Upper Respiratory Infections in cats are caused by a complex of viruses, just like the common cold in people. These airborne infections are only contagious between cats and kittens.

Signs include sneezing, discharge from the eyes and/or nose, lack of appetite, fever and lethargy.

Antibiotics are prescribed only when there is a secondary bacterial infection, as there is no treatment for the viral part.

Some cats and kittens will stop eating when they are congested so feed fishy foods such as Fancy Feast or 9-Lives. Good nutrition is a key part of fighting the URI. If you cat refuses to eat, you will need to syringe feed a digestible high calorie food, along with Nutrical (a vitamin supplement).

Signs may persist for days to weeks, as your cat’s own immune system needs to fight the virus.

If you think your pet is experiencing an emergency, please contact us at 734 662-4365 during our regular business hours. If you recently adopted from the Humane Society of Huron Valley and feel this is an emergency and it is off hours, please contact the shelter at 734 662-5585.

Please do the following:

  1. Always have a variety of foods available.
  2. If antibiotics are prescribed, give only the specified amounts.
  3. If your cat is very congested, put a drop of Neosynephrine (regular strength) in each nostril twice a day for 3 days (sold at any drug store).
  4. To help relieve the congestion, put your cat in the bathroom while you are showering.
  5. The best way to medicate or syringe feed your cat if he is fighting you, is to wrap him in a towel and hold him on your lap facing away from you. Gently put the syringe in the corner of his mouth and give small amounts.