Until now prevention of feline upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) has been limited to cattery management.
Good Cattery Practice (particularly good hygiene practices and the reduction of stress in cats) is an important aid in the prevention of URTD in cats. Removal of chronically-infected cats from affected catteries can also be considered.
An intranasal vaccine is now available in some countries and this
can be used to help prevent URTD outbreaks in catteries. Vaccination is also indicated to
help prevent respiratory disease in cats which:
- come into contact with other cats and dogs
- are boarded at catteries or are exhibited.
Cat vaccination programmes should always be combined with good husbandry: good nutrition, sanitation, ventilation, parasite control and control of other respiratory pathogens to minimise the occurrence of clinical disease.
During parturition, queens may pass Bordetella bronchiseptica to their offspring; kittens obtained from breeding catteries and rescue shelters are, therefore, particularly at risk from this disease. Since Bordetella bronchiseptica infection in kittens can cause acute death as a result of bronchopneumonia, this risk must be taken seriously. The potential for mortality and the general morbidity caused by infectious URTD warrants the use of measures designed to tackle disease, particularly in high-risk animals. Intranasal Vaination is an important part of such preventative schemes.