Bordetella - A recurring problem

Infectious diseases in cats cause economic loss and welfare misery. Boarding cattery owners know the importance of maintaining the health of the cats in their care. This is important from a welfare issue and also because of the damage that can be done to a cattery's reputation by an outbreak of any infectious disease amongst the boarders.

Respiratory disease is frustrating, expensive and, in many cases, never appears to go away.

In the past the problem has been mostly attributed to the respiratory viruses. Good cattery practice, including basic hygiene measures and routine vaccination of cats against these viruses may help to minimise respiratory disease but in many cases large-scale use of antibiotics is also required.

If Bordetella bronchiseptica (Bb) exists in a cattery infection can be passed directly from cat to cat or by sneezing and spread of mucus. Infected cats are infectious to other cats for at least 5 months after they have recovered from infection. Many cats carry Bb within their airways throughout their lives, without any signs of disease. So it is possible for outbreaks of respiratory disease to occur in healthy cats without warning. Disease caused by Bb can break out at times of stress such as weaning, kittening, visiting catteries or overcrowding/ poor hygiene in catteries.

Many cats carry Bb within their airways throughout their lives, without any signs of disease.

Many cats carry Bb within their airways throughout their lives, without any signs of disease.