Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. Pneumonia is usually contracted by inhaling small droplets containing harmful viruses or bacteria. Thus many times pneumonia is a complication of some other disease or illness such as FIP or FIV. Pneumonia is usually seen in small kittens, immuno-compromised adults, or older cats.
Pneumonia is usually a sign that either your cat has a lung infection, a cold, or another illness that has spread into the lungs. If you suspect your cat has pneumonia or any sort of cold take him/her to the vet immediately.
Symptoms to look for:
- Shortness of breath
- Fever (about 103+ fahrenheit)
- Cough that produces a yellow-green sputum
- Cough producing blood
Your vet will diagnose your cat by taking an X-ray of the lungs and chest, listening to the cat’s breathing, and examining a sample of sputum from the chest. If your cat does have pneumonia treatment will depend on exactly what is causing the pneumonia. Your cat will then be put on a course of antibiotics and possible other medications based on the cause. Your cat will also need bed rest (as much as is possible for a cat) as you don’t want to put any extra strain on the lungs. You may want to try to confine your pet to one room that is separate from any other pets that you may have as pneumonia is contagious. Recovery is a slow process and your cat may take six to eight weeks before he/she is back to normal.
Pneumonia is usually contracted when your cat is already compromised so keep your cat healthy, warm, dry and away from other sick animals. And if your cat has any other sort of respiratory infection do not delay treatment. Even a simple cold can turn into pneumonia if not treated properly.