Can Cats Get Kennel Cough?
Kittens are susceptible to kennel cough infection, but they do not usually develop the disease. A kitten infected with kennel cough will have coughing fits and may vomit blood. If left untreated, a kitten can die from kennel cough. Kennel cough is spread through direct contact with droppings or saliva of an infected cat (or its feces). It is most common among kittens under one year old. However, it can occur at any age if the kitten is exposed to an infected cat for too long.
Symptoms of Kennel Cough Infection:
Vomiting blood or mucus from mouth and nose (bloody)
Diarrhea or bloody stools (stool containing blood)
How Long Does Kennel Cough Last?
Kennel cough lasts anywhere between two weeks to three months depending upon the amount of time the cat was exposed to an infected cat. The length of time depends on several factors such as the number of times the kitten had contact with an infected cat, how sick the kitten was when first exposed, whether other animals were around, etc. The longer a kitten is exposed to an infected animal, the greater chance there is that it will become ill with kennel cough. A three-week-old kitten can die from kennel cough if it is infected.
How Long Is Kennel Cough Contagious?
Kittens who are sick with kennel cough are usually contagious for a week or two before they show any symptoms. It takes a few days for the virus to incubate in the body after which the virus begins to spread through sneezing and coughing. It is only contagious if the virus is actively being shed through the body. A kitten with kennel cough can be contagious from one week to three weeks after the first symptoms appear.
What Does A Kennel Cough Infection Sound Like?
The sound of a kitten with a kennel cough infection resembles the sound of a congested human or cat. The coughing might sound like a repetitive sneeze and it sounds wetter than a regular cough.
How Can You Prevent Your Cat From Becoming Infected With Kennel Cough?
It takes very little time for a cat to show symptoms of kennel cough so it is not always possible to prevent it. However, there are several steps that can be taken to minimize the chances of a cat being infected.
Avoid contact with other cats. This might not be possible if you own a multi-cat household.
If another cat in your household gets kennel cough, isolate the sick cat from other members of your house.
Wash and disinfect your hands after handling the sick cat or cleaning its waste.
Begin innoculating your cat against kennel cough before one year of age. You cannot vaccinate a cat over one year old unless it has already been infected at least once. The vaccine works by helping the cat’s immune system produce more of the antibodies that kill the virus. The vaccine does not prevent the disease entirely, but it makes it less severe and less likely that the cat will expose other cats to kennel cough.
Take your cat to the vet as soon as you suspect it has been infected. This is especially important if the cat is showing symptoms but hasn’t started coughing. Depending on how young your cat is, the virus might have not yet spread through its body by which time a course of antibiotics can stop it from spreading.
What Is The Treatment For Kennel Cough?
” ” The disease kennel cough is caused by a virus that infects the upper respiratory tract, especially the throat and nose.
The treatment for kennel cough depends on whether the cat is showing symptoms of illness or not. If you catch the kennel cough virus early on, taking a course of antibiotics can prevent it from spreading through the cat’s body and infecting other cats. If the cat already has a full-blown case of kennel cough, it is not treatable with antibiotics and must run its course.
The cat will need rest and to be kept away from other cats who are more likely to show signs of infection. The infected cat should be isolated from other animals for at least two weeks followed by another week where the cat is exposed to other animals very slowly, one at a time.
The following is a general guideline of the treatment for kennel cough in a cat based on the fact that most cats are infected. It is highly recommended that you take your cat to the veterinarian if you suspect it has been infected so the vet can give you specific instructions and recommendations.
1 to 3 Days: The cat should be kept away from other cats for at least one week and kept warm with lots of fluids and food.
4 to 7 Days: Antibiotics are given if the cat has already been infected but shows no signs of illness. Again, the cat should be kept away from other cats during this time and kept warm with lots of fluids and food.
8 to 14 Days: After a week has passed, the cat can be slowly reintroduced to other cats one at a time. All cats should be kept away from places where there are lots of other animals and humans for at least one month.
It is strongly suggested that a cat that has been infected with the virus is not adopted out or sold for another four weeks so as to prevent spreading the disease to other locations.
What Are The Complications Of Kennel Cough?
” ” A cat can die from kennel cough if it gets pneumonia, which is also a possibility.
Cats that are not treated for kennel cough are at risk of developing pneumonia. A cat with kennel cough should be taken to the veterinarian if it starts having trouble breathing, excessive nasal discharge or shows any other signs of illness.
Animals that are infected but do not show signs of illness are still a carrier and can spread the disease to other animals.
How Do You Prevent Your Cat(s) From Getting Kennel Cough?
” ” It’s best to keep cats away from places where they can pick up the kennel cough virus.
There is a vaccination available for your cat that helps prevent it from getting infected with the kennel cough virus. This is especially important for catteries or boarding facilities where many cats are kept in close confinement. Catteries and boarding facilities should make sure their employees and/or owners who come in contact with the cats are up to date on their vaccinations as well.
The vaccination for kennel cough will not necessarily prevent a cat from getting infected, but it can lessen the symptoms or possibly prevent it altogether. It is also important that the cat practice good hygiene and keep itself clean while fighting off an infection.
It is also important to keep your cat away from other cats before it has had a chance to build up immunity to the virus. This includes not letting your cat go out and socialize for at least two weeks after it has come in contact with an infected cat. If this is not possible, you should keep your cat separated from other cats until you can get them vaccinated.
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Last editorial update on Oct 17, 2015 10:38:47 am.
Kennel Cough, also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, is a respiratory disease that can be passed from animal to animal (and human) through contact with mucus, saliva or even aerosol particles. Certain breeds of dogs are more prone to getting kennel cough than others and, unfortunately, this is something that can happen to your cat as well.
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Kennel Cough by C Campbell – Pet Parent’s Guide – petliferadio.com
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