Is Your Cat At Risk for Kennel Cough?
Are you worried that your beloved feline may be at risk for kennel cough? This guide will provide key information on the risks of this contagious respiratory disease and how to best protect your cat. We’ll explain what kennel cough is and its symptoms, how it spreads, how to diagnose it and the available treatments. With this knowledge, you can help ensure that your cat stays safe and healthy!
What is Kennel Cough and How Can Cats Contract it?
Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection in cats, caused by the Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria. It is similar to the common cold in humans and can cause symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, runny eyes and nose, decreased appetite, difficulty breathing and chest congestion. Kennel cough can be very dangerous for cats if left untreated, leading to pneumonia or even death.
Cats usually contract kennel cough when exposed to other cats that are sick or have been recently vaccinated, either through direct contact or by inhaling infected air droplets. Common places where your cat may become exposed include pet shelters, pet shops, boarding facilities and animal shows and events. Unvaccinated stray cats may also transmit the disease into your cats home.
The best way to prevent kennel cough in cats is to practice regular hygiene. Make sure to regularly clean and disinfect your cat’s bedding, food bowls and litter boxes. Keeping your cat up to date on their vaccinations will also help protect them from other diseases that can lead to kennel cough. Additionally, if your cat has recently visited an area where there was possible exposure, it is important to take extra precautionary measures such as isolating them until a diagnosis can be made or until they have been treated.
Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Kennel Cough in Cats
Kennel cough is a contagious upper respiratory infection in cats, commonly caused by viruses and bacterial agents. Symptoms of kennel cough among cats typically include a deep, dry, hacking cough, sneezing, nasal discharge, runny eyes and sometimes even gagging or retching with little to no output. Kitty may also appear lethargic with a slight fever.
The most common cause of kennel cough in cats is the feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1). Other pathogens that may be involved are Bordetella bronchiseptica and Mycoplasma spp. In cats who spend time outdoors or around many other animals (like at shelters or pet stores), the risk of catching kennel cough is greater as this virus can remain active outside the body for up to one year.
Treatment for kennel cough usually involves supportive care such as rest, fluids and nutritional support to help fight off the infection. Your cat will likely need antispasmodic medication to relieve coughing symptoms as well as antibiotics to help treat any secondary bacterial infections that may arise from the condition. For kittens or very young cats, vaccination against FHV-1 can help reduce the risk of developing kennel cough.
Risk Factors for Kennel Cough in Feline Patients
Kennel cough is an infection of the throat and upper respiratory tract that can cause severe inflammation, leading to a compromised airway and difficulty breathing. Unfortunately, cats are also at risk for contracting kennel cough. Much like in dogs, feline patients who have weakened immune systems or those exposed to large groups of other cats may get infected with this potentially serious illness.
The environment plays a major role in the spread of kennel cough and other ailments among cats. Being around large numbers of unfamiliar felines crowds out regular bacteria, enabling an influx of new germs that can easily find their way into a cat’s nose, mouth, and throat. This can be particularly common in animal shelters, boarding facilities, show events, rescue centers, multi-cat households, and areas with heavy feral populations.
The most notable symptom of kennel cough in cats is frequent coughing with a “hacking” sound resembling that associated with canine infections. Other signs may include sneezing, runny nose and eyes, fever, lethargy, loss of appetite and/or weight loss. Fortunately early diagnosis and veterinary treatment can help reduce severity and shorten the duration of kennel cough in feline patients.
How to Prevent Cat Exposure to Infectious Agents Responsible for Kennel Cough
Kennel cough, also known as Infectious Tracheobronchitis, is an upper respiratory infection in cats caused by airborne bacteria and viruses. Common symptoms of infection include a cough, sneezing, watery eyes and/or discharge from the nose. If not treated promptly and properly, this condition can be potentially life-threatening. In order to prevent exposure to infectious agents responsible for kennel cough, there are several precautionary measures that can be taken including:
•Keep cats up-to-date on their vaccinations. Vaccines against the most common causes of kennel cough should be administered by a veterinarian every year or as often as recommended.
•Limit contact with other cats, especially those that are affected by kennel cough or other contagious illnesses. Even if your cat is vaccinated, it is still vulnerable to catching a respiratory infection from another ill cat.
•Provide good hygiene and sanitation in the home. Wash all bedding and toys regularly with hot water and soap in order to reduce the risk of transmission among multiple cats within one household.
•Practice good air exchange throughout the house to reduce dust particles which could contain viruses and bacteria. Clean air filters frequently to keep air circulating properly through ventilation systems.
•Clean litter boxes daily using a disinfectant such as bleach and change out litter frequently to stop the spread of germs between multiple cats in the same household.
By following these preventive measures diligently, you can help protect your cat from getting exposed to infectious agents that cause kennel cough and other serious illnesses.
Your cat is at risk for Kennel Cough if they have contact with other cats who may contain the bacteria. Taking precautions, such as exposing your pet to unvaccinated cats only in highly controlled and monitored environments, or avoid exposing them altogether, can help reduce their chances of becoming infected. It is also a good idea to get your cat vaccinated and maintain regular check-ups with your veterinarian, so you know if there are any changes that could indicate infection. Doing all of these things can help ensure that your cat remains happy and healthy.