Why Do Cats Sneeze?

Why Do Cats Sneeze

When should I worry about my cat sneezing?

What to do if your cat keeps sneezing – Make sure your cat receives regular vaccinations against feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus to help prevent these viral infections. If your cat only occasionally sneezes and is perfectly well in general, then just keep an eye on them for a few days and try to work out if there is any pattern to when they sneeze.

  1. If your cats sneezing becomes more persistent, if your cat sneezes blood, or if they have other symptoms such as excessive nasal discharge, runny eyes, fatigue, coughing or trouble breathing, or if he or she is off their food, then you should make an appointment to see your vet as soon as possible.
  2. Most causes of your cat’s sneezes are easily treated and your cat should soon be feeling much better.

Looking for more cat health advice ? Read our guide on cat vomiting, next.

Why do indoor cats sneeze?

4 min read An occasional sneeze in a cat is normal and no real cause for alarm. Just as in humans, sneezing in cats is an explosive release of air through the nose and mouth – often the body’s response to irritants in the nasal passages. Sometimes, excitement or movement can bring on sneezing in cats.

  1. However, if your cat’s sneezing won’t go away, or if other symptoms have cropped up along with sneezing, you may need to check with your veterinarian to see if treatment is needed.
  2. If your cat is sneezing a lot, your veterinarian may initially suspect a cause based on a review of your cat’s symptoms.

One of the main causes of sneezing is infection. In some cases, the vet may take a swab from the mouth, throat, eyes, or nose and send it to a lab to confirm an infection. Inhaled irritants or allergens are other common causes of sneezing in cats. Viral, bacterial, or fungal infections.

Feline herpes virus. Cats catch herpes from exposure to other cats who are infected. Stress can cause a flare-up as well as transmission to other cats. Treatment is aimed at controlling the symptoms. Feline herpes virus is NOT contagious to humans. Feline calicivirus. This virus is highly contagious between cats. Mouth ulcers are the most common problem, but it can affect the respiratory tract and even cause pneumonia,

These infections may make your cat more likely to develop other respiratory problems that can exacerbate sneezing. For example, a cat with herpes may also develop a secondary bacterial infection. These are often treatable with antibiotics, A wide range of other infections may also lead to sneezing. They include:

Feline infectious peritonitis, which may cause no symptoms, mild symptoms, or more severe symptoms over timeFeline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which develops slowly, but severely impacts a cat’s immune system, leaving the cat vulnerable to other infections Feline leukemia, a serious and often fatal infectionChlamydia, which often produces an eye infection ( conjunctivitis )BordetellaMycoplasma

Inhaled irritants or allergens. If your cat only sneezes once in a while, something may simply be irritating the nasal passages. Look for patterns in your cat’s sneezing. Does it occur after you’ve lit the candles at the dinner table? After your cat leaves the litter box ? After you’ve cleaned the house? These are all examples of potential irritants or allergens (substances that cause allergic reactions) in cats:

Cigarette smokePerfumePest spraysCat litter, especially types that create dustCleaning agentsCandlesDustPollenMold

In cats, allergies are a less common cause of sneezing than in humans. If sneezing is related to allergies, sometimes itchy skin is also present. Other potential causes of sneezing. A variety of other factors may contribute to sneezing in cats. For example, it’s common for cats to experience sneezing within four to seven days of receiving an intranasal vaccine.

This sneezing lasts for no more than several days. Cats may also sneeze to try to dislodge a blockage in their nasal passages. An infection or inflammation of a tooth root may cause drainage into the sinuses and may also cause sneezing. In very rare cases, sneezing in cats can be a sign of cancer, Symptoms that may accompany sneezing in cats may be the result of a wide range of infections and other problems.

These symptoms may include:

Eye discharge, swelling, or ulcersExcessive nasal discharge, sometimes yellow or green in color (sometimes a sign of a bacterial infection)Fatigue or depression Fever Drooling Decreased appetite or weight loss Enlarged lymph nodes Wheezing or coughing Poor coat conditionTrouble breathing Diarrhea

If your cat sneezes only once in a while, has no other symptoms, or has only mild symptoms, you may want to simply monitor them for a few days. Keep your cat indoors and watch for changes. But be sure to call the vet if your cat sneezes continuously or often, sneezes blood, or has other signs such as those listed above.

