Saturday, September 30, 2023

Cat Flu Treatment At Home

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Treating influenza and cold in cats

Most cats will suffer from a cat flu infection at some point in their lives. Although feline flu is not typically a serious condition in adult cats, it can have damaging and even fatal outcomes in young cats. Kitten flu and adult flu are both caused by one of two common viruses, feline herpes virus or feline calicivirus.

Keep Them Fed And Hydrated

Cats can easily become dehydrated when they have cat flu because they lose their sense of smell and taste. This leads to them eating and drinking less.

To keep them hydrated and fed its best to mix in foods to their usual meals that are easy to eat and have strong smells. We suggest warm foods like:

  • sardines
  • roast chicken
  • tuna

As well as keeping them hydrated, encouraging your cat to drink also helps to loosen catarrh .

Cats that cannot eat may need to be hospitalised for treatment.

Cat Flu How To Treat And Prevent

Cat flu is quite a nasty illness for your pet. If you have never seen a cat with flu then count yourself lucky. It is far worse than cat colds.

Our cats have always been vaccinated and have never caught the feline flu, but because Little Mo came from an animal shelter, we did not know her previous history and she caught the flu soon after we re-homed her.

It really was sad to see, she didn’t eat or drink for days. She could hardly walk and it was pitiful to hear her croaky almost silent mew.

Cat Flu is the common name given to a group of viruses, which affect the upper respiratory tract in cats.

Healthy cats are normally able to cope with the illness and it is not usually fatal, but it can be much nastier and dangerous to kittens and cats with a weaken immune system.

Anyway we all know how unpleasant the flu can be in ourselves, so it is something that we should try and protect our pets from catching it in the first place.

This is a very serious condition which can cause long term damage to some cats such as blindness. It can also kill young cats and which is why vaccination is so important.

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What Is Cat Flu

Humans and cats present the same symptoms to the Flu, but that is the only resemblance. We cannot catch cat flu and they cannot catch our colds since the pathogens are completely different. Cat flu is an upper respiratory tract disease which can be caused by a number of different pathogens.

In most common cases feline Herpes virus and Calici virus, also known as FVR are the cat flu culprits. However URI may also come into play.

Q: Can Cat Flu Be Prevented

Cat Flu Home Remedies

A: Yes, theres a simple way to protect your pet from cat flu: a yearly vaccination, which cats can have from nine weeks old. To help prevent your cat from ever catching the condition, though, youll need to make sure she receives her immunisations every year. Unfortunately, the vaccine wont be effective if your cat has already contracted the flu virus.

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When To See A Veterinarian

Your cat should be taken to a veterinarian if any of the below occurs:

  • You can not get your cat to eat.
  • He is acting lethargic.
  • He has vomiting and/or diarrhea.
  • He has a fever.
  • He is old or young .
  • If he is dehydrated
  • He has any other underlying medical problems.
  • If the nasal or eye discharge changes from clear to coloured and thick, which means he has a bacterial infection.

Medications should not be given to your cat unless your veterinarian has prescribed them. In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend the use of decongestants such as Benadryl, Chlortrimeton or nasal sprays to help relieve congestion. This has to be carefully administered according to your cats weight, and must only be carried out on the recommendation of your vet.

Never use human medications on cats. In some cases, your veterinarian may prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat any secondary bacterial infections which may occur.

Read More About Feline Calicivirus

Look out for fever, a runny nose or ulcers in your cats mouth these can be on the tongue or roof of the mouth making it hard for your pet to eat. Some strains of the virus cause limping, while in rare cases, cats can suffer with severe swelling of the face and paws, ulcers on the skin and even organ failure.

Because the disease is a virus, there is rarely a specific treatment that combats the condition. Affected cats generally need careful nursing support, possibly being fed via a tube if mouth ulcers are preventing them from eating. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics if the condition leads to bacterial infection, but these drugs dont stop the virus itself.

Feline calcivirus is very infectious, and the only practical way to protect your cat is to have it vaccinated, with booster jabs each year to maintain protection. This is one of the most common procedures we carry out at Vets4Pets, so just get in touch to find out more.

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Should You Let Your Vet And Boarding Facility Know If Your Cat Is A Carrier

Yes! It is important for your vet to know, as it will assist with future diagnosis and treatments. You should let your boarding facility know for the following reasons.

  • To avoid any additional stress to your boarding cat – eg. Housing them away from other cats or in an environment they prefer such as in a sunny room.
  • Cattery attendants can watch more closely for clinical signs, discomfort or illness before they become a problem.
  • Cattery attendants can keep a very close eye on your cat’s appetite and if necessary feed more palatable foods.
  • Your cat may need extra warmth from blankets and a heating pad.

For the safety of other cats:

  • Cattery assistants can ensure contact with other cats is avoided.

