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Micki, Expert in cat behavior and health
Category: Cat
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Experience:  Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
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My cat is hiding out in the dark cool basement, which is extremely

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My cat is hiding out in the dark cool basement, which is extremely unusual as she is always by my side , and seems to have a bit of difficulty swallowing. She had a scab on her lower exterior jaw last week but I figured she just cut herself with a back claw while scratching. I think, upon palpitating this morning, I could feel one side of her throat a bit swoleen. Any ideas?

Hello, Tweed


Is she eating and drinking?


Using her litter box?


Has her meow changed that you know of such as raspy sounding or loosing her voice?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.


Yes, she was eating a little last night. Unfortunately I got up late this morning so I didnt see her eat anything this morning. As for her litter box, it was last cleaned on Friday and there was stuff in it last night when I went to clean it, but again, I didnt check this morning. She seemed fine when I got home yesterday at about 5. By fine I mean she came running to the door to greet me as usual.

I just called my boyfriend at home and she ate some treats no problem and she has urinated in the litter box since last night.

As for her meowing, she doesnt really do that unless she is trying to get some wet food out of me but I did notice that yes, her meow seemd a bit off in the last day or two.

Thank you for the extra information.


Sounds like she has a bit of an upper respiratory infection. This is pretty much like our common cold. It can cause a array of symptoms from a sore throat, swollen glands, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and eyes.


It is viral and many times just needs to run its course.

You can try a drop of mineral oil or olive oil to lubricate the larynx. Not too much though, you don't want to give her diarrhea. This won't fix the problem, but will aid in a scratchy irritated throat.


If she does not get better in a week, or gets worse with other symptoms, you will need a vet appointment. Sometimes a URI can cause secondary bacterial infections that need an antibiotic to fix.


If she does develop a runny nose, eyes, or sneezing, you can give her a 1/4 tablet of Chlor-Trimeton every 12 hours. This is an OTC antihistamine like benadryl. You can find it at any drug store.


Sincerely, Micki

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I apologize for the 'back and forth' of this and I fully plan to accept the answer :)

Just a few more questions: Being the 'overly cautious' Kitty mom that I am I scheduled a vet appointment for this evening. Is the fact that she is still eating and using the litter box an indication that I should NOT freak out about this? If it is viral , there wont be much the vet can do , correct? Again, the fact that only one side seems swollen is a good thing yes? OK, stupid question, but I did feed her a bit of steak last night. Not related right?

You never can be too careful. I would keep the appointment since you have already made it. If it is viral, there is little a vet can do about it. Maybe a script for prednisone can be given to help bring down any inflammation in the throat. Also an antibiotic can be given to prevent any infection from starting.


The fact she is eating, drinking, and using the litter box is fantastic. It is when these basic life functions stop, that is it time to really worry.


The steak shouldn't have caused a problem unless there were bones in it. If there were bones in it, that could have caused damage going down, and thus the problems you are seeing. So if there were bones in it, mention it to your vet this evening.





Customer: replied 7 years ago.

No bones in the steak , so that's out. I will keep the appointment just for peace of mind.

I am at work and feel that I have no control over the situation so Thank you for easing my worry to some degree. Of course, the rest of the day is still a write off as I will be thinking about Tweed, but your answers have provided me with the comfort that she shouldnt keel over before I get home :)

Thanks again.


Don't worry about Tweed dying on you before you get home. She sounds ok, just a sore throat. She probably just has a bug. Let me know how your vet appointment goes.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Oh, one last thing I just recalled: I was at a friend's house last Saturday and her cat has Distemper. In a strange twist of irony, her cat is ill-tempered as well. Could I have transmitted from one cat to the other? I did touch her cat but not too much as the damn thing was totally swiping at me with her claws.

It is possible as the panleukopenia virus (distemper) can live on surfaces. The virus could have been on floors, furniture, anything really. Do mention this to your vet. The most common symptoms of distemper though are vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss. So she is not showing these symptoms which is good, but it is well worth mentioning to your vet.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Very cool. Once again, Thank you.

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