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.