Feline URI is similar to the common cold in humans. It’s caused by a virus, and stressful environments and situations also factor in. With supportive care and rest in a quiet, calm place like a loving home, most cases of Feline URI resolve in 7-14 days.
Signs of URI in Cats.
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 the 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.
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A low-stress room is important for the cat to rest, acclimate and recover.
Make sure the cat is eating (when cats get stuffy noses they can't smel 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.
A humidifier, particularly in dry climates, placed in the room may be beneficial
Always wash hands after handling a sick cat.
When to Call a Veterinarian.
We recommend every animal adopted be taken for an examination post adoption. In addition, contact your veterinarian if your newly adopted 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.
*Source: Dr. Stacy Cannon, Nashville Metro Animal Care and Control.