Home Remedies For Cat Upper Respiratory Infections (URIs)
If you are looking for an over the counter medicine for a cat respiratory infection, Ask Ariel offers many natural alternatives. A feline upper respiratory infection or cat sinus infection is often referred to as a cat cold. It can affect the upper part of the airway: throat, trachea, nasal cavities and bronchi. Cat rhinitis is the inflammation of the nose and sinusitis is the inflammation of the nasal passages. Learn effective ways on how to treat a cat with a cold using our cat sinus infection home treatment, featuring natural antibiotics for cats and vet-approved supplements to alleviate symptoms like mucus, runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion.
What Is A Feline Upper Respiratory Infection (URI)?
URIs in cats are highly contagious. They can occur in any cat but are more frequent in shelters and enclosed environments. Nasal and eye secretions from an infected cat can be spread by direct contact, such as grooming, hissing and playing, and also by environmental exposure such as with food bowls, brushes and litter boxes.
When cats are congested, they may lose interest in food and water. It is very important to keep your kitty well fed and hydrated. Some cats suffer from chronic URIs. It can be discouraging to watch your cat suffer long-term and there may be bouts of hope as the symptoms wax and wane. While chronic URIs can be caused by a suppressed immune system, it is important to have your cat tested for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) or feline leukemia virus (FeLV). A typical cat sinus infection or URI resolves in one to three weeks when given supportive care that helps the immune system overcome the virus.
Symptoms of Feline Upper Respiratory Infections
Stuffy nose or nasal congestion
Runny nose or eye discharge
Lack of appetite
If your cat is sneezing or sneezing blood, click here to read our comprehensive article on cat sneezing.
Is A Cat Cold The Same As A Feline Upper Respiratory Infection (URI)?
A cat cold and a cat upper respiratory infection (URI) share similarities in symptoms and can be used interchangeably in some contexts, they are not precisely the same.
A cat cold typically refers to a mild viral infection affecting the upper respiratory tract in cats. It is often caused by viruses such as feline herpesvirus (FHV) or feline calicivirus (FCV). Symptoms may include sneezing, nasal discharge, congestion, and occasionally fever.
On the other hand, a cat upper respiratory infection encompasses a broader range of infections affecting the upper respiratory tract, including both viral and bacterial pathogens. In addition to viruses like FHV and FCV, bacterial agents such as Chlamydophila felis and Bordetella bronchiseptica can also cause URIs in cats.
While the terms may be used interchangeably, veterinarians usually will make a more specific diagnosis based on the causative agent and severity of the infection. Home remedies for upper respiratory infections in cats and cat colds both include supportive care and natural supplements.
"Just wanted to thank you. Our 4 year old Selkirk Rex, Zin, was adopted through a rescue when he was 2. He was recently diagnosed with the Herpes Virus; which explained a lot of his illnesses since we have had him. Two months ago, he became ill with a really bad cold; he could hardly breathe and soon stopped eating and drinking. We took him to two Vets, both tried hard to help him with antibiotics and antihistamines; but he still was suffering. I found your website and ordered the QUENT Drops and the NOT Drops and gave them to him daily. He is now almost back to his normal little self and we are so grateful! He is eating and drinking. He even jumped his little brother tonight! His breathing is pretty much normal now for his flat little nose. Thanks again for helping our Zin!" - Olson Family, Virginia
Cat Sinus Infections (Sinusitis) & Rhinitis
Two common conditions that cause cat breathing problems and nasal discharge are rhinitis and sinusitis. Rhinitis is the inflammation of the cat’s nose, and sinusitis is the inflammation of the nasal passages. If the nasal discharge is coming from both sides of the nose, it is usually viral or bacterial. When discharge is in just one side, it may be fungal, nasal polyps or tooth root abscess. Sinus infections can also occur as a symptom of a weakened immune system due to an underlying viral condition. Veterinarians may prescribe antibiotics in case your cat's cold is bacterial in nature. What can you do at home to help your cat with sinusitis or rhinitis?
