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Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:38 PM

Sneezing kitty? Do cats get colds?

My 13 yr old cat has started sneezing over the last few days - bouts of sneezing that last several sneezes and I can hear a little congestion in his breathing (you know that sound when you have a cold and have snot in your nose... not a congestion in his chest).

His appetite is fine and been eating fine, and his mucus is clear (because he sneezes all over me or the computer screen so I get a nice look at it).

His energy is a little low - he usually has kitty zooms (even at 13) 2x a day, usually attacking the crap out of a toy or running full speed around the house - so no zooms the past few days. He still comes to cuddle and is social.

The dogs are concerned - they intently sniff his face after the occasional sneezing bout and I think our lab mix tried to take his temp (she rammed her big wet nose up his butt and held it there for a minute but didn't tell me the results).

I live in Minnesota and it has been sooooo fricking cold (single digits and below zero temps) so I have been waiting to take him to the vet - I really don't want to take him outside when its so cold.

Anyone have prior experience? Our house is not quite from Hoarders, but its pretty messy, but I don't think its dust or allergies because you would think he would be used to that by now and it came on suddenly.

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Sneezing kitty? Do cats get colds? (Original post)
nadine_mn Jan 2013 OP
Voice for Peace Jan 2013 #1
nadine_mn Jan 2013 #6
JayhawkSD Jan 2013 #2
Voice for Peace Jan 2013 #8
KC Jan 2013 #3
Curmudgeoness Jan 2013 #4
nadine_mn Jan 2013 #5
Curmudgeoness Jan 2013 #7
ginnyinWI Jan 2013 #9
nadine_mn Jan 2013 #12
ginnyinWI Jan 2013 #13
ginnyinWI Jan 2013 #14
nadine_mn Jan 2013 #15
ginnyinWI Jan 2013 #17
nadine_mn Jan 2013 #18
hamsterjill Jan 2013 #10
nadine_mn Jan 2013 #16
narnian60 Jan 2013 #11
LisaLynne Jan 2013 #19

Response to nadine_mn (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:45 PM

1. just found this..

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=105x6667489

I have a kitty who is prone to sneezy and wheeziness.
He just sleeps all the time and doesn't want to go out
but otherwise is fine, and it goes away.

But if you are anxious .. I would follow my instincts
and check w/vet. good luck!

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Response to Voice for Peace (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 07:13 PM

6. Thanks for finding this thread - a lot of posts describe what he is going through

He needs his yearly wellness exam but its been so cold, I am putting it off.

His sneezes are adorable and he has been even more cuddly that usual... just breaks my heart when my fur babies are under the weather.

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Response to nadine_mn (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 12:58 AM

2. Breathing problem and tiring can be symptoms of heartworm.

Which is what our calico, Molly, turned out to have. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitos, but symptoms can take up to six months or more to manifest in cats. Our vet was flabbergasted because cats almost never get it in San Diego -- desert climate and very few mosquitos.

Cats, it turns out, can get heartworm and manifest no symptoms at all, but sometimes die very suddnly from it -- like running around the house one minute and dead the next. That's so unusual that it has been thought until recently that cats did not get heartworm.

Cats have fantastic immune systems, which kills most of the larvae injected by the mosquito. So where a dog will have up to 50 worms living in its heart, which will kill it, a cat will usually have only one or two. That causes the cat to tire easily, and the worm does emit a toxin that can cause breathing issues, but until the owrm dies of old age there is no real problem. Lifespan of heartworm is about one year, and it's the death of the worm that is problematic. It can be ejected from the heart into a lung and acts much like a blod clot.

There is neither preventive medication or treatment of heartworm for cats.

Molly was diagnosed three years ago and is is therefor out of the woods. She is a high speed kitty with no breathing problems at all. As expected, since the odds were highly in her favor. Still, it might be well to get your guy checked for heartworm.

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 08:24 PM

8. how was molly treated?

glad she recovered..

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Response to nadine_mn (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 02:51 AM

3. Our cat

does the same exact thing as yours does . He is probably around 10 years old. I haven't taken him in yet but talked to the vet and he said it could be just allergies. I guess when I am able to drive again Ill take him in just to be sure.

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Response to nadine_mn (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 06:27 PM

4. Yes, cats can get colds.

They are not the same virus for colds that humans get though.

