How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Tammy F. Your Own Question
Tammy F.
Tammy F., Not an active Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 9168
Experience:  Not an active Expert
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Tammy F. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What is feline rhinotracheitis?

This answer was rated:

What is feline rhinotracheitis?

Feline rhinotracheitis virus (feline herpesvirus type 1 or FHV-1) causes acute respiratory illness known as rhinotracheitis (or feline herpesvirus infection). The virus affects domestic and wild cats worldwide.

Rhinotracheitis is characterized by respiratory symptoms such as sneezing, nasal discharge, rhinitis (inflammation of the nose), and conjunctivitis (inflammation of the membrane lining the eyelid). It also affects the reproductive tract and can cause complications during pregnancy.

Rhinotracheitis is part of the feline upper respiratory infection complex, which is a group of viral and bacterial infections (e.g., calicivirus, chlamydiosis) that cause sneezing and discharge from the eyes and nose. Cats often have two or more of these upper respiratory infections at the same time, and FHV-1 is one of the most common.

FHV-1 occurs worldwide. Cats of all ages and breeds are susceptible, although it is more common in the following:

  • Kittens, especially those born to infected mothers
  • Multicat households, catteries, and pet adoption shelters, especially those with:

    • Overcrowding
    • Physical (e.g., temperature) or psychological (e.g., introduction of a new cat) stressors
    • Poor nutrition
    • Poor sanitation
    • Poor ventilation

  • Pregnant cats that are lactating
  • Sick cats (especially sickness associated with a weakened immune system or other respiratory infection)
  • Unvaccinated cats
FHV-1 is shed through the discharge from an infected cat's eyes, nose, and mouth. Contact with these secretions is a potential mode of transmission. The most common mode of transmission appears to be contact with contaminated objects that an infected cat has touched or sneezed on including cages, food and water bowls, litter trays, pet owner's clothing, and the pet owner's hands.

FHV-1 can be transmitted by direct contact with an infected cat's mouth, nose, or eye discharge. Several days of close contact are necessary for infection to occur.

Sneezing and coughing can spread the virus as far as 4 feet.

Many cats that are infected with FHV-1 never completely get rid of the virus. These cats are known as latent carriers. Even though they may not show symptoms, they harbor the virus in their nerve cells. Latent carriers spread the infection and are a major source of new infections.


Tammy F., Not an active Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 9168
Experience: Not an active Expert
Tammy F. and 6 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tammy Falkner's Post: I still would like to know how to treat my kitten with this px, when I only have thirteen dollars to do so? A vet costs 23-32 bucks. Just for the visit.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
I did.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tammy Falkner's Post: ah, I have had three replies, yet when I click on them it only shows me the initial reply from Tammy.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tammy Falkner's Post: Can I get this from my kitten? I hate to have to ask.
Hi -
This information may answer you question :
Cat 'flu is caused by either feline calicivirus (FCV) or feline herpesvirus (FHV - also known as feline viral rhinotracheitis virus - FVR), or, uncommonly, a combination of both. The most serious cases are caused by FHV.

Cats cannot catch 'flu from humans with 'flu nor can humans catch cat 'flu.

This information was taken from The University of Glasgow - Comapnion Animal Diagnotics website.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to L Embry's Post: Thanks SO much! Although, my answered the question that I had asked out of worry that I don't have the proper funds to nip this px in the bud! I can imagine that Maceo, my kitten's name, will not be brought to the vet until I can afford it, nexdt month, and THIS still worries me. Nonetheless, I suppose theres' not much you or I can do about it for now, as much as it saddens me, i can only utilize what resources I have available: I have fed the juices left over from boiling vegetables, hoping to feed her sufficient vitamins. I have used my ( human) friend's eye drops, that is basically made from neosporin. I don't know what else to do!!! Thanks though. That was nice of you to give FREE advice!!!!!!!!!! I had always believed NOTHING was free in this world! Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't get used to it!

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
< Previous | Next >
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
  • I will use your service again. I was very pleased with the response and the fact that you have a low cost option so that those of us on fixed income can have questions answered. I will also recommend you to others. Karen Jackson Heights, NY
  • You helped us to come to what we believe is a better next step in Jack's treatment, and hopefully have saved us $800!! Thanks again! Jack's Mom Tuscon, AZ
  • The vet said that the information and my following it will be what made the difference. Thanks again for being so very helpful. Tracy Grayson, LA
  • My oldest male cat had a seizure this evening. This site was the first place I could think of to go after the seizure had passed. Dr. Lucy was fantastic and she was spot on! Debbie USA
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

Meet The Experts:

  • Terri


    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
< Last | Next >
  • Terri's Avatar


    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
  • Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • Cher's Avatar


    Feline Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
  • Lori's Avatar


    Feline Healthcare

    Satisfied Customers:

    16 yrs health care mgmt & issues relating to cats, reproductive issues and multicat environments
  • Micki's Avatar


    Expert in cat behavior and health

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
  • Candy R.'s Avatar

    Candy R.

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • Theresa's Avatar


    A Voice for your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    19+ years in animal medicine as a veterinary technician