Written by Douglas Mefford in Cats
Viewed by 249 readers since 02-26-2009
While there are few diseases that can be shared by the two species, the common cold is one such virus that can as easily infect your cat as yourself. This respiratory ailment that can clog the sinuses and make breathing difficult, as well as lead to terminal pneumonia if left untreated, while affecting both, must be treated entirely differently in your cat than in yourself.
The first and most important thing to remember if your cat has developed a cold is that you should never, under any circumstances, use human medicine to treat the animal. Almost the entire repertoire of human medicines for the treatment of colds will kill a cat either quickly or slowly. Acetaminophen creates a condition in which your cat’s blood will no longer be able to carry oxygen. The slow suffocation of the cells will swiftly cause unconsciousness and shock, soon followed by death. Ibuprofen will cause sever stomach bleeding as well as incurable kidney and liver damage which will lead to a slow agonizing demise for a cat.
While the cold virus does not usually remain viable for long, infections ranging from as little as a few hours up to a couple of days, during this time there are actions you can take to help your pet friend feel better and fight off the infection quicker. First off, make sure that your pet as plenty of water available. Dehydration can be very likely at this time and can compromise them to the point of developing more serious diseases and complications. Provide them with a warm, dry place to rest, as they will not feel like being very active while sick.
The old human axiom of “feed a cold” is very true with your cat. The best nourishment you can provide at this time is a combination of moist, fish-based canned food, some cod liver oil and Vitamin C. The lysine in the fish will help suppress the virus while the Vitamin C will boost the immune system and strengthen its efforts to fight off the virus. The fatty omega-3 acids in both the fish itself and the cod liver oil especially will also reinforce the immune system. The Vitamin C and cod liver oil can be ground and mixed in with the fish-based food. Do not overdose your cat; a quarter teaspoon per small can of food should be quite sufficient.
This condition can be especially deadly to small kittens. Extra care should be taken in watching out for signs of the cold getting worse and taking them to a veterinarian for special examination may make all the difference between life and death for the newborns.
Providing some of these nutrients in your cat’s daily menu will help minimize the possibilities of their getting ill in the first place. This maintaining of a well-strengthened immune system is especially important as the cold virus can insinuate itself into the cat’s respiratory system and never completely go away. Times of stress or hardship can reactivate the dormant virus and cause occasional flare-ups.
Finally, although it is not a specifically physical treatment, show your sick pet some love and affection as well as patience if they strike out. You know you do not feel very friendly when you are in the throes of this viral infection, so you should not expect your cat to be in the best of moods either. Take care of your pet as you would any other family member and it will soon pass.