Can Cats Catch Kennel Cough from Dogs?

Cats and dogs may appear to get along famously, but there is one health concern pet owners should be aware of; the possibility that cats can catch kennel cough from dogs. A highly contagious upper respiratory infection, kennel cough can cause symptoms in both cats and dogs including a harsh, honking cough, runny nose and congestion. Fortunately, understanding how kennel cough spreads and taking preventive measures can help keep your feline friends safe.

What Is Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a contagious respiratory disease that affects dogs. It is caused by a variety of bacteria and viruses, including Bordetella bronchiseptica, parainfluenza virus, and adenovirus type 2. Signs of the condition can include a dry, hacking cough, sneezing, loss of appetite, fever, and nasal discharge. The cough can worsen when the dog is excited, making it difficult for pet owners to tell if their dog has the infection. Treatment may not be necessary in mild cases; however, more severe infections may require antibiotics or cough suppressants. Vaccines are available to help prevent canine infectious tracheobronchitis and its associated symptoms.

Can Cats Catch Kennel Cough from Dogs?

Can cats catch kennel cough from dogs? The answer is, yes. Kennel cough is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection most commonly seen in dogs, but cats can also be affected by it. Though the virus can spread between species, it is unlikely cats will catch kennel cough from a dog.

Kennel cough is caused by a bacterial or viral infection that affects the respiratory tract and is common among dogs that are housed in close proximity to one another. Common signs of kennel cough include a hacking cough and a throaty noise during the coughing fits. If the infection progresses and becomes severe, cats and dogs may develop fever, loss of appetite, nasal discharge and lethargy.

Though cats can contract kennel cough, it is not known to be as contagious between them and dogs due to the different ways their immune systems respond to the infection. Making sure your cats stay up-to date on regular vaccinations and limiting contact with potentially infected dogs can help reduce the risk of transmission. If you notice any of the signs of kennel cough in your pet, be sure to visit your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

Treating and Preventing the Spread of Kennel Cough in Cats

Kennel cough is a highly contagious condition that commonly affects cats, particularly those in shelters or living in overcrowded environments. Cats with kennel cough exhibit symptoms including coughing and sneezing with a gagging sound similar to a seal barking. It is important to take steps to prevent and treat the condition, as it can lead to pneumonia and other complications if left untreated for too long.

The most successful prevention methods for kennel cough involve hygiene and reducing stress levels in the environment. Areas containing cats should be cleaned often and all cats should receive regular vaccinations. Reducing stress levels in the environment can help prevent cats from contracting kennel cough, as the condition is much more likely to occur when cats become stressed.

Once a cat has contracted kennel cough, treatment is required to minimize the severity of its symptoms and reduce the risk of further contamination. Treatment may include administering antibiotics and medications to reduce coughing fits and the use of anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling of the respiratory system. If breathed treatments are needed, they can usually be administered at home or through a vet visit. If a cat seems lethargic, vomiting, or experiences breathing difficulty, doctors visits should not be delayed as these could indicate a more serious underlying condition.

Finally, cats suffering from kennel cough should be isolated from other cats to avoid the spread of the disease. Separating affected cats from healthy cats and avoiding public places until the condition resolves completely will reduce the risk of infection.

Symptoms to Look for in Affected Cats

Cats can develop various illnesses that may affect their physical and mental wellbeing. Although the signs they give off may vary depending on their age and breed, there are common symptoms that should be watched out for in cats who are suspected of having an illness. These include weight loss, lethargy, loss of appetite, increased vocalization, oral ulcers, changes in drooling or drinking patterns, vomit or diarrhea, and skin sores. In addition, cats may also show signs of behavioral and personality changes, such as being moody, aggressive, or easily startled.

Weight loss is one of the most obvious signs that something is wrong with a cat. It is important to pay attention to any unexplained weight loss. Lethargy is another symptom that should never be ignored. If a cat is not getting enough energy due to an illness, it may become sluggish and sleep more than usual. Additionally, cats may become disinterested in food, which can lead to further complications if left untreated.

Changes in drooling or drinking patterns may also indicate health issues. Cats should always have a source of fresh water available and should drink throughout the day. If a cat is not drinking much, or not at all, there could be an underlying issue causing this. Oral ulcers could be another sign of poor health, as cats experiencing pain in the mouth are likely to lick or chew less, leading to swollen gums or missing patches of fur.

Vomiting and diarrhea may also be present with an illness. While occasional vomiting is normal in cats, if it becomes persistent, it’s time to take a closer look. Similarly, persistent diarrhea should also be checked by a veterinarian. Finally, cats who experience health issues may display skin sores from frequent licking. These can range from small bumps and patches to larger, bald spots. Any skin sore that does not heal quickly should be inspected by a professional.

In conclusion, cats are not likely to catch Kennel Cough from dogs. While both animals may transmit the same organism that causes the disease, each form of Kennel Cough is species specific and only affects cats or dogs. To keep all of your furry family members healthy and safe, ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date and avoid contact with other animals that could be carrying diseases, particularly if they exhibit signs of respiratory distress.

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