are so much pro and con out there for vaccination but when you have seen how the cats suffer it will change your mind. We all love our pets dearly, and everyone has to decide for themselves and their pets.
    Thanks for stopping by
    Cheers Melanie

Sara G. May 1, 2018 2:48:16

I found great success using a liquid multi-vitamin with my boys when they started showing signs of the flu. I keep it on hand all the time now and if either one starts to get sneezes or sniffles, I give them a few doses a day for 3 to 7 days. I like to stay on top of things so it doesn’t end up getting severe. Natural options are the way to go but you need to start them early on. Most people don’t even realize their kitties are sick until the flu has already advanced like you mentioned. I work from home so I notice right away, for others it may not be so easy.

    Melanie May 14, 2018 17:05:40

    Dear Sara
    It is very important like you said to be on top of things regarding our pets. Especially the cat flu it is terrible when it is advanced. The cats will suffer so much and they can actually die. The worst thing is that they can spread it so easily. Using natural treatment is always good and I use a lot of natural things to keep my cats healthy. Unfortunately a lot of the cat owners do not think to vaccinate the cats as they do not believe in vaccination. I do understand that but they also can not see how the cat has to suffer when getting the cat flu. I like the approach of natural remedy too. Sometimes we have to understand that the medical site and the natural site compliments each other.
    thanks for stopping by

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