Yes, Bordetella Bronchiseptica is more commonly known as Kennel Cough, affecting dogs who spend time in crowded conditions (like a kennel). It causes a whooping like cough, with little or no additional signs. Occasionally, an untreated dog will suddenly develop acute pneumonia, and will die unless treated quickly.

More significantly, Bordetella has been isolated in numerous other mammalian species, such as pigs, horses, sheep, goats, monkeys and humans. It has not, however, been previously recognized in cats, and an otherwise unenlightened veterinarian will look at you oddly if you request a Bordetella culture.

Bordetella has been affecting numerous catteries from coast to coast (I have seen reports from Washington, California, Texas, and various east coast states). It has been a serious problem, with high mortality, and surprising tenacity. A breeder I spoke to here in the San Francisco Bay Area lost 28 kittens in 18 months before it was finally identified at UC Davis and properly treated. She has begun vaccinating, and has had healthy kittens since.

One good thing, however–Bordetella is a bacteria, NOT a virus, and can be eliminated with good husbandry and appropriate antibiotics!