Kitty colds and what you need to know

Here at SHAID Tree Animal Shelter, and all shelters across the nation, kitty cold season has arrived.

Comparable to children passing around a cold virus at school, upper respiratory infections are very common in shelter settings; when one cat starts sneezing, it quickly passes on to the others, as it is passed through the air. Humans cannot contract upper respiratory infections from their feline friends.

It has been estimated that over 80 per cent of the entire cat population carries a dormant strain of the upper respiratory virus. Cats are well known to be emotionally fragile creatures, and when a cat feels stressed, it can start shedding the virus and subsequently develop the symptoms: watery eyes, sneezing, and mucus from the nose.

Upper respiratory infections usually pass through healthy cats within 10-14 days; some will show mild symptoms of watery eyes, sneezing, and snotty noses while others will have no symptoms at all.

Provided your cat is still eating, drinking, pooping, and peeing, there is no need for a vet visit. You can help them feel better by keeping them extra warm and cozy, giving them small treats of lightly warmed chicken broth, putting a warm compress on their stuffy noses, and many veterinarians also recommend a daily dose of powdered Lycine on their food.

If your cat develops a bloody, green or brown mucus-like discharge, and/or becomes lethargic and not interested in food, then it is time to call your vet and book an appointment for antibiotics and a treatment plan.

Our first fundraiser of 2024 – Have a Heart – is running up until Valentine's Day. For any donation, you get a big foam heart to write your name, your pet's name, or anything you want, and these will be displayed until after Valentine's Day at our partnering locations: Bridgewater Sobeys, Giant Tiger, ShurGain, Chester Pet Valu, and of course, here at SHAID Tree Animal Shelter. All funds raised go to our medical expenses for the shelter animals. Thank you for your support.

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