Cats are unique creatures. But they also tend to experience the same health issues over and over and over again. Feline Upper respiratory infections and urinary tract infections are two of the most common problems we hear about in cats.
Every species of animal has a weak spot and for cats, its respiratory problems. That’s why most vaccines for cats protect against viruses that attack the respiratory tract. If left untreated, these respiratory infections can turn fatal.
Feline herpesvirus also known as feline viral rhinotracheitis is the number one issue in kittens and breeding queens. This virus attacks the eye and upper respiratory system. Inbreeding queens, it can even cause abortions. But the tricky thing about herpes is it has an incubation period, so you may not know a cat is infected until it’s already spread it to other cats in the area. Herpes has an incubation period of two to six days and sometimes even longer.
If a cat is a carrier of herpes, it can shed the virus throughout her life. When a carrier cat is stressed, which often happens when a queen is giving birth, it can start shedding the virus and expose those newborn kittens to herpes.
Another cause of URIs in cats is calicivirus. Eye and nasal discharge and lots of sneezing are typical indications of calicivirus. The incubation period for calicivirus is five days but it sheds for at least 75 days after recovery. And like herpes, some cats can be carriers.
Bordetella bronchiseptica is the third main cause of URIs, especially in young kittens and rescues where cats are housed together. Bordetella Bronchiseptica is a bacterial issue and it can be fatal. If Bordetella has been diagnosed, early vaccination is the key to prevention.
Cat URI Treatment
Treatment of URIs in cats should include doxycycline because it penetrates mucus and can treat eye issues at the same time. In addition, Clavamox also works well as a treatment for URI, especially for kittens.
In addition to doxycycline, nose drops given several times a day is also a great option.When giving nose drops, just drip it in the nose and let the cat sneeze it back out, then wipe their nose with a soft paper towel.
UTIs are also, very common in cats. Bladder infections and crystals are common in cats, especially males. And the cat’s urine, die, and water all are factors that can cause UTI’s. The most common cause of crystals is alkaline or basic urine and minerals in the cat’s diet and water. If there are excess minerals in the cat’s diet, they are eliminated through the urine, where under alkaline conditions, these minerals can crystallize and form crystal sand-like a stone. These crystals then irritate the urinary tract. The urinary tract is then more prone to bacteria and that can sometimes cause blood in the urine and infections.
Cat UTI Treatment
To achieve the ideal urine ph balance in cats, Potassium citrate affects the pH of the urine and cranberry has properties that keep bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. Products such as Potassium Citrate plus Cranberry are generally well tolerated by cats. It helps maintain a healthy urinary tract in cats and dogs and inhibits the formation of bladder stones.
If you have more questions on cat uti or uri, call us at 800.786.4751.
Written by: Shelley Hexom
Shelley Hexom is Revival's Content Manager and helps develop educational pet health resources. A three-time Emmy® Award-winning news anchor, Shelley works with Revival's Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, to help create useful and easy-to-understand articles, videos, and webinars. Shelley received her bachelor's degree in Mass Communications from Winona State University in 2002. As a pet owner, Shelley enjoys time with her Boxer mix, Sally. Shelley has been part of the Revival Paw Squad since 2016.