Signs & symptoms of herpes in cats

Written by jennifer gittins
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Signs & symptoms of herpes in cats
Kittens can become infected with the feline herpes virus through their infected mother. (Image by, courtesy of marya)

Feline herpes is significantly different than the herpes virus that affects humans. In cats, herpes is caused by a virus known as the feline rhinotracheitis virus. Cats that have contracted feline herpes can go on to live happy, healthy and full lives.

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One common symptom of feline herpes is discharge from the eyes or the nose.

Respiratory System

The feline rhinotracheitis virus can cause several respiratory problems, including upper respiratory disease, various upper respiratory infections and pneumonia.


Cats, especially kittens, that are suffering from feline herpes may lose their appetite.

Effects on Pregnancy

Expecting female cats that become infected or were previously infected with the feline herpes virus can miscarry their kittens. Kittens born to an infected mother can be born with feline herpes.

Additional Symptoms

Additional signs of feline herpes include ulcerations of the tongue or mouth, depression, fever, conjunctivitis (pink eye), corneal ulcers, sneezing, anorexia and dehydration.

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