Pneumonia in Cats - Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs and airways in cats, which can happen for many different reasons.

Today, our Madison vets will talk a little bit more about what causes pneumonia in cats, what the symptoms are, and how to treat it.

What makes cats get pneumonia?

If bacteria, viruses, or fungi get into your cat’s nose or trachea, they can cause infections and inflammation that can lead to pneumonia. When a cat has pneumonia, it will have trouble breathing and its blood will not have enough oxygen, which can weaken its immune system.

Even though pneumonia can happen to cats of any age, it is most often found in very young kittens, older cats, or cats with other health problems.

Cats can get pneumonia in several different ways:

  • Infectious pneumonia – Resulting from a viral or bacterial infection in the lungs and airways, this is the most common form of pneumonia seen in cats.
  • Aspiration pneumonia – Caused by the cat inhaling a foreign material, which leads to irritation of the sensitive lining of the lungs. A common cause of aspiration pneumonia in cats is the improper administration of liquid medications, or the inhalation of vomit if the cat is sick.
  • Fungal pneumonia – This type of pneumonia begins as a fungal infection that progresses into the development of pneumonia.
  • Parasites – In some cases, parasites including lungworms and flukes can invade the cat’s bronchi and result in pneumonia.

Can other cats get sick from a cat with pneumonia?

If your cat has viral or bacterial pneumonia, it could spread to other cats, dogs, and small animals that it comes into close contact with.

To stop the virus or bacteria from spreading, it’s best to keep your sick cat away from the other pets in your home by putting it in a separate room. Make sure your cat has a comfortable place to sleep, a clean litter box, and enough food and water.

Clean your cat’s food and water bowls, litter box, and any toys that could be dirty regularly. Also, make sure to wash your hands well after taking care of your sick cat.

Read More: Why Cats Make Good Companions

Can a cat who has pneumonia get better?

Once your vet knows what’s wrong, he or she will start treatment to help your cat’s condition get back to normal and then fight the infection.

In general, cats with pneumonia have a good chance of getting better with treatment. However, aspiration pneumonia is hard to treat and may lead to more problems in the future. How well your cat gets better from pneumonia will depend on what made it sick in the first place, as well as its age and general health.