They may be signs of an illness or condition that needs veterinary care. Treatment depends on the cause of the sneezing. In mild cases, the vet may suggest taking steps to simply help your cat be more comfortable – like using a humidifier. In other cases, antibiotics, antihistamines, steroids, or fluids may be needed.

Rarely, cats that don’t respond to medical therapy may require surgery.

Is it normal for cats to sneeze a lot?

Allergies – Sneezing is a common symptom of allergies. If your cat is sneezing more than usual and has any of the following symptoms, they may have allergies.

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Itchy eyes
  • Runny eyes
  • Ear infections
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Snoring
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swollen paws
  • Sensitive paws
  • Excessive licking or grooming
  • Red skin
  • Dry skin
  • Excessive scratching

Your can help you figure out what kind of allergy your cat has. There are three main types: insect allergies, food allergies, and environmental allergies.

What should I do if my cat is sneezing?

Respiratory Infection – Just about any upper respiratory infection can cause sneezing in cats, just like these types of infection can cause sneezing in humans. A cat with or a cold may start to sneeze, and cats can be infected with viruses, pathogens, and bacteria that can all cause these problems.

Will cat sneezing resolve on its own?

Ever see a little kitten wrinkle its nose and let out with a cute sneeze ? It sounds sort of like “Pfft!” and may or may not be accompanied by a few droplets. We all sneeze on occasion for what is seemingly no reason. As you might imagine, If your cat sneezes once in a while, and is otherwise active and normal, it is probably nothing to worry about.

  • However, if your cat’s sneezes are more than occasional or are accompanied by blood or mucus, or if your cat has a concurrent discharge from his eyes or also has a cough, the sneeze may be a sign of more significant problems.
  • Whether you’re concerned, or just curious, read on for some possible reasons why your kitty might sneeze: 1.

A simple, benign tickle This may be the most obvious cause for sneezing. A simple tickle in the cat’s nose, such as a bit of dust or a mild chemical irritant, can cause a reflexive sneeze. Think of the animated cat that sneezes when he inhales a bit of pepper.

Herpes virusCalicivirusChlamydia infectionsBacterial infections such as Mycoplasma

Less commonly seen fungal infections can also cause sinus disease that results in nasal inflammation. Viral respiratory infections may be accompanied by a cough and even more commonly by excessive tearing or discharge accumulating in the eyes.3. Chemical irritants On occasion a noxious smell or chemical fumes associated with various solvents can produce inflammation of the membranes of the nose and sinuses.

  1. Sneezing is the body’s way of ridding itself of that irritation.
  2. Some cats can also be sensitive to inhaled tobacco smoke, perfumes and various chemicals.4.
  3. Foreign bodies Nasal foreign bodies such as blades of grass or grass awns can find their way into the nasal cavity.
  4. The result is first, irritation and if the object is not expelled (“sneezed out”), there is a likelihood of a nasal infection.5.
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Dental disease Dental disease can cause sneezing particularly involving root infections. Infections of the feline tooth can allow bacteria to establish in the nasal sinus with resulting inflammation and sneezing.6. Allergies to pollens Pollen allergies are much less common in cats than in people, but are not unheard of either.7.

Intranasal vaccines Vaccines that fight against respiratory infections frequently cause sneezing for a few days after they are administered. The sneezing generally lasts for only a few days and goes away on its own, requiring no treatment. If your cat sneezes only occasionally, no treatment is generally needed.

However, if your cat has other symptoms such as discharge from the nose and eyes, the presence of blood or mucus in the nose, decreased activity or loss of appetite, have your cat examined by your veterinarian. If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Do cats get colds and sneeze?

My cat has a cold: What should I do? Yes, they can. Sneezing and sniffles are signs that your cat has a cold, but you may be wondering how it happened in the first place. And, more importantly, how you can avoid it in the future. Just like colds in humans, cat colds are contagious.

