By: Kristi Skelton, LVT
If your cat has ever suffered from symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, and nasal discharge, then it is likely that he or she was experiencing the symptoms of a feline upper respiratory infection.
Feline upper respiratory infections (URI's) are common in cats but by not means normal. These symptoms usually last 7 - 21 days and can clear up on their own, but generally require a trip to the veterinarian's office and a prescription for an antibiotic.
The most common viral agents that cause feline URI's are feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR),
also known as feline herpes virus 1, and feline calici virus (FCV). All cats that have FVR will become carriers for life and symptoms can flare up during stressful situations. Only around 50 % of cats that have had FCV will become carriers and although symptoms do not usually reoccur, infected cats serve as a source of infection for other unprotected cats.
Fortunately, both of these viruses can be vaccinated against. In fact both of these viruses are so common the vaccination for them is considered a "core" vaccine meaning that it is highly recommended. The vaccine helps decrease the clinical signs.
So please be sure to keep your cats vaccines up to date with a yearly exam at you local veterinarian's office