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Q:  My cat was outside for 4 days and just decided to come home.  He’s breathing really fast and sounds congested to me.  I read it was a cold but I’m not sure how to act.   He’s still eating, but making weird noises.  Should I seek medical attention for my baby?

A:  This could range from anything including a viral upper respiratory infection (cold) to something more serious like a nasal foreign body or some sort of trauma.  Since he was gone for several days, you have no idea what he was exposed to or what he may have gotten into. It would be best to have him examined by your veterinarian.   A full physical exam will help differentiate some of these things and determine if he needs further diagnostics or medications.   Based on your veterinarian’s findings blood work and/or imaging may be indicated to pinpoint the cause for his symptoms.  Good luck with your kitty.

Reena Shah, DVM (I-131)

Dr. Shah graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Oradell Animal Hospital and since then has remained on staff. Dr. Shah is involved with Oradell Animal Hospital's radioactive iodine program for the treatment of hyperthyroidism in cats. She likes to cook and spend time with her family.