A Cat flu is like a human cold it has the same symptoms as for us humans. Your cat will have a runny nose and runny eyes, sore throat and probably no appetite. Sometimes your feline friend can have aches and pains in the muscles and joints.
Mouth ulcers, loss of voice and fever as well as dribbling and sneezing can be a side effect of the flu just like in humans.
In a typical case, a cat flu is not so severe in adult cats, but they suffer depending on how strong the symptoms appear and the cat flu takes out a lot of energy from your cat, you know from your own experience you can be quite ill with influenza.
I recommend that all cats with the flu or cold should see a vet.
Depending on how fast your cat is diagnosed and treated with a cat cold or cat flu, the cat flu recovery time is typically from around 12 days to four weeks.
Unfortunately, when your cat is suffering from a runny nose or sneezing a lot, you can not give her the cold medicine you buy over the counter for your self. Always keep in mind that human medicine is made for humans and not for cats or pets.
I know sometimes we feel sorry for our feline friend and we can see how much they suffer, but think in the best interest of your cat that human medicine might harm your cat or in the worst case poison your cat. The best thing you can do for your cat is, bring your cat to the vet and get it diagnosed and treated.
The vet will give you the appropriate medication for your cat and for you the proper instructions on how to administer the medication to your cat.
There are little things you can help your cat get over the flu with ease. It is depending on your cat on how much your cat is tolerating what you do with her.
To keep your cat warm you can get the Thermo-Mod Dream Pod Pet Bed. It helps and it is cosy and warm. I got one for my cats and all two sleep in there in winter time. Click here to purchase it.
As you know cats when they are sick or feeling not well, they look for a place to hide. Make sure you have access to your cat, and you can help and provide your cat with a recovery area.
Cats don’t like noise especially when they are sick.
Keep them out of the way from the household traffic and your other pets. The area should be kept warm and comfortable with a bed, a litter box, water and food in close reach. Your cats’ favourite toys ( please wash them after the cat recovers) in case they are not washable, please trash them and get new ones to avoid spreading the infection.
Create for your cat a warm place where she can hide, but you still have access to it. If you are a smart cat owner you understand your cat’s needs.
Cats do not like water but getting the cat into the hot steamy bathroom when you are taking a shower will do wonders in opening their airways, nasal passages while fighting the infection. That is a great “cat blocked nose remedy.”
If you have floor heating in your bathroom, your cat will properly already made herself a home there.
Cats are finicky so don’t stress them out with too much home remedies. But one thing that helps me with my cats in winter they love to stay in our bathroom under the sink as we have floor heating.
If you do not have floor heating get a heating pad but use it with care and low and don’t make it too hot as you can quickly burn the paws of your cat.
If you live in a cold country you have to switch on the heating and that in general makes the air dry. We can feel it ourselves.
Switch on a humidifier for around 30 min each day in the recovery area of your cat for two or three days; it will relieve the congestion for your cat. It works the same as for Babies. You can do it for longer if your cat needs a longer time to recover.
The same as we humans, your cat will lose the appetite and smell during the time we have a cold. The same goes for your cat, because of that your cat might refuse to eat and to drink.
Especially when your cat has a sore throat. From my experience when a cat has a cold or flu, they will not eat the canned food with jelly, because when a cat has a sore throat, it is hard for them to swallow. You can use can food with gravy and warm it a bit, so the smell and the flavour come out more. That might help to awaken the appetite in your cat. Cats love to smell.
If you wonder what to feed a cat with a sore throat, I mix up some vegetable fish or meat and put it with a bit of broth in the blender and feed it to my cat.
I change the fish or meat each day, so my cat does not get bored with it. Believe me, you become very creative when you have a cat who refuses to eat because it is sick and you will worry a lot.
Cat lovers know how fuzzy a cat can be about food. Monitor your cat during the time it has the cat flu. Cat flu weight loss is unavoidable, but you have to decide when it is time make a trip to the Vet.
