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Upper respiratory virus

Species: Cat
Breed: Mixed
Age: 8 to 11 years
Thank you for your past advise. I now have another question that is regarding another feral cat that has been with us since 1999. She seems to have developed an upper respiratory problem and we like to know the best way to treat it. We have treated this before, with the other ferals that we take care of, with an antibiotic that we get from our vet. Is there any other treatment and can we get it at a Pet store or online.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi and thanks for coming back!

It is really common for a cat to get an upper respiratory virus. A lot of the time they will just get over it on their own. It can take a few days to several weeks for a cat to clear an upper respiratory virus.

One thing that you can buy online or at a pet store that will help a cat to clear a virus faster is an amino acid called lysine. While nothing will kill a virus, the lysine has been shown to help a cat's immune system fight the virus quicker.

If your cat is stuffed up then you can often help her feel better by running the shower and getting the bathroom steamy and then putting her in the steamy bathroom for about 10 minutes. This will loosen up the congestion and help her to breathe.

If she is not eating well you can try heating up some canned cat food which will help her to be able to smell it.

However, if you are seeing a green discharge from her eyes or nose, if she doesn't want to eat or if you just think she is really uncomfortable then she needs to see a vet for treatment.

It is also possible that this is not a virus. In an older cat when we see these symptoms it can sometimes mean a tumor in the nose or mouth or other things.

I hope she does ok!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.