More Cat Care Information:

Dog owners are likely familiar with kennel cough. Cats can also develop a version of the disease known as feline bordetella although it is much less common. The bacteria responsible for this illness is closely related to bacteria that causes the disease in dogs and humans.

General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home
You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.
General Cat Care #2: Feeding
An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).

Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.

The bacteria responsible for bordetella in cats is known as Bordetella bronchiseptica. If the bacteria infects your cat, it will lead to respiratory issues. The risk of becoming infected with it also rises dramatically if your kitty has a viral infection of some sort.

Cat bordetella is highly contagious, and coughing or sneezing is enough to transmit the bacteria.. Shelters can especially experience problems since there are plenty of felines in close proximity to each other. The disease can easily pass between animals if there are multiple cats in the household. Dogs have also been known to pass the disease to cats in some cases.

Adults with feline bordetella usually don't have any trouble getting over the infection. However, kittens can be devastated by the disease and even die from it if it progresses. Signs of an infection are very similar to other upper respiratory infections such as herpes virus and calicivirus.

General Cat Care #3: Grooming
Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs
General Cat Care #4: Handling
To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.
General Cat Care #5: Housing
Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.

Despite the fact that bordetella in cats is often referred to as kennel cough, coughing isn't quite as common with felines as it is with dogs battling the disease. Most cats will experience discharge from the nose and sneezing. Discharge may also come from the eyes. Other possible signs of the condition include depression, loss of appetite, and fever.

Cat bordetella doesn't always lead to noticeable signs. Your feline may simply be a carrier of the disease. Carriers don't display signs, but are capable of passing the disease on to other animals.

As mentioned, the signs of feline bordetella are quite similar to other respiratory infections. Simply taking a look at your cat won't be enough to make a proper diagnosis of this condition. That's why the veterinarian will need to rule those other possibilities out. A swab of the nose will need to be done.

Kittens with the disease will likely need to be provided with supportive care. Antibiotics are the main way that bordetella in felines is treated. Since there are various types of antibiotics, the vet needs to choose which specific one he thinks will be most effective.

Owners should know that there is a vaccination to protect against feline bordetella. It is usually best to get your cat vaccinated against the disease even if he or she is an adult. At the very least, you should discuss your options with your vet.

General Cat Care #6: Identification
If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.
General Cat Care #7: Litter Box
All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).
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