How to Help a Cat Feel Better With a URI

Your kitty may lose her appetite while ailing from a URI.
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If your kitty is suffering from nasal congestion, watery eyes or regular sneezing, she's likely sick with an upper respiratory infection, or URI. Respiratory infections in cats, usually caused by viruses, are treatable at home. See your vet, though, for severe or new symptoms.

Step 1

Give your cat all the medications your vet prescribes. Your cat may need a course of oral antibiotics to treat or prevent secondary infections, and she may need an antibiotic eye drop to treat eye discharge or infection.

Step 2

Take your cat into a steamy bathroom for 10 to 15 minutes every few hours. This will help loosen her congestion and clear her air passages. Running a humidifier in the room where your cat spends the most time is also beneficial.

Step 3

Wipe away eye and nasal discharge with a clean cotton ball or towel. Allowing discharge to dry on her face can cause skin irritation and discomfort, and may increase her risk of secondary infection.

Step 4

Feed your kitty as often as she'll eat, and offer a highly palatable food if her appetite is reduced due to her illness. If she stops eating, she may require an appetite stimulant or intravenous feeding.

Step 5

Encourage your kitty to drink water and other fluids throughout the day and night to ensure she remains hydrated. She may be reluctant to drink. This combined with increased fluid loss due to nasal discharge and fever can quickly lead to dehydration. Keep her water bowls full and offer her water from an oral syringe, or ice to lick, if she's uninterested in drinking. If your cat refuses to drink, contact your vet immediately.

Step 6

Provide your cat with a warm, comfortable place to sleep during her illness. Depending on the underlying cause of her symptoms, she may be achy or feverish. She'll need a soft bed in a quiet location, away from drafts and cold. Isolate her from other animals in your home until she's fully recovered.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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