A feline with an upper respiratory infection can present symptoms such as sneezing, congested nose, nasal discharge, eye discharge and conjunctivitis, states VCA Hospital. Depending on the specific cause for the infection, some other possible symptoms can manifest, including coughing, oral lesions and drooling. These symptoms develop because a feline upper respiratory infection typically can involve the nasal passages, throat, mouth and eyes.
In felines, the cause of an upper respiratory infection can be due to either bacteria or certain viruses. However, approximately 80 to 90 percent of infections are caused by the viruses called feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) and feline calicivirus (FCV), states Pet Education. The bacterial infections known as Bordetella bronchiseptica and Chlamydophila felis also cause these types of infections, states VCA Hospital, although there can be different symptoms associated with the different types of viral infections.
The symptoms most often seen in felines with FVR are drooling, runny nose, conjunctivitis, sneezing, appetite loss and lesions that affect the cornea. The illness can last between 2 and 4 weeks, notes Pet Education. Some symptoms of FCV are mouth ulcers, sneezing, eye discharge and limping due to the formation of ulcers on the paws. The FCV illness can last up to 2 weeks. When a feline upper respiratory infection is not treated, it can lead to problems such as pneumonia and possible blindness.
Similarly, a bacterial infections such as Bordetella can present symptoms that include a wet cough, sneezing, fever and lymph node inflammation, notes PetMD. Bordetella is a very contagious disease often seen in kennels.