Disclaimer: If you are not completely comfortable treating your kitty for any ailment, stop right here and take your precious one to the vet! It is much better to be safe than sorry! The following information is meant for times it is not possible to get your beloved kitty to the vet and is not meant to replace your veterinarian’s advice!
The advice provided here is a columniation of tricks and techniques I have tried with success on the many kitties I have had to treat throughout the years.
If you have any questions concerning treating your kitties, feel free to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Upper Respiratory Infections (Common Kitty Cold, Feline Herpes Virus et)
This is the most common ailment that affects cats and kittens. It is estimated 90% or more of kitties have been exposed at one time or another to the Feline Herpes Virus. Most of the time cats are exposed to the virus within the first few weeks of life. Since they are not vaccinated until apx 8 weeks old, many times it is too late for vaccine to do any good.
If you should notice your kitty experiencing eye discharge, runny or clogged up nose and/or especially a green or yellow discharge, you should begin treatment immediately!
The first line of defense is L-Lysine, an essential Amino Acid. The way L-Lysine works is to halt replication of the virus. It is perfectly safe to give to kitties and even yourself to help with the human common cold!
For kittens the dose is 250mg sprinkled on their food twice per day; Adults, 500mg twice per day. You may keep your kitties on L-Lysine indefinitely as it is a great immune system booster. Maintenance dosage is 250-500mg per day.
You may purchase L-Lysine capsules at any health food store and drug store. There are also many online sites who sell it drastically cheaper than you can go to the store and buy. Here is a link to one good site: VitaCost.
If you happen to have a kitty who chronically suffers from FHV I urge you to join this Yahoo Group where you may glean tons of info the members have gathered over the years to help your precious babe! Yahoo Group Site:
To treat the congestion almost always associated with this, there are a number of things you can try.
Try simply placing kitty in the bathroom and run hot water through the shower to get a good steam going and leave kitty in there until steam is gone. When this is not enough, I prefer to use good old chlorpheniramine (Chlortrimeton). You may give a kitten up to 4lbs, 1/8 of a 4mg Chlortrimeton tablet twice per day; a kitty weighing 4-7lbs ¼ tablet twice per day and adult kitties weighing 7-10lbs receive ½ Chlortrimeton tablet twice per day
You can buy generic Chlortrimeton 4mg tablets at just about any store such as Wal-Mart for a very low cost. You can also use Clariton & Zyrtec; same dosages.
If Kitty’s nose is clogged up, I find by just mixing a pinch salt in 2oz warm water and dropping into their nose causes them to sneeze a lot of the junk from their nose so they can breathe better. If congestions is extreme, you may “flush” the nostrils with the saline solution by doing this: Wrap kitty tightly in a towel so they don’t get away from you as you are treating them. Position them face up towards you but with head hung down towards the floor. Fill each nostril up with saline, wait 30 seconds then turn the kitty over with head still down so that the liquid drains out the nose and not into the lungs—this is VERY important!
If doing this does not seem to help enough, you may use a drop or two of regular (short acting non menthol) 4Way Nasal Spray in each nostril once or twice per day. As with humans, do not exceed 3 days using the nasal spray as it causes a rebound effect. You may also prefer to just treat one side of nostrils, alternating each day, which seems to lessen the chance of rebound from the nasal spray.
If the discharge coming from your kitty’s nose is green//yellow, this indicates infection and kitty will need antibiotics. Clavamox oral suspension is an excellent antibiotic for kitties and you may obtain it without a prescription from this online drug store:
Be sure to buy the oral suspension: 50/12.5mg/ml. Kittens receive ¼ ml twice per day. Kitties 5-7lbs receive 1/2 ml twice per day. Over 7lbs receive 1ml twice per day.
If there is no time to wait for a shipment of meds to come in, you can go to most pet and aquarium stores and buy “Fish Mox”, in the fish section, which is Amoxicillin.
Important mixing instructions: You will need a small bottle to mix & keep the medication in. If you buy the 250mg Fish Mox, crush the pill, then dilute it with 5ml of water in the bottle & mix well. For the 500mg crush the pill then mix it with 10ml of water. This dilutes the Fish Mox (Amoxicillin) to 50mg per 1ml which is the same dosage one gets from the vet. Kittens under 5lbs receive .25ml 2 x per day & kitties over 5lbs receive .50ml 2 x per day. Large kitties apx 10lbs receive 1ml
Many times cats will slow down and/or completely stop eating and drinking when they have URI. It is imperative you watch your kitty closely as dehydration sets in very quickly and can kill them if not treated immediately!
One way to tell if your kitty is dehydrated is to pull up the nap of skin between the shoulder blades. If when you turn it loose, it snaps right back into place, then your kitty is probably not dehydrated. However if the skin is slow falling back into place your kitty is more than likely dehydrated and steps must be taken to rehydrate the kitty immediately!
The wonderful thing about cats is it is easy to rehydrate them by giving them Subcutaneous Injections of IV Fluid. Simply put, you draw up Lactated Ringers IV solution into a syringe, gently inject the needle just under the skin between the shoulder blades and slowly inject the solution until you form a small ball of solution under the skin. This looks horrible at first, but rest assured your kitty’s body will immediately begin to absorb this IV fluid and within mere minutes, the ball of solution will disappear!
You can purchase Lactated Ringers IV solution without a prescription from this online store: Atlantic Medical Supply
For the kitty who has stopped eating there is a wonderful product called Nutrical which comes in a large tube. Many a kitty’s life has been saved using this product! You can purchase Nutrical without prescription at most pet supply stores such as PetsMart & Petsco. Just follow the directions on the label. NOTE: if kitty has completely stopped eating then give it dobs of Nutrical several times per day.
Try making slurry out of some baby chicken food & water and hand feed through dropper or syringe. Strong smelling foods such as tuna have been shown to help a congested kitty want to eat. Bottom line is if they cannot smell their food they usually will not eat it.
For eyes with a discharge or crusting, wash the eye gently with water, then smear a dab Triple Antibiotic Ointment directly into the eye taking care not to scratch the eye. This must be done 3-4 times daily until the eyes are clear. Triple Antibiotic Ointment is available at all drug stores or places such as Wal-Mart. Generic will do just as well as the major brands. NOTE: make sure you purchase the “ointment” and NOT the cream!
Sometimes these eye infections take something a bit stronger to get rid of it. An ointment called Terramycin will almost always do the trick. You apply it the same way as the other, 3-4 times daily. You may purchase Terramycin eye ointment without prescription for a fraction of the cost your vet would charge on good old eBay! On eBay, simply type in the search bar “Terramycin” and you will find many selling it. You may also purchase Terramycin eye ointment without prescription at this online store: Entirely Pets.