10 Home Remedies for Upper Respiratory Infection In Cats | Q&A

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Q: Grandma, upper respiratory in cats

A: Dear S, In addition to professional medical care, treatment of upper respiratory infections in cats only usually involves well-managed supportive care at home. The primary goals of therapy are to control secondary infections, maintain the cat’s nutrition, sustain hydration, and keep the cat as comfortable as possible. It’s very important to bring your pet to a veterinarian if you think that it is suffering from an upper respiratory infection (URI). Medical examination by a vet will help determine if your cat needs medication, is dehydrated, and has fever.

Cats with URI, in many cases, are easily treated. And since most feline URI are caused by viruses (particularly feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus), medications are usually not given. Remember, viral infections are self-limiting, which means that they run a definite course without treatment. Home remedies for upper respiratory infection in cats, therefore, are generally aimed at boosting the cat’s immune system to help them fight the virus. If your cat is not sick enough to require confinement in the clinic, you can try the following home remedies for your pet.

Home Remedies for Upper Respiratory Infection In Cats


1. Home vaporizer/humidifier – Since dry air can make your cat’s symptoms worse, using a vaporizer or humidifier at home will somehow make your cat more comfortable. A vaporizer improves humidification at home and helps by keeping your cat’s nasal passages moist.

2. Steam – Placing your cat on a warm, dry surface in a steamy bathroom for 10 to 15 minutes several times daily also helps relieve nasal congestion. [1]

3. Warm environment – If the weather is cold, be sure to keep your cat extra warm. The ideal room temperature is 70 degrees. Giving your cat a hot water bottle to snuggle up to can help prevent them from having chills. [2]

4. Decongest – Your cat’s nose should be routinely cleaned with a soft, damp cloth to clear the nasal passages and remove the infectious secretions. [3]

5. Smelly, all-meat baby food – Since your cat’s sense of smell and overall appetite are affected, it may require special treatment to combat malnutrition. Tempt your pet with highly palatable all-meat baby food or “smelly” foods, like sardines or tuna fish.

6. Water – Access to clean water is important in infected cats to avoid dehydration.

7. Liquid diets – If your cat refuses to eat and drink plain water, try giving your pet liquid diets especially formulated for cats and kittens. Clinicare, Hill’s a/d, and Eukanuba Maximum-Calorie are some products that you can try. The consistency of these products is ideal for feeding through a syringe or a feeding tube, and they contain extra calories, which is appropriate for sick cats. [4]

8. Lysine – Supplement your cat’s diet with Lysine, an amino acid that helps strengthen the immune system and keep the virus in check.

9. Selenium – Selenium has natural antibacterial properties. Adding 25 mg of selenium to your cat’s food may be beneficial if your pet is suffering from bacterial URI.

10. Vitamins A and E – Vitamins A and E, when added to your cat’s food, may help boost their immune status. Simply use a needle to open the capsules and squeeze to their food. [5]


    1. http://www.petwave.com/Cats/Health/Lung-Airway/Upper-Respiratory-Infections/Treatment.aspx


    1. http://www.northeastanimalshelter.org/pet-health-risks


    1. http://www.catcouncil.com/catcare/uri.html


    1. http://www.manhattancats.com/Articles/viral_upper_respiratory_infections.htm


  1. http://wizzley.com/home-remedies-for-uri-in-cats/