Features

August 2012 Issue

Feline Upper Respiratory Infections

These pernicious disorders can be traced to just two viruses. Here’s what you need to know to protect your cat.

Your seven-year-old cat is a generally healthy animal. In fact, she’s never had a really serious sick-day in her life. But your neighbor’s cat always seems to be ill. Indeed, every few months she shows up on your doorstep wheezing, sneezing and coughing. Her eyes are red and watery, and she acts lethargic. These disturbing signs persist for a week or 10 days, but then she seems to be all right again — for a while. It’s quite likely that the cat next door is suffering from a deeply rooted upper respiratory infection, a highly contagious disease affecting her nose, sinuses, pharynx and larynx. Why is it, you wonder, that your cat never experiences this problem, while the cat next door can’t seem to shake it? The answer, most probably, is that you’ve taken your cat to your veterinarian for periodic booster vaccination to protect her against the infectious agents responsible for most feline upper respiratory infections. Your neighbor’s cat, on the other hand, hasn’t seen a vet in years.

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