Flu Virus in Cats

The City has found a strain of the Influenza A virus in more than 100 cats at City animal shelters. It is not known how the cats contracted the virus, which was first found in cats at the Manhattan shelter. This type of flu virus causes a mild illness in cats and poses little risk to people. All of the infected cats are expected to recover.

If you adopted a cat from a City animal shelter since November 12, your cat may have been infected. You should keep it separated from other animals. If it is showing flu-like symptoms (coughing, sniffling, fever), you should call your veterinarian before taking it in for an examination.

Your cat will not need to be tested for Influenza A unless it lived in a City shelter after November 12 and is showing symptoms of the flu.

Health Risks for People

A veterinarian who works with sick cats at the Manhattan shelter was diagnosed with the strain of Influenza A that has been found in cats. This person experienced a mild illness that was quickly resolved. No other Animal Care and Control employees or cat owners have been found to have the illness.

If you adopted a cat from a City shelter since November 12 and are feeling flu-like symptoms, or you think you may have pink eye (conjunctivitis), you should see your doctor or contact the Health Department.