A cross-sectional survey of a convenience sample of cats was carried out to determine the prevalence of and risk factors for respiratory tract disease, feline calicivirus (FCV) infection and feline herpesvirus (FHV) infection. Seven hundred and forty cats were studied; samples for isolation of FCV and FHV were obtained from 622 (84%). Data on individual cat and household variables were obtained by questionnaire for each cat and analysed using univariable and logistic regression analysis. Thirty-eight percent (282/740) of cats surveyed had respiratory tract disease. Eighteen of 24 predictor variables were found to be significantly (P<0.05) associated with the presence of respiratory tract disease in a cat on univariable analysis. Following logistic regression, several factors retained significance including isolation of FCV and FHV, younger cats (4-11 months of age) and multiple cat households. A negative association was found with breeding catteries and other types of household in comparison with rescue catteries. Overall, feline calicivirus was isolated from 162/622 (26%) of cats sampled; 33% of the cats with respiratory tract disease were FCV positive compared to 21% of healthy cats. Variables significantly associated with FCV isolation on logistic regression were the presence of respiratory tract disease and contact with dogs with and without respiratory tract disease. Feline herpesvirus was isolated from 30/622 (5%) of all cats sampled; 11% of cats with respiratory tract disease were FHV positive compared to 1% of healthy cats. Variables significantly associated with FHV isolation on univariable analysis included age, gender, and the presence of respiratory tract disease. Vaccination showed a negative association. Logistic regression analysis of the data for FHV was limited by the sample size and the low prevalence of FHV. Copyright 2000 European Society of Feline Medicine.