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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16306
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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3 year old unneutred, occasional sneezing, no discharge,

Customer Question

3 year old unneutred tom, occasional sneezing, no discharge, decrease in volume of mews, cat flu?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Based on Bagpuss's signs and his age, cat flu would be our top suspect here. Less common issues that could also cause such signs would include allergies, nasal foreign bodies, polyps, or fungal infections.

With this all in mind, since we aren't seeing snotty discharges (which is a sign of a secondary bacterial infection and that antibiotics would be indicated), we'd want to focus on supportive care for your lad. To start, since he is sneezing and if he has congestion you can take him in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen and clear some of the snot congesting him. You can also use a baby nebulizer or humidifier. Though since cats don’t like things held up to their faces, we do often use these for making a little ‘steam tent’ with the kitty in their carrier, a humidifier, and a light bed sheet over both to make a little steam room.

As well, if you are hearing congestion in that nasal passage, then you can use non-medicated saline nasal drops (like Ocean Mist or Little Noses). Tilt the head back and drop two to three 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.

Otherwise, we need to ensure that Bagpuss keeps eating; since congested cats who can’t smell their food often won’t eat as well as they should. Therefore, if he shows any loss of normal of appetite, then do try tempting him with smelly wet foods (since they are high in water). It may help to warm it up a bit in the microwave to help him be able to smell it.

Finally, since feline herpes is a common cause of all these signs (especially the tracheitis and reduced voice), you can also start him on L-lysine. This is a nutritional supplement that can help kitties with herpes recover quicker. This is available over the counter at vets, pet stores, and online as a gel, powder or crushable tablet to add to food. If you wished to try this with him, then an average cat dose is 500mg a day.

Overall I agree that his signs are most suggestive of an upper respiratory infection. Therefore, you want to initiate supportive care to make him comfortable and monitor him closely as his immune system clear this. Of course, if you see any snotty discharge, you do want to consider having his vet start antibiotics against our bacterial concerns +/- dispense cat friendly decongestants like Bisolvin (since human ones are toxic to cats) to help get him feeling better.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

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