Upper respiratory infection in cats is not unusual. It involves symptoms of the nose, the throat and the sinus, but not the lungs. You may not be able to work out if the lungs are affected or not, depending on your abilities and degree of observation.
- runny nose
- congested nose/sinus
- loss of appetite
- eyes – squinting or rubbing
Upper respiratory infection in cats, just as in anyone, can lead to lung complications, as it is normal for any bacterial or viral infection to start in the upper area and descend as it develops.
It is normal for the pathogen to start with sneezing, then develop to runny nose, irritated eyes and/or congestion, to cough, fever and a loss of appetite. It can be the fever that depresses the appetite or the congestion which stops the sense of smell.
A fever needs a lot of energy to combat. As digestion takes up a lot of energy, this is put on hold while the fever is dealt with. This is why force feeding can be hazardous to a cat’s health.
While these infections are considered to be contagious, there is much more to the problem. An infection can only be passed on to another when their immune system is not in a prime operating state. Since this is common in today’s world, infections are also common.
So how do you prevent them or treat them holistically? What contributes to a poorly functioning immune system?
I believe there are three main areas of concern.
1 – the diet. The common feeding of commercial cat food is one of the major causes of the poor health that is endemic in cats today. The diet is not species-specific, the ingredients are of poor quality, the ‘food’ is cooked at high temperatures, destroying and altering the few remaining nutrients, synthetic supplements are added which mostly can’t be digested, can be toxic ,and so on.
2 – health care. All veterinary medications suppress the immune system. They are toxic and many contain heavy metals, such as vaccines. Vaccines, contrary to popular belief, don’t stimulate a cat’s immunity, rather they suppress it.
3 – stress. This is huge in many cats today. It is common to take the kittens away from the mother at much too early an age. Couple this with the poor diet and health care of the mother and you have an ailing kitten. Rescue centres and pet shops are a huge source of stress to cats and kittens. Veterinary surgeries are too.
So how do you address these?
Start feeding your cat a species-specific, quality, natural diet. This alone can do wonders for a cat’s health, reversing often severe, deep and destructive pathology.
Use holistic health care instead of veterinary care, reserving the latter for when all else fails. Homeopathic treatment works fabulously well on animals, as well as people. Instead of suppressing the immune system, it supports it. Your cat’s health starts to improve overall. Your cat becomes kitten-like again, full of joy and life!
Stress may be a factor you can’t always control, but try to keep your home harmonious. It’s also good to allow your cat outside, to get some sun, to feel the earth under their feet, to eat (untreated) grass and medicinal herbs. This may be hard for some urban cats, but it is a goal to work towards.
With these three key areas in place, upper respiratory infection in cats, as well as all the other problems domestic cats are prone to, can be a thing of the past, or at the very least much reduced. It’s not just good for your cat. You’ll find it’s also great for your wallet.