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Worried new mom with a wheezing, sneezing, congested 5mos old

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

I have a new kitty that my sweet husband adopted on Valentine's Day-- Magellan Valentino . He's been a bright-eyed, healthy kitten so far--except maybe he sleeps a little much? I've had cats all my life but this is my first one of my own. The last few days he's developed a sneeze that's turned into a cough--I've read some posts and suspect maybe URI except he doesn't have any goopy eyes or nose--no fluid excretion of any kind that I can tell--anyway, here's a list of symptoms, if anybody has any suggestions. He got his shots on Valentine's Day, his first round anyway, and he gets his next round in 2 weeks, and he gets neutered April 6. The shelter had him only 3 days. He was in pretty good shape when he got home except for dirty ears and one crusty paw. Anyway, here's what' got me worried to death--


1. He wheezes constantly--a little baby wheeze, like he's a little congested
2. When he first gets up and starts walking around he seems to have a coughing fit-close mouthed, so it's like a sneezy-sounding cough
3. I can hear a little congestion when he breathes
4. He didn't drink much water at first, and yesterday he drank alot.
5. He had diarrhea for a while, which I thought could be the shots--now he's just got really stinky poo
6. He doesn't seem to clean himself well--I actually have to use baby wipes or a warm cloth sometime to clean his bottom--which he DOES NOT LIKE, let me tell ya. I've got the scratches to prove it. Today he was all crusted over around there, maybe because he's not feeling well.
7. He sleeps like the dead--we've been putting him in the bed with us, and he barely moves--which you think I'd be grateful for, but it scares me b/c he doesn't wiggle much at all--very deep sleep.

He's been pretty active--he'll play fiercely with his little feather on a stick toy, and a ping pong ball in the bathtub. I'm afraid he's getting less energy though--I don't know, maybe I'm just a worry wort. I've only had him a week and it seems like something new every day! None of it seems life-threatening, so we're planning on waiting until he gets his next round of shots to ask a vet. Is there anything I can do now? I've heard alot of people say the vet just tells them a kitty with mild URI will get over it on it's own, like a human cold. Anyway, you guys seems to know what you're talking about--ya'll seem like a very friendly forum. I've never done a forum before--thanks for the sweet welcome already!

abigailcyndal (Magellan's Mommy)
post #2 of 21
I would be taking him in tomorrow, and not waiting. If he came from a shelter, it is possible he was harboring some illnesses and they are coming to the front now. I wouldn't wait, I would make an appointment and get him in. None of what you post about is normal symptoms on a kitten.

Even if he didn't come from a shelter, I would still make the appointment fairly quickly. Is he a persian?
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
I would be taking him in tomorrow, and not waiting. If he came from a shelter, it is possible he was harboring some illnesses and they are coming to the front now. I wouldn't wait, I would make an appointment and get him in. None of what you post about is normal symptoms on a kitten.

Even if he didn't come from a shelter, I would still make the appointment fairly quickly. Is he a persian?
Thanks for the quick reply--Magellan's a gray tabbly long hair, although my mom says it looks like he may have some Persian because of the way his hair grows.

He did come from a shelter, and he'd only been there 3 days. My husband says there weren't many other kittens there, but it's possible he could have caught a cold there. I wasn't there, and my husband doesn't know much about cats--but I think he did a great job.

I don't remember any of my cats having self-cleaning issues--Magellan licks his fur sometimes, but doesn't do a great job sometimes on his hind area. He's sleeping pretty comfortably now, no wheezing.

We are dealing with a busted car right now, but I'm going to do some looking for a vet tomorrow, just in case.

We thought he may have an allergy to the litter or to something in the house that's been irritated--Oh, I forgot to mention that, although he used the litter box no problem, he's got one corner of the dining room that he's been using off and on--the litter box is in the bathroom, and I can't figure out if he's got something wrong with the bathroom or the litterbox, or if he just naturally chose a second spot--maybe it's quieter or drier? We've put some towels there just in case and lock him out of that area when we're gone and at night, and I think we may get another litter box for that corner--although I hate to do that b/c it's next to the front door.

Could it be a food allergy? He wouldn't eat the hard food when he first got home, so I got him wet food and I've been working him back on the dry.

It's 3 a.m. here in blues city so I'm going to try to get some sleep.

Any other suggestions?
post #4 of 21
Anytime a cat has been living in a cage, you should open your home up to him gradually instead of all at once. He is not going to know what to do with so much space and it can get overwhelming. In a cage, they poop, pee and eat in fairly cramped quarters. It is hard for them to make an adjustment. If he wasn't with mom for the full 12 weeks, he may not know how to clean himself. Some people see small kittens in the outside world and freak out and capture them away from mom way to young.

Again I would get him to a vet.

http://www.thecatsite.com/content/view/179//
post #5 of 21
Please keep us updated how your little boy is feeling and let us know how his appt goes. Feel better soon, little Magellan Valentino!
post #6 of 21
Just so you know, if he's still sick when when it comes time for the second set of shots, you may have to start all over. Vaccinations don't always take in a sick cat.