  1. This means that outdoor cats are more likely to find themselves with the cold virus than indoor cats because they are more likely to interact with other cats.
  2. Upper respiratory infections (URI) in cats are caused by bacteria or viruses.
  3. It is not contagious to humans, but it easily spreads between cats, especially in crowded environments.

So, if you recently boarded your cat and they now have cold-like symptoms, it’s likely that your cat was in close proximity to another cat suffering from an upper respiratory infection. Choosing a reputable boarding provider could also help to reduce the chances of increasing your pet’s stress levels, and will make it less likely for your cat to develop a URI.

Can cats sneeze from stress?

Sneezing – Sneezing or upper respiratory signs in cats can be a sign of stress or illness. Stress in cats can activate symptoms of a viral infection called feline herpes virus, which is very common in cats and highly contagious. This virus can weaken the immune system, leading to upper respiratory symptoms such as a dry sneeze and occasional ocular discharge or squinting.

Do cats sneeze when happy?

Why is my cat sneezing? – On one end, it could be as simple as your feline friend has something irritating in their nose – just like humans. Cats can be struck with the sudden urge to sneeze by dust or other irritants. Sometimes, cats will sneeze due to excitement or rapid movement. None of these issues should be cause for major concern.

How do you know if your cat has a cold?

Symptoms of Cat Colds – Cats with colds may have symptoms including coughing, sneezing, discharge from the eyes or nose, lethargy, and sometimes fever. For many cats, these symptoms are will go away on their own in about 7-10 days. However, some cats may experience complications, such as a secondary bacterial infection or pneumonia.

How many sneezes is too many for a cat?

It’s even normal for a cat to throw an occasional sneezing fit. However, it’s uncommon for a cat to sneeze several times a day for many days in a row. If sneezing persists – or if other symptoms develop along with sneezing – you may need to check with our veterinarians to see if treatment is required.

Why is my cat sneezing but no other symptoms?

When to See a Veterinarian – If your cat is only sneezing on occasion with either no other symptoms or very mild symptoms, you may be able to wait a day or two and simply monitor her for any changes. Kittens, on the other hand, should always be seen by a veterinarian when suffering from these types of symptoms.

  • If the sneezing persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, a visit to the vet is most likely needed for proper diagnosis and treatment.
  • This is especially important if your cat has stopped eating.
  • Loss of appetite is a very common symptom of upper respiratory conditions in cats due to loss of smell and/or taste, as well as the inability to breathe out of the nose.

Some conditions may also cause difficulty swallowing. Unlike the human body that can go weeks or even months without eating, a cat’s body goes into starvation mode after only 2-3 days. This can result in a serious and potentially fatal condition called hepatic lipidosis (or fatty liver disease).

Why do cats follow you to the toilet?

Does my cat hate closed doors? – It’s normal for your kitty to hate being faced with a closed door. Your cat may follow you into the bathroom because they know you’ll close the door if they’re not fast enough! Felines see closed doors as a challenge, and dislike being on the wrong side of one.

What happens if a cat sneezes on your face?

Is pet sneezes harmful? – No, in general, pet sneezes aren’t harmful unless the pet is infected with a zoonotic disease that can spread to humans. This is rare. However, you should wash your hands after any contact with sneezing pets.

Why is my kitten sneezing so much?

Key Takeaways –

If your kitten is sneezing a lot, it might be a sign of upper respiratory infection, but other common reasons include inhaled irritants and allergens, as well as other infections like FIV, feline calicivirus, and feline herpes. If your cat sneezes occasionally, there’s probably no reason to worry. However, if the sneezing persists or is accompanied by other cold-like symptoms in cats (such as coughing, loss of appetite, runny nose, watery eyes, etc.), it’s best to have your kitten examined by a vet. With your vet’s help and some supportive care at home, your cat should recover soon. Pet insurance can help you protect your budget while always providing the best care for your feline friend.

Is sneezing in cats contagious to humans?

