Just like people, kitties can suffer from colds too, leading to sneezing, coughing and runny noses. These upper respiratory infections are caused by viruses or bacteria. For viral infections, antibiotics won't help, so you need to give your furry friend some supportive care and supplements to make him feel better.
Before giving your furry friend any natural supplements, bring him to the vet for a proper diagnosis. Your vet will perform a physical exam, along with blood and urine tests to determine the cause of your furry friend's cold symptoms. Most likely a virus or bacterial infection is to blame, but feline allergies or a nasal obstruction could produce similar symptoms. The tests can also help determine if an underlying condition like feline leukemia or the feline immunodeficiency virus could be affecting your kitty and opening her up to infection. Consult with your doctor regarding the use of holistic medication to see if it is appropriate for your kitty's case, depending on the severity of her symptoms.
If your furry friend is suffering from a virus, there aren't really any treatments to rid her of it. She'll need to heal on her own with some supportive care to make her feel better and alleviate her symptoms. Provide your little one with a comfy bed to rest out her symptoms and place a vaporizer next to this area to help open her airways and relieve her congestion. Make sure she has a quiet spot to nap with no disturbances because it's important she gets plenty of rest as she recovers.
A few drops of children's saline nasal drops placed in her nose can also help to open up your kitty's nasal passages when given one to two times each day, if she'll let you. Wipe her nose and eyes with a soft tissue dampened with warm water to clean away mucous several time per day as well. Her runny nose may become raw and red from her rubbing it so apply a bit of sesame or olive oil to it with your finger to moisturize it.
To help speed your furry friend's recovery, give her some l-lysine if she has a virus. This amino acid helps to speed recovery from viral infections and reduce symptoms as well, recommends the Manhattan Cat Specialists. The Holisticat website suggests giving your kitty 250 to 500 mg of l-lysine to your kitty daily during the time she is ill. Vitamin C can also help your furry buddy fight off a cold. Give your kitty 1/4 of a 250 mg tablet daily, placing the piece of pill directly into her mouth as far back as possible. If you don't see improvement, you may administer up to 1000 mg of vitamin C to your kitty daily while she's experiencing her illness, recommends VetInfo. Once you see she's feeling better, you can stop the vitamin C.
When treating your kitty for a cold, always consult with your vet before giving her any medications, even natural ones. You may also want to consult with a holistic veterinarian to determine a course of treatment for her using natural supplements and herbs. To treat a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be necessary to prevent the infection from worsening into something like pneumonia. Upper respiratory infections that cause severe symptoms may need hospitalization by your vet rather than simply supportive, natural care.
- The Cat Health Guide: Cat Cold
- VetInfo: Natural Remedies for Treating a Cat Cold
- Holisticat: Upper Respiratory Infections
- Manhattan Cat Specialists: Viral Upper Respiratory Infections in Cats
- Tree House Humane Society: Feral Cat Feeding and Supplementation
- VetInfo: What Dosage of Vitamin C or Licorice Should I Give a Cat with a Cold?
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.