Everyone catches the cold now and then, and although it may be unpleasant, it isn’t necessarily uncommon or alarming. The same is true for our furry counterparts! Upper Respiratory Infection (commonly known as URI) is a general classification for the cold. Symptoms of feline URIs are similar to human colds and include sneezing, runny eyes and nose, and lethargy.
Cat colds are caused by various viruses, and can be highly contagious, as is the case with human colds! These viruses can easily be passed from cat-to-cat, especially in closed quarters such as a boarding facility or shelter. They are often passed by direct contact with an infected individual, contact with contaminated objects or they may also be airborne. The best way to protect your kitty against URIs is by keeping them up to date with their FVRCP or distemper vaccines. These vaccines protect your kitty against the most common viruses that cause URIs (rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia). However, new viruses are always developing that your kitty may still be susceptible to.
Here at Cats’ Castle we also do our due diligence to make sure that your kitty stays healthy while they are here! We have many precautions in place to reduce the risk of URIs being spread throughout our facility. We have highly sophisticated air ventilation systems in place in both the house and barn. These ensure that fresh air is constantly being pulled through our facility while “stale” air is pushed out.
Another way to protect your kitty is with supplements, similarly to the way we take Vitamin C to protect us from catching a cold! Here we use a lysine supplement called Viralys to aid our kitties’ immune systems. We proactively add Viralys to the food of any guest of ours that has had a history of URI. We also add Viralys to the food of every kitty in a particular room if it seems as though a cold may be passing through.
If a couple of kitties in a particular room have a cold, we are also diligent about disinfecting the area. The roaming time of the affected kitties will be limited to reduce the risk of their cold being spread to others – however they don’t tend to mind this at all, seeing as lethargy often accompanies a cold. All areas and objects in the room will be sprayed with a zoological grade disinfectant. This disinfectant will also be used to mop the floors.
Even when all precautions are taken, it is inevitable that some kitties will still manage to catch a cold! As with humans, the cold generally does not require medical attention and will pass within a week or two. It is extremely important, however, to make sure that your kitty is still eating, drinking and using the litterbox regularly while they are under the weather (reduced appetite is also fairly common, we typically offer kitties different flavours of heated wet food to try and spark up their appetite). If your kitty is not doing so, it may be wise to contact your veterinarian.
Cats Castle Cat Hotel is a cat boarding that specializes in both short term and long term cat boarding. Our cattery provides a luxurious alternative to pet sitting. Our facility is located in Oakville Ontario, just minutes off of the QEW. Our customers come from all over Toronto and the GTA, Milton, Hamilton, Missisauga, Burlington and more!