I had the same problem when I brought L.S. home. That first weekend he had about the same symptoms as you described. My vet put him on antibiotics just to prevent him from getting an URI, since he was in the middle of getting his shots.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
I've taken Magellan to the vet--he's there now. I'm pretty sure your right, wodesorel--this is more precautionary for secondary infections. Maybe the vet will give him a decongestant. He didn't eat much yesterday--probably because he can't smell anything. He's got an on-and-off hiccuppy-sounding cough, too. Is it okay to give a not-eating kitten that kitten formula? It says it's okay for nursing mothers, too, so I figured it should be okay for a five-month old. I fed him a little bit yesterday because he wouldn't eat or drink. Thanks for the encouragement everyone. I'll keep you updated.
post #8 of 21
You might want to try warming canned kitten food. It's nice and stinky, so he'll be able to smell it, and I found that because it was warm it helped loosen his congestion some.
post #9 of 21
Poor little boy! Hope the vet can help get him more comfortable quickly.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Magellan got a shot and not only some antibiotics to prevent secondary infections, but ear drops for earmites! Anyway, he's feeling better today. He's not as congested, and he ate all his food yesterday and this morning! He's still got a cough, but it's not as bad as yesterday. I have to give him .25 cc of Clavamax (amoxicillin) and 3-4 drops of Tresaderm 2x daily. I have been heating up his food a little, and it seems to help. Thanks Wodesorel! Although, I tried that before he went to the vet and he STILL couldn't smell it. He'd just hover over the bowl and try to smell it.

Thanks for the advice and good wishes!

abigailcyndal
post #11 of 21
How's he doing? My newly-adopted cat is still getting antibiotic shots, too. But, she's much, much better.

HOT water on dry food will soften and warm it enough for him to eat it, too.
post #12 of 21
not to scare you but I just put my cat to sleep, for feline lieukemia, the symptoms start out as sneezing and coughing fits, then it progressed into sleeping constantly, then weight loss. I thought at first it was allergies, but I took him to the vet for it and I ended up putting him to sleep. I just thought I would let you know, thanks Jill
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jillbrya
not to scare you but I just put my cat to sleep, for feline lieukemia, the symptoms start out as sneezing and coughing fits, then it progressed into sleeping constantly, then weight loss. I thought at first it was allergies, but I took him to the vet for it and I ended up putting him to sleep. I just thought I would let you know, thanks Jill
Oh, I'm so sorry! That's my worst nightmare for Magellan! He's actually doing alot better now--he's playing again, and has a big appetite and lots of energy to play. He had diarrhea again today--which is a pain because he never cleans himself well when that happens--I had to give him a bath. I think maybe it's because I had given him some cat formula and wet food or maybe b/c he overate. Or maybe the shot, I don't know.

He's still scratching his ears, but I've been putting the drops in and they seem a little cleaner, if nothing else.

His sneezing is down to a sniffle every now and then. He's also drinking a normal amount of water.

Anyone have some tips on what I should feed him? I'd like to feed him hard food, but I've heard wet food is good, too--and he likes that better. But he'll eat both. I know I shouldn't switch alot b/c it will mess up his tummy.


abigailcyndal
post #14 of 21
Great to hear things are going better! Good news
post #15 of 21
Actually, it wouldn't hurt to feed him both wet and dry food. The trick is to not feed him too much, or you'll end up with an overweight kitty. I'm in the process of switching my babies to at least some wet food, because it is better for them. Dry food has a lot of carbohydrates, which cats don't actually need. Wet food is mostly water and protein, and helps keep them hydrated. One of my cats has cystitis (a urinary condition) and the extra water from the wet food is better for her bladder. If I had been feeding her wet food all this time, then maybe she wouldn't have had a problem in the first place.
post #16 of 21
No extra advice to offer but just to say good luck with Magellan - he sounds a sweet cat, and I hope he gets better soon. I have nursed two of mine back to health after I got them, so I know what you are going through.
post #17 of 21
Abigail, one thing that helped when I had my long-haired cat was to trim the fur on her back legs. The fur stays out of the way of the poop and its easier to clean. I used to just take a small scissor to the area while she was sleeping. Trust me, its easier than the babywipes I used.
post #18 of 21
He should be eating a good quality kitten food until he's 9 to 12 months old. Anything like Iams Kitten or even a better quality kitten food would be good. These companies also make a canned kitten formula. Also, it's not that bad of an idea to gradually switch foods a few times. I've learned from members here that it keeps a cat from getting picky and stuck on one kind of food, which can be bad if the formula is changed or if prescription food is needed. ]]

And the diarreah is usually normal when a cat is on antibiotics. All three of mine had it when they were on Clavamox and Baytril. You can try feeding a teaspoon of yougurt once a day, or they actually sell the "good gut" bacteria in paste form specifically for dogs and cats at pet stores. It may help him out a little.
post #19 of 21
Another thing that can help with the diarrhea when they are on antibiotics is to give them acidophilus. You can get cat acidophilus at some pet stores, or you can take a capsule used for human consumption, break it open either on the food or by itself on a plate. My cats actually lick it right off of the plate. Use a capsule a day until the diarrhea clears up or until you finish the antibiotics. It will help the good bacteria in the intestional tract - which is also affected by the anit-biotics- re-establish itself to healthy levels again.

Kathryn
post #20 of 21
I have EXACTLY the same thing going on...I am vetting Puppy today. I feel so badly for her - she can only play a few minutes before tiring out. Good luck at the vet!

Tara
post #21 of 21
My vet suggested supplementing Gibby with l-lysine capsules mixed into his wet food to help balance his immune system. I give him his wet food (they each get 1/3 a can every other night) All three of the cats seem helathier since I've been doing that. I'd ask your vet before doing so, but it's just a health supplement so I can't see how it would hurt. Since I don't feed the whole can to 1 cat, they all get about 1/3 of a 500mg capsule. He got over his cold super fast because of this, and when I got sick, I took some (it's for human consumption, you pull the gelcap apart and it's a little dust-type thing that you can mix into food) and I got well really quickly as well.
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