replied 2 years ago.
Now having a new baby in the house (with all the new smells, sounds, and change in routine), we do need to appreciate that London will be quite stressed. And in times of stress, when stress hormones are high and dampening the immune system, we can see viral flu agents (especially herpes) rear their heads and cause mild respiratory issues. And this combined with that stress of a major life change is likely why London is being a wee hermit and not feeling 100%.
Since you are only seeing mild signs and there is no snotty discharge, I do want to advise some supportive care until he sees his vet. To start, if he is sounding congested and sneezing, then you can try to address this with steam treatment. To do this, 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/humidifier, but often cats don’t like things held up to their faces. Therefore, we can often make little ‘steam tents’ with them in their carrier, a humidifier next to it, and a light bed sheet over both to make a little steam room.
If he is building up mucus that the steam isn't shifting, use a cotton ball moistened with warm water to wipe away crust and mucus. You can also use saline nasal drops (like Ocean Mist but not anything medicated) to clear his congestion. 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.
Making sure he is getting food and water is important, as congested cats who can’t smell their food often won’t eat as well as they should. As well, if he is having a herpes flare up, they do cause sore throats and this could be why he is keen on softer wet food at the moment. In any case, since his appetite is down, 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.
Since feline herpes is a potential agent here, I would note that you can consider treating him with L-lysine. This is a nutritional supplement and can help kitties with herpes recover quicker. This is available over the counter at vets, pet stores, health food stores, and even Amazon. It comes as a gel, powder or crushable tablet that can be mixed with food. An average cat dose is 500mg a day if you wanted to try this with him.
Finally, since this will be a stressful time for London, I do want to touch on some support to help him cope. If you have not already, it would be ideal to make sure his food/water/litterbox are all in easy reach of where he has set up his safe haven. As he becomes comfortable with the situation and gets used to the baby being present, he will likely extend where he goes, but for the moment we do want to make things easy on him.
As well, I would suggest using some de-stressing treatments to aid his coping with this situation. Often we will use Feliway, (also known as Comfort Zone in the pet stores) which is a synthetic cat pheromone that helps to relieve stress, promote relaxation, and help the stressed cat settle. This can be used as a spray or a plug-in diffuser (ideally used wherever he is most). There is also a diet on the market called Calm by Royal Canin. This contains a number of supplements that have been found to provide stress relief to cats. As well, there are nutritional supplements available over the counter at the vets, like Zylkene or Kalmaid to soothe anxious cats. Furthermore, there are treats like Composure and even a Bach Flower Remedy for cats. And since these are not drugs persay, it is safe to use them in combination as needed . So, these could be used as needed to make sure that the stress of everything rushing around them isn't making him feel anxious.
Overall, the stress of all this recent life change is likely the indirect trigger for his signs. But otherwise, those respiratory signs are highly suspicious of an opportunistic cat flu. Therefore, since he has no discharges and the signs are fairly mild, we would want to initiate supportive care to make him comfortable and monitor him closely. If he isn't settled by Monday, then we'd want to have his vet check him +/- start antibiotics against secondary bacterial concerns or also dispense cat friendly decongestants like Bisolvin (since human ones are toxic to cats) to help get him feeling better as he comes to terms with the new addition.
I hope this information is helpful.
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All the best, *****
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