Can Cats Get Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough is most commonly known for its ability to affect dogs, but can cats catch this cold, too? The answer is yes. Kennel cough, or infectious tracheobronchitis, can be transferred between cats and even from cats to dogs and is highly contagious. Just like schools, workplaces, and public spaces can be breeding grounds for common colds in humans, kennels or other spaces containing large amounts of cats and dogs can also cause a rapid spread of kennel cough.

Common Symptoms of Kennel Cough in Cats

  • Sneezing
  • A dry, persistent cough (not always present in cats)
  • Coughing up mucus or white foam
  • Intolerance, lethargy, and appetite loss
  • Fever
  • Watery, goopy, or crusty eyes
  • Nasal discharge

Kennel cough can often clear up on its own within 3 weeks, but many vets recommend a round of antibiotics to clear the infection faster and to prevent the spread to other animals.

Preventing the Spread of Kennel Cough to Cats

The best way to prevent kennel cough from spreading to the felines in your facility is to quarantine cats showing symptoms, refuse services to sick animals, or to require proof of a Bordetella vaccine.

Practicing good hygiene in your facility will also greatly decrease the risk of spreading kennel cough or other diseases. Opting for stainless steel enclosures over plastics can make it easier to disinfect between occupants. Plastic cages can harbor moisture and bacteria in tiny scratches and cracks that can be difficult to disinfect during the cleaning process.

Choosing kennels that come equipped with features like trench drains that instantly drain liquids from the cages and pull out trays that allow you to remove hard substances can also make it easier to keep enclosures consistently clean throughout the day and prevent the spread of diseases.

Contact Direct Animal today to see how we can help you prevent kennel cough from spreading through your business.

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