7 Simple and Amazing Home Remedies for Cats with Colds
As a cat owner and lover I want to make sure that I share home remedies for cats with colds with you. Having an ill cat is no fun and when your cat has a cold, you want to get them back to normal as soon as possible! These home remedies for cats with colds can help do the trick and the great thing is, you probably already have them around your home.
Can cats get colds? Absolutely they can! It is a common illness seen in cats of any age and is also known as feline upper respiratory infection. There are a few different strains of feline upper respiratory infection which include:
- FVR (feline rhinotracheitis)
- FVC (feline calicvirus)
- Bordetella Bronchiseptica
- Chlamydophilia felis
Your cat is especially at risk if they have already been exposed to a cold before and they are known as what is called a chronic carrier- which means they will carry the cat flu with them their entire lives. There are bacterial and viral causes to feline colds and they can be caused by several different factors. Causes of colds in cats include:
- Exposure to other cats with colds through boarding or interaction
- Weakened immune system
- Mother’s passing the cold to their litters
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
When your cat has caught a cold, no matter which strain they have caught, they will begin to exhibit the tell-tale signs of the cold. Signs and symptoms of cats with colds are:
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Discharge (either clear or yellow) coming from the nose and/or eyes
- Low appetite
- Ulcers in the mouth (cause by the upper respiratory infection)
Once you have noticed any or all of these signs and symptoms in your cats behavior and health, it is important to speak to your vet. Informing your vet of the signs and symptoms will help to confirm the exact cause of what is ailing your feline friend. After you know for sure what is going on with your cat, you can then begin treatment with home remedies for cats with colds.
Keep in mind, the typical feline cold will last 7 to 21 days with an incubation period during the first two to ten days. If you begin to notice your cat is refusing to eat or drink or they have severe lethargy, seek the advice of your vet immediately as your cat could have something more serious than a common cold.
Home remedies for cats with colds are a natural and safe alternative to harsh and often toxic medications. The following home remedies can be implemented as soon as you have received a diagnosis for a cold in your cat. It is easiest to begin treating the cold as soon as you can for a faster recovery time and to prevent spreading the cold to other cats.
1. Place Your Cat in a Steamy Room
There’s nothing that can help clear the congestion of your cat’s nasal and respiratory airways than a good, long steam. Breathing in the warm steam can help your cat project any drainage that is blocking their nose and/or throat. In addition, the steam will help warm them up which will help to relax and calm your cat.
- Hot Shower or bath
- Cat carrier
- Turn on your shower or bath to a hot temperature and leave on for several minutes to allow your bathroom to fill with steam.
- Bring your cat in their cat carrier to the bathroom and leave them in the steam for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Repeat 2 to 3 times per day until the cold is gone.
Notes: You can also use a dehumidifier to provide steam to your cat. Simply place the dehumidifier in front of their carrier and turn on low or medium. Place a towel around their carrier to keep the steam inside.
2. Administer Vitamin C
Fighting a cold from the inside out can significantly improve with an extra immune boost from Vitamin C. The Vitamin C can help your cat fight off bacterial and viral colds and you will see a faster recovery time from the cold when you add Vitamin C to their diet.
- One bottle of Vitamin C tablets
- Crush one Vitamin C tablet and place into the syringe.
- Add a little warm water to dissolve the Vitamin C and give to your cat.
- Repeat 1-2 times per day while your cat is suffering from the cold.
3. Administer Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is a common ‘cure all’ for home remedies. When you allow your cat to ingest Apple Cider Vinegar, you can help them to alkalize their PH levels. This will help your cat ward off the cold, and other pathogens.
- ½ teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
- Combine the Apple Cider Vinegar with your cats food and mix well.
- Repeat twice per day while your cat has the cold.
Notes: Cats are known to be finicky about their food and if they do not eat their food when you mix in the Apple Cider Vinegar, simple place it in a syringe and give it to your cat orally.
4. Administer Lysine
Lysine is a common amino acid that is essential for both humans and cats. The Lysine will help to be a building block for proteins which will help to inhibit the virus from replicating and getting worse or even spreading to other cats.
- One bottle of gel capsule Lysine
- Administer 200 to 500 mg of Lysine once per day by mixing it with your cats food.
Notes: Lysine is available in tablet form, however it is easier to administer the Lysine in gel cap form.
5. Administer Vick’s VapoRub
Vick’s VapoRub is often used for children who have caught a cold and it is gentle enough to be used on cats. The Vick’s vapoRub contains gentle yet powerful menthol which will help to clear the blocked nasal cavities and respiratory system to enable your cat to breathe easier.
