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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 19708
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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We had two kittens from a farm who both had cat flu and one

Resolved Question:

We had two kittens from a farm who both had cat flu and one sadly died at 14 weeks.
The second kitten is healthy and recenty had her cat flu vaccines from the vet and has not shown any more symptoms.
I know there are different types of cat flu and the jab only vaccinates against one type.
I would like to get another kitty and would obv have it vaccinated before coming to our house and keep it seperate for first few weeks and introduce slowly to the other cat.
Would you recommend getting another kitty or is it silly to introduce a healthy cat to one has prev had cat flu?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

First, I do just want to note that our core vaccines actually cover two of the four agents of cat flu. Specifically, it covers against the viruses (herpes and calicivirus). The other two agents (C. felis and Bordetella) are bacteria and while we can have silent carriers of these two, it is not nearly as common as viral carriers. Furthermore, we also have to remember that those feline viral cat flu agents are endemic, therefore there is nothing to say that a new cat may not already have them (especially in the case of herpes since it is a life long infection once they have caught it).

Therefore, as long as you make sure the new cat is fully vaccinated, both are healthy, and introduction is slow to reduce stress and to give them the best chance of accepting one another, then there is no reason you cannot have a second cat.

That said, be aware if this other cat is coming to you as a stray, rescue, or even from a breeding cattery (all places where stressed cats share an airspace and these agents can spread), they may already be carrying one of these agents. And if they are, they could develop signs when under the stress of the major life change that is rehoming. Furthermore, if your kitty is a herpes carrier, stress of a new cat could cause a flare up of her signs (until her immune system gets it back under control).

Overall, the cat flu agents are endemic in the cat population and this means a lot of cats have already been exposed (even from mum) and could be carriers. Therefore, there is no reason you cannot introduce a new cat but we always want to make sure when doing so that everyone is vaccinated, healthy, and stress is kept at a minimum to prevent any issues with flare ups should they be silent carriers.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 19708
Experience: I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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