Your cat and the flu

Your cat and the flu

Let’s dive into this subject and find the many common myths and misconceptions out there regarding this very subject.  We want to get down to the nitty-gritty of what our cats can catch from us and what we can give to them.  Because let’s face it, we love to snuggle and stay warm under our cozy blankets when sick.  This is an open invite for our cats to want to come and snuggle in with us.  But, is it really healthy for us to be snuggling with our four-legged friends?  Or could we pass this human flu onto our cat?  That is the very thing we want to explore today, Your cat and the flu.

Studies have shown that you cannot catch a cat’s flu.  A cat’s flu is not actually caused by the influenza virus but is a viral infection.  The flu that humans get is caused by influenza A, B, and C.  However, the cat flu is still a virus, meaning that antibiotics will not help treat it.  Some people don’t understand the difference between a virus and a bacterial infection.  A virus is not treatable by antibiotics.

your cat and the flu

Your cat can catch your flu!

cat, hygene, flu

It is thought that our animals can catch our diseases.  In fact, that is why there are so many mutations of a virus.  While you are down with the flu, you should avoid the cat as much as you avoid other family and friends.  This will help you not spread the virus from you to your cat.

However, there is yet another step that you might consider as well, this is that the cat’s fur could carry the virus to other family members as well.  Think about it, when you sneeze or rub your eyes, you could be picking up the virus and potentially putting it on the cat.  It is important that you are constantly washing your hands and avoiding contact with your cat.  Your cat and the flu are not a good mixture.  However, it is hard sometimes to get the cat to understand.  Especially if you are an on the go person that is now laying there, basically asking for them to lay on you.

Keep hydrated

Typically, your cat’s flu and your flu have pretty much the same symptoms.  For the most part, you will just need to stay in and rest.  Be sure stay hydrated and get plenty of fluids and always have fresh water out for your cat as well.  To get even more fluids into them, you might moisten their food too.  Sometimes the flu can turn into a bacterial infection such as pneumonia or a sinus infection.  This typically is followed up by green phlegm in both you and your cat.  When looking at your cat and the flu, these are some similarities.  If the cat has green phlegm, this is a good indication that you should probably see the vet.  Bacterial infections can be taken care of with antibiotics.

Make sure you know who the cat has been in contact with.  It may not have been with you. In fact, they may not have had contact with anyone but you.  However, we carry germs from the outside in on our clothing and shoes.  These germs can reach your cat, but they simply coexist with you.  This is not to make you paranoid, but just aware.  There are many reasons for a cat to get sick and just because they didn’t seem exposed, they certainly could have been.

american shorthair hydrating

Good Hygiene is important!

cat, hygene, flu

Cat flu comes from other cats.  However, that doesn’t mean that your cat has to be exposed to other cats.  In fact, like all flu cases, the cat could catch it from being around you.  And, some cats that are carriers of the disease have no symptoms at all.  This is important to note so you can further understand your cat and the flu.  Cats release the flu bug in tears, saliva, nasal secretions and even in their urine.  It can survive in most environments for up to a week.  Because it is transmitted by saliva, most cats that are sick will have the virus on their fur.  Be sure to always wash your hands well before touching another cat.   When looking for signs notice there are similarities to spreading the disease.  Always wash the hands well and often.  And, washing clothing is also important.  Good hygiene isn’t just for the vain but it is to keep you and those around you healthy.

To read more about caring for your American Shorthair cat click here.

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Your Responsibility to your American Shorthair Breeders

Your Responsibility to an American Shorthair Breeders.

We talk a lot about what good American Shorthair breeders are expected to do for you. We require them to health test their breeding American Shorthair cat. We expect them to guarantee the health and temperament of each kitten. We expect them to be there for you 24/7 for up to 18 years or longer — longer than most other relationships you are likely to have in a lifetime.

We haven’t really talked about your responsibilities to your breeder.

I have done a lot of thinking. American Shorthair breeders tend to be very private people. They don’t tell you about the three weeks they spend getting almost no sleep except for quick naps next to the kitten pen because Mother Cat needs some help. Maybe her milk hasn’t come in. Maybe her milk is bad. Maybe she gets Mastitis and can’t feed her babies even if she wants to. Maybe her mothering instincts are a little slow to arrive. Maybe she wants you to show her how to be a mum. Maybe she died. Regardless, those first three weeks with kittens are often more intense than the first three weeks with a human infant.

Feeding six or eight kittens every two hours is exhausting. We haven’t got our mothers-in-laws, husbands or best friends here to help us and babysit so we can take a break. Struggling kittens count on us to be their Intensive Care Unit nurse with a full ICU full of supplies, scopes, syringes, feeding tubes, oxygen, etc.…. It is no surprise that maternal (or paternal) instincts go full bore on us, and we bond to these guys for life.american shorthair breeders, silver tabby kitten with food all over face

Not everything goes well with every kitten in every litter. Losing a kitten is deeply traumatic and emotional. We fight so hard and do and spend what every we need to, so we can save them and often we can’t, even though we have exhausted all resources. Death is ugly, emotional, and traumatic. Death is graphic. It is not peaceful and often violent. It leaves a scar on our soul and no matter how many times this has happened, it never, ever gets easier.

After the American Shorthair Breeders first three weeks…

After an American Shorthair Breeder gets through the first three weeks, we spend nearly every waking moment watching, thinking, analyzing, cuddling, loving and, inevitably, bonding with them. We get high on watching them play and see them develop their individual personalities. Could you hold a baby in your lap and not feel anything? Neither can we. By the time the kitten leaves the cattery, that kitten is as much a part of our heart as it is yours.

Things go wrong. We get that. Best intentions fade through no fault of our own. Maybe a job was lost. Maybe the terms of our rental agreement changed. Maybe someone in the family became sick and needs all our attention. Maybe one of a million things happen but things go wrong.

An American Shothair Breeder gets that. We are people, too. We have lived as much life as you have. We know the world is not a perfect place. We also know that sometimes, despite our best intentions, we mismatched your kitten to you. We know that.

Whatever the reason, we know that not every kitten is going to live its full life with the people we placed it with. Divorce, death, gosh. Anything can happen, anything at all.

But we love our babies more than you know. And we also love you. We want to be here to help. If you can no longer keep the cat, please. Be open and communicative. If your cat has a close relationship with someone else, let us know. That contract you signed with us? The one that guarantees health and our lifetime assistance? That applies to the kitten, no matter who owns him/her.

But more importantly, please be kind to our hearts. If you lost a grandchild — say your son and his wife were divorced and the wife cuts off all communication with you — that would hurt. You would feel sad, lost, a little panicky, so please be kind to us and let us know how and where our baby is.

That’s how an American Shorthair Breeder feels when we lose track of an American Shorthair kitten.

Stay in contact with your American Shorthair Breeders

So, please, stay in contact with your American Shorthair breeder. Send photos occasionally. Send a quick note to let them know how the baby is doing, please, this is how we know our baby is doing well and is having the life it deserves. Let him or her share in your cat’s joys and frustrations. Let them be a shoulder for you. Let them provide a listening ear and support. And please, please, please, let them know where your cat is, and if you can’t keep it, please let them be involved in any placements that may need to occur.

Thank you.

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