Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Infectious Disease

Respiratory Disease Complex in Cats

Animals Affected – Cat

General Information
Various infectious organisms have been isolated from the respiratory tract of cats. Most of these organisms are contagious, and some can cause fatal disease. These organisms include rhinotracheitis virus, calicivirus, Chlamydia psittaci, reoviruses, Mycoplasma, and various bacteria. In most cases, isolation of the offending organism is neither necessary nor cost-effective.

Respiratory diseases are transmitted by direct contact with infected cats or discharges from their eyes, nose, mouth, or other body fluids. Some of these organisms are spread by contaminated clothing, hands, feeding utensils, grooming equipment, and other articles. In a few cases, the organisms are air-borne for short distances.

The most common signs of respiratory disease are sneezing, cough, discharge from the eyes, nose, or mouth, difficult breathing, gagging, lack of appetite, and weight loss. Some infections last only a few days, while others may be present for weeks or months. Some of these disease agents exist in a carrier state in apparently healthy cats.

Important Points in Treatment
1. While most respiratory infections can be treated at home, severely ill cats require hospitalization and repeated laboratory tests and radiographs (x-rays) to monitor the response to treatment. Cats reluctant or unable to eat are also often hospitalized.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.