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Doctor 4 Cats
Doctor 4 Cats, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 3358
Experience:  Board certified feline specialist. 30 years specializing in the medical needs of cats.
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My cat keeps being sick and is making a funny breathing

Customer Question

Hello my cat keeps being sick and is making a funny breathing noise
JA: Hi there. I'll do all I can to help. Does this strange breathing happen all the time or only sometimes? Does the cat have a cough as well?
Customer: I have just realised she is coughing and that is the noise but she has never coughed before and she won’t come near
JA: What's the cat's name and age?
Customer: her name is ***** ***** she is 13
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Ruby?
Customer: She is an indoor cat and has never had any vaccinations
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Doctor 4 Cats replied 1 month ago.

This is Dr. Cynthia. Thank you for contacting us. I will try to help with your concerns on here. The system will automatically offer an option for a phone call. Just ignore the offer or decline. I cannot do phone calls. If you would like to continue with this chat please let me know when you are ready. If I do not hear back from you right away, I will answer your question with the information provided then check back periodically to follow up.

Thank you for the information that you have provided. Please give me just a minute to review what you have provided already. I may have more questions. I will be answering multiple customers so please be patient between replies.

Expert:  Doctor 4 Cats replied 1 month ago.

From what you describe it sounds like an upper respiratory virus flare up. You probably know that the common upper respiratory virus in cats is caused by a herpes virus that they contract usually as kittens. Like our common cold sore, it never goes away, it just stays dormant. If something causes a wane in the immune system (any stress event, temperature changes, environmental changes, changes in the cat's routine) the virus can flare up and cause mild symptoms. The virus can cause any of a variety of symptoms, of varying severity. It can cause a mild sore throat, congestion, nose and eye discharges, sneezing, maybe a little lethargy, and loss of appetite. In fact it is often very evident that the cat has an exaggerated swallow, even extending their neck to swallow. They may gag and retch, drool, or gag up phlegm that is often confused with vomiting.

At 13 years old it is very important that Ruby stay nourished and hydrated. This virus usually lasts 3-5 days, often less in vaccinated cats. As long as your kitty is eating some, acting relatively normally with no other symptoms, and there is no color to any eye or nose discharge they require no treatment. If the discharges are yellow or green, they should have antibiotics. If they stop eating, act more lethargic, the symptoms you describe persist, or the congestion and discharge worsens, your kitty should be seen by a veterinarian. Soft, strong smelling foods, if possible, are usually better accepted. I would suggest offering strained chicken baby food to eat. It is soft, easy to digest, palatable, and provides needed fluids.

Hope this helps, we try to answer your questions and concerns as best we can on this site without the benefit of a proper physical examination. Please appreciate that it is always advisable to seek local veterinary care if possible. Let me know if there is anything further I can help you with. Thanks so much, and kind regards!