Is kitten wheezing normal?

Dr. B, can you tell me what might cause kitten wheezing and coughing? Ask Dr. B column, by Dr. Baum, Chief of Staff, Center-Sinai Animal Hospital. veterinary services in West L.A., discusses group situations described promoting upper respiratory infecitons in cats.

Dear Dr. Baum —

I recently went to a hardware store where a shelter had two cats in a cat cart. Both cats were three months old and appeared to be healthy. Upon entering the store and going up to them I noticed the male cat had a wheezing sound and it sounded as if it was very hard for him to breath. He also sneezed probably about five times during the time I was there, a period of five minutes. I was wondering what would cause this. Can you help me?

Gorham, ME

Dear Kristi:

The most common malady that arises from animals that come from group settings, i.e., animal shelters and pet stores, is upper respiratory infections. In cats there are a whole host of viruses that cause cold-like symptoms. Some cats can get quite ill if they become very congested as it impacts their appetite as a result of not being able to smell their food. In dogs, the familiar term kennel cough is used to denote infections of the upper respiratory tract.

Dr. B


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