In 2016, a strain of the Influenza A virus was found in more than 100 cats in New York City animal shelters. It is not known how the cats contracted the virus.

This type of flu virus causes a mild illness in cats and poses little risk to people. Infected cats are expected to recover.

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

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 Risk for People

A veterinarian who worked with sick cats at the Manhattan shelter was diagnosed with the strain of Influenza A that had been found in cats. This person experienced a mild illness that was quickly resolved.

No other Animal Care employees or cat owners have been found to have the illness.

If you adopted a cat from a City shelter since November 12, 2016 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.


Get more information about the Influenza A virus in cats.

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Call 311 if you need more help.