URI is very rarely fatal, and usually resolves within one to three weeks. Treatment is generally supportive. In addition, antibiotics are sometimes given to treat possible bacterial infections. However, although secondary bacterial infections can make the problem worse, the underlying cause is often a viral infection. Viral infections are not cured by antibiotics – as with the common cold, there is no completely effective treatment besides time and allowing the cat's own immune system to do its job. In rare cases, URI can cause serious disease such as pneumonia. Also, sick cats may not eat or drink adequate amounts and may become severely dehydrated. In such cases, hospitalization and fluid supplementation may be needed.
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