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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19535
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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I have 2 indoor kittens. Both have colds. They can't get healthy

Customer Question

I have 2 indoor kittens. Both have colds. They can't get healthy because they just keep giving each other their germs. They have snot and eye goo all over! Is there anything I can do??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
How long have they had these signs?
Is there discharge/goo clear or snotty/green/yellow?
How is their appetite?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Goo in eyes for about a week. Snot is yellow. Appetite and play very normal.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
First, I would note that the kittens likely have the same infection. That means they cannot really pass it back and forth since their immune systems would be able to prevent a second infection. Instead, it sounds like we may have a primary viral flu, that is lingering because of secondary bacterial infection (the reason the snot is yellow).
Now I have to warn you that if the snot is yellow and thus bacteria are present, antibiotics from their vet would be indicated to clear this for them. So, this is a point where you may want to consider getting them seen.
Otherwise, I do want to outline some supportive care that can help reduce their signs and aid their immune system in fighting off this infection. To start, if they are sneezing and congested, you can take them in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen and clear some of the snot congesting them. You can also use a baby nebulizer/humidifier, but often cats don’t like things held up to their faces, so do consider making them a ‘steam tent’ with the kitties in their carrier, the humidifier next to it, and a sheet over both.
If they are building up mucus that the steam isn't shifting, you can use a cotton ball moistened with warm water to wipe away crust and mucus. Furthermore, you can use saline nasal drops like Ocean Mist (but not anything medicated) to further reduce discharge build up. To do so, just tilt their head back and drop 2-3 drops in one nostril. Cats hate this, but it helps. After the drops go down, you can let the head up and wipe away any discharge that gets loosened. Then repeat with the other nostril.
Making sure they keep eating is important, as congested cats who can’t smell their food often won’t eat. Therefore, if you see any appetites waning, then you can try tempting with smelly wet foods (since they are high in water). It may help to warm it up a bit in the microwave to help them be able to smell it.
Since herpes can often cause primary flu signs, you can also consider starting them on L-lysine. This is a nutritional supplement that can help them recover quicker. This is available over the counter at vets, health food stores, pet stores, and online. It tends to come as gels, powders, or crushable tablets that can be mixed in food. An average cat dose is 500mg a day.
Overall, they are not likely to be spreading this back and forth but instead we have a secondary bacterial agent that they are struggling to clear. Therefore, if they cannot get over this flu, we do need to think about antibiotics from their vet. Still, in the meantime, you can start the above supportive care to ease their signs and help them fight this off.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank You very much!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome, my dear.
Have a great day,
Dr. B.
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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jill,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. B.