Thank you Ron,
Based on her signs, I am concerned that Mitzi has cat flu. Cat flu, also known as feline upper respiratory infection, is an umbrella term for a range of viral or bacterial agents that can cause flu like symptoms. And this is not uncommon to see flare up after a kitty is adopted due to the spike in their stress hormones (which can dampen the immune system) relating to their recent life changes.
Now when kittens have a flare up of flu, we can see signs like sneezing, congestion, watery eyes, nasal discharge, lethargy, drooling, hard swallowing, (as the 2 viral can cause oral ulcers), sleeping more, and sometimes inappetence. (Really, its much like us with the flu). Some can progress to pneumonia in the lung, but often this is not the case.
And much like when we have the flu, the viral causes often require supportive care to help them get over the flare up. Of course, if that light colour looks snotty (yellow or green), then we'd have had to worry about secondary bacterial agents that would then require treatment with antibiotics to remove.
Now as long as Mitzi is breathing comfortably (since struggling to breathe would be an urgent situation), there are supportive care measures we can start for her here. To start, if she is sneezing and congested you can take her in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen and clear some of the snot congesting her. You can also use a baby nebulizer/humidifier, but often cats don’t like things held up to their faces. That said, you can alternatively make a little ‘steam tent' with her in a cat carrier, the nebulizer next to it, and both covered with a thin bed sheet.
If she is building up mucus that the steam isn't shifting, you can use a cotton ball moistened with warm water to wipe away crust and mucus. As well, we can also use saline nasal drops (like Ocean Mist or Little Noses, but not anything medicated) to gently flush the nose. To do so, just tilt her head back and drop two to three drops in one nostril. Cats hate this, but it helps. After the drops go down, you can let the head up and wipe away any discharge that gets loosened. Then repeat with the other nostril.
Making sure she is getting food and water is important, as congested cats who can’t smell their food often won’t eat as well as they should. Therefore, if you see any loss of normal of appetite, do make sure to tempt her to eat. Try smelly wet foods (since they are high in water). It may help to warm it up a bit in the microwave to help her be able to smell it.
Finally, if you suspect that she might have feline herpes virus as the cause (if she was from a breeding cattery with this), then this can be a cause of the signs you are seeing. In herpes cats, we sometimes find the L-lysine (a nutritional supplement) can help them recover quicker. This is available over the counter at pet stores, vets, online and even health food stores. They come as gels, powders, or tablets to crush into food. An average cat dose is 500mg a day.
Overall, your lass's signs sound like she has an upper respiratory based infection. Therefore, you can try the above to help give her some relief. While doing so, keep a close eye on her. If it doesn't settle, develops snotty discharge, or worsens at all, then we'd want her checked by her vet so they can start her on cat safe decongestants (since human ones are toxic for kitties) and antibiotics to clear this for her.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
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