WINTER is here and cat owners are being urged to protect their feline friends from cat flu.
Cat flu is usually caused by infection with one of two viruses (feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus), and sometimes results in secondary bacterial infections.
The disease produces similar symptoms to the human equivalent and include sneezing, discharge from the eyes or nose, fever, breathing problems, coughing, fatigue and loss of appetite.
Humans cannot get cat flu from cats, but your cat can catch it from your interaction with other infected felines. The disease is spread by droplets containing the virus, and spread from cat to cat by direct touching, sneezing, or sharing food.
"If you suspect your cat has cat flu please visit your vet. The flu is manageable, and you can assist recovery by providing a warm and quiet environment for your cat to recuperate," said RSPCA NSW Chief Veterinarian Christina Zhu.
RSPCA NSW believes prevention is better than a cure and encourages cat parents to vaccinate their cats and attend regular check-ups with the vet to make sure they are fit and healthy.
You can also help protect your cat from exposure by keeping them indoors away from infected cats and surfaces. Cat flu can remain in the environment for up to seven days and separating your cat from other cat-choo cats is the best form of prevention.
RSPCA NSW has a number of cats looking for their forever homes, so if you're looking for a furry heater to cuddle up with this winter, visit www.rspcansw.org.au/adopt
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