- One container of Vick’s VapoRub
- Cotton Swabs
- Gather a generous amount of the Vick’s Vaporub onto the cotton swab.
- Gently wipe the cotton swab onto the whiskers and tip of your cat’s nose.
- Leave on your cat so they can reap the benefits of breathing in the Vick’s VapoRub.
- Repeat twice per day while your cat has a cold.
6. Keep Your Cat Warm
Keeping your cat nice and warm will help them to fight off the cold. Not only will a warm and cozy space help your cat to rest and relax while they recuperate, the added warmth will help soothe them.
- Heating pad
- Wrap the heating pad in the blanket and turn on to low heat.
- Allow your cat to snuggle up next to the heating pad for as long as they want.
- Give your cat the heating pad daily until they are feeling better.
Notes: If you do not have a heating pad, adding hot water to a water bottle will suffice. No matter which method you choose to use, make sure that you do not make the temperatures too hot so your cat does not burn their sensitive paws.
7. Ensure Your Cat Remains Well Hydrated
Keeping your cat hydrated during a cold is of upmost importance. The hydration will ensure your cat does not get worse and the water will help them to clear the toxins from their system.
- Wet cat food
- Tuna Juice
- Provide clean and fresh water throughout the day.
- Add tuna juice to their wet cat food to kick start their appetite and ensure they are ingesting the hydrating foods.
- Keep an eye on how much your cat is drinking to ensure they do not become dehydrated during their cold.
Notes: Should your cat become dehydrated, you will need to take them to a vet immediately. Dehydration can end up being fatal for a cat and when your cat is in a weakened state during a cold, they are more susceptible to becoming dehydrated.
It is advised to use these home remedies for cats with colds in combination with others to give your cat the best chance of a speedy recovery. In addition to these home remedies, there are other aspects of care during their cold that you will need to adhere to.
Help with Grooming
Cats are known for keeping themselves very clean. Yet during their cold, they will need some extra help to make sure they stay clean and germ free, especially in the hard to reach places such as the nose and face.
It is recommended to take a wet, warm wash cloth and gently wipe your cat’s face and nose. This can help to clear any discharge or build up left from their runny nose and eyes. You should make sure to clean your cat this way at least twice per day while they are ill to prevent unwanted crusty build up from occurring.
You can also use a cotton swab to get the corners of their eyes. Just be sure you are very gentle in these sensitive areas.
In addition to gently wiping your cat’s face, you can use an infant’s mucus syringe to help to clear their nasal passageways. This can be helpful for allowing your cat to breathe easier, yet you should not force this upon your cat. If your cat begins to fight or feel highly stressed, do not make them feel worse. Try again another time but if they keep fighting you, let it be. You do not want to make your cat feel worse by causing them unnecessary stress.
Monitor Food and Water Intake
Monitoring your cat’s food and water intake while they have a cold is vital to ensure they are getting better, and not getting worse. When your cat becomes congested, they can lose their sense of smell. This can cause them to lose their appetite and therefore significantly reduce their much needed energy intake.
Encourage your cat to eat by providing their favorite treats such as tuna, liver, or sardine juice. You can also add a little bit of water to your cat’s dry food to enable easier digestion. Furthermore, you can warm up any canned food you give them to make the food more palatable which will encourage your cat to eat.
Checking your cat’s hydration levels is essential so your cat does not slip into dangerous dehydration. You can check your cat’s hydration levels in two ways.
One way is to grab your cat’s scruff and hold it in place. When you release the scruff, the fur and skin should go back down to normal within one second. Each second longer it takes to return to normal, that is one percentage of dehydration. It is advised to take your cat to the vet should they have 3 or 4 percent dehydration.
You can also examine your cat’s gums. Ideally they will be soft and pink, similar to a humans. If they are dehydrated, the gums will appear red and tacky or even sticky to the touch.
Ensuring your cat gets the best chance to recovery from their cold will require a close eye on their signs and symptoms as well as their diet. As a fellow cat owner, I hope you can put this list and advice to good use and I hope you have enjoyed the information I have provided you. I am passionate about the health of cats and kittens and with ailments such as the cold, it is something you will most likely see most often among cats.
That is why I aim to provide this information, because the faster you can help to heal your cat and understanding what is ideal and what is not can ensure your cat has the best life possible. Using these home remedies for cats with colds will help you and your cat get back to your normal purr-fect lives.