Feline herpes, otherwise known as feline viral rhinotracheitis, can cause cats to develop upper respiratory infections that may be devastating to their health. If you have multiple cats and one of your cats has become infected with feline herpes, you should read this guide to prevent the spread of the illness to your other cat(s).
Feline Herpes Infection Risk
Feline herpes can easily infect another cat if they come into contact with an infected cat. However, it's not the only way that a cat can be infected. While the virus doesn't threat other species, it can still be transferred by another species that's come into contact with an infected cat.
Keep Cats Away
If you have a healthy cat that hasn't contracted the virus, you must keep them away from the infected cat. This may mean isolating the ill cat, healthy cat, or both, but you shouldn't let them be in the same room together. Feline herpes can be spread through an infected cat's discharge from their nose and eyes, through sneezes, or even from the food and water they've recently touched. Make sure that the healthy cat isn't allowed to share food or water with the ill cat, and keep them as far apart from each other as possible.
Cat owners need to do their part in preventing the spread of illness, too. While humans can't be harmed by feline herpes, they can still spread the germs. For example, if you touched your cat's face and got the discharge on your fingers, any other surface you touched would then get the germs, too. Touching surfaces your healthy cat comes in contact with or touching the healthy cat directly could lead to them catching feline herpes.
Make sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, and follow the CDC's recommendations to kill any trace of the virus on your hands.
Control Other Species' Movements
If you have other pets, like dogs, you should take care to make sure they don't spread the illness, too. If your sick cat is friendly with your other pet, allowing them to room together may comfort your cat. Your dog (or any other species) will be safe, and they can provide social and mental stimulation to your ill cat.
However, if you let another pet come in contact with the sick cat, you must keep them away from your healthy cat, since they could carry the virus germs.
Feline herpes can't harm anyone except for cats, but you could still be an unwilling partner in making your healthy cat(s) sick. Follow these tips to prevent the spread of the infection and keep your healthy cats well. Contact an animal hospital if you have concerns about your cat.