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Help! My cat is sneezing, Fortitude Valley Vet.

cat flu kitten sore eyes nasal discharge emporium vet pet shop store


Has your cat been displaying signs of cat flu such as runny nose, weepy eyes, drooling, sneezing, loss of voice, fever, coughing or loss of appetite? Your fluffy kid may have cat flu.


Help! My cat is sneezing, Fortitude Valley Vet.

What is cat flu, Fortitude Valley Vet?


Feline herpes virus (FHV) and calicivirus (FCV) are the most common causes of Feline Upper Respiratory Tract Disease (FURTD), otherwise commonly known as cat flu. Sometimes cat flu can be caused by Feline Chlamydia, a type of bacteria. Both viruses are a major problem for multi-cat environments including the cattery and even in your own home.  FHV, like the human herpes virus, lies dormant in the facial nerves of your cat and manifests symptoms when it is under stress. Cats infected with FHV are lifelong carriers. FCV, on the other hand, can persist in infected cats from weeks to several years.

How do I know if my cat has FHV or FCV, Fortitude Valley Vet?

Cats, especially kittens, generally become anorexic and dehydrated with fever. Serious cases can lead to death so it is important to keep an eye out for these symptoms: sneezing and pus discharging from the nose and eyes.

It is difficult to differentiate the two viruses based on clinical signs but there are some slight differences:

FHV – Eye (corneal ulcer etc) and nasal signs (sneezing and pus discharge) mostly. Pregnant queens can miscarry.

FCV – Oral lesions (ulcers on the tongue, gingival, soft palate, fauces etc) and salivation predominate. Some cats can develop respiratory diseases or lameness.
Infection with either of these viruses at a young age may cause permanent damage resulting in your cat suffering from chronic symptoms. 

Cats suffering from these condition are known as “snufflers”.

Your local vet might derive his/her diagnosis just from your cat’s history and symptoms but some may perform further tests especially for chronic snufflers. Other diseases with similar signs include tumors in the nose, allergic reactions or fungal infection.

Stay tune for tomrrow's blog on Treatments for cat flu.

If you have further questions on cat flu, come see us at Emporium Vet, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. 07 3216 0045