The following article is courtesy of our partner, Banfield Pet Hospital. Used with permission.
Q: “My kitten that came from the shelter seems to have a cold.”
A: Cats that have an unknown vaccine history that find themselves in a stressful situation are more likely to pick up an illness; even cats that are vaccinated can get sick with enough stress and exposure to other sick cats.
Respiratory infections are common in cats that come from shelters. Some cats get very sick and may have complications. Rarely, they can even die.
You should take your kitten to have a veterinary exam promptly to make sure that pneumonia isn’t present and check for dehydration and eye disease (which often accompanies respiratory infections). Many cats benefit from antibiotics or other medications or treatments. Some can get very dehydrated or develop ulcers on the corneas of their eyes.