Cat Veterinarian Home 
  Cat Colds
  In The News
"Some people feel bad about feeding their cats the same thing every day, and they think the cat needs variety..."

"cats are creatures of habit and any changes in their environment can make them upset..."

"what cats really need are high-quality protein like duck, turkey or chicken and lots of water..."

"If you’re a cat-only person, you often take your cat just as seriously as you would a child..."

"At this time, Gordo is doing well with no observable lameness or recurrence two months post-operatively..."

  Health Articles
-General Feline
        Health Care
-Anal Sac Disease
-Cat Colds
-Dental Care
-Do Not Declaw
-Fecal Sample
-Feline Lower Urinary
        Tract Disease
-Have Cat. Can Travel
-Heart Disease
-Homecare Asthma
-Inflammatory Bowel
-Kidney Disease
-Liver Disease
-Ring Worm
-Upper Respiratory
-Urine Samples and
        how to get one
           We call feline colds URI’s which stands for Upper Respiratory Infections. Just as in people, these are caused by ubiquitous, highly contagious viruses. Many of the symptoms are the same as in people – sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, inflamed runny eyes and post nasal drip. Cat’s often have more serious eye involvement though, often resulting in squinting and conjunctival redness.

           We often see cats who haven’t left their 12th floor apartment in 1 year that get these viruses, but the more contact a cat has with other cats the more risk there is, of getting a cold.

           There are two potentially serious URI’s caused by Calici Virus, and Herpes Virus, but vaccines to prevent and reduce severity of outbreaks are administered. These vaccines will not prevent the dozen odd, minor cold like viruses. Just as with people, your cat may feel poorly for 2-4 days and then feel better; but the sneezing and nasal congestion can persist for a week or two more. Since your cat’s nasal passages are partially clogged, you may need to try “smellier” food for a while. A cat’s appetite depends on their ability to smell, so food with liver or even fish might be necessary when congestions is at its worst.

           Sometimes it helps to put your cat in a steamy bathroom for 10-15 minutes 2 to 3 times a day to loosen the congestion. Humidifiers can help too, but if congestion is severe nose drops may be indicated. We like Afrin drops, but it is difficult to administer these. They need to be forcefully blown down your cat’s nostrils with the nose pointing toward the ceiling.

           If your cat has these symptoms, but still seems reasonably active with a fair to good appetite, you can usually wait it out. If, however he is listless, not eating or begins sneezing out colored mucus you should call us about an exam and mediation. Cats can become rapidly dehydrated if they are not eating normally and if the mucus is colored and thick it could represent a secondary bacterial rhinosinusitis, which might require a course of antibiotics.

           Most URI’s are not serious and will pass off, but if the above symptoms exist or persist longer then specified give us a call and we’ll check kitty out.


The Cat Practice is located at 145 W 24th Street on the 3rd floor. Phone: 212-677-1401 Fax: 212-677-2088