First broadcast on  

This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

There are several infectious agents that cause respiratory disease in cats. Until a few years ago  Bordetella infection (a coccobacillus which causes infectious tracheobronchitis (Kennel Cough) in dogs) was not recognised as causing significant disease in cats. Now a vaccine has been developed.

When Bordetella bronchiseptica  infects cats it affects both the upper and lower parts of the respiratory system. Cats present with nasal discharge, sneezing, lymphadenopathy, fever, inappetance and a cough. The cats also develop a mild to severe pneumonia.

Studies involving culturing samples from swabs taken from cats in the UK and USA suggest that 5% of healthy cats are carrying the organism, and up to 24-72% of cats in multicat households have antibodies to Bordetella. 

The disease is self-limiting within 10-14 days and many cats may recover spontaneously without treatment The organism is sensitive to amoxacillin/clavulanic acid combination, doxycycline and tetracycline.

In 1998 an intranasal vaccine became available in the USA and it is available in the UK

CLICK HERE for more Information about bordetellosis


Updated October 2013