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Cat catches swine flu

Does the swine flu pandemic pose a threat to your pet? Yes, according to a report out today from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

A cat in Iowa has tested positive for the H1N1 virus, state officials confirmed this morning, "marking the first time a cat has been diagnosed with this strain of influenza," the association said in a statement.

"The cat, which has recovered, is believed to have caught the virus from someone in the household who was sick with H1N1. There are no indications that the cat passed the virus on to any other animals or people," the statement said.

The cat is 13 years old, and state health officials said two of the three family members that own the cat had suffered "influenza-like illness" before the cat got sick.They recovered too.

Before this kitty was diagnosed with the swine flu, the virus had been found in humans, pigs, birds and ferrets, the association said.

It is well known that some viruses can be transmitted from people to their pets so the case of the Iowa cat isn't a surprise. But the case is prompting the association, along with the American Association of Feline Practitioners, to remind pet owners "they should monitor their pets' health very closely, no matter what type of animal, and visit a veterinarian if there are any signs of illness."

The association is tracking all instances of H1N1 in animals and posting updates on its Web site.

By Rob Stein  |  November 4, 2009; 12:25 PM ET
Categories:  Family Health , General Health , Influenza  
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Next: More fodder for the fat-but-healthy debate


"You can love your pets. Just don't *love* your pets." --The Truth About Cats & Dogs

Posted by: capecodner424 | November 4, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

This sucks. People who hate cats will use this as ammo against them, perhaps literally.

Posted by: chunche | November 4, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I'd really like to forward this article to my family and friends, but I don't see any way to do so.

Is this because of the new wave of publishers wanting to get paid every time anyone shares an article? If so, that's a sure-fire way to doom a publication. Since most publications get the bulk of their revenues from their advertisers, not their readers, it would seem to me that people sharing your articles only serves to benefit your publication. Maybe you've been getting advice from the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) who sue their own customers for sharing music they publish.....

Posted by: OligarchyNot | November 4, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse


You "forward" e-mail, not articles. If you want to send the article, simply place your cursor at the beginning of the story, click and drag to the end of the story, go to the menu bar at the top of your monitor window, and click Edit > Copy.

Then, create an e-mail and go to the menu bar and click Edit > Paste, then send your article. Good luck.

Posted by: tmkelley | November 4, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"American Association of Feline Practitioners, to remind pet owners "they should monitor their pets' health very closely, no matter what type of animal, and visit a veterinarian if there are any signs of illness."

fer meowing out loud!

the paranoia is dovetailing with pampered pets...everyone wants to cash in---

oh no, kitty SNEEZED!

we are doomed not from bacteria and viruses but from fear, ignorance, and being guinea pigs of manipulation.

Posted by: forestbloggod | November 4, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: blasmaic | November 4, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Now here's an interesting person. Apart from being a full-time stapling machine, he can give a cat influenza.

Well you can't get much more interesting than that! Or can you?

Posted by: joshlct | November 4, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

What a catastrophe.

Posted by: bog1 | November 4, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

H1N1 will now be known henceforth as the pussy flu.

Posted by: ComfortablyDumb | November 4, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

This could be the breakthrough the pork industry has been hoping for. Rename the swine flu to the cat flu. No one eats cats anyway.

ComfortablyDumb suggested the pussy flu but I don't think it's true that no one eats .... whatever.

Save the pork industry call it cat flu.

Posted by: James10 | November 4, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

pet threat: code red!

duct tape them immediately!

and report any homeowner who neglects to quarantine that gooey eyed creature you see sleeping under your car.

this is like planet of the apes: infested by pet diseases.

too bad humans are the pets of choice for the upper class of the planet.

Posted by: forestbloggod | November 4, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Beware the common house pet!

PHEAR the quadrupeds!

Posted by: thardman | November 4, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Things will become interesting when the virus develops the ability to transfer from pet to human.

Posted by: toolazytoo | November 4, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: thardman | November 4, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

If the CDC thought that dealing with the vaccine shortage was tough yesterday, wait until tomorrow when the vaccine starts going to the dogs -- and cats.

Posted by: exco | November 4, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Most people lack the basic intelligence to wash their hands and to not frequent centers of infection where the dregs of society hang out, like Walmart. If some trailer trash sneezes in your proximity, immediately shoot them threw the head!

Posted by: dlkimura | November 4, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

And all this time I thought ADD was the only malady they shared with humans.

Posted by: slim2 | November 4, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about all of this sanitation stuff, like the hand-sanitizing every time you touch anything (including the bottle of hand-sanitizer).

Seriously, look, most of the time cats are not asleep, they're cleaning themselves.

Yet they still got the flu!

"I blame the Visitors."

Posted by: thardman | November 4, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

The article doesn't even tell us how kitty is doing. That jest ain't rat. The reporter's boss ought to give 'im the what fur.

Posted by: laboo | November 4, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Kitties can't read, of course, nor can they use a computer. So, laboo must not be a kitty and is no doubt a person, whom kitties usually ignore except at feeding time -- yet laboo still has trouble reading. The article does state that the Iowa kitty has recovered. So, that's all rat. The article is short on what the kitty looks like and should have included a description, since to many dog owners all kitties look alike. I agree about the name change: Feline flu -- FF -- would be a lot easier to recall and faster to write than H1N1, which sounds like a robot in Star Wars.

Posted by: JoeWB | November 5, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

A cat catching the swine flu is particularly intriguing to me. Here's why: When my husband was bedridden for days with the flu a few weeks ago, our young kitten spent a lot of time curled up on my husband's chest. We thought, "no way the cat could get sick from him." Still, the cat suddenly came down with what the vet said was a virus. He became too weak to stand and died the same evening. (the cat, not my husband.) I wonder?

Posted by: mmapletree | November 7, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

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