My 19-year-old cat has been sneezing lately, and I thought nothing of it. Then one night this week, he sneezed several times and, for the first time in my life, I saw kitty snot.That is as unpleasant as it sounds.

I grabbed a tissue and Google, and found out he has a cat cold or upper respiratory infection. Who knew they could even get those?

Wikihow offered great information, namely, call the vet. I did that. I also spoke with a friend  at a local animal shelter. Here's a few nuggets for you cat owners who may get more than a dainty "achoo" the next time your feline friend has to clear his or her nasal passages.

  • Upper respiratory infections in cats are contagious. In fact, shelters are diligent about watching for it in the cats they take in because it can spread so quickly.
  • The majority of vets will give the cat an antibiotic called Clavamox. Dosing depends on the animal's weight.
  • miserable as you and I are when we have a cold. However, cats can't take Benadryl because it will make them salivate for hours. That sounds almost as awful as the snot. Thankfully, there is a medication the vet can give them that helps with the congestion. It is in pill form which can be a challenge with a cat. My vet gave me a syringe like the one in the picture that did help in getting my cat to swallow the medicine.

  • It's really pitiful to see my poor kitty trying to breathe! They don't know to mouth-breathe like we do when their little noses are clogged. This also presents a challenge for eating and drinking, so make sure your cat doesn't get dehydrated.
  • My vet told me that the antibiotic should help in about a week. If the symptoms don't clear up by then, it could be that there is a problem with my kitty's heart and he needs more medical attention.
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