Cats suffering from pneumonia experience difficulty breathing because of inflammation of their lungs and airways. Cats usually develop pneumonia when certain viruses, bacteria, or fungi enter their nostrils or trachea.
How To Detect Pneumonia In Cats
Cat pneumonia is usually difficult to distinguish from cat colds. But if your cat develops one or more of these symptoms it may be due to cat pneumonia and it is important to immediately consult a veterinarian.
- A cough that does not go away
- Difficult breathing- usually manifested through labored breath sounds at the slightest exertion
- Cats with severe pneumonia will also have gurgling or rattling breath sounds
- Very fast breathing can also be a sign of respiratory distress
- Your cat may experience a fever
- Nasal discharge is common in cats with pneumonia
- Make sure that your cat is not throwing up blood or mucous
- A bluish tint around the mouth can be a sign of pneumonia and reduced oxygen levels in the blood
- Lack of appetite and lethargy also indicate that your cat is unwell
- Weight loss or an unkempt appearance of your cat also suggests that they are not feeling their best
- Cats suffering from fungal pneumonia can also develop skin lesions and eye problems
- Cats that are suffering from aspiration pneumonia will have difficulty swallowing and will experience vomiting and rapid heart rate
Types of pneumonia in cats
All cats can develop cat pneumonia, but it is more common in young kittens or older cats. There are many different types of pneumonia in cats
- The most form of cat pneumonia is infectious pneumonia. It occurs due to a bacterial or viral infection of the airway of a cat
- Cats experience aspirational pneumonia when they accidentally inhale a foreign material. This foreign material causes sensitivity and inflammation in the lining of the lungs. Cats with existing health problems often suffer from this type of pneumonia because of improper swallowing of food or inhalation of vomit. This pneumonia is also often triggered due to improper administration of liquid medicine which enters the airways.
- Mycotic or fungal pneumonia begins initially as a fungal infection. But when the cat’s body is unable to fight off the infection it develops into pneumonia. This type of pneumonia usually occurs due to accidental inhalation of fungal spores in the soil.
- Some specific parasites like flukes and lungworms can invade and attack a cat’s respiratory airways and cause parasitic pneumonia.
Steps to take if your cat is suffering from cat pneumonia
- Infectious cat pneumonia caused by viruses or bacteria is infectious and the first step for all pet owners should be to avoid the spread of infection to other pets. Infectious cat pneumonia can spread to other cats, dogs as well as small animals. So make sure to keep your ill cat in a separate room. Provide your pet with a separate food and water bowl and litter box. Clean their litter box and food bowls thoroughly and also clean your hands with soap after touching your infected cat.
Cat pneumonia treatment plan
As soon as the doctor diagnoses a cat with pneumonia, they will immediately begin treatment.
- In case of a severe case of cat pneumonia, your cat may need to be hospitalized
- Nebulizers and oxygen therapy is also used by veterinarians to ease respiratory distress
- Your cat may require intravenous hydration as well
- For infectious pneumonia anti-fungal or antibiotics may be prescribed
Cats are usually able to recover quickly from infectious or fungal or parasitic pneumonia. Aspirational pneumonia is a more severe condition and as it usually occurs in already weak and ailing cats, it is harder to treat.
But pet owners and cat lovers need not worry too much. Veterinary medicine is now advancing in leaps and bounds. Almost all diseases in pets can now be treated if diagnosed in time. So stay vigilant of your cat’s behavior. If they start showing any symptoms associated with pneumonia, or if they show any unusual behavior in general, immediately take them to the hospital. A few hours may just be the line separating your pet from a quick and full recovery. Always remember a healthy cat is a happy cat.