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Safe Remedies To Help Soothe A Cat Cold

Cat cold
Achoo!

A Cat cold will plague every cat at some point in their life.

Disclaimer: many of the links listed are affiliate links through Amazon and Chewy! These companies compensate me for some purchases! If you are looking for what over-the-counter medications are safe to give to a cat, please see my post here on safe medications.

Almost all cats expose themselves to the feline herpes virus before we vaccinate them, (typically through Mama cat). Feline herpes is the cause for the majority of what we call “cat colds”. This causes cats to have a runny nose, runny/red eyes, sneezing, coughing, and sometimes a lack of appetite. In most cases, you can handle this at home. But, avoid over-the-counter human cold medications in the treatment and home care of a cat cold.

Most human cold medications contain acetaminophen (Tylenol) or decongestants, both of which are toxic to cats.

Instead, use medications and supplements (and treatments!) that specifically treat the signs associated with a cat cold.

For sniffles, coughing, and sneezing:

  • L-Lysine Powder – This supplement helps to reduce sniffles and boost your cat’s immune system to both ease current signs and to prevent future colds. Give L-lysine on a daily basis.
  • Plain Benadryl – Active ingredient diphenhydramine. This medication helps ease the signs of both colds and allergies in cats. Do not purchase with any decongestants in it, as this is toxic to felines. Cats receive 1 milligram per pound of body weight for treatment.
  • Plain Zyrtec – Active ingredient cetirizine. This is an allergy medication that is an alternative to Benadryl. It may work better in some cats. Cats get 5 milligrams once a day.
  • Plain Saline drops – 2-3 drops of plain saline in each nostril will help to moisten and clear out clogged mucus. Promotes easier breathing and smelling to help with eating!
  • Dextromethorphan and Guafenisen – Some vets suggest cough tabs or other similar cough supressants in cats, though this may not be very effective.

For eye redness, squinting, and eye discharge:

  • Terramycin – Place this mild eye antibiotic ointment directly in the globe of the eye. In many cases, this helps to relieve mild eye symptoms and infection. People in every state may purchase this without a prescription with the exception of California.

In many cases, a cat cold will resolve on its own at home.

However, cats can develop secondary bacterial infections. Similarly, their noses may become too clogged to easily breathe or they can grow overly dehydrated. If your cat has not improved in 2-3 weeks, please take your cat to a vet for immediate evaluation.

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