Upper Respiratory Infection in Cats Can cats get colds? The answer to this question is both yes and no. Much like humans, cats can contract viruses that cause upper respiratory infections and show many of the same cold symptoms that we do. However, it’s important to note that you can’t catch a cold from your cat since the viruses that affect felines don’t affect humans.

Can I give my cat a cold?

No, cats cannot get colds from humans. The vast majority of viruses are highly species-specific and will not survive in a different host. Some bacterial infections can be transmitted to and from humans and cats, but this is rare. Cats can get COVID-19 from humans and may show mild symptoms, but this is extremely rare.

What is reverse sneezing in cats?

Reverse sneezing is a defense mechanism your cat utilizes when something triggers spasms in the diaphragm and abdominal muscles. The noise produced can be alarming, especially if you do not know what a reverse sneeze is. The causes of reverse sneezing in cats are not that much different from regular sneezing.

How do indoor cats get colds?

How do cats get colds? – “Cat colds” or “cat flu” are typically feline upper respiratory infections (URI). In most cases, cats catch colds just like people do — through exposure to a virus. According to one veterinary account, almost 90% of cat colds are caused by viruses,

  • However, some bacteria can also cause URIs.
  • Once a cat is infected, it can pass the virus on to other cats, often through sneezing or coughing.
  • In many cases, cats in shelters and boarding facilities are often prone to colds due to the constant interaction with other cats.
  • Cats like to groom each other, so if they’re grooming and licking each other’s faces, they can also get it from direct contact,” warns Elswick.
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“Eating after another cat can also spread these infections.” Outdoor cats often catch colds from contact with other outdoor cats. However, even solitary indoor cats can come down with colds, despite an apparent lack of exposure. That’s because cats don’t always develop colds immediately after exposure to a virus.

  • Sometimes it can take months or even years for an infection to develop.
  • Viruses that cause colds can lie dormant in the system,” explains Elswick, “So even if your cat has been indoors and not around other cats, in periods of stress or unrelated illness, those viruses can reactivate, causing your cat to come down with a cold.” People can also unwittingly bring home cold viruses on their shoes or hands if they handle a sick cat or even step where a sick feral cat has been.

Fortunately, you’re unlikely to catch your cat’s cold and vice versa. Most viruses that infect one species won’t survive in a host of a different species. There’s a slight chance that URIs can be passed from cats to humans. But these infections are rare, so the risk is minimal.

What are the symptoms of a cat virus?

The most common include fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue. Since those symptoms are quite common in other ailments, you’ll want to check in with your veterinarian to properly diagnose the condition. Feline distemper can be life-threatening.

Why is my cat sneezing but seems fine?

Cat Keeps Sneezing but Seems Fine – Cats utilize sneezing as a natural reaction to blow their nostrils when their nasal canals get irritated. Stuff like dust, pollen, germs, or a bit of fiber entering the nose might be the source of this sensation. Irritation of the nasal passage’s lining cells can also result from nasal canal infections or damage.

Why is my cat sneezing but no other symptoms?

When to See a Veterinarian – If your cat is only sneezing on occasion with either no other symptoms or very mild symptoms, you may be able to wait a day or two and simply monitor her for any changes. Kittens, on the other hand, should always be seen by a veterinarian when suffering from these types of symptoms.

  • If the sneezing persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, a visit to the vet is most likely needed for proper diagnosis and treatment.
  • This is especially important if your cat has stopped eating.
  • Loss of appetite is a very common symptom of upper respiratory conditions in cats due to loss of smell and/or taste, as well as the inability to breathe out of the nose.

Some conditions may also cause difficulty swallowing. Unlike the human body that can go weeks or even months without eating, a cat’s body goes into starvation mode after only 2-3 days. This can result in a serious and potentially fatal condition called hepatic lipidosis (or fatty liver disease).

How do you know if your cat has an upper respiratory infection?

Respiratory Infections Respiratory infections are common in cats, especially in high-density populations such as shelters, breeding catteries, and feral cat colonies. A variety of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa cause these infections, which negatively impact feline health.

