Kitty Colds

Is your cat sneezing? It may have an upper respiratory infection.

Posted: Tue Dec 17 00:00:00 PST 2002

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Upper respiratory infections, or kitty colds, are prevalent among cats. The most common causes are viruses, including the viruses that constitute the annual booster vaccines. Feline rhinotracheitis virus, feline herpes and feline calicivirus are three viruses that have effects that are diminished, but not prevented, by vaccination.

Acute viral infections may produce fever, congested nasal passages, thick nasal discharge, lethargy and anorexia. Often, a secondary bacterial infection will complicate the primary viral infection. Antibiotics, which are used to treat URIs in cats, will work only if a bacterial infection is present. Unfortunately, drugs that effectively kill these viruses do not exist, and veterinarians are only able to treat the symptoms.

URIs can run a course of seven to 21 days. If your cat is exhibiting symptoms of a upper respiratory infection, take it to your veterinarian.

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Reader Comments

Brianne    Petersburg, VA

1/21/2012 9:57:09 AM

My Eva is just under 9 months old. She has a rattle in her chest and dry hacking cough. No runny nose or dishcarge from eyes or nose. Vet diagnosed Respiratory but she has not responded to Antibiotic. Giving cat children's dimetap for cough as suggested by Vet. Anyone out there have experience with giving cat dimetap?

Janet    Bethlehem, PA

10/4/2010 7:32:23 AM

good article, thanks

susan    Skaneateles, NY

6/19/2009 5:36:07 AM

my kitten Reed just died of a cold, even though we were giving him medicine.

Bonnie    Council Bluffs, IA

1/22/2009 7:58:41 AM

Need to give more info. My cat has a bad cold and all the sudden she does not want to eat, she hangs her mouth open because she cannot not breath yet her "snot " is clear. How do you know when the cold has hung around too long, and do I need to spray down everything she has sneezed on ?

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