Can Cats Get Bordetella from Dogs: Debunking the Myth

Yes, cats can get Bordetella from dogs due to cross-species transmission of the bacteria. The Bordetella bacterium, commonly known as kennel cough, can infect both dogs and cats.

Bordetella is highly contagious and can spread through direct contact or airborne droplets from infected animals. While cats are considered less susceptible to Bordetella compared to dogs, they can still contract the infection if they come into contact with an infected dog.

Symptoms in cats may include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and respiratory distress. It is important to keep infected pets isolated and consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. Regular vaccinations for both dogs and cats can help prevent the transmission of Bordetella and protect against respiratory infections.

Understanding Bordetella Infection In Cats And Dogs

Understand the Bordetella infection that can affect both cats and dogs. Bordetella is a highly contagious bacterium that causes respiratory infections in animals. It can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected animal or through respiratory droplets in the air. While it is commonly associated with kennel cough in dogs, cats can also become infected.

Bordetella infection in cats and dogs can lead to a range of symptoms including coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, it can develop into pneumonia. Cats may also experience conjunctivitis and ulceration of the eyes. Young animals, older animals, and those with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to the infection.

If your cat or dog is showing signs of respiratory illness, it is important to consult a veterinarian. They can conduct tests to confirm the presence of Bordetella and provide appropriate treatment. Vaccination is a preventative measure that can help protect your pets from Bordetella and should be discussed with your veterinarian.

Is Bordetella Transmissible Between Cats And Dogs?

Can cats get Bordetella from dogs?

Bordetella bronchiseptica, commonly known as Kennel Cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that affects both cats and dogs. While it is more commonly associated with dogs, it can also be found in cats. However, the transmission of Bordetella between cats and dogs is less common compared to its transmission between dogs.

Factors affecting the transmission between cats and dogs:

  • Immune system: Cats with a weakened immune system are more susceptible to contracting Bordetella from dogs.
  • Direct contact: Close contact between an infected dog and a susceptible cat increases the risk of transmission.
  • Airborne transmission: Bordetella can be transmitted through the air, although it is less common in cats.
  • Environmental factors: The virus can survive in the environment for a certain period, increasing the chances of transmission.
  • Vaccination: Regular vaccination can help prevent the spread of Bordetella in both cats and dogs.

In conclusion, while it is possible for cats to contract Bordetella from dogs, the transmission rate is relatively low. It is essential to ensure the overall health and immunity of your pets and practice proper hygiene to minimize the risk of transmission.

Debunking The Myth: Cats’ Resistance To Bordetella

Contrary to popular belief, cats have a unique immune system that contributes to their resistance against Bordetella, a bacterial infection commonly associated with dogs. Scientific evidence suggests that cats are less susceptible to Bordetella infection compared to dogs due to differences in their respiratory tract structure and immunological response. Cats possess a narrower trachea, which makes it more difficult for Bordetella bacteria to establish an infection.

Furthermore, cats have a different type of receptor in their respiratory epithelial cells, making it harder for the bacteria to attach and invade their lungs. While it is theoretically possible for cats to contract Bordetella from dogs, the risk of transmission is low. Cats’ natural defenses, coupled with their specific physiological characteristics, make them less susceptible to Bordetella infection from dogs. However, it is still important to regularly monitor and provide appropriate medical care for cats in households where dogs are infected with Bordetella.

Preventive Measures To Keep Cats And Dogs Healthy

Vaccinations play a crucial role in protecting cats and dogs from Bordetella, a highly contagious respiratory disease. Regular veterinary check-ups and preventive care are essential for ensuring their overall health and well-being.

Importance of Vaccinations for Bordetella
  • Vaccinations help stimulate the immune system in cats and dogs, making them better equipped to fight off Bordetella infections.
  • They reduce the risk of transmission between animals, particularly in multi-pet households or social environments.
  • Preventive vaccinations can help prevent serious complications associated with Bordetella, such as pneumonia.

Regular veterinary check-ups allow for early detection and timely treatment of potential health issues. Vaccination schedules can be established during these visits to ensure cats and dogs are up to date on all necessary vaccinations. Additionally, veterinarians can provide personalized recommendations based on the pet’s age, lifestyle, and risk factors.

Aside from vaccinations, promoting overall health and well-being in cats and dogs through a balanced diet, regular exercise, and proper hygiene practices can strengthen their immune systems and minimize the risk of contracting Bordetella and other illnesses.


To sum up, it is unlikely for cats to contract Bordetella from dogs, as they are generally not susceptible to this particular respiratory infection. However, it is still essential to ensure proper vaccination and maintain good hygiene practices to protect both dogs and cats from contagious diseases.

Remember to consult with your veterinarian for any concerns regarding your pet’s health and well-being. Stay informed and keep your furry companions healthy!

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