Feline URI is similar to the common cold in humans. It’s caused by a virus, and stressful environments and situations factor in as well. With supportive care and rest in a quiet, calm place like a loving home, most cases resolve in 7-14 days.
● Runny nose or nasal congestion
● Red, swollen or runny eyes or squinting
● Coughing or hard swallowing
● Sores (ulcers) on the tongue, lips, nose or roof of mouth
● Fever, lack of appetite, hiding and/or decreased energy
Just like with humans, viral infections aren’t cured by antibiotics, even though they might be used for bacterial infections. A cat with URI should be separated from other cats in the household and put in a quiet space where he can recover in a low-stress setting. The cat can gradually be introduced to people and other animals in the household once he’s recovered.
● A low-stress room is necessary for the cat to rest, acclimate and recover
● Make sure the cat is eating (when cats get stuffy noses, they can’t smell their food well) so offer canned food, warmed gently in the microwave to stimulate appetite
● Gently clean discharge from nose and eyes with a warm moist cloth at least once daily
● Administer any prescribed medications as directed by your veterinarian
NOTE: ALWAYS wash hands after handling sick cats.
All newly acquired pets should be taken for an examination by your regular veterinarian within a week of bringing into your home.
In addition, contact your veterinarian if your cat has any of the following signs:
● Not eating for more than 24 hours
● Green or yellow discharge from the nose
● Difficulty breathing, especially panting or breathing through an open mouth
● Depressed or unresponsive
● Vomiting or diarrhea that lasts more than 24 hours
● Little or no improvement after a week of home care