According to Matt Davies Harmony Communities, kennel cough is usually more common in dogs. However, your feline friend may catch that illness under the right conditions. That’s why consistent coughing from your kitty should always be taken seriously. Let’s check out how cats may get the kennel cough and what you can do to prevent it.
- Ways cats get kennel cough – Kennel cough is an infection of the upper respiratory tract and the throat and is also known as infectious tracheobronchitis. While it’s more common in dogs, cats can also catch it. The bacteria responsible for the infection is transmitted through oral and nasal secretions in the form of sneezing or coughing. It may also be transmitted via direct contact or shared objects like food or water bowls and toys.
Kitties in crowded pet stores or shelters are most susceptible to kennel cough, especially if the hygiene standards of the facility are low. On the other hand, if you travel with your cat or the cat comes in contact with another pet that has caught the illness recently, your cat may get infected. Stress, smoke exposure, poor ventilation, and other such conditions can also weaken the immune system of your cat and make it more vulnerable to this infection.
- Symptoms of kennel cough – The common symptoms of kennel cough in cats include:
- Sneezing or a runny nose.
- Consistent coughing.
- Eye symptoms like eye discharge.
- Fever, loss of appetite, lethargy, and other signs of general illness.
- Breathing problems (Usually happen when the infection is severe).
- Treatment for kennel cough – Treating kennel cough is relatively easy and most felines respond well to treatment. Common treatments for kennel cough include cough suppressants, immune supplements, antibiotics, and other such medication. However, if the infection is severe and your cat is suffering from severe respiratory issues it would need to be taken to the ER or require intensive care from the vet as soon as possible. Irrespective of mild or severe symptoms, you should never give medications to your cat without a prescription from the vet.
- Preventing kennel cough – While kennel cough is more commonly referred to for dogs, the bacteria that causes it is known as ‘Bordetella bronchiseptica’. That’s why Bordetella is a more general term used for the illness and fortunately, there are Bordetella vaccines available for your kitty. Since the disease is rare with mild symptoms in cats, most vets don’t recommend it and don’t even keep the shot at their clinic. However, you can have your cat vaccinated for peace of mind. It’s also best to keep your cat indoors most of the time and monitor it closely when outside.
Matt Davies Harmony Communities suggests that you don’t ignore the symptoms of kennel cough in your cat even if it’s rare for felines to catch the disease. The above-mentioned tips should help you to prevent the problem or at least identify it and take your cat to the vet.