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Cat Respiratory Infection

Upper respiratory tract infections in cats that are also known as the cat flu can be caused because of a respiratory virus such as feline rhinotracheitis or feline calcivirus. These viruses can be characterized by sneezing, coughing, nasal congestion or conjunctivitis. Sometimes, this infection resolves on its own within 10-14 days without any medication. When a cat is showing signs of sneezing or coughing, questions about a cat respiratory infection may come to mind as well as the causes and treatments. Listed below are some of the important questions about cat respiratory infection questions that have been answered by Experts.

What is a treatment to relieve a cat from congestion because of an upper respiratory infection?

Often, individuals can use nasal saline drops or children’s nasal drops such as Little Noses that can be available over-the-counter in order to reduce the congestion that is caused because of a respiratory infection. The cat will need to be given one drop twice every day. An individual may also use prescription eye drops with antibiotics that is prescribed by a veterinarian.

What is the treatment for an upper respiratory infection in a 6-8 week old kitten?

An upper respiratory infection in a 6-8 week old kitten may lead to a secondary bacterial infection. As for the treatment, the kitten can be given antibiotics such as Clavamox and Azithromycin. Saline drops may also be used to moisten and flush out the kitten’s nose in case of congestion. An individual may also keep a baby humidifier in the kitten’s room for 10-15 minutes twice daily or place the kitten in the bathroom while a hot shower is running. The kitten can be given Lysine which may help stop the virus from replicating itself and help the immune system become stronger to fight off the infection. If the kitten is showing eye discharge, an individual can use a warm compress on the eye with a clean, damp cloth and flush the eye with a sterile saline solution.

Can Tylan be given to a cat with a respiratory infection?

Tylan powder may not be recommended for a cat with an upper respiratory infection. This is because Tylan is an antibiotic that is given to treat bugs in the cat’s gastrointestinal tract.

Can dextromethorphan and guaifenesin be given to a pregnant cat with upper respiratory infection to treat a cough?

A veterinarian may advise against giving dextromethorphan and guaifenesin to a cat with a respiratory infection. This may be because the medication will only suppress the cough reflux and will not do anything to dry up the nasal secretions. Since these are medications that are given to humans, they may also damage the unborn kittens.

What is the common cause of upper respiratory infection in cats?

The common cause of respiratory infections in cats is known as feline herpes virus type 1. This virus usually affects kittens and cats that are stressed or living in overcrowded environments. The first outbreak of this infection is the most severe, but once the cat recovers from this, the cat’s immune system may help keep the virus in check. There could be occasional outbreaks of the virus when the cat is in stress, is sick or is given corticosteroid injections. Some of the common symptoms of this virus include sneezing, eye and nasal discharge, conjunctivitis, fever, loss of appetite, depression, ulceration and pneumonia. There may be no cure for the herpes virus and once a cat becomes infected, the virus will remain in the immune system throughout the cat’s life. Treatment may depend on how severe the symptoms are. Treatment will include clearing the nostrils of any congestion, antibiotics, anti-viral medicines, force feeding, IV fluids and subcutaneous fluids whenever required and L-Lysine.

Upper respiratory infections may make a cat uncomfortable and restless. The cat’s eating habits may also become affected because they are unable to smell their food because of nasal congestion. A cat may not display all the symptoms of this infection, and this may lead to many doubts regarding the condition. Though the infection may resolve itself over a period of time without treatment, there are many things that an individual can do to make the cat comfortable and help cope with the infection. An individual may have many questions about what to help the cat with in this situation or how to treat the cat. At such times, speaking to an Expert and getting timely answers about this infection and its treatment can help an individual a cat’s illness.

Ask a Cat Veterinarian

Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 3390
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
15010675
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Cat Veterinarians are online & ready to help you now

Dr. Gary
Cat Veterinarian
Satisfied Customers: 3053
DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
Dr. Andy
Medical Director
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UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
Dr. Scott
Veterinarian
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12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.

Recent Respiratory Infection Questions

  • Hello, I'm trying to decide if I should take my cat to the

    Hello, I'm trying to decide if I should take my cat to the emergency clinic. she has been hiding under the bed for the past three days for at least 14 - 18 hours a day, and she is also yawning excessive;y. She was recently diagnosed with a heart murmur, but the doctors said she appeared to be fine.
  • Deb, i have a 3.5 - 4 month old rescued male kitten. When we

    Deb, i have a 3.5 - 4 month old rescued male kitten. When we got him he was having a clear eye discharge that would become crusty. Now the discharge is yellowish in color and he sneezes and sounds very congested. When he sneezes it is bloody. He is still eating, drinking, and is playful with my dogs but you can tell he doesn't feel good.
    I'm certain it's probably a URI and i only have access to injectable penicillin. Can you tell me how much and how often he should receive these shots? I would estimate his weight top be around 5 lbs. He is very small. We also have a 10 year old cat that now has eye discharge and is very lethargic. He also has scabs on his back that is turning into bald spots from him scratching and licking. He weighs approximately 15lbs.
    Thank you,
    Jason
    *****@******.***
  • We have a 12-13 week old kitten, that was found under our deck.

    We have a 12-13 week old kitten, that was found under our deck. He has had his first round of shots and is growing great. He has been a little bit off the last couple of days. Not eating and playing as much as normal. Today he has not eaten and only wants to sleep. His breathing a bit laboured. We do have two other cats in the house. Only exposed to one as the other one, wants nothing to do with him. Should I take him to the vet or wait it out a couple of days? Can I try and give him anything?
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