Bordetella in Cats


I know bordetella bronchiseptica is a Gram-negative bacterium that colonises the respiratory tract of mammals and is considered to be a primary pathogen of domestic cats. It is sensible to consider B bronchiseptica as a rare cause of zoonotic infections. The bacterium is susceptible to common disinfectants. But I don't know if this what's wrong with cat exactly.

June 4, 2020 3:46 PM
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I will advise you visit a vet clinic. A diagnosis of infection is made by detecting the organism in the laboratory from swabs taken from the pharynx (throat). The organism can be detected by bacterial culture (using specific culture medium) or by PCR (polymerase chain reaction – a molecular technique to detect the genetic material of the organism).

June 4, 2020 3:49 PM

Treatment with antibacterial drugs is usually very effective in managing B. bronchispetica infections. However, the bacteria can be resistant to some antibiotics so in general it is better to carry out sensitivity testing in the laboratory (from bacterial culture) to determine which antibiotics are most effective. In general, treatment with doxycycline (or possibly a fluoroquinolone antibiotic) is likely to be most successful.

June 4, 2020 3:50 PM

In most cases, B. bronchispetica is considered a minor infection and no specific precautions are necessary for most pet cats as the risk of infection and serious disease is low. In shelters and breeding colonies it is important to try to minimise the risk by:

Keeping cats individually or in small isolated groups

Maintaining excellent hygiene, with use of appropriate disinfectants

Isolate any cats showing signs of clinical disease

June 4, 2020 3:51 PM


If B. bronchispetica is confirmed as a cause of disease and is a persistent or widespread problem, a good and effective vaccine is available in many countries (vaccination is achieved via drops placed in the nose), and this can be a helpful part of disease control. However, in most situations this is not required for pet cats.

June 4, 2020 3:53 PM


Cats with respiratory disease caused by Bordetella bronchiseptica are often managed with antibiotic therapy and supportive care, although mild infections may not require treatment. Appropriate antibiotics are based on susceptibility data and the ability to reach therapeutic concentrations in respiratory secretions. Other potentially useful medications include antitussives, bronchodilators, and antiinflammatories. Vaccines are available for both dogs and cats to help prevent bordetellosis, and research is ongoing to refine current products and develop new ones.

June 4, 2020 3:57 PM