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Tips for Congested Cat- help needed

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

My 14 yr old cat has a URTI- most likely from the herpes virus. I took him to the vet today b/c he had been sneezing since last night. The vet said his temp was fine and that he had an URTI.

In the past couple of hours he isn't sneezing as much, but now he is more congested and breathing through his mouth. He is finally sleeping next to me here on the couch.

I gave him the antibiotics ( just for prophylaxis) and some Lysine treats. He is still congested and I was wondering if running the shower and putting him in there would really help?

He ate his dinner, but I'm worried about him b/c he is an older cat.

Any tips that you think would help him breathe easier?

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 14
yes running a shower can help... there are nose drops that can also help ask your vet... antibiotic s are a common one though uris usually are viral the meds are used to prevent secondary infection
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I just finished hanging out with him in the shower. i can't tell if he feels better or not. His mouth is still open but he's not sneezing.

I think I will call the vet tomorrow and ask about the nose drops.

post #4 of 14
Steam him in the bathroom several times a day. If you have a vaporizer, run it 24/7 near where he sleeps. If you can, put a big pot of water on the stove to simmer. If you have it, add a bit of eucalyptus oil to the water to help open up the nasal passages.

If he's not eating well, try warming up some canned food in the microwave for a few seconds. This helps enhance the aroma. Also elevate the food on a short box or stack of books. If he's got any kind of drainage, when he bends his head down it'll run out his nose and he'll lift his head up. Then, he'll not want to eat.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Are a vaporizer and a humidifier the same thing? i was thinking of picking one up tomorrow.
post #6 of 14
Originally Posted by ACatNamedPete View Post
Are a vaporizer and a humidifier the same thing? i was thinking of picking one up tomorrow.
not exactly .. a vaporizer has a place to put things like vicks( ps dont use this with kitty the vicks that is )... a humidifier put out cool or warm mist ( vaoprizer are a warm mist version
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, he is no better this morning. I called the vet's office to let them know he is now breathing with his mouth open and if I could get a nasal decongestant for him.

The tech said he shouldn't be breathing with his mouth open and she was going to talk with the vet to see if he needs to go in and be seen again.

I heated up some cat food for him but he won't eat. He seems lethargic but is purring when I pet him. I'm still waiting to hear back from them so we'll see how it goes.
post #8 of 14
Poor kitty. If you don't hear back after an hour, call again. Saturday can be busy at the vet. You may already know, he's not eating because he can't smell it.

The most important thing is for a cat to eat, so be sure to mention that when you call back.

Welcome to TCS and please keep us updated on your beloved Pete.
post #9 of 14
My poor Abbey was a tiny little sick kitten when I found her. I'm sure she was close to death. She breathed through her mouth for weeks. I steamed her numerous times a day, and also saline nose drops (one drop on her nose) helped a lot. Hope your kitty gets better. I have a really sick kitty now too with a URI.
post #10 of 14
What did the vet say? It's not good when kitties breathe with open mouths. That means they're really congested. Hope he's doing better.
post #11 of 14
I have a chronically congested kitty, and one of the things my vet did was to put her in a box with some kind of medicinal mist.

Could your cat have inhaled something that is making breathing difficult for him, or maybe a polyp in the sinuses?

I hope your kitty starts to feel better soon.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies and concerns. I did take him back to the vet. he had developed a fever and was having difficulty breathing. They re hydrated him by giving him fluids via IV - they said that would also help reduce his fever some. She gave him an oral antibiotic and also some nose drops. She also gave him some special canned food that is filled with nutrients and very pungent(to help him smell it so he would eat) I can't remember the name of it off the top of my head.

So I took him home and let him sleep in my bedroom closed off from the other animals- I have 2 large dogs and 4 other cats.

By late this afternoon he seemed worse so I put him back into the bathroom and let the hot shower run. Then I tried feeding him that special food, but he wasn't interested in it. I started to become very worried b/c I didn't think I'd get him to eat, but my little man is a sucker for kitty treats! I grabbed his favorite treats and he ate about 15 of them right out of my hand. So that's twice he has eaten today. He seemed to perk up a little after that.

I've got a fire in the fireplace and he's sitting here with me on the couch and seems to be breathing a little easier. I also have a HUGE pot of water on the stovetop simmering and releasing steam so I hope that helps.

We are pretty sure the cause of his illness - feline Herpes virus. 2 weeks ago my Manx Tommy became very sick (while we were on vacation- the vet said it was probably stress of us being gone)- first he had a conjunctivitis and then a urti, but he recovered very quickly. Then my cat Stormy developed just the conjunctivitis and she seems better. Now my Petey is going on his 3rd day of being sick. My other cat Grimmy is sneezing but I've already begun giving him drops, antibiotics and all of them are getting lysine treats twice a day. My cat Benny seems fine - no symptoms and healthy appetite.

Ahhhhhh-- I just hope they all recover 100%. Petey is sleeping and his mouth is closed, no wheezing...hope that's a good sign of more recovery for him to come
post #13 of 14
Thanks for the update! I recommend you get some l-lysine and start adding it to the cats' water, they can all benefit from it.

L-lysine (an amino acid supplement) helps control the herpes virus (and supports the immune system).

It doesn't cure herpes (there is no cure) but goes a long way toward controlling flare ups and reducing the secondary infections (which is what will respond to the antibiotics, antibiotics do nothing for the herpes itself)
post #14 of 14
So glad you took him back to the vet! I'm guessing the vet gave you Science Diet a/d. That stuff is like kitty crack! Try to keep him eating, though. You may even need to stick it on his teeth and let him lick it off, or try putting some treats on top of a small serving of the food.

Keep steaming him and keep the water boiling on the stove. The windows might get all steamy and your neighbors may begin to wonder what's going on, but it really will help your little guy.

I'm wondering if he does NOT have FHV (herpes), but just caught the URI that seems to be going around your kitty family.
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