Feline Bordetella

What is Feline Bortedella?

Feline bordetella is a contagious respiratory infection of cats. The symptoms of the disease can be mistaken for a wide variety of other upper respiratory illness in cats or can be overlooked entirely.

What Causes Feline Bordetella Infection?

Feline bordetella is caused by the bacteria bordetella bronchiseptica. The virus is transmitted in the saliva and respiratory secretions on infected animals. Some cats are carriers of the illness, shedding bacteria without showing any signs of illness. Carriers can transmit the infection to other cats by sharing of food and water bowls, mutual grooming, and sneezing or coughing. Crowded or stressed conditions such as those found at animal shelters, catteries, show competitions, can provide ideal conditions for transmission of the illness. Bordetella can also be transmitted from dogs to cats.

Symptoms of Feline Bordetella Infection

Signs of feline bordetella usually begin within five days of exposure and include:

  • sneezing
  • fever
  • nasal discharge
  • swollen and enlarged lymph nodes under the lower jaw
  • rales (specific lung sounds that come from the presence of fluid)

Treatment of Feline Bordetella Infection

Presently, the main preventative to bordetella infection is to limit stress and exposure to other cats. A nasal vaccine is available but is usually reserved for high-risk animals. The most effective protection is obtained when vaccination is combined with good health and sanitation practices. Feline bordetella is also treatable with antibiotics.


2 doses 3-4 weeks apart from 9 weeks of age


From Vetinfo

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