Cat Cold Symptoms.

by Barbara
(Fort Worth, TX)

I have a manx cat that is very outgoing but unfortunately this cold weather we have had here in Texas is not her kind of weather. She does not like the cold. Any how she is an inside only cat and has got like a bad cold or respiratory infection as you all have called it.

Our house does have some chill that comes through but normally it hasn't bothered her. Any how she is sneezing, liquid coming from her eyes, she has lost most appetite and she has no mood to move around. She mainly sleeps and of course we do encourage it for she is sick. She coughs some and sneezes and it seems so hard on her.

She is approximately 3 to 4 years old. We got her from a shelter over a year ago so it's only an approx.

Any one have any ideas for any kind of help here. We put her in clothes to help keep her warm but she gets out of them. We try to bundle her up so she can stay warm but she gets out of them and sits on top of them. HELP plz.

Vet Suggestion Cat with Cold

Hi Barbara,

I can’t say exactly what is going on with your cat without seeing her, but an upper respiratory infection sounds pretty likely.

Cold weather and/or drafts would not be responsible for this. These types of infections in cats are usually caused by viruses, bacteria, and sometimes certain types of fungi.

Because she is not eating and is lethargic, you really do need to get her in to see a veterinarian. Cats that don’t eat (no matter what the underlying cause) are at risk for developing a potentially life threatening condition called hepatic lipidosis. I’m afraid that without a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment, she is not going to get any better.

Good luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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Oct 17, 2012
A concerned new owner
by: Jessica

Hi Jennifer,
I recently moved into a new house. My boyfriends cousin lived in the house before us. The first week of getting settled I noticed a black cat with a white patch on his chest and neck that always seemed to be around. I got him to come close to me enough to pet him. He seemed to be a very friendly cat (except towards my boyfriend :D - he wouldn't ever get close to him). I started to leave a food and water bowl on the porch for him. I asked around the neighborhood trying to gather information about the wondering cat. People seemed to know of him and that he was a very sweet cat. Everyone said the same thing, that he was just a stray, kind of like a neighborhood cat. Our house falls right in the middle of our road so we can see each stop sign. I started to watch which direction he was coming from. It's been six almost 7 months now and he is now known as our cat Shadow. He is very good at going out -when he needs- but loves to be inside right beside me. :D I have to say I have kind of spoiled him. First question is, Do you think it was wrong of us to take him in without knowing for sure that he isn't someone elses cat? And my main concern is, It's getting colder here in CA and I've noticed some of the same symptoms in Shadow as Barbara from this post. Shadow has developed a respiratory infection I think. I can hear when he's sleeping or even awake a kind of rumble in his chest like he's congested and needs to cough. He also sneezes, coughs, and his nose runs along with his eye watering. Fortunately, there's no signs of loss of appitite or weight. Wondering if there's a home remedy or if its serious enough to take to the vet. I don't know if this makes a difference or not but one day I witnessed him (as gross as it is, but natural-hopefully)playing with a baby mouse. I've fed him very well hoping it would stop his "urge" but being an outside cat for so long I don't think I'm going to be able to stop it. Worst thing is I'm almost certain he digests them. Is that harmful? Sorry so long and Thank You -Jessica

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My Cat Has a Cold

by Debra

My Cat has a Cold

My Cat has a Cold

Our cat, Patches, is 16. She's been sneezing for weeks but it didn't seem to be bothering her. However, the last couple days, she's been congested, breathing through her mouth, thick mucus sticking to her nose. I wish I knew what I could do to make her more comfortable!

Vet Suggestion Regarding the Question My Cat Has a Cold

Hi Debra,

If your cat is breathing through her mouth and her sneezing and congestion have not improved over the course of several weeks, you really need to get her in to a veterinarian for a physical exam.

Cats HATE to breathe through their mouths, so if Patches is doing this it means that her nasal passageways are completely blocked.

I don’t think a simple respiratory infection is the most likely cause. Patches could have a fungal infection or cancer affecting her nasal passageways, among other possibilities.

It sounds like she is really suffering and needs a diagnosis and relief ASAP.

Good luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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Cat Congestion

by Linda
(Fort Pierce, FL)

Cat congestion problem. How can I clean the inside of my cats nose?

She is stuffed up and not sneezing it out. It's not running just stuffy and can hear it in her nose when she breathes.

Cat Congestion: Cat Health Guide Editor Suggestion

Dear Linda,

Thank you for your question regarding cat congestion.

