Iowa Feline Catches Swine Flu

When you’re home sick, snuggling with a pet can have tremendous healing powers. “Plus,” you might say to yourself, “at least Fluffy can’t catch this awful swine flu I have.” Well….not so fast. It’s not common, but a cat in Iowa has been diagnosed with, and recovered from, swine flu.

The 13-year-old indoor cat in Iowa was brought to the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, where it tested positive for the H1N1 virus. …

“Two of the three members of the family that owns the pet had suffered from influenza-like illness before the cat became ill,” said IDPH Public Health Veterinarian, Dr. Ann Garvey. “This is not completely unexpected, as other strains of influenza have been found in cats in the past.” Both the cat and its owners have recovered from their illnesses.

Perhaps this is the cue for pet stores across the country to set up displays of tiny paper masks and bottles of paw sanitizer.

Cat catches swine flu [Washington Post] (Thanks, Sarah!)
Protecting Pets from Illness [Iowa Department of Public Health]

(Photo: htby)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Professional_Iceberg_Hunter says:

    -You no has cheezeburger, I see.

    -I will catch piggy flu if I not has cheezeburgers, you see.

    -I caught piggy flu : (

    I’m a cat whisperer.

  2. UrIt says:

    “displays of tiny paper masks and bottles of paw sanitizer”

    don’t give them ideas.

  3. diasdiem says:

    I can has vakseen?

  4. RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

    Saw this on Time magazine’s site yesterday, I think. The headline was “I can has swine flu?”

  5. admiral_stabbin says:

    Great. That cat will start the cat zombie apocalypse…and it’s in my state! Excuse me while I go load some ammo clips…

  6. Snakeophelia says:

    Of course, the cats will be calling it “human flu”, and insisting we wash our hands BEFORE we pet them.

  7. Tim says:

    I need to make a lolcat now:

    “Cuddle with sick hooman, you says. Kitteh can’t get swine flu, you says.”

  8. jwestfall says:

    I call BS. Reason being is that human and feline immune systems are vastly different. In fact, human and animal immune systems are different. This is why we don’t contract sicknesses from them and vice versa except after something has had enough time to mutate in one immune system. While animals and humans can contract viruses from each other, it takes more time than this, I think this cat “caught” H1N1 to cause a stir.

    This is exactly why elephants never caught avian flu, or hamsters don’t get strep throat. Physiologically, it just doesn’t work out. Ask a scientist.

    • artk2002 says:

      @jwestfall: It’s called a zoonose — a disease that can switch species. Birds don’t have immune systems much like humans but other influenza strains can switch between them. Bartonella (Cat Scratch Disease) moves between humans and felines. Both cats and humans can be infected by Yersinia Pestis (the stuff you get Bubonic Plague from.)

  9. Ben Popken says:

    Spider cat pig, spider cat pig, does whatever, a spider cat pig does.

  10. AngryK9 says:

    Here kitty kitty!

    Poor puddy tat! Glad it recovered.

  11. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    @ARP: It called out sick from the photo shoot on the count of Swine Flu.

  12. Hank Scorpio says:

    @ARP: Oddly, there is one in the RSS feed for this article.

  13. Smashville says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: I find myself “gesundheit”-ing my cat quite often.

    Of course, I also explained the meaning of “coniferous” to my cat one night.

  14. Trance1861 says:

    @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): I had the same reaction! I hate it when my little Rasputin gets sick! It’s so sad.

  15. Corporate_guy says:

    @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): I can’t wait until mobs of people demand flu shots for their animals. Humans be damned.

  16. Caged Wisdom says:

    @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): I’m right there with you. I work from home, but Ms. Caged works in an office – after reading this if she comes down with the flu she’s staying at her parents until she’s better. Must protect our kitters!

  17. kateblack says:

    @catastrophegirl: When my cat (RIP) was a kitten, she figured out that if she climbed the screen door and dangled from the top corner long enough, the screen would come loose and she could go outside.

    Clever little shit.

  18. The Porkchop Express says:

    @RecordStoreToughGuy_IsBeing(pur)SuedByAMonster: M-O-O-N, that spells swine flu.

  19. holytrainwreck says:

    @speedwell, avatar of snark:So in addition to STDs, pussies can now catch H1N1.

  20. misokitty says:

    @catastrophegirl: I am pretty sure I caught it from Halloween parties but now I am worried I will give it to my cat. Especially since she has been extra cuddly due to my raised body temp.

  21. masterage says:

    @Smashville_now with Monster Energy: Nah, you are just in an area with a high chance of kittehs that have problems they may or may not be able to overcome. I’ve lost an unsettling amount of kittens to the same disease, which can be traced to the mother’s mother (apparently, they are all carriers).

    But the cats that live through it live for a long time, unless they’re outright killed by something else, like our neighbors. Lost the oldest to a gunshot to the head, and nearly lost MY cat (My Tophie) to a purposely aimed buckshot. Those neighbors are assholes. It was that incident that I found respect for the family dog, which went out of his way to find her and then notify us.

  22. Juliekins says:

    @CumaeanSibyl: They’re pretty much saying “if you’re having flu-like symptoms, it’s H1N1,” so go ahead and join the porcine horde.

    Also, I’m with you. I’ve been rocking the flu this week (it suuuuuuuuuuucks…body aches and chills were epic, now I have a horrible sore throat and congestion and a barking cough) and my kitties have been looking after me. Okay my husband bought me Mucinex and Gatorade, but the cats lay on me and purr and make with the cute.

  23. webweazel says:

    @bohemian: Seriously, I’ve had cats around all my life; how exactly does one KNOW when kitty has a cold?

  24. Révolution says:

    @masterage: Isn’t that illegal?

  25. ElizabethD says:

    @rocketbear79: threadkiller:

    Our 3 year old granddaughter demands to see the baby panda sneezing video every time she comes over. It sends her into giggle-fits!