H1N1 (Swine) Flu Confirmed In Pet Cat

Published November 2009

The H1N1 swine flu virus has been reported in a 13-year-old cat from Des Moines, Iowa.

The case was confirmed by both Iowa State and the US Department of Agriculture. Officials said it was the first known case of the virus to be diagnosed in a cat.

The shorthaired cat was treated at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Ames, Iowa and is now completely recovered. Experts say a cat coming down with swine flu is not unexpected, as other strains of the flu have been found in cats before.

Two of the three people who lived in the same house as the cat had flu-like symptoms just before the cat became ill.

While other strains of the flu have been recorded passing from different species, this is the first confirmed case of H1N1 passing from a human to a cat.

Veterinarians are recommending that if your cat shows signs of flu-like illness such as sneezing, a runny nose, trouble breathing or listlessness, it is important to have it examined by a veterinarian.

Officials recommend that owners wash their hands before touching their pets and before and after feeding them.

Four pigs in a commercial herd in Indiana were also found to have the virus. In October, show pigs at the Minnesota State Fair were also confirmed as having the H1N1 virus. Two ferrets - one in Oregon and the one in Nebraska - also had the virus and unfortunately both died.


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