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by Denyse Lessard June 02, 2015 5 min read6 Comments
I woke up one morning last week and noticed my cat was not waiting outside my door to greet me as she does every morning. She was rolled up in her bed, she simply lifted her head up to look at me and then settled right back down to sleep. I could tell she was not feeling well, but what was wrong? With time I noticed more and more symptoms indicating a classic case of Cat Flu. She got better fast enough, but not all cats are the same. Many factors come into play here.
Do you have a cat that is ‘under the weather’ but are not sure if it is Cat Flu? This article will help you identify the symptoms and what can help them get better fast!
Simply put, cats and humans experience the flu in very similar ways:
All cats are not the same and will not necessarily have all these symptoms, however, in general, it’s hard to misdiagnose. Since cats are usually great explorers and love to play, the first noticeable symptoms will usually be lethargy and perhaps a change in appetite. This should send up some red flags. The key is to identify the symptoms as soon as possible to prevent the virus from getting worse or spreading to your other cats.
The answer is no. Do you have the flu and are you afraid of infecting your cat? Rest assured, it doesn't work like that. Cats can develop flu symptoms, yes, but it's not your fault!
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 (Feline viral rhinotracheitis) are the cat flu culprits. However URI (Upper respiratory infection) may also come into play.
In general the cat flu will last a total of 7-10 days. However secondary bacterial infections can cause the symptoms to linger a number of weeks more. Playing a big role in how fast they will recover is their age. While unfatal in most cases, the cat flu is very dangerous to kittens as their immune system is not fully developed or prepared to fight infections.
If you have a multi-cat household, the task of treatment and prevention becomes trickier. Since cat flu is very contagious, the infected cat should be quarantined from the other cats for at least 2 weeks. As well, it is good to remember that this virus can easily spread via infected toys, water or food bowls and even the clothes and hands of those who have come into contact with the infected cat. So careful attention should be given to prevent the infection of your other cats. Disinfect everything!!
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 WARNING- If 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.
A NATURAL PRODUCT- If you already have the CAT FLU (stage 1) homeopathic product at home, great! If not, I would definitely recommend ordering it to have in your emergency kit. This product will be useful in case of the early stages of the illness (clear colour discharge from the nose is a good indicator). As a pet parent, you want to prevent the cat flu from developing in to a chronic condition.
If your cat is already suffering and enduring a more severe virus infection, CAT FLU (stage 2) is to be preferred. You can tell the severity by the nasal discharge turning thick and yellow/green. This formula has anti-inflammatory attributes.
Another great product to have on hand for any healthy animal, are probiotics! The special animal formula PROBIOPET effectively helps boost their immune system by 6 to 8 times!! So it means they have more defenses against getting sick again in the future. Definitely a must to keep healthy pets for a long time.
It’s 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.
Are you feeling a little sceptical about homeopathic products? Here are some links to testimonials from pet owners like you and me who have used the CAT FLU product and other Homeopathic products.
You can have a read and see for yourself the positive results!
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE THERAPIST
Denyse Lessard is a therapist in alternative medicine.
She has an extensive educational background and has earned multiple degrees, including diplomas in Chinese medicine, Reflexology, Naturopathy & Iridology, and Homeopathy. She is also a member of the Association of Naturopaths and Naturotherapists of Quebec, and the Professional Union of Homeopaths of Quebec.
When working with her patients, Denyse believes in not only helping pets achieve optimum health, but keeping them in tip-top shape for their entire lives.
We invite you to learn more about Denyse's expertise in the alternative field.
January 11, 2021
PLEASE stop recommending poisonous vaccines, thanks to this CON-vid bs, & the threat to our civil liberties in making vaccines mandatory, people are waking up to their POISONOUS ingredients, the horrifying side effects, & what they’re really all about, $$$. It sickens me how Dr’s take the Hippocratic Oath, (the name serves it well), to do no harm, yet you all do harm, not only by injecting that crap into these helpless beings, but by recommending them. I’m sure this comment won’t be “approved” because you all know this is truth
June 01, 2020
Hi Marlene, Thank you for your excellent question. Vaccinations are a very personal choice unless obligatory where you live. If you should choose to vaccinate your pets, we would recommend following the directions provided by the vet you will select for your pets.
June 01, 2020
What vaccines are recommended for an indoor cat and how often should they be vaccinated?
August 30, 2019
I have a 6 yearold Exotic this is her third bout of cat flu and she has had all vaccinines up to date so I’m thinking she is a carrier. In a cage in the lounge under cover so none of the other cats get it. Like us keeping the fluids up and she is sarting to eat some raw again
February 05, 2016
My cat is sneezing and is stuffed up, what can I do, to make her better
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January 11, 2021
Thank you for your comment and we fully understand your concerns about vaccines for pets. You are far from being alone in your worry. Here at Homeoanimal, we neither promote nor discourage the use of vaccines as there are both pros and cons to them. The choice is left to each pet parent depending on the local laws of course.
We have a GREAT article that I think will interest you that touches exactly on this topic: Vaccinations: Are They Slow Killers for Your Pet?
I hope you enjoy it!!