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Bordetella Infection In Cats: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

Bordetella infection in cats is a bacterial disease that most often results in upper respiratory issues. The disease spreads quickly, especially among cats in shelters and young kittens.

The bacteria can often survive for a couple of weeks on surfaces, so it’s important to clean and disinfect feeding bowls and bedding if you’re dealing with a cat who suffers from the infection.

If you see signs of an infection in your cat, then you should consult your veterinarian right away so they can treat it. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for Bordetella infection in cats.

Symptoms Of Bordetella In Cats

In some cases, a cat with Bordetella might just show few or mild symptoms that can last for seven to ten days.

Some of the most common symptoms for a cat suffering from Bordetella infection are:

  • Sneezing
  • Running a fever
  • A lower than usual appetite
  • Breathing issues
  • Being less active and seeming lethargic
  • Wheezing

Causes Of Bordetella In Cats

Closeup of two tabby and black young cats, kitten in a cage waiting for adoption in shelter
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Bordetella infection in cats is a disease that is caused by a bacteria called Bordetella bronchiseptica.

Studies also suggest that the disease can spread very quickly among cats living close together in colonies.

Because it spreads so quickly, vets often recommend that cats who spend a lot of time with other felines, including those in shelters and kennels, receive the Bordetella vaccine to prevent infection. Indoor cats who don’t regularly come into contact with other cats often do not get the vaccine.

Treatments For Bordetella In Cats

If you take your cat to your local vet and they suspect a Bordetella infection, they’ll take a swab test and analyze it in a laboratory. If the test comes back positive, it’s common for vets to prescribe cats antibiotic drugs.

In many cases, vets prescribe doxycycline to treat the infection in cats. However, vets may need to carry out further lab tests to determine which drug will prove most effective.

In more severe cases, hospitalization might be an option.

Once your cat appears to have recovered, your vet might perform an x-ray to ensure that the lungs are not still damaged.

During the recovery process, your cat should rest in a calm and quiet environment away from other cats. You must also disinfect feeding bowls and bedding to make sure that you kill off any remaining bacteria.

Has your cat ever had a Bordetella infection? How did your vet treat it? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

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