When a cat has a viral infection in her upper-respiratory tract, people often refer to the illness as feline flu. While cats don't get the same flu viruses that people do, the symptoms exhibited by the cat are similar to those people have when they have the flu. Just as in viruses contracted by people, there is no cure for a viral infection in a cat. If you're cat has the flu, treatment involves keeping your pet as comfortable as possible while the virus runs its course, usually within one to two weeks.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Warm, damp washcloth
- Veterinary ophthalmic ointment
- Petroleum jelly
- Canned fish
- Canned cat food
- Chicken broth
- Cushioned cat bed
Keep your cat inside while he is ill.
Wash discharge from your cat's eyes and nose, using a warm, damp washcloth, at least a couple of times each day.
Apply a veterinary ophthalmic ointment to your cat's eyes after cleaning.
Apply a bit of petroleum jelly to the end of your cat's nose after cleaning. The petroleum jelly will ease any discomfort if the nose becomes dry or chapped as a result of the flu.
Offer your cat especially smelly meals. Cats' appetites are stimulated by smell, and you cat may lose her appetite if a stuffy nose keeps her from smelling her food. Canned fish is a good option to get your cat to eat while she has the virus.
Offer your cat canned foods and slightly warmed chicken broth. If your cat's throat is sore, she may not eat dry kibble. In addition, the canned food and broth will work to get more fluids into your cat.
Provide your cat with a warm comfortable and cushioned bed in which to rest. As with people, when a cat has a flu-like virus, her joints may ache.
Place litter box, food and water near your cat. Especially if he has joint pain, he may not feel like walking to another room for these necessities.
Run a humidifier in the room where your cat is sleeping. The humidifier may help to break up the mucus.
Encourage your cat to drink lots of water. Dehydration is a primary concern when a cat has the flu.
Tips and warnings
- If your cat doesn't eat for more than 24 hours, you should take her to the veterinarian. She may need to be force-fed. A dangerous liver condition can occur in cats if they go too long without consuming calories.
- Monitor you cat for signs of dehydration. If you suspect she may be dehydrated, take him to a veterinarian immediately. Intravenous fluids may be necessary.
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