A six-week-old kitten. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The flu in a cat will look similar to the flu in a human. Depending on what agent is causing the flu, there are a wide range of symptoms and severities. Major signs that your cat has the flu include inflammation around the eyes and nose, discharge from the nose, a raised temperature, weakness and loss of appetite, sneezing, and coughing. It is important to get treatment for your cat immediately so that your cat is not left with chronic diseases.
Your doctor cannot cure the flu, as is also true for humans, but the symptoms of the flu can be treated. It is important for your cat to get plenty of nutrients during his or her illness, so that strength can be regained. Encouraging your cat to eat and drink is helpful, and if your cat is not averse to water, gentle baths may be relaxing. Talk to your vet about specific treats you can use, like sardines, which will get your cat to eat more even if he or she is ill. If your cat's condition worsens or is very severe, it is extremely important for you to take your cat to the vet. A vet hospital stay may be necessary to allow re-hydration and feeding.
There are certain things you can do to prevent cats from getting the flu. Vaccination for the flu will drastically reduce the severity of the flu if caught. If you have multiple cats in your house, you should also consider isolation if a certain cat has the flu, since this disease spreads quickly. Clean the bowls often and disinfect your hands and clothing after handling the cat. You can also talk to your cat's vet in order to find out other things you can do to help your cat feel better more quickly and to prevent your cat from getting the flu in the first place. Remember, vet care is always the best choice to keep your cat healthy and happy.