Having the flu stinks, and the thought of giving it to your cat can make it worse, but you shouldn’t worry too much about it.
At the same time you don’t want to be blatant about it, so be sure to practice good hygiene around your cat, such as covering up your coughs and sneezes, and try to limit your interactions with them to just the basics. While it might help you to snuggle up with your cat and feel good, since there’s a slight possibility of them getting it, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
When you’ve got the flu it’s hard to feel good and you wonder if you’ll ever get back to your normal self. Your cat can provide some comfort for you during this time, just wash your hands before you pet them, and try to steer clear of petting their face. Having your cat purr next to you, show affection, and socialize with you can be very soothing and can help your recovery. You can also get similar benefits by just watching your cat stretch, sleep, or walk silently about the home. They’re so peaceful and one with nature they can be a great teaching tool in your time of distress.
Can I Give My Cat the Flu? Answer: Not Likely
Luckily feline germs and human germs are typically not exchanged between cats and people, but it can happen. If you follow proper hygiene guidelines while you’re under the weather they should be fine, and you won’t have to worry about them passing the flu bug back to you once you recover. Recent findings show that there is a slight possibility, but it’s very rare that a cat catches the ordinary flu, the one everyone gets the flu shots for, and it’s not something you should be paranoid about.
Swine Flu More Likely
The H1N1 virus, aka swine flu, is much more likely to be transferred to cats from humans. If you end up with swine flu you should definitely avoid contact with your cat and take extra precaution not to infect them. It’s been three years since the swine flu pandemic reached its climax and just as long since they declared the crisis over, so it’s not something that you’d have to be especially concerned about any more.
Tips for Keeping Your Cat Healthy
Cats have an immune system and in order to keep it running at optimal levels they need proper nutrition. If you’re worried about your cat catching the flu bug, whether yours or another cat’s, you should look at upgrading their cat food to one of the premium brands. You don’t have to go all Fancy Feast on them, but switching to a cat food that is primarily meat based will give your cat what it really needs and won’t have a lot of vegetable and grain fillers that they wouldn’t naturally eat if left alone in the wild.
Combining that with cleaning out their litter box frequently, replacing soiled litter regularly, and giving them constant access to a clean water dish will do wonders for keeping your cat in great health and assisting in their well-being. Aside from that you can also help them keep themselves clean with regular brushing, keep their claws clipped, provide a scratching post for them to stretch their claws out, and give them the occasional cat treat and you’d be up for winning the Best Cat Owner award.
Cats have their own strand of flue that gets passed between other cats. Common ways for your cat to catch this flu bug would be if you have an indoor/outdoor cat that interacts with other outdoor cats, of if you’ve recently taken your cat to a cattery for an overnight stay.
Cats are pretty easy to take care of, and most of the time they run on auto pilot. If your cat does manage to catch a flu bug, whether feline or in the rare case they get the human form, be sure to take them in to the vet for the proper treatment. They’ll be able to advice you further on what you can do, and if there are any medicinal treatments available.