Influenza and Your Cat

Cat-to-human transmission

Cats are susceptible to some strains of human flu, and previous studies have suggested that, in some cases, humans have transmitted flu to cats. However, the question of whether cats transmit flu to humans has been the subject of debate.

During a 2016 outbreak of the H7N2 strain of avian influenza in a New York City shelter, a shelter veterinarian with a flu-like illness was infected with the same strain of virus as the sick cats, suggesting cat-to-human transmission.

While this strain of flu virus was not particularly dangerous, this news highlights the importance of being vigilant about the potential for animal-to-human transmission (and vice versa) of influenza virus.