Human influenza virus is known to affect multiple species of animals. In this case, a cat was found dead in a home and presented for necropsy. Initial findings suggested respiratory tract disease, specifically viral pneumonia. Genetic detection and analysis revealed the presence of Influenza A (H1N1)pdm09, the pandemic strain of influenza which emerged in humans in 2009.
This is the first report of influenza in a Canadian cat. Influenza must be considered in cases of feline respiratory disease or distress, or sudden death. See also: Bohr CV, DeBess EE, et al. Pathology and viral antigen distribution of lethal pneumonia in domestic cats due to pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influence A virus. Vet Pathol. 2010 May; 47(3):378-386.