For all of the reasons listed above it is a great idea to let your cattery know. Your flu carrying cat can be isolated so s/he can receive special attention in the cattery and other visiting friends can avoid catching this debilitating virus.

Cat Colds: When To See A Veterinarian

Episode 67: How We Treat Cat Flu

The most important thing is to bring your cat to the vet for care before you do anything, says Dr. Rachel Barrack, a licensed veterinarian and certified veterinary acupuncturist.

Dr. Barrack says some more severe symptoms that cat owners should watch out for include difficulty breathing, increased eye or nasal discharge, increased lethargy or a refusal to eat or drink. This is why you should initially make sure to see a vet instead of first trying to treat the problem at home.

These are all signs that more care is required. Its easy to think that when your cat has a cold, theres nothing to worry about, but I think its better to err on the side of caution, says Dr. Barrack. Its easier to treat in the early stages.

So, once you consult with your veterinarian to determine the diagnosis and have gotten a prescription pet medication, you can also supplement treatment with a little TLC. Here are some additional home remedies for cats with colds that can bring comfort when your cat isnt feeling his best.

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How To Treat Your Cat’s Flu From Home

Its important to make sure that your cat stays well hydrated during its recovery. Make sure your cat has access to fresh water at all times. Adding a few bowls of water around the house, or even a small fountain, can motivate your kitty cat to drink lots of water. This will help their immune system to function properly and help them to fight the virus that is causing the symptoms.

In addition, providing canned food helps increase water intake for your cat. You can also add a little warm water to its food, which will make it more palatable and easier to swallow for a cat with an irritated throat.

You can also bring your cat in the bathroom when you take a hot shower. This will act like a small sauna and the steam will help relieve its congestion.

Some Common Symptoms Of Cat Flu

Your cat might experience many of the same symptoms that you have when you have the flu. Some of the most common signs and symptoms include:

  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue

Mostly cases of feline influenza last from 10 days to three weeks. Your cat may feel sick about two to five days after exposure to a virus.

Contact the Veterinarian

Veterinary care is important if your cat is very young or old, has a disease that has compromised the immune system, or a disease or chronic condition, such as kidney failure or diabetes. These animals are more likely to develop pneumonia or other secondary infections and should be carefully monitored and promptly treated for complications.

If your pet develops any of the symptoms of cat flu then consulting your veterinarian is a good idea. Often it is possible to make a diagnosis based on these symptoms and the veterinarian might want to confirm your pets diagnosis with blood and urine tests and X-rays in some cases. If you suspect that your cat is suffering from cat flu, tell your veterinarian when you make an appointment.

Antibiotics are not helpful in treating viruses, however, your vet can offer treatments for your cat to prevent complications and make your cat more comfortable. For example, sore mouth ulcers can force your pet to stop drinking water, which can lead to dehydration. During your visit, your cat may receive intravenous fluids to restore the normal balance of fluids and electrolytes.

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How To Make Your Cat More Comfortable

It is not surprising that cats with cat flu are often miserable. You can make your cat more comfortable by trying some of these tips:

  • Use a cool mist spray to facilitate breathing. .
  • Clean the discharge of eyes and mouth with a damp cloth.
  • Provide a variety of foods to encourage your pet to eat.
  • Move the cat little closer to your cats favorite resting place.
  • Install a warm bed in a quiet part of the house away from drafts.
  • The vaccination of your cat can provide protection from the flu. Although the vaccine is effective against the most common flu strains, your cat may still be ill if she is infected with a less common or new strain of influenza.
  • Are you worried that your cat is suffering from cat flu or other illness? Immediate veterinary treatment can help your pet recover and avoid serious complications. Contact us today for a practical appointment.

    Cat Flu Symptoms Include:

    Cat flu: Symptoms, Treatment And Care

    Cat Flu Remedy Respo-K. Homeopathic remedy improves respiratory health and strengthens immunity

    Eye Inflammation:

    Swollen eyelids, swollen lids and conjunctiva, weeping eyes or just redness over the white of the eyes all to varying degrees in each individual.

    A cat with a stronger immune system will show milder symptoms, whereas a kittens eyes may be extremely swollen, even to the point of swollen shut and no vision. If the swelling is accompanied by a heavy discharge, this is usually indicative of a secondary bacterial infection.

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    What Causes Cat Flu

    Its estimated around 80% of cases are caused by either the FHV or FCV viruses. Infection with both of these can occur at the same time. But there are also other causes, such as the bacteria chlamydophila felis, and bordetella, which causes kennel cough in dogs. Bordetella has a relatively high death rate in kittens. Cats can be vaccinated against feline respiratory disease although the vaccine routinely used in the UK is only active against the viral forms.