This was an informative article:

http://www.catcare.com/publications/oc-register-112309.pdf

Kitty colds caused by viruses usually cause sneezing and a clear discharge from the nose and/or eyes. A more serious upper respiratory infection (a combination of a virus and a bacterial infection) would be characterized by fever, enlarged lymph nodes, yellow
to green discharge from the eyes and nose, and loss of appetite. Antibiotics would be needed...

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 07:11 PM

5. thank you

His sneezing has cleared up a little. Is it wrong that I find his kitty sneezes adorable?

He seems to be improving!

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Response to nadine_mn (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 07:21 PM

7. I am glad to hear that he seems better.

As long as he doesn't get worse! It seems that it is nothing to worry about as long as it is as you said. I know that my kitty has had sneezing fits once, and that was when I looked into whether they get colds----and he got better in a few days. But I thought it was rather sad, because he did not seem to deal with it well. It seemed to scare him. But if you think they are cute, I can't say that is wrong. I mean really, cats are always adorable, aren't they?

Good health, kitty!

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Response to nadine_mn (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 11:08 PM

9. Give it a week before taking to the vet.

It's probably just a cold, especially if it doesn't get more serious than what you said.

Funny about the dog! Wanted to make sure it was the same creature they thought they knew?

By the way, single digits here in Southern Wisconsin too. Actually -1 this morning.

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Response to ginnyinWI (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 04:01 PM

12. He is feeling better...just barely a week later!

The sneezing has stopped and the kitty zooms have returned!

I am so relieved...although he seems to miss the special treatment he was getting. Today when his zooms got him too close to our eldest dog she snapped at him (its an air snap never meaning contact just a hey back off) and I swear he fake sneezed for sympathy.

When I yelled at him for trying to chew some cords, I got the fake sneeze too.

Big baby...but so glad he is back to himself!

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Response to nadine_mn (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 05:19 PM

13. That's great!

And no need to spend $$$ at the vet, which is always a plus!

I volunteer at an animal shelter, and when one of the cats gets to sneezing, it is taken off the "floor" and put in back, in the sick ward for one week and that is usually all it takes. That's where I got the time frame of a week.

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Response to nadine_mn (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:03 PM

14. I'd love to see a picture of the old scammer. n/t

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Response to ginnyinWI (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:21 PM

15. Here he is hogging one of the dog's bed


Scout in dog bed by CraftyDeeney, on Flickr

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Response to nadine_mn (Reply #15)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:21 AM

17. Handsome boy!

I had a black male cat once named Tim but he died five years ago at age 18. Here he is:

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Response to ginnyinWI (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:32 PM

18. Oh that is one good looking kitty

Sorry that he has passed on... he looks so sweet!

Our kitty adopted us 13 yrs ago - he just showed up (at the time we were living out in the boonies in rental house on 300 acres of farm land) on a stormy night crying. We had 2 dogs then (both have passed on) and ever since he has thought he was a dog, and of course boss of the house.

If you look closely you can see a slight nick on his right ear - from a tussle with one of our dogs - gives him street cred.

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Response to nadine_mn (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:15 AM

10. Cats get upper respiratory issues quite often.

There is great information provided in this thread.

The real thing to watch for is that he continues to eat. If a cat's nose becomes so stuffy that he cannot smell, he will stop eating. It is dangerous to allow a cat to go more than a day without eating as they are prone to hepatic lipidosis.

If the cat stops eating, consult your vet. You can also syringe down some food to keep his strength up while waiting for the vet visit.

This could be a bacterial, viral or allergy. Watch for eye involvement, too, as cats many times get watery eyes with this sort of thing.

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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:23 PM

16. I was worried about it being a respiratory infection

so I made sure to keep an eye on his mucus and eye discharge. So glad he is better now but I need to bookmark this thread for all the good info for future reference

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Response to nadine_mn (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:04 PM

11. Cats can have asthma.

When the attacks begin my cat has to take Prednisone twice a week.

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Response to nadine_mn (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:14 PM

19. I read the thread and see that he is getting better.

I always tend to freak out when my cats seem sick at all and sometimes I have to tell myself to give it a couple of days and listen to my gut (not the panicking voices in my head) because they can get colds and whatever, just like we do. So I have been there! Glad he's feeling better!!

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