  • While vaccines have greatly reduced the incidence of serious respiratory disease in cats, they have not eliminated the highly contagious pathogens that cause them.
  • Infections can occur in the upper and lower regions of the respiratory tract.
  • The upper respiratory tract includes the nasal passages, sinuses, oral cavity, back of the oral and nasal cavity (pharynx), and the vocal folds (larynx).

The lower respiratory tract includes the trachea, bronchi, and lungs (see Figure 1). Symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections include clear or colored discharge from the eyes or nose, coughing, sneezing, swelling of the mucous membranes around the eyes (conjunctivitis, see Figure 2), ulcers in the mouth, lethargy, and anorexia.

In rare cases, cats may have trouble breathing. Lower respiratory tract infections may cause coughing, lethargy, anorexia, and difficult or rapid breathing (which should not exceed 35 breaths per minute at rest). FELINE HERPES VIRUS Young and adolescent cats are most susceptible to this common infection.

Up to 97% of cats are exposed to feline herpes virus in their lifetime, and the virus causes a lifelong infection in up to 80% of exposed cats. Of these, up to 45% will periodically shed the virus, usually when stressed. Clinical Signs Commonly referred to as feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), herpes infection can cause upper respiratory signs (see third paragraph above), ulcers on the cornea (keratitis), and fever.

  • Diagnosis FVR is usually diagnosed by recognizing upper respiratory signs in young or unvaccinated cats, or recurring conjunctivitis or keratitis in older cats, combined with the results of various diagnostic tests.
  • These tests include polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which identifies viral DNA, and virus isolation tests that detect herpes by culturing the virus from clinical samples.

Treatment Multiple factors, including the severity of disease, are considered when deciding the best treatment for FVR. In all cases, appropriate supportive care, such as maintaining adequate nutrition and hydration, is very important. Nasal decongestants may be helpful in some cases.

  1. It is important to note that the stress of giving medications may worsen bouts of keratitis and conjunctivitis that may otherwise subside on their own.
  2. In acute cases of infection in young cats, antiviral drugs may help treat lesions on the cornea and upper respiratory signs.
  3. Systemic antibiotics can also be used to control the secondary bacterial infections that commonly occur with FVR.

Recurring cases of keratitis or conjunctivitis can often be managed with antivirals, drugs such as corticosteroids, and by limiting stress caused by crowded living conditions, surgeries, the introduction of new cats, or moving. While lysine supplementation is sometimes recommended, this treatment is quite controversial.

  1. Several studies suggest that lysine supplementation is not effective and may actually worsen symptoms and promote shedding of the virus.
  2. Prognosis Once infected, cats carry the infection for life and may experience recurring bouts of upper respiratory and eye disease.
  3. While these flare-ups are often relatively mild and clear up on their own, infections can, in rare cases, lead to more significant illness and even death in cats with coexisting health problems.

Prevention Vaccination against feline herpes is recommended for all cats. Although current vaccines do not prevent infection in all cases, they significantly decrease the severity of disease and the shedding of virus. This is beneficial to other susceptible cats, particularly those living with the cat being vaccinated.

FELINE CALICIVIRUS Feline calicivirus is a highly contagious and common virus in cat populations worldwide. Approximately 10% of cats housed in small groups are infected, while up to 90% of those housed in more crowded conditions, such as in shelters and breeding catteries, may be infected. Clinical Signs While most cats infected with calicivirus develop upper respiratory signs (see third paragraph above), the infection may spread to the lower respiratory tract and cause pneumonia.

Viral pneumonia may be exacerbated by secondary bacterial infections of the lungs, resulting in increased difficulty breathing. In rare cases, susceptible cats may develop inflammation or ulcers in the mouth. Even more rarely, the more severe systemic form of the disease occurs.

This form is fatal in approximately two-thirds of affected cats. Systemic calicivirus often causes swelling of the head and limbs and crusting sores and hair loss on the nose, eyes, ears, and footpads. Additionally, the mouth and ears may become yellowish (jaundiced) due to liver damage, and cats may experience bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract and under the skin.