    Can We Get Each Other Sick

    If you have the flu or a cold, don’t worry too much about transferring the illness to your pet. There are documented cases of pet parents transferring the H1N1 virus to their household cats, notes Smithsonian magazine, and cats may transfer it to humans however, it’s very rare. In 2009, when the H1N1 virus was considered an epidemic in the United States, there was cause for concern because H1N1 transferred from animals and infected humans.

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    Can Vitamins And Supplements Help

    Its unclear on whether or not giving your cat vitamins or trying natural cat cold remedies really can help her kick her cold , but you can try giving your cat the following items, provided theyve first been green-lit by your veterinarian:

    • Lysine. Just like in humans, once a cat contracts the herpes virus , it will remain in her system. Your vet may suggest lysine, an essential amino acid that serves as a building block for proteins, to help inhibit the replication of the virus. Dr. Osborne says the usual dosage is about 500 mg given a few times per day. She prefers a gel formula since pills can be a challenge to administer to cats. Most treats containing lysine do not contain enough and would require too many treats to be effective.
    • Vitamin C and apple cider vinegar are commonly discussed on the internet, but are not recommended by veterinarians to treat cats with colds.

    How Is Cat Flu Prevented

    Episode 66: A Beginner’s Guide to Cat Flu

    Prevention can be achieved in most households by vaccination. As there are many different strains of the virus, vaccination may not prevent your cat from becoming infected, but will markedly reduce the severity of the disease. Even cats that have contracted cat flu should be vaccinated, as they have probably only been infected by one of the viruses so they are likely still susceptible to becoming infected with other strains.

    In multi-cat households and boarding facilities, vaccination alone may not control the disease. Disinfection is important. Clinically ill or carrier cats should be isolated and fed and handled last, and their bowls and litter-trays cleaned frequently.

    For more information on cat flu and the prevention of this disease, please contact your local Greencross Vets team.

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    What Is The Cat Flu Recovery Time

    Cats who have picked up the feline herpes virus will typically display symptoms for five to 10 days in milder cases and up to six weeks in more severe cases. Cats with the herpes virus can suffer ongoing health problems and are also more susceptible to secondary bacterial infections. Its worth noting that cats with FHV are infected for life.

    Feline respiratory disease caused by feline calicivirus is usually milder than the feline herpes form of the disease. However, there are lots of strains of calicivirus, and some are more serious than others. In some cases, cats may show few or no signs while in others they can develop pneumonia and painful ulcers in the mouth and nose. In contrast to FHV, cats diagnosed with FCV are usually able to clear the infection within a few weeks or months.

    Relief For My Cats Flu What Can Help

    It is most definitely not pleasant to see our pets so miserable. Unfortunately unlike us, cats cannot drive to the pharmacy to pick up some Cold and Flu Tablets. We also know that we need to drink lots of fluids and get plenty rest, just like mom used to tell us as kids. Cats, on the other hand go by instinct, they will sleep when they are not feeling well as there is nothing mush else they can do. So how can we help them get relief fast?

    One possibility is to have your cat checked by the Vet. This will confirm your suspicions that it is indeed Cat Flu. Then, they will probably suggest vaccines or proscribe some antibiotics. These pills will definitely be effective, although tricky to give to your cat. If your cat is like mine, we have to be two to hold her in order to give her one pill she hates it poor thing.

    A WORD OF WARNINGIf you opt for the vaccine, remember your cat will become ill, although usually much milder. Vaccines must also be kept up to date with the new strains of the disease. As for antibiotics, they often prove to be ineffective in these cases and have been known to even aggravate the problem. Side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting and liver disease are common.

    If your cat is already suffering and enduring a more severe virus infection, CAT FLU is to be preferred. You can tell the severity by the nasal discharge turning thick and yellow/green. This formula has anti-inflammatory attributes.

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    Home Care For Cat Flu

    Once your cat has been treated by your vet there are some things you can do at home to help them recover:

    • Wipe their eyes and nose – to help your cat feel better, smell their food and breathe more easily, use a cotton wool pad soaked in warm water to wipe any discharge from their eyes and nose.
    • Reduce stress – keep your cats life as stress-free as possible because stress can make illness worse.
    • Help them eat – if your cat isnt eating, add a small amount of warm, smelly food to their meals . If this doesnt work try warming it slightly, make sure its not too hot and mix it well.
    • Help them breathe. Help your cat break down some of the thick mucus in their airways by sitting with them in a steamy room . Dont ever force your cat into a steamy room and take them out if they seem stressed at any point.

    What Are The Long

    Home Remedy For A Catâs Cold

    The good news is that most cats won’t experience any long-term effects after having cat flu. Some cats become asymptomatic and it can return if your cat is stressed.

    In more serious cases, a cat may suffer from eye damage caused by ulcers or inflammation of the mouth . To give your cat the best chance of staying fit and healthy, we recommend having them vaccinated from being a kitten, and contacting your vet as the first signs of cat flu develop.

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