One thing is critical during the time your cat has the flu. Your cat needs to be kept hydrated, and water is essential. If your cat is getting dehydrated, you might have to bring her to the vet for a saline drip iv infusion to keep her hydrated.
Keep the water bowl ( better put a few around the house), and one near the place where she is residing so your cat does not need to walk too far to get the water. Clean and change the drinking water and water bowl 2x a day.
You can also use electrolyte replacement fluids for pets. ( ask your pet shop or your veterinarian for it. That will help to fight the dehydration. If your cat utterly refused to drink, try chicken broth a couple of times.
It is vital that you monitor your cat’s hydration levels. To get an estimate of how hydrated your cat is by gently pinching the at the spot area of your cat. It is the area where a mother would pick up her kittens. Pinch that area and hold it up for five seconds if the hydration of your cat is healthy it will snap back in less than a second.
If your cat is dehydrated, it will take longer to snap back. You can calculate for each extra second it takes to snap back to its original position takes 3% to 5% of dehydration. Most vets estimate 3% to 5% of dehydration for each extra second until it returns to its original position. Dehydration levels of 5% and above need a trip to the vet.
Take caution with that method as your cat might bite your finger.
You can check your cat’s gums. Usually, the cat has a soft pink colour gum, and it is wet and slippery. ( like a human gum) In case the gum of your cat is red or pale, and the feeling on your finger is tacky and sticky then your cat is dehydrated.
Be aware that your cat might bite your finger when trying to test this method. An experienced cat person should only use this method.
When you believe your cat is dehydrated than you should see a veterinarian immediately to prevent further issues such as bacterial pneumonia. It is also essential that your cat is urinating and defecating when you discover that your cat has diarrhoea that will lead to further dehydration.
If your cat develops a fever then you have to take a trip to the Vet. A cat with a fever has hot ears, hot and dry nose, and hot feet and paws. The eyes look a bit glossy and the cat is in general tired. Check for Infection and shock you can recognize it with cold feet and pale gums, (press gently on the gum to see if blood re-enters, good gums look pink and healthy, just like you and me)
Help your cat grooming, brush the fur of your cat every day even if your cat is not sick. You help your cat with grooming her coat, and there is less hair in your house, at the same time you spend some quality time with your cat ( my cat loves the grooming), and your cat is swallowing less hair because you take out quite a bit.
I had once a problem with my tuxedo cat she was grooming and grooming chewing of her hair at the back, I thought in the beginning, she, but the vet checked and said just nervousness. So I started brushing Minka 3 times a day instead of one time, ( I still brush Minka 3 times a day) and in two weeks all the hairs she chewed off started to grow back.
I guess it is the same with us, when we go to the hairdresser we feel after the haircut itchy and change the shirt or blouse. So for me, this is the same for cats they get itchy because of the underfur getting lose and they start to itch.
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Do not use the cotton balls twice, discharge them after each cleaning to prevent the spreading of the infection especially if you have more then one cat.
When the discharge is excessive, and your cat’s eyes hurt when you clean them, then it is to visit your vet as the infection may have caused a corneal ulcer, and that can only be treated with professional help your veterinarian.
Use a soft damp cloth or a soft wet cotton ball and wipe your cat’s nose on a regular base. Use salt water a pinch of salt for 200ml water. You can also use the chamomile water solution. You can mix in one drop of non-perfumed coconut oil ( do not use more than one drop) to prevent the discomfort when wiping the nose of your cat.
We all know how sensitive and red the nose becomes when we humans have the flu or cold. The same goes for our cat. Removing the discharge makes the breathing for your cat more comfortable. Be gentle to your cat’s nose.
Be sure to discard any used cloth or cotton balls after one time use to prevent the spread of infection, and do not use them a couple of times you will make the matter worse.