A cat's nasal passage is complicated and in cases where there is an upper respiratory problem, the nasal passage may become congested. Even if the cat stuffy nose problem resolves itself, some dry or semi liquid matter may get stuffed in the nasal passage. There are other reasons as well that can cause this type of cat congestion, like secretions in the ear and in the sinus.

A cat with nasal congestion or sinus congestion can experience stress, pain, discomfort, and nasal sounds while your cat is sleeping. In most cases, this tends not to be a big problem, but it may cause some severe problems in the future such as a complete blockage, nervous stress, respiratory congestion and possibly infections.

Remember, an owner should never operate deep inside a cat's body cavity; this can cause severe damage to the anatomy of your pet. You should not try to clean any inner cat nasal parts yourself, Let a professional deal with it.

There are other options for treatment, which you can initially try yourself.

Clean the outer parts of the cat nose and remove all blockage and debris, if any at the outer and visible part of the inside of the nose.

You can also try to make your cat sneeze; sneezing will help push the stuffed matter outwards. Try tickling underneath both of her nostril holes and repeat it various times. Sneezing soon after your cat wakes up in the morning will help more. You can try some soft feather like thing as well, to stimulate the nervous supply at the opening of the nose.

Catnip is another option, any spray or formulation containing catnip or Nepeta such as KONG Catnip Spray can help your cat sneeze repeatedly. Commercially available sprays contain distilled Nepeta, which is usually safe for cats, but make sure that your cat is not susceptible to it.

Additionally, you can try some other natural preparations as well; products such as Sinu-Rite will help to alleviate any cat sinus congestion and will resolve any underlying upper respiratory problem, which appears sub clinical (not yet showing any cat respiratory problems).

Please keep us up to date on your cat's condition.

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Nov 14, 2010
using an air humidifier
by: Bob

Running a room humidifier filled with water and frequently clearing the cat's nose of any visible discharge can also help to relieve the cat's breathing and improve congestion.

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Cat Nose Congestion

by Brittany

My cat jade (at about a month 1/2)

My cat jade (at about a month 1/2)

My cat jade, (a 5 month old cat) has had a few of its shots, and so on. But yesterday and the day before jade began sniffling alot. Then, the next day it was very tired, and sounded like it had congestion and wanted to throw up.

Now. today all of the symptoms are gone and she is just kind of tired. I am guessing it is just a small sinus thing, or the cat flu. Which both are not usually dangerous.

But I am guessing that she just feels crappy from the cold she had the day before, and is resting to regain her energy.

Do you think I should take her to the vet. Because if it is the cat flu, or a sinus cold. They cant do anything but say she will get better in a few days. Because both are mild and there are normally no cures for it.

Editor Suggestions

Dear Brittany,

Thank you for your question.

Respiratory system problems in cats are more complicated as compared to other companion animals. Though symptoms of mild respiratory/sinus congestion and labored breathing appears to be less important, signs such as lethargy/tiredness and the persistence of such symptoms are always alarming and require attention.

Even though your cat seems healthy and active in the picture, cat respiratory symptoms along with lethargy should always be suspected for more complicated respiratory and circulatory problems such as feline asthma, lung-worm, heart and heart-worm diseases, etc.

Here, we cannot confirm the condition your cat is suffering from without a detailed clinical examination and laboratory procedures, but we can suggest some supportive natural remedies you can try. These herbal extracts are for support only and will help to improve the respiratory system health and clear any cat sinus congestion. Products we suggest include Respo-K to support the respiratory system and Immunity and Liver Support, to boost the immune system. If the condition is of less importance or is a simple cold, these remedies will surely resolve the condition.

But, in case the condition gets worse with time, i.e. you notice some extraordinary symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, intolerance or persistent respiratory symptoms, it is better to consult a nearby veterinarian for a detailed examination. Additional laboratory tests will also be needed for confirmation, and any diagnosed condition should be treated specifically.

Best of luck and please keep us up to date on the cat cold condition.

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Sep 03, 2010
Thank you for this article
by: Cat Illnesses

Awesome article. Great outline of symptoms for all those cat health problems. I feel like I won't miss any change in my cat's routine now.

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Cat Cold and Flu

by Myra
(New Jersey)

Cat Cold and Flu Reader Question: I have 6 cats and my boy cat went out side then they all got sick! With colds my 2 baby cats are real sick and they keep sneezing can't really afford to take them all to the vet what can i do for them.