In rare cases, cats may experience temporary limping when infected or after receiving a calicivirus vaccine. Diagnosis If oral ulcers and signs of acute upper respiratory disease cause a veterinarian to suspect calicivirus infection, the diagnosis can be confirmed by a technique called reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), which can detect the genetic material of calicivirus in blood samples or from swabs taken from the mouth or eyelids.

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Growing calicivirus from clinical samples in the lab also confirms the diagnosis. Treatment Supportive care, including assurance of adequate hydration and nutrition, is vital. This may be challenging, as painful lesions in the mouth may make eating and drinking uncomfortable, and congested nasal passages can block the perception of food odors that stimulate the appetite.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can minimize oral pain, and the nasal passages should be cleared using drugs to break down mucous, nebulization with saline, and regular wiping with a saline solution. A feeding tube that bypasses the oral cavity may be recommended until oral lesions subside.

  1. Antibiotics may be used to combat secondary bacterial infections in the mouth and respiratory tract.
  2. Unfortunately, available antiviral drugs are either ineffective or have significant side effects in cats.
  3. While some cats with severe systemic calicivirus infection have been reported to improve when given a combination of corticosteroids and interferon, the safety and effectiveness of this therapy needs more thorough testing before it can be routinely recommended.

Veterinarians may recommend that cats with chronic oral ulcers receive rigorous dental cleaning, combined with immune-modulating drugs, antibiotics, and pain-relieving medications, but controlled studies to determine the best treatment for this aspect of calicivirus infection are still needed.

  • Prognosis The prognosis for cats with calicivirus infections depends upon the severity of symptoms.
  • Cats with uncomplicated upper respiratory disease, pneumonia, or oral ulcers may recover in days or weeks, while those with severe systemic disease have a much less favorable prognosis.
  • Prevention Vaccination against feline calicivirus is recommended for all healthy cats.

Although the vaccine is not 100% protective, it does reduce the likelihood of severe disease. Vaccines do not, however, prevent shedding of this ubiquitous virus or cure cats that are already infected. FELINE CHLAMYDIOSIS Chlamydia felis is a bacterium that cannot survive outside of its host and therefore requires close contact between cats for transmission.

  • Transmission occurs through eye secretions.
  • Infections occur most commonly in young cats and in cats housed at high density in shelters and breeding catteries.
  • Approximately 20% of cats with upper respiratory signs and about 3% of healthy-looking cats carry C. felis,
  • Clinical Signs Infected cats usually develop conjunctivitis with eye discharge that is initially clear, but later contains mucous and has a yellowish, pus-like appearance.

Rarely, infected cats lose their appetite and become lethargic. Diagnosis The preferred method of verifying infection is the use of PCR to identify C. felis DNA from eye swabs. The organism can also be grown in the lab, but this technique is not as sensitive as PCR.

Unvaccinated cats can also be tested for C. felis antibodies. Treatment Antibiotics (e.g. doxycycline, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid) are generally effective in treating chlamydiosis in cats, with systemic treatment being more effective than topical application to the eye. Prognosis The prognosis for infected cats that are appropriately diagnosed and treated is generally good.

Prevention While vaccines are available, they do not prevent infection, but rather minimize the symptoms. Vaccination is recommended for cats in multi-cat housing situations and those in which C. felis has previously been diagnosed. FUNGAL INFECTIONS A number of fungal species can cause respiratory disease in cats.

The most common is Cryptococcus neoformans, Cats contract C. neoformans when they inhale fungal spores. The infection may remain within the nasal cavity or spread to other parts of the body, including the central nervous system and the lower respiratory tract. This organism is pervasive, and approximately 4% of all cats are asymptomatic carriers.

Cats are approximately six times more likely to develop disease after exposure than dogs, and cats of all ages are equally susceptible. Bird droppings and decaying plant matter provide an ideal environment for C. neoformans and may be sources of infection.

  • Pigeons are frequent carriers.
  • A closely related fungus, Cryptococcus gattii, causes very similar disease symptoms.
  • Clinical Signs C.
  • Neoformans infections most commonly occur in the nasal form, in which cats develop nasal or facial swelling, sneezing, chronic nasal discharge that may become bloody, and, ultimately, wounds that won’t heal or fleshy polyp-like growths in the nose and throat.

Affected cats may demonstrate changes in the tone of their vocalizations, and noisy breathing and snoring. They may also become anorexic and lose weight. If the infection spreads to the lungs, affected cats may demonstrate labored or rapid breathing.C.

Neoformans infections can also affect the central nervous system and the skin, and in rare cases may become systemic and spread to multiple organs or systems in the body. Diagnosis The preferred method of diagnosis is identification of C. neoformans proteins in body fluids, ideally blood. Examining fluid samples, such as nasal discharge, under a microscope (cytology) can also be helpful, as C.

neoformans has a characteristic microscopic appearance. X-rays, CT scan, or MRI may be recommended to determine how deeply the fungus has invaded the bony structures in the nose and sinuses and to monitor the response to therapy. Treatment While a number of anti-fungal drugs are used to treat C.

  1. Neoformans infections, definitive guidelines regarding which should be used in specific cases are lacking.
  2. In some cases, spread of infection to certain organs, such as the brain, may alter therapeutic recommendations and outcome.
  3. Prognosis The prognosis for cases diagnosed early in the disease and with no involvement of the central nervous system is generally favorable.

One major factor influencing outcomes is compliance with therapy, which may last months to years. Prevention Since outdoor cats are exposed to C. neoformans more frequently, keeping cats indoors minimizes the risk of infection. OTHER FUNGI A number of other fungi cause respiratory infections in cats, including Aspergillus fumigatus, Histoplasma capsulatum, and Blastomyces dermatiditis,

  • Unlike C. neoformans infections, these organisms commonly spread to the lungs of affected cats, causing pneumonia (see Figure 3) and difficulty breathing.
  • Bronchiseptica is a bacterium that commonly causes infections of the upper respiratory tract of cats housed in high-density populations, such as in shelters and breeding catteries.

In these populations, approximately 5% of cats with signs of upper respiratory tract infections and 1.5% of cats that appear normal may harbor B. bronchiseptica, Infections spread through oral and nasal secretions, and can cause symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening.

Infected dogs may spread the bacterium to cats, and in very rare cases, B. bronchiseptica may be transmitted to people. Clinical Signs The clinical signs of infection vary from coughing, sneezing, and eye discharge that is mild and self-limiting to difficulty breathing, blue-tinged mucous membranes (cyanosis), and death.

The more serious signs often occur in young cats that develop lower respiratory tract infections, although these may occur in older cats as well. Diagnosis Samples taken from the respiratory tract can be used to grow B. bronchiseptica in the lab, or to detect B.

bronchiseptica genetic material through PCR. Both of these tests, however, may give negative results in infected cats. Treatment Antibiotic therapy (usually doxycycline) is the mainstay of therapy, although supportive care, including assurance of adequate nutrition and hydration, are very important in managing B.

bronchiseptica infection in cats. Even in cases with mild symptoms, antibiotics may be recommended to prevent a worsening of the infection. Prognosis Most cats with uncomplicated B. bronchiseptica infections recover within 10 days of beginning antibiotic therapy.

  • Without appropriate treatment, the disease may progress to varying degrees, from worsening upper respiratory signs to life-threatening pneumonia.
  • Prevention A nasal vaccine is available, and while it is not considered a core vaccine for all cats, it should be considered for cats entering high-density housing situations.

It should never be administered to cats younger than four weeks, or to cats receiving or scheduled to receive antibiotics. The vaccine may cause mild upper respiratory signs in some cats. OTHER INFECTIONS A variety of other organisms can cause respiratory infections in cats, including some avian and canine influenza viruses, which cats can contract from humans and dogs, respectively.

  1. Avian influenza may also be transmitted from cats to humans.
  2. Other infectious organisms include Yersinia pestis (cause of the “Great Plague”), a bacterium found primarily in rodents in the southwest U.S.
  3. That is transmitted by fleas and is potentially transmissible to humans; Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan found in many cats that can spread to humans; and Pasteurella multocida, a normal bacteria of the feline respiratory system that may cause secondary infections.

Updated June 2018 : Respiratory Infections