Upper respiratory infection in cats is not an uncommon occurrence. If your cat’s purr sounds clogged, if your cat is sneezing, or if your cat is breathing with its mouth open, it may have a cat upper respiratory infection. If you suspect that this is the case with your cat, veterinary intervention is necessary.
Symptoms of Upper Respiratory Infection in Cats
Upper respiratory infection cats is typically caused by a virus. The feline calicivirus and the feline herpes virus are the most common causes. These two viruses account for about 90 percent of all upper respiratory infections in cats.
Symptoms of cat upper respiratory infection include sneezing, runny nose, coughing, congestion, nasal discharge, gagging, drooling, fever, decreased appetite, squinting, and open-mouth breathing. Upper respiratory infection cats may exhibit one or any combination of these symptoms.
Cats Prone to Upper Respiratory Infections
Some cats are more prone to these infections. Cat upper respiratory infection often occurs in senior cats, cats that are frequently exposed to other felines, and unvaccinated cats. Stress can play a large role in the outbreak of cat upper respiratory infection caused by the herpes virus.
Treating Upper Respiratory Infection in Cats
Treating cats with upper respiratory infections often depends on the severity of the infection. Your veterinarian may prescribe oral medications, nebulization treatments, subcutaneous fluid therapy, or rest. Nutritional support can also help alleviate the symptoms of upper respiratory infections. Your vet may advise that you feed your cat a food with a strong smell in order to entice your cat to eat.
Preventing Upper Respiratory Infections in Cats
There are a variety of ways that you can lessen your cat’s chance of developing an upper respiratory infection. Upper respiratory infection cats should be kept isolated so they do not spread the virus. Healthy cats should be kept indoors to minimize the risk of exposure. Minimize stress for your cat, keep your cat up to date on vaccines, and make sure your cat sees the veterinarian regularly for wellness exams.
Untreated Upper Respiratory Infections
You may choose to let an upper respiratory infection run its course. If you do this, you need to know that these infections can quickly develop into pneumonia or chronic breathing difficulties. It is always advisable to take your cat to the veterinarian for proper treatment if an upper respiratory infection is suspected. Your vet will advise you if it is safe to take no action to treat your cat.
Upper respiratory infections in cats are common. These infections are similar to bronchitis and other lung infections in humans. Your cat will find it difficult to breathe, may appear lethargic, and may be refuse to eat. If you suspect that your cat is suffering with an upper respiratory infection, seek the advice of your veterinarian as soon as possible. Failing to do so could result in severe complications for your feline friend.