Cat Cold and Flu Editor Response:

Dear Myra,

Thank you for your question regarding cat respiratory problems. An Upper respiratory tract problem, mostly termed a cat cold or cat flu can occur in any cat, irrelevant of age, sex, and breed. It can be transferred from one animal/cat to another, but usually is host specific, i.e. cold/flu of cat cannot be transferred to humans and vice versa.

Usually, a cat cold or flu is not a major issue itself; the most frightening part is when any secondary bacterial and viral infections take hold which can cause a severe generalized illness and respiratory blockage. This can then develop into pneumonia or some other similar complicated form of respiratory disease.

In the case of severe symptoms such as sneezing, wheezing, cough, runny nose, watery eyes and respiratory stress, treatment should be administered by a veterinarian. Having a confirmed diagnosis for any bacterial or viral infections should be carried out and the condition identified should be treated specifically.

You can treat a common cold/flu at home with herbal remedies and some preventive measures, but remember that this only applies to mild cases.

First, you should isolate the affected cat from any healthy cats. Be sure to provide a hygienic and clean environment for all of the cats. Also, do not allow the cats to roam outside and keep them limited in the home and keep the place warm. If you keep the temperature of your home above 70 Degrees Fahrenheit most of the time, it can help to keep factors related to flu transmission in control.

You can use some commercially available natural remedies such as FCV Protect, which can help to treat symptoms such as sneezing. Other natural remedies can help to maintain the health of the whole respiratory tract such as Respo-K, which can help to treat any developing problem in upper as well as the lower respiratory tract. Be sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when administering the remedies.

Additionally, offering some soup to all of your cats can help to keep them warm and their upper respiratory tract soothed.

Please keep in touch with the condition of your cats.

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Jul 27, 2016
Manx With Unusual Sinus (?) Intermittent Congestion
by: Elizabeth Yuster

Fear Cat Health Guide,

I read everything about feline sinus issues, but none were relevant to my Largest (12.5 lbs of Muscle) Manx-Shortcut.

He & his brothers are 4 yrs old.{Rescues}. The other 2 do NOT have Shortcuts Symptoms. He did NOT display any problems for at least his 1st 2 years.

They are all neutered and vaccinated, and like the outdoors safe, as I live in a rural forested area.

Shortcut shows NO Signs of the 'Typical' Upper Respiratory Infection... This is DEFINITELY in his Sinus Cavity. He Does NOT have Runny eyes or Any type of Discharge; except an occasional large blow through his nostrils (~ 1-2/wk), often with a pink-tinge in the mucus due to the 'FORCE' he uses to expel a large amount of mucus.

I can often HEAR the Congestion; when he has it (anti-Bacterial Shots are useless)-struggling to breath. He is STILL ACTIVE, EATS Well, and seems Not to be in Pain. Allergies would produce noticeable eye/nose discharges-Never seen on Shortcut.WHAT COULD HE BE SUFFERING FROM??


Response from Our Editor

Hi Elizabeth,

There are many possible explanations for your cat's sinus issues. These include:

1. Chronic rhinitis: due to an ineffective immune response to a persistent viral infection.
2. Calcivirus infection: Clinical signs include shedding (off and on.) Cause by latent FHV-1.
3. Bacterial infections such as Bordetella bronchiseptica. Chlamydophylliosis is not common, but another possible cause.
4. Fungal infection
5. Physical causes such as injury, polyps, periodontal disease and foreign bodies all predispose a cat to chronic infection and sinus problems.
We suggest that your cat get a thorough diagnostic workup from a veterinarian. The Vet will check the CBC, serum biochemistry, retroviral serology, check the urine (urinalysis) and blood pressure. If this fails the Vet may recommend more advanced testing such as Skull radiography or a CT/MRI to check the nasal passages, sinuses and bone health.

Best of Luck,

Editor, Cat Health Guide

Mar 24, 2012
by: brittany

Hi my kitten caught a cold and a bacterial infection in her lungs called broncitous for cats and I used Pedialyte for her three times a day. the first day I seen a difference in her pooping. It got less and less runny and it is getting a little hard after the first 3 days and then it got way better a week after. Be sure to keep the kitten hydrated also with water, fed 2 times a day with soft food and milk 2 times a day, and water 2 times a day If its a older cat feed the cat normally. I really am surprised how well it worked. I also would recommend keeping the kitten warm and have it sleep for naps, warm baths can help, it helped my kitten calf all that stuff out and cleaned the eyes out. keep the kitten in a clean environment. Since cats get sick because of environment bacteria's. Thanks for listening and hope your kitty gets well.

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