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Feline calicivirus and cat flu
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Cat advice: feline calicivirus and cat flu

Infectious viruses can be dangerous so here’s what to look out for

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Spot the symptoms

Cat flu isn’t a single disease – it describes the flu-like symptoms caused by a number of viruses. Feline calicivirus is the name for a strain of common viruses that can cause some painful and uncomfortable symptoms, and as it is very infectious, it makes sense to know what the effects can be.


Look out for fever, a runny nose or ulcers in your cat’s mouth – these can be on the tongue or roof of the mouth making it hard for your pet to eat. Some strains of the virus cause limping, while in rare cases, cats can suffer with severe swelling of the face and paws, ulcers on the skin and even organ failure.


Because the disease is a virus, there is rarely a specific treatment that combats the condition. Affected cats generally need careful nursing support, possibly being fed via a tube if mouth ulcers are preventing them from eating. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics if the condition leads to bacterial infection, but these drugs don’t stop the virus itself.


Feline calcivirus is very infectious, and the only practical way to protect your cat is to have it vaccinated, with booster jabs each year to maintain protection. This is one of the most common procedures we carry out at Vets4Pets, so just get in touch to find out more.