Note the kitten’s symptoms. Mild cases of upper respiratory infections resemble the common cold in humans, with runny eyes and sneezing. In severe cases, however, the kitten can develop a high fever, dehydration, ulcers and loss of appetite. The kitten must be seen by a veterinarian to determine the severity of the case.
Take the kitten to the veterinarian so they can prescribe antibiotics. Antibiotics won’t get rid of the URI, but they can prevent serious secondary bacterial infections.
Keep the kitten separated from other cats in a warm, draft-free room. Upper respiratory infections are extremely contagious and can be spread through bodily fluid, cat litter pans, food and water dishes, air borne droplets and human hands and clothing.
Use a cotton ball moistened with warm water to keep the eyes and nose clear of discharge. Wipe very gently to remove dry, crusted discharge.
Tips & Warnings
- Some pharmacies will make special versions of medications for pets that taste more appealing, and will be easier to administer. Call a few in your area to find out before filling the prescription.
- Offer the kitten canned food while she’s sick to entice her to eat. Canned food has a stronger smell than dry food, so kittens whose appetites have decreased will be more tempted to eat.
- Watch the kitten very closely for lack of vitality, loss of appetite or thirst, trouble breathing and ulcers on the tongue, gums, lips, nose, or roof of the mouth. These are very serious symptoms that require an immediate visit to the veterinarian.