Treating Your Cats Cold At Home
There is nothing worse than coming home from a long day at work and realizing your cat is sick. She has barely eaten, keeps sneezing, and her eyes are running like a tap. So what can you do to make her feel better, without shelling out hundreds at the vet?
Checking For Symptoms
The most common Cat Cold is the Upper Respiratory Infection (URI). Below are the common symptoms to watch out for:
- Inflamed, watery eyes
- Nasal discharge
- Fever (hot ears and hot feet)
- Loss of appetite
How Can I Alleviate These Symptoms?
It is very important to make sure that your cat is eating and drinking fluids while she is ill. If she has not eaten or had anything to drink in the past 24 hours or more, you need to take her to a vet. If she seems to be just be coming down with the cold, try these tips:
- Using unflavoured Pedialyte or water, fill a medicine syringe. While holding her, gently open her mouth and place the nipple of the syringe into the side of her mouth and administer a little of the fluid. Be careful not to force her into drinking too much; go slowly. You need to make sure she drinks at least of cup to a cup and a half of water a day.
- If your cat is not eating, you can also use a syringe to administer food. The easiest way to do this would be with a little meat based baby food – make sure it doesn’t contain onions or garlic, as this will make her sick. Mix the baby food with a little warm water and put into the syringe. Using the same technique as the water, gently depress the syringe and feed her a little at a time. Again, do not force her to eat more than she can. If she gets fussy, you may let her roam and try to feed her again in a half hour. Another ideal way to feed your cat while she is sick is to place a little wet food on your finger, and let her eat it.
- Warming up wet food can also help to awaken her appetite. Warm food has a stronger smell, which can help when her nose is congested.
- To relieve nasal congestion, you can use a soft, damp facecloth or sponge to clean the nose and eye area. Additionally, you can also use childrens saline solution to try and clear and soothe the nose. Use it like you would on a baby, and use twice a day.
- A humidifier or running a hot bath or shower and allowing her to breathe in the steam can also help with congestion.
What Else Should I Know?
Its important to visit a vet if your cat:
- Is under a year old.
- Is over 7 years old.
- Hasn’t had any fluids or food in the past 24 hours.
- Starts producing a thick, colored discharge (she may have a bacterial infection and need antibiotics).
- Has not used her litter box in over 24 hours.
Make sure to keep a close eye on your cat. If she doesn’t seem to be getting any better you may need to bring her to a vet; but hopefully, with a little tender loving care and a few snuggles, you will be able to nurse her back to health.