Feline URI, “upper respiratory infection”, is a very highly contagious infection that can affect your cats or kittens sinuses or naval passage.
They are passed by cats by the direct contact of an infected cat by sneezing or coughing and can kill non-vaccinated and weak kittens.
It is very similar to the “colds” that we catch as humans, but it is important to note that the feline version of colds cannot be passed to humans, just as the human cold cannot be passed onto your cat.
URI is so contagious that it can also be passed by your cat coming into contact of objects that have been exposed to the infection, such as food and water dishes, a carrying device, and blankets or bedding.
Even if you cat has fully recovered from this infection, it is still an active carrier of the infection and are referred to as silent carriers.
The human cold has numerous and ever-changing virus that infect us, but most of the veterinarians would agree that there are only two known viruses to cats that can cause Feline URI.
Feline viral rhinotrachetitis, known as FVR, and feline calicivirus, which is known as FCV.
However, there are several different strands of both of these viruses that can affect your cat with several very troubling and uncomfortable symptoms.
These viruses can cause these infections in your cat to be chronic, intermittently chronic, or persistently chronic.
Although there are several treatments that are available for your cat after they are infected, it is extremely important that as a cat owner you help your cat to build their immune system.
Picture for just a moment what would happen if your cat had no immune system to fight Feline URI or a virtual litany of several types of organisms that exist in the environment, and all found your cat to be the perfect host, or body, to attack.
Your cats immune system is the first line of defense, and it is composed of a very complex network of cells, tissues, and organs.
When it functions properly it launches a vast array of defensive mechanisms to fight off viruses.
This includes this condition as well as several other parasites, bacteria, and fungi that will attack you pet.
Building your pet’s immune system through vitamin supplements is the best way to ward off this infection and other such air-borne viruses and bacteria.
You can save a lot of money by building the immune system first, instead of buying all of the products to help the condition, after the infection has already taken hold.
Two vitamins specifically, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, as well as two minerals, zinc and copper, can be very inexpensive and extremely beneficial for your feline friend.
They can help in this battle against Feline URI that an unhealthy cat is going to have a lot of trouble with.
Although there will always be controversy if Vitamin C has any affect at preventing colds in humans or Feline URI in cats, there is no controversy that it is a very effective antioxidant.
And to make it even more effective it only takes small amounts to protect molecules in your cats body.
The biggest factor with Vitamin C is how it generates metabolism of the oxygen in you cats body and helps in the fight against toxins and pollutants (such as smoking).
However, more importantly is how it regenerates other antioxidants such as Vitamin E.
Vitamin E will be extremely important in building and maintaining your cat’s immune system as it helps in the stabilization of membranes that will be targeted by Feline URI.
This vitamin works better with vitamin C than any other and stimulates the production of natural killer cells that seek out and destroy germs and cancer cells as well.
It also enhances the B-cells, the actual immune cells that produce the antibodies that destroy bacteria.
There are several on-going studies that have shown that Vitamin E has shown tremendous results in reducing respiratory infections in elderly humans as well.
Zinc is an essential trace element that is found in most tissues of your cat’s body, and plays a major role in the synthesis of protein and nucleic acid, which controls the formulations of several proteins in the cells.
Zinc has been found to be especially important in helping to prevent cancer and respiratory illnesses, such as URI in animals, especially cats.
Copper is found in all of the tissues in your cat’s body, and assists in the production of hemoglobin and red blood cells, especially important in your cat’s immune system.
URI will first show up with the symptoms of your cat having a running or red nose, nasal congestion, and watery eyes; as well as ulcers on the tongue, gums, nose, and the roof of their mouth.
Additional symptoms will be a fever, increased drooling and or salivation, a loss of appetite, and then dehydration.
Acute conditions of Feline URI will mean that these symptoms will occur very suddenly, and once they are corrected when treated, they symptoms disappear.
Intermittent chronic conditions imply that the symptoms will reappear, usually when your cat is under stress or their immune system is weak.
Persistent chronic conditions of Feline URI will show that the symptoms never go away, and your cat always seems to be sick.
Your cat will improve with antibiotics, but as soon as they stop, the symptoms re-appear.
This will require immediate veterinarian intervention as there may definitely be something wrong with your cat’s immune system, and or other infections your cat is fighting.
Cats that are the most at risk of getting this infection will be those that are exposed to poor nutrition, a lot of cold or heat, older cats, and non-vaccinated kittens.
However, by far and away the biggest cause of your cat catching this is a weak immune system, or an immune system that is compromised by other infections.
There are vaccines that are available for both the rhino and the calid viruses that cause this infection, but where ever possible, keep your cat away from stray cats or infected cats.