Causes Of Cat Sinus Infections & Rhinitis
Rhinitis and sinus infections in cats can have several potential causes. These can include:
Your veterinarian will evaluate the cat's symptoms, perform diagnostic tests if necessary, and develop an appropriate treatment plan based on the underlying cause. Treatment may involve antibiotics, antifungal medications, pain relief, supportive care, or surgical intervention, depending on the cause of the infection.
- Upper Respiratory Infections (URIs) - Viral or bacterial infections, such as feline herpesvirus (FHV) or feline calicivirus (FCV), can lead to inflammation and blockage of the nasal passages, causing a buildup of mucus and potential secondary bacterial infection.
- Dental Disease - Severe dental disease, such as infected teeth or gum disease, can lead to the spread of infection to the sinuses. The close proximity of the teeth and sinuses allows bacteria to travel from the mouth to the nasal passages.
- Allergies - Cats can develop allergies to various substances, such as pollen, dust mites, mold, or certain foods. Allergic reactions can cause inflammation in the nose and surrounding tissue.
- Fungal Infections - Fungal infections, such as Cryptococcus or Aspergillus, can affect the nasal passages and cause inflammation and infection in cats, particularly in those with compromised immune systems.
- Foreign Objects or Tumors - The presence of foreign objects, such as grass awns, or the presence of tumors in the nasal passages can cause blockages and lead to infections. Cats can have inflammatory polyps (non-cancerous growths inside the nasal passages) or neoplaysia (cancer) which causes abnormal tissue growth in the nasal passages.
- Facial Trauma - Injuries or trauma to the face or head can result in damage to the nasal passages and potentially lead to rhinitis and sinusitis.
Willow & Star
"I received the AllerEaze. I gave it to my cat who has a stuffy nose and sinus congestion and within 24 hours she was feeling so much better! It's a wonderful product!
I have been following the instructions with all the other products (NOT Drops and QUENT Drops) and keeping them on the diet you recommended. These products are truly amazing! I am so glad I came across your website and ordered these products! Thank you again for all the support and care you give to your customers and their pets!
You are wonderful and so are your products! Thank you, thank you, thank you again for all your help and your advice! It's working! So glad to see all four of my Persian cats becoming healthy and happy again!" - J. Walker, Texas
Cat Rhinitis Home Treatments & Cat Sinus Infection Home Treatments
Both home treatment for sinusitis in cats and home treatment for rhinitis in cats can help alleviate the symptoms and promote healing. it is important to check with your vet first, as antibiotics may be needed for your kitty. Here are a few general tips that may help your cat with rhinitis and sinusitis:
- Steam Therapy - A steamy environment can help loosen cat mucus and relieve congestion. You can take your cat into the bathroom while running a hot shower to make a steam room.
- Warm Compress - Applying a warm compress to your cat's face for a few minutes a few times a day can help reduce inflammation and promote drainage of the sinuses.
- Hydration - Ensure your cat has access to fresh water at all times to stay well hydrated. Adequate hydration helps thin the mucus and facilitate drainage.
- Proper Nutrition - Feed a grain-free, hypoallergenic, low-carbohydrate diet to support your cat's immune system.
- Natural Supplements - Supplements like probiotics and olive leaf can help to support the overall health and immune system of cats with sinusitis. Using a probiotic is essential if your cat has taken steroids or antibiotics, as these medications reduce the population of friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract. Friendly bacteria fight off pathogens, bad bacteria and viruses in an effort to keep your cat healthy. Olive leaf extract is a natural antiviral and antibacterial herbal remedy that has been used since ancient times to support a healthy immune system. Olive leaf extract is effective against multiple types of bacteria that can cause respiratory infections.
"Boris is my (now) 10 year-old domestic medium haired cat. He's a gentle and loving boy. He's had issues with allergies and feline herpes since he was 1 year old, which manifest in sneezing and runny eyes with discolored discharge.
A couple of years ago, I found AskAriel. Boris was switched to a novel food source, and I put him on NOT Drops in addition to his daily l-lysine. The NOT Drops keep his eye issues mostly under control, