|The Cat Flu|
The most obvious sign is a cat with a runny nose, often accompanied by swollen and runny eyes. Most cats will also be sneezing. Your cat may be lethargic, and unwilling to eat or drink. The cat flu is recurring in most cats, with repeated bouts of sneezing, runny eyes, and runny nose. There are two feline viruses are responsible for most cases of cat flu, a Feline Herpes virus ( Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis ) and Feline Calicivirus. Some cats can be infected as kittens and constantly harbor the virus, making them prone to repeated infections. In most cases, the virus will run its course in 7-10 days, so supportive care is needed.
The big question then becomes what you can do at home. Before you consider at home remedies, ensure that your cat is at least eating and drinking. Cats can become very ill, getting a condition called hepatic lipidosis after not eating in as little as 48 hours. If your cat is still eating and drinking, then consider some of the following remedies.
One of the best ways to help your cat's immune system is by ensuring adequate food intake. Warm up her favorite canned food, or add a small amount (1/8 teaspoon) of garlic. If her regular food is not appetizing, then switch to canned tuna.
In veterinary practice, many a client was able to find relief with increasing moisture.Humidity is fabulous for easing congestion and improving breathing. Use a humidifier or put your cat in the bathroom and turn up the shower.
Open up your cat's clogged up airways and eyes with a few simple steps. You can use a damp cloth to wipe crusted discharge around the nose and eyes. For some cats with severe nasal congestion I have used Pediatric Otrivin. Use one drop in each nostril 3 times daily for 3-5 days.
There are 2 herbs which I have used many times for cats with respiratory infections; Echinacea and lemon balm. Echinacea is the most important herb, the cat dose is 1-2 drops per pound 3 times daily (of alcohol-free tincture). Give for no longer than 2 weeks. Lemon balm has been shown to have antiviral activity. Give 500 mg twice daily.
The last remedy I want to discuss may be the most important one: it is the amino acid, L-lysine. L-lysine has proven antiviral activity, and is a mainstay in treating and curing cats with recurrent Herpes Virus respiratory infections. It comes as a Veterinary paste, (Enisyl), and in my supplement Dr Jones' Ultimate Feline Health Formula. The dose is 1 ml (250 mg) twice daily for at least 12 weeks.
If your cat has the cat flu, you should be implementing some of my suggested at home remedies. Ensure first that your cat is eating and drinking; if not see your veterinarian and provide immediate supportive care. Consider the use of a humidifier to ease congestion, along with Pediatric Otrivin to open the obstructed nasal passages. Lastly I urge you to look at giving your cat L-lysine for 3-4 months in an attempt to prevent the virus from recurring.