Good cattery practice and prevention

Bordetella bronchiseptica (Bb) infection can be prevented by a combination of good cattery practice, careful management and vaccination.

Bb does not survive long outside the cat and is killed by many common disinfectants so routine hygiene measures are sufficient to prevent disease spreading through the environment.

Recommendations for good cattery practice:

  • clean and disinfect cages, food bowls and litter trays on a daily basis e.g. hypochlorite or quaternary ammonium compounds
  • use disinfectant baths for foot-dipping in between entering pens
  • enter each cage as few times as possible
  • finish all cleaning and disinfection tasks in one area before moving on to the next
  • disinfect cages thoroughly between cats, preferably leaving empty for 2 days
  • put cats with any previous respiratory problems or suspected carrier cats at one end of the cattery and feed last
  • avoid overcrowding: provide one pen per cat wherever possible (unless the cats come from the same household)
  • maintain optimal environmental conditions for comfort: optimum temperature, good ventilation, low relative humidity, good drainage

Infected cats can be treated with antibiotics but blanket treatment of cats in your cattery is needed. This is expensive and carrier cats may still shed Bb and infect healthy cats. This form of control can encourage the development of antibiotic resistance.

Good cattery practice includes prevention of Bordetella infection.

Good cattery practice requires veterinary advice on vaccination programmes aimed to prevent feline URTD.