Feline respiratory infections can be a common problem in homes with multiple cats, in catteries and especially among animal shelters and pet shops. Because the virus is airborne it can spread very swiftly from one cat to another and before too long the entire population is often infected. There are two main viruses that contribute to feline respiratory diseases, one is feline rhinotracheitus and the other is feline herpes. Symptoms may present themselves slowly in the beginning with the occasional sneeze and then progressing to a loss of appetite. The animal may begin to lose weight, become dehydrated, exhibit signs of excessive sneezing, begin to cough, may present a fever, become depressed and lethargic and produce discharge from the eyes, nose and as a result of coughing.
In homes where there are multiple cats it is wise to segregate the infected cat as soon as possible to prevent the others from contracting it. The sooner you begin to treat the problem the better the possibility for a speedy recovery and the less chance there is that it will progress to a serious illness or even pneumonia.
There are two homeopathic treatments that can aid in the recovery of the animal. Use Peruvian Bark to help the cat bounce back from the weakening effects of the virus and to fight off dehydration. Phosphate of Iron used in addition to the Peruvian bark will help relieve the cat's symptoms of sinusitis and the general effects of the virus.
Your main priority in the beginning of this virus should be to ensure that your cat does not stop eating and drinking. If necessary, attempt to force feed the animal water with a syringe and mix some sugar or corn syrup in with it to increase the sugar content, which will help to combat dehydration. When an animal is sick it is more likely to eat something that it can smell. For this reason it might be wise to feed the cat some fishy smelling canned food. If your pet is on a regular diet of dry food, the weak scent will not likely be incentive enough for it to want to eat it.
Apple Cider Vinegar
10/24/2013: Lauralea from West Memphis, Ar: "I need to know how much ACV to put on my kitty's neck for a Upper Respiratory Infection (URI). I used a cotton ball but not sure if that got enough on his neck. Cotton ball, syringe? Thank you for any help!"Replies
10/24/2013: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Lauralea!
You want to first make sure you get the most effective ACV - the raw, unfiltered type with an active culture [mother] in it.
I would take a small amount - 1/2 cup say, and dilute that with 1/2 cup distilled or filtered tap water; this will cut some of the harshness on the tongue.
I then just dip my cats paws in it, or pour it on their leg and really saturate it so they have to really lick it up to work it dry. Do this twice a day, am and pm.
You can also put a few drops of ACV into your cat's water bowl; my cats will NOT touch if its more than a few drops and you for sure want your kitty to want to drink especially with an infection."
[YEA] 08/08/2013: Lilahkat from Duffield, Ab: "Finding a stray kitten, I took him in and was raising him until I could find a new home for him. Recently he came down with an upper respiratory infection that had me worried for his life. He was having a hard time breathing, mucus was covering his nose and drying making it hard for him to breath or eat.
I knew steaming could be helpful, but I thought perhaps the 'cure-all' of apple cider vinegar would help as well. I added about a cup of pure Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother) to a liter of boiling hot water and steamed him for approximately 20 mins in the cat carrier. Immediately afterwards, he went and drank a lot of water (which was an improvement as he was refusing to eat or drink previously). This morning when I went to look to see if I should steam him again - his nose was encrusted, so I cleaned it but after that, there is no more mucus and he's eating.
I've steamed kittens in the past with just plain water but have never had the fast turn around that I've had with little Frankie. He's resting now, more social with my other cats."
EC: Please, of course use special care in using steam treatment on pets and children. It's not always clear when they are in pain, and even adults burn themselves with steaming much too often!
02/18/2011: Diamond from Merrimac, Ma.: "Isn't borax used like as in ajax? also washing powder? I used the apple cider vinegar with a very sick kitten, she had upper respiratory problems, with diarrhea, vomiting leaky eyes, one eye was completely closed, I used a few drops of the cider for a week and every sign of illness is gone even the closed eye is completely open, my only worry now is her organs? plus she is no longer urinating or moving bowels?I am trying a mild herb which is my own daily fiber caps.
I just love this site it's awsome & very informative. Thank you."
EC: Read much more about borax here: http://www.earthclinic.com/Remedies/borax.html
09/25/2012: Tom from Forestville, Ny replies: "I never would have believed that something I use in salad and on french fries would have a medicinal purpose. Our little boy has had a ruff few days and scared us a couple of times. If this works , I would need to know who to thank."
