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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20626
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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I have 3 cats who are over 10 Years of age - have lived in

Customer Question

I have 3 cats who are over 10 Years of age - have lived in my property - so no external influences has been in play - no ticks or fleas. They are well fed with Hill Science aged cat preparation. 2 weeks ago the one started to sneeze - no eye infection or running nose - just sneezing. Now the second one is also sneezing and the third is starting. The one who started out was quite uncomfortable last night and continually had a strange purr all night.
Please can you give me some idea what this could be and what to do.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. Based on their history and their signs, I would be most suspicious we have an upper respiratory tract infection moving through the group (where allergies, polyps, fungal infections and other issues known to cause these signs would not affect more then one of them). When this happens in adult cats, we do usually just see mild signs (including, lethargy, sneezing, appetite loss, tracheitis, +/- throat sensitivity) for 1-2 weeks until their immune system can remount its response to settle the infection for them. Of course, we always need to keep an eye on these cases, since some older cats (if immune weak) can have persistent infections that they struggle to clear. Now since we just have sneezing and some suspect congestion changing purr/voice sounds; we can consider some supportive care at this stage. First, you can consider steam treating them.To do so, you can take them in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen and clear any of the snot congesting them and reduce irritation in the nasal passage. You can also use a baby nebulizer/humidifier, but often cats don’t like things held up to their faces. That said, you can alternatively make a little ‘steam tent’ with them in their carrier, the nebulizer, and a bed sheet over both. Of course, they will need this done one at a time or you may just do so with the severely affected one.Otherwise, you can also use saline nasal drops (like Ocean Mist but not anything medicated) to relieve congestion and gently flush out the nasal passage. To do so, take one at a time and tilt their 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. Finally, since feline herpes virus is one of our common flu viruses that many older cats carry, you can also consider supplementation with L-lysine. This is a nutritional supplement that can help them recover from active herpes signs quicker. This is available over the counter at vets, pet stores, online, and health food stores. They come as gels, powders, or tablets that can be crushed to mixed into food. An average cat dose is 500mg a day for them. And just to note if appetites are reduced at all, do note that warming or offering smelly foods can help get them eating. As well, wet kitten food or critical care diets (ie Hills AD) can be helpful in getting more nutrition in, even when appetites are poor. Overall, to hear that we have this spreading through multiple cats is a major clue that we have an upper respiratory tract infection. Since we have no discharges, herpes and/or an agent that their immune system has fought before is most suspect. So, we'd want to use the above supportive care to help their immune system overcome this and settle these signs for them. I hope this information is helpful.If you need any additional information, do not hesitate toask!All the best, ***** you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today.Thank you! : )