Treating Upper Respiratory Infections: Cat Flu, Colds And Feline Asthma
Yes, Your Cat Can Get the Flu…
Some cats like some people can be prone to upper respiratory problems. Signs of that your cat may have a “cold” or “flu” are:
- Runny nose and eyes
An upper respiratory infection can last anywhere from 7 to 10 days. Longer than this and you should take your pet into see your vet.
Cat Flu (an old name for Feline Upper Infectious Respiratory Disease) is still very common in cats. The cause of most cases of upper respiratory infections is believed to be a form of either Feline Pneumonitis, Rhinotracheitis or Calcivirus viruses. Rarely is Cat Flu dangerous to an healthy animal but it can be fatal in an animal with a weakened immune system such as in kittens, older cats or cata with other health issues.
This type infection can easily be spread to other cats via nose or eye discharge, contaminated food dishes and human hands or shared bedding.
The best treatment for a cat with a cold is surprisingly similar to human care. Keep your pet warm, quiet and away from other cats, if possible. In order to avoid dehydration, you can try mixing extra water in with their regular moist or dry food. In case, a runny nose stops them from eating due to loss of smell, you can drizzle a little bit of canned tuna fish or chicken broth over their chow to perk up the taste buds.
Suddenly one week, my old tom cat started wheezing with his sides bellowing in and out as he struggled for breath. Imagine my shook when I discovered that he has a feline version of “asthma” similar to mine.
Despite its name many vets believe that this disorder is actually an allergic reaction of your cat to their environment. Numerous outside factors such as molds, mildew and other common allergens can make your cat suffer all the symptoms of a classic asthma attack: wheezing, coughing (sounds similar to a hairball session but without the mess), shortness of breath, labored breathing or panting with heaving sides.
A cat having an asthmatic episode can be very frightening for both the cat and the cat owner. Feline asthma is a chronic and progressive disease that can’t be cured and may even be fatal. So please take your cat to an emergency vet if their condition worsens over time.