Coryza in Cats: Symptoms and Treatments

Cat Feline viral rhinotracheitis

Feline viral rhinotracheitis, better known as Coryza, is a very common disease in cats. About 70% of cats are carriers without experiencing symptoms. This disease is treatable if it is treated early enough. Otherwise, depending on the cat’s immune system, Coryza can cause dangerous complications which can then lead to the death of the animal. In order to be able to intervene as soon as possible, it is therefore essential to know how to identify the symptoms of the disease. And if you have to go to the vet, then don’t forget to buy a transport bag for your cat to take them safely.

Coryza in cats, how is it transmitted?

If you have to be particularly vigilant about Coryza, it is first of all because it is an extremely contagious disease. Coryza does not come from one, but from several strains, which makes it difficult for the cat’s body to develop immunity against the disease. Coryza in cats is transmitted through the respiratory tract, in direct contact with a cat carrying the disease and the incubation times are generally short, between 2 and 5 days.

Coryza cases are very frequent among cats living in communities such as shelters and farms for example. As soon as a case of Coryza is diagnosed, it is necessary to act quickly and to place the sick cats immediately in quarantine in order to avoid the proliferation of the virus. Even after recovery, a cat will remain a carrier of Coryza throughout its life, even if most are healthy carriers. Unlike some diseases such as rabies or ringworm, Coryza is not transmitted to humans. If your cat has the disease, you can treat it safely.

Symptoms of Coryza in cats

Being able to recognize the symptoms of Coryza is essential to be able to act as quickly as possible because the sooner your cat is treated, the more the risks of developing complications will be minimized. Coryza primarily attacks the respiratory system, which results in wheezing, heavy coughing, repeated sneezing, and sometimes even difficulty in breathing. In most cases, some symptoms are similar to those of conjunctivitis: discharge is visible from the eyes.

This discharge is often also found in the nose. This can be very annoying for the cat because it can greatly reduce its sense of smell. The infection can spread into the mouth, causing inflammation of the tongue. These symptoms often cause a loss of appetite for the cat, but if it has not fed for 48 hours, this must be alarming and you will need to consult your veterinarian as soon as possible. According to cats, Coryza can cause other symptoms like a high fever. Kittens and senior cats are the most vulnerable and require special attention.

As soon as you notice the onset of one or more symptoms, take your cat to the vet to confirm your diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

How to treat Coryza?

Treatments vary depending on the case and the virulence of the disease, but as a general rule, the veterinarian will prescribe an antibiotic to avoid bacterial superinfection as well as L-lysine which will have a stimulating action on the body’s immune defenses. from the cat, accompanied by an antiviral serum.

He will then prescribe different medications to relieve the cat’s symptoms: eye drops and an eye cleanser will allow you to clean your cat’s eyes and treat conjunctivitis, and sometimes inhalation sessions are prescribed to de-clutter the airways respiratory.

These inhalation sessions can be done in a veterinary clinic, but also at home. To do this, you just have to place your cat in its transport cage and put a bowl of hot water containing the inhalation substance outside the cage, in front of the grid. Cover everything with a large terry towel.

If your cat is severely affected, sometimes hospitalization is necessary, mainly in cases where the small felines are no longer feeding. They are then put on a drip to regain sufficient strength to fight against the disease.

As long as your cat is not cured, he should not go out under any circumstances, because he could infect several of his congeners. If you have other cats, keep them away from others to avoid any risk of contamination.

When treatment is successful, the cat can be completely healed after 8-10 days. However, depending on the case, the treatment is not always sufficient and complications appear.

What are the complications of Coryza?

When Coryza is not treated early enough or when the disease is too severe, certain complications can appear. It can be the aggravation of conjunctivitis, pulmonary complications causing breathing difficulties in the cat, the aggravation of the inflammation of the mouth thus preventing the cat from feeding. Chronic sinusitis or rhinitis can also develop.

Sensitive cats like kittens and senior cats can succumb to the disease, depending on the nature of the complications. Coryza can also progress to other diseases such as Chlamydia which causes symptoms relatively similar to Coryza, except that it can be transmitted from cats to humans.

If at the end of ten days after the start of treatment you do not notice any improvement in your cat’s condition or even a worsening of certain symptoms, then do not hesitate to bring your little companion to the veterinarian who will adapt the treatment according to the course of the disease.

Even after recovery, your cat will still be a carrier of the disease. While some remain healthy carriers, for others, the disease may recur if the body weakens, in a period of fatigue or stress. It will then be necessary to remain vigilant and react to the slightest symptom.

Means of prevention of Coryza

To avoid any risk of contamination of your cat, the best way is vaccination. It is advisable to vaccinate all cats, including those living in an apartment, as soon as they are 8 weeks old. Once weaned, kittens are no longer protected by the mother’s antibodies and are therefore particularly vulnerable. After the first injection, a second should be given to your cat 4 weeks later. It will then be necessary to give him regular reminders (every year) so that he continues to be protected from the disease.

Coryza in cats is therefore a disease that should not be taken lightly even if treatments exist because it can have serious consequences for your cat, but also for those of others.


About Savi

Savi is a regular writer and social activist. She also writes for BBC, Huffington Posts and others.

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