The feline herpesvirus can affect our cats in both ways in a viral and in a bacterial sickness. The feline herpesvirus causes eye ulcers, and the feline calicivirus causes an oral ulcer. Both the feline herpesvirus and the feline calicivirus are most of the time 95% responsible for the cat cold. That said a cat cold could also be caused by a combination of viruses and bacteria that comes in contact with your cat or other cats, especially with outdoor cats.
Cats are sensitive, and they need the routine in changing the routine of your cat, you might cause her stress and that will weaken her immune system and can trigger a cold or the flu.
For example, you go on a holiday, and you put your cat into a boarding residence — the recuperating from being spayed or neutered. Moving to a new home, loss of a person in the household, the loss of a pet, a new baby arrives, there are many factors and influences where a cat can get easily stressed. Not every cat is the same some adapt easier, and some have a hard time to adjust to changes. I normally recommend the Sentry calm collar. That works well and it is easy to use. There is also the Feliway Diffuser Plug-In Starter Kit available for cats.
Can a cat take vitamins to help her strengthen the immune system?
It is not clear on giving a cat vitamin supplements will help for the cat flu or cat cold.
The recommendation is that you should consult your veterinarian for advice and the right supplements. Again it is not recommended to use the human vitamins for a pet. Most Veterinarian will recommend Lysine.
It is like in humans once a cat has contracted the herpes virus ( most of the cats have the herpes virus in their body, and most of the time it is dormant) it will remain in the cat’s system.
Same goes for cats who had the cat flu. The herpes virus will be with them forever.
Your vet might suggest lysine, an essential amino acid that serves as a building block of protein, helping to inhibit the replication of the virus.
Recommended doses are around 500 mg and given a few times per day.
The Lysine is available in a gel formula, powder and pills. Depending on your cat but the tablets might be a challenge for you to give your cat. In most of the treats, there is lysine, but it is only a fraction of the daily dose required to become effective. ( I use the powder formula easy to mix in the food)
You might use Lysine 5 to 7 days before any stressful events. It may be helpful in boosting the immune system of your cat and at the same time lessening the risk of upper respiratory infections following these events.
It is commonly discussed on the Internet to use Vitamin C and Apple Cider Vinegar, and I am amazed when people can feed or administer this to their cat. As cats have a sensitive smell and usually do not like apple vinegar or vitamin C. I do not recommend this solution with apple cider vinegar or Vitamin C. You might harm your cat instead of helping her.
Home remedies can help but can also harm your cat. Whenever you see signs of that your cat might develop the cat flu or the cold than please take a trip to your veterinarian.
The cat flu has a lot of different strains of viruses, and it is the same as the human flu the vaccine is not effective against them all.
If you decide to vaccinate your cat against the cat flu, there are two doses of vaccine needed initially followed by boosters.
Your Vet will be pleased to help you out and explain to you in details. In case you go on a holiday and put your cat up into a boarding home than you need to be up to date with your vaccinations for your cat.
The cat flu vaccine cost is different from Veterinarian to Veterinarian.
I hope I give you some valuable information about the cat flu and the cat cold. Please tell us and give us your helpful advice on how you handled your cat or cats when the flu has visited your cat.
My cats are outdoor cats and do not stay inside all the time. But I have taken the initiative to vaccinate all our cats. I know there are pro and cons about vaccination, but so far we are lucky and had no significant issues with the cat flu. Our cats come together with our neighbour’s cats, and we had 2 of our cats with the cat flu.
Luckily it passed after 12 days. If you have more than one cat and one of them has the cat flu or cat cold, the best advice I can give is keep them separate. Wash your toys, bedding, cat litter etc. after your cat is well again and do not use the same items with your other cats.
The cat flu is a nonpredictive disease that can cause harm to your cat if left untreated for too long. With a proper and healthy diet, your cat will have a long life.
I know I talk a lot going to the vet and I also know a vet is expensive. When you have more than one pet or only one pet I highly recommend the pet plus membership it will help you to reduce your vet bills and it keeps your four-legged friends save. You can save hundreds of dollars in vet bills and medication.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog