Influenza Virus Infections in Cats

Tadeusz Frymus*, Sándor Belák, Herman Egberink, Regina Hofmann-lehmann, Fulvio Marsilio, Diane D. Addie, Corine Boucraut-baralon, Katrin Hartmann, Albert Lloret, Hans Lutz, Maria Grazia Pennisi, Etienne Thiry, Uwe Truyen, Séverine Tasker, Karin Möstl, Margaret J. Hosie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
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In the past, cats were considered resistant to influenza. Today, we know that they are susceptible to some influenza A viruses (IAVs) originating in other species. Usually, the outcome is only subclinical infection or a mild fever. However, outbreaks of feline disease caused by canine H3N2 IAV with fever, tachypnoea, sneezing, coughing, dyspnoea and lethargy are occasionally noted in shelters. In one such outbreak, the morbidity rate was 100% and the mortality rate was 40%. Recently, avian H7N2 IAV infection occurred in cats in some shelters in the USA, inducing mostly mild respiratory disease. Furthermore, cats are susceptible to experimental infection with the human H3N2 IAV that caused the pandemic in 1968. Several studies indicated that cats worldwide could be infected by H1N1 IAV during the subsequent human pandemic in 2009. In one shelter, severe cases with fatalities were noted. Finally, the highly pathogenic avian H5N1 IAV can induce a severe, fatal disease in cats, and can spread via cat-to-cat contact. In this review, the Advisory Board on Cat Diseases (ABCD), a scientifically independent board of experts in feline medicine from 11 European countries, summarises current data regarding the aetiology, epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical picture, diagnostics, and control of feline IAV infections, as well as the zoonotic risks
Original languageEnglish
Article number1435
Number of pages9
Issue number8
Early online date23 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: ABCD Europe gratefully acknowledges the support of Boehringer Ingelheim (the founding sponsor of the ABCD) and Virbac.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • cats
  • influenza A virus
  • lowpathogenic
  • highly pathogenic


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