can a cat catch kennel cough

Yes, cats can get kennel cough but it is very rare. When it does occur, it’s usually in shelters or other places where there are many cats close together and may be more easily spread from an affected cat to healthy cats. Dogs are typically more prone to this condition.

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Does it seem like your dog or cat has a cold? Although your pets cannot contract the same cold that you contracted from your neighbor’s preschooler, they can contract a similar illness known as kennel cough. To find out how to prevent, identify, and treat this illness in your pet, continue reading.

Both infected dogs and infected cats can transmit Bordetella bronchiseptica, which causes kennel cough in cats. Dogs can catch the disease from cats, too.

It’s also advisable to keep your cat indoors, as this will reduce their exposure to other cats, infectious diseases, and potentially dangerous objects like cars.

But occasionally, the illness can worsen and result in pneumonia, which can be lethal. Kitties with weakened immune systems or certain underlying medical conditions, as well as younger and older cats, are more vulnerable.

Kennel cough is an upper respiratory tract and throat infection that is also referred to as infectious tracheobronchitis. It’s most commonly recognized in dogs.

Cats living with another pet that has contracted kennel cough, cats in crowded environments (such as shelters or pet stores, and even more so if hygiene at the facility is subpar), and cats who travel, spend time outside, or are regularly around other pets are the cats most at risk of contracting kennel cough.

What Is Kennel Cough?

Infectious tracheobronchitis, a highly contagious respiratory disease that can strike both dogs and cats, is commonly known as “kennel cough.” Bordetella is one of the most frequent causes of kennel cough in pets; it functions similarly to the common cold in people. Similar to a cold, if left untreated, it can result in more serious conditions like pneumonia. Usually, Bordetella bronchiseptica, which is transmitted by both direct contact and airborne particles, is the cause.

This disease is not only extremely contagious but also capable of spreading to other species. The other humans in your home, your dog, and your cat can all contract this illness from each other, though there is little chance of this occurring. Nevertheless, very young children, the elderly, and anyone with a weakened immune system in the home should not be around a sick pet.

The bordetella bacteria can be acquired from contaminated surfaces in addition to direct contact, coughing, and sneezing. After handling your pet, make sure to properly wash your hands, as well as his bedding, toys, and food and water dishes.

Although the illness affects dogs and cats slightly differently, there are some signs that they may share. Keep an eye out for these clues:

  • Coughing, which is more common to dogs than cats
  • Respiratory distress
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Exercise intolerance in cats
  • Runny, goopy or crusty eyes
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Appetite loss
  • enlarged lymph nodes in the lower jaw or armpits


What does kennel cough sound like in a cat?

The most common indication of kennel cough in cats and dogs is an unpleasant-sounding cough – dry hacking or honking noises sometimes followed by retching. Other symptoms may include a runny nose, sneezing, listlessness, and, in more severe cases, lost appetite, depression, and a low fever.

Can cats recover from kennel cough on their own?

Kennel cough is often self-limiting, and you may find that your cat gets over it without treatment if their symptoms are mild. However, if they develop a fever, stop eating, or their breathing is affected, they will likely need medication.

What are the symptoms of Bordetella in cats?

Bordetella infections in cats cause mild sneezing, coughing, nasal and ocular discharge, and fever. However, in rare situations (particularly in young kittens and under intense stress), the infection may be more serious and end in death. Symptoms often persist for 7 – 10 days.