Written by our Katikati Clinic team

Cat flu or snuffles is a common disease that affects cats of all ages who are unvaccinated. The disease is caused by 3 different diseases: Chlamydia, Calicivirus and Herpes. Chlamydia is bacterial and can be treated with antibiotics. Calicivirus is viral and cats can kill the virus themselves with additional support.

Herpes is viral and once the animal has been exposed to the disease, they will continue to be a carrier of it for the rest of the animals life. Being a carrier of the disease means they may not always show cat flu like symptoms but throughout the animal’s life during periods of stress, the cat may begin to display the cat flu like symptoms again.

The only way to stop your animal becoming a carrier of the disease is to vaccinate your cat early and by keeping their vaccinations up to date. Some vaccinations need to be given yearly and some can be given once every 3 years we can advise you on which one is the best for your animal. Although vaccinations are great at preventing to disease no vaccine provides 100% protection, but it significantly reduces the risks to your pet.

Signs of cat flu:

  • Sneezing, coughing, and harsh respiratory sounds
  • Nasal discharge
  • Sore, squinty, or swollen eyes
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Inappetence
  • Lethargy

Tips to reduce reoccurrence of symptoms:

  • Reduce stress
  • Respiratory supplements
  • Good quality diet
  • TLC

The Herpes virus hides in the nerves but unfortunately only lays dormant in wait. When the cat becomes immunocompromised by other illnesses or stress the Herpes virus reappears and the cat displays symptoms, the same as human cold sores. By providing your cat a routine, safe places to hide and get away up high, engaging with your cat (play, grooming) and using calming aids when the environment changes can reduce the frequency of recurrence. Try to keep day to day life the exact same.

Respiratory supplements such as Flumax are supplements full of vitamins and minerals and in particular Lysine. Lysine aids the cat’s immunity to keep respiratory conditions at bay and help to reduce the cat flu symptoms from reappearing.

A good quality diet provides good nutrition to keep a good immunity with all the nutrients they require and allows the body good sufficient reserves to fight infections