Cats and Dogs become infected when bitten by an infected mosquito. There is some evidence that cats can become infected with the virus after eating experimentally infected mice.
However, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that only a relatively small number of WNV infected cats and dogs have been reported to CDC and of those only a few infected cats exhibited mild, nonspecific symptoms shortly after infection; for the most part only showing a slight fever and lethargy. The CDC maintains that it is unlikely that most pet owners would notice any unusual symptoms or behavior in cats or dogs that become infected with WNV.
How Do you Treat Cats with West Nile Virus
As of August 2012, there is no specific treatment for WNV infection. Any treatment would be targeted to managing symptoms and consistent with standard veterinary practices for animals infected with a viral agent. The CDC maintains that full recovery from the infection is likely.
Can a West Nile Virus-infected Cat infect my Family
The CDC maintains that there is no documented evidence of dog or cat-to-person transmission of West Nile virus. This is because cats and dogs do not develop enough virus in their bloodstream to infect more mosquitoes.
How Do I Protect My Cat From West Nile Virus
Noting that WNV presents only a limited risk and danger to your cat the best way protect your cat is to guard against mosquitoes This would involve keeping your cat indoors. As of now, there is no vaccine for WNV. Whatever you do, DO NOT use insect repellent on your cat. This is because Cats in particular may ingest pesticide residues on their coats by self-grooming.
Pesticide Danger to Cats
Perhaps the biggest danger associated with West Nile Virus is in the pesticides being sprayed to kill mosquistos. Tips to protect your cat: