Features

February 2010 Issue

Feline Upper Respiratory Infections

Almost all URIs can be traced to just two viruses. Here’s how to keep your cat healthy and protected.

Your seven-year-old cat is a generally healthy animal. Except for a fleeting bout of gastrointestinal upset a few years ago, she’s never had a really serious sick-day in her life. But your neighbor’s cat always seems to be ill. Every couple of months, she shows up on your doorstep wheezing and sneezing. Her eyes are red and watery, and she acts lethargic. These disturbing signs persist for a week or so, but then she seems to be okay again — for a while. It’s quite likely that the cat next door is suffering from an upper respiratory infection, a highly contagious disease affecting her nose, sinuses, pharynx and larynx — the structures that filter, heat and dehumidify inhaled air before it flows to her lungs. Why is it, you wonder, that your cat never experiences this problem, while the cat next door can’t shake it?

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