[YEA] 03/09/2009: Lisa from Canton, Maine: "I read the comments about ACV, I have 4 very sick cats and 2 of the worst on amoxicillin (not helping at all). I gave an eyedropper full of the ACV to my worst one (Samantha) last night and it took a while, but this morning I don't see or hear her coughing and hacking, or sneezing hardly at all. She's actually sleeping right now (whew). I gave her .75- 1.0 ML in the eyedropper and had to forcefeed it. I lost my oldest cat to this sickness last Monday and all of the others caught it very quickly. Thank you for the ACV advice, I don't know yet if it's curing whatever this is, if not it's sure as hell helping alot. Thanks"
10/13/2008: Patricia from Pittsburgh, PA: "Apple Cider Vinegar & Upper Respiratory Infections in Cats
This is my third day giving my cat ACV. Although this seems to be helping just a bit, he throws up every time I give it to him & then he is nauseous for a couple hours afterward. I don't know whether I should keep giving it to him or not.. Because him throwing up twice a day is not good for him. After he throws up, I give him another dose ( which always stays down) But, still he looks sick as hell afterwards! He hates me for it. I'll keep it up for another few days or so. Hopefully it will help out more than it hurts. My cat is 16 years old & has been since for months now. Vet visits have done nearly nothing to help... I'm hoping for a miracle. I will update with the status of ACV & Figuro in one week."
04/05/2010: Jay from New York , Ny replies: "One answer to this is to get either empty gelatine capsules from a health food store. About an inch long. Or empty the capsules from something like acidophilus capsules and use the empty containers(Note: make sure that whatever was in the capsules beforehand is not toxic to your pet. Don't ever use or empty capsules that contained something of a drug or medical nature).
I found I could put almost half of a dropperful or 1/4 tsp of goldenseal, echinicea or ACV into the
long end of the capsule(if you pull it apart there's a short end and a long end-fill the long end and put the short end on as a cap). If, after filling the capsule you put the lid on, it is possible to,holding the capsule end to end between your thumb and index finger squeeze the filled capsule a little and it makes it 3/4" long not one inch. If your cat can swallow something of that size greased with a little butter,it's an excellent way to get ACV,echinicea, goldenseal down them without them tasting the bitter taste.
Note: some cats have a very small mouth and very small throat, or mucus, etc at the back of the throat so check the size of the capsule that it is not large enough to block the throat or can cause added difficulty. Look for a smaller capsule or don't use this approach if that is the case."
[YEA] 09/23/2008: Regina from Mountain Home, Idaho: "Out of my 5 cats, 4 of them came up with Upper Respitory Infection. Since I couldn't afford Vet bills and meds for 4 cats, I searched the internet and found this site with it's testimonies of using ACV to treat URI's. So I began rubbing it into the scruff of the necks of my kitties and putting about a teaspoon into their drinking water. I also rubbed a little on their front paws so that they would lick it out. Within hours, the two with leaky eyes were cleared up and I noticed a change in appetite and energy in all of them. Now, 2 days later they still sneeze a little but no leaky eyes or runny nose, no lethargy or lack of appetite, no wheezing and hacking. I had used the ACV on their necks and paws every 12 hours and changed their water daily, putting new ACV in. This stuff stinks terribly but it truly does work. I plan on keeping some in their water for at least the next few weeks and might continue after that just to keep them healthy."Replies
[YEA] 09/30/2013: Rocky's Mum from Mullumbimby, Nsw replies: "Thank you for your post!
My cornish rex has had a snuffle/sneeze/cough sort of thing for many months now but if I put ACV in their water bowls, all my animals go on a water fast and I've never been able to get it into them!
...until I read your post on simply putting it on their paws...evil...perhaps!
After I applied the ACV and she took her first distainful lick she must have sneezed about 8 times in a row... And then never again! and it's now the end of day three. Miraculous."
[YEA] 08/09/2008: Tia from Eugene, Oregon: "A long time ago, my parents stumbled across the medicinal properties of Goldenseal. Last year, during the rainy Oregon winter, a 1/2 feral litter of kittens started trying to find shelter on my porch. Not long after they started coming around, the mother left them (went into heat i assume) and came back with a hellish upper respiratory infection. She proceeded to spread it to the whole litter. I had no money to take them to a vet, and they were dying of it. I wasn't sure if the Goldenseal would be poisonous to them, but I figured they were so bad off, it was worth a try. I used the liquid extract, started small, maybe one dropperfull to two cans of wet food, and eventually raised it to 3 droppersfull (between 1 adult and 5 3-4 month old kittens). They improved from even the smaller amounts, and improved drastically from higher dosages. Although for those that couldn't smell the wet food, i had to mix a few drops in canned salmon or tuna juice to get them to eat it. It didn't harm them. I swear by the stuff now, and have used it on my own indoor cats (though I've never gotten them to take it without forcing them.) Everyone should be aware that goldenseal doesn't just work on humans."Replies
04/04/2010: Jay from New York, Ny replies: "Goldenseal cannot be used for longterm use. It's fine for up to five days, no more than 7 days. If giving it again you have to wait a couple of weeks. Echinicea tincture might be a substitute during that time but, again, no more than 7 days for echinicea or it loses its effectiveness so you have to switch to something else. You can switch back after a couple of
weeks. It might not be necessary to even give this more than seven days, echinicea or goldenseal because it works quickly. There's even an echinicea/goldenseal tincture out but with that too, no more than seven days so it might be an idea to start with goldenseal or echinicea and if you have to give it longer than 7 days you can switch from one to the other."
[YEA] 03/07/2008: Sharron from Mukilteo, Wa: "My cat has a chronic repiratory condition. He got it as a kitten and never got over it. The main symptom is sneezing and lots of runny nose and eyes. His appetite his good and he is healthy other wise. I maintain it by adding Lysine to his food. If I don't it gets bad and he has to go in to the vet. Any recommendations for this Sharron."Replies
04/11/2010: Jayjay from New York, Ny replies: "Re upper respiratory infections. There's a medication that is given for pets who have asthma, it will clear outthe nasal passages and mucus accumulations in the chest, bronchial tubes, etc in about four hours. The pet will then be able to cough up if there's anything that remains or starts to accumulate again but if the mucus is too much the pet can't. This medication helps to dispel the mucus and enable the pet to cough up also once it's manageable. One injection lasts 7 days, In combination with an injectable antibiotic that lasts two weeks it gets cats over cat flu and other respiratory problems fast. I can't name the name of products so just ask you vet if the congestion is really bad in chest or nasal passages for the injection for asthma that will clear it( It begins with a C). It will, at least, be able to give you a handle on it until you can get other things in place."
03/13/2012: Dmg from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania replies: "Just wanted to let people know that lysine is great but I found out it competes with theanine in the cat's body - which is an essential amino acid, without it they will die or get very sick - so make sure you don't give the lysine constantly.
I have found there is a pet safe (made for humans) liquid mineral supplement that really helped my rescue kittens get better quite amazingly when they got very sick. I like it too. The company starts with a ms and is in new mexico."
02/10/2013: Rescuer from Bend, Or replies: "I found the best treatment of a cat severely ill with feline respiratory disease was true colloidal silver and L-Lysine mixed with water I broke open a capsule mixed with a bit of water and administered with an eye dropper or if cat is still eating on their own--mix it in canned cat food or tuna--turkey baby food works well"
Marigold Seed Tea
[YEA] 05/11/2013: Coko from West Sacramento, Ca: "I have an adoptive mommy who has done wild animal recue on multiple species for over 30 yrs. The go-to cure she uses for animals & humans is Marigold. It's a natural antibiotic that animals and humans cannot build a resistance to. The seeds are best, but the leaves & stems will work also. Boil 1/4 cup water and make a tea from the seeds or stems/leaves. Let it steep for a few minutes (it won't get super dark, just a light golden yellow color). Strain out the seeds/stems/leaves. I've dropped in on both my cat and dog's eyes when they get colds. I've used it on myself as well. Eye's clear up within 24 hrs or sooner. I've had them (cat & dog) drink it, and I drink it as well if I'm not feeling well.
I feed & water about 10 stray cats in the neighborhood and put marigold tea in their common water dish once in awhile. I will be trying the ACV in the water tomorrow b/c 2 of the strays sound like they're having respiratory issues. I'm glad I stumbled onto this site. I wanted to share w/everyone about the marigold seed tea."