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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20907
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Heard him sneeze a little yesterday. Today he hasnt seemed

Customer Question

Heard him sneeze a little yesterday. Today he hasnt seemed his usual self. Hes been laying in our laundry basket. Purrs when I per him. But hasn't done a lot. Think I heard a small cough earlier or sounded like it possibly.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the cat. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: His name is ***** ***** a little over a year
JA: How old is Hes?
Customer: About a year and a half
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Hes?
Customer: No up until yesterday and today Hes seemed fine
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

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

Has he had any nasal discharge?

What color? From both nostrils or one?

Any appetite loss or changes in his breathing?Has he been vaccinated?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I havent noticed any discharge that I can see. I our him in front of his food and water earlier but he didn't do anything with it just walked away and went back to the laundry basket. I've not had him vaccinated yet but want to soon. Havent noticed breathing issues
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad to hear that he hasn't any breathing compromise. Though if he has sneezing, coughing, is lethargic and not keen to eat; then I'd be suspicious that he has a brewing cat flu.
When cats have flu it can be caused by a number infectious agents (some bacterial, some viral). Clinical signs we tend to see are sneezing, congestion, watery eyes (the brown color being due to the enzymes in the discharge), nasal discharge, lethargy, drooling (as the viruses can cause oral ulcers), sleeping more, and inappetence.( Really, its much like us with the flu). Some can progress to pneumonia in the lung, but often this is not the case.

Now since he hasn't any nasal discharge, viral causes would be suspect (where bacterial agents tends to cause snotty noses). In that case, we'd want to start some supportive care at home to get him feeling more comfortable. To start, if he is sneezing and congested 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, but often cats don’t like things held up to their faces. Therefore, we can often make little ‘steam tents’ with the kitty in their carrier, a humidifier, and a light bed sheet over both to make a little steam room for him.

If Cheetah 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 or Little Noses 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. Therefore, 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.

Overall, Cheetah's signs sound like a brewing mild viral cat flu. Therefore, at this stage, you'll want to initiate supportive care to make him comfortable and monitor him closely. If he does start to have snotty discharge from his eyes or nose or you aren't seeing improvement with supportive care, then you will need to follow up with his vet. The vet can provide antibiotics against our bacterial concerns and can also dispense cat friendly decongestants (since human ones are toxic to cats) to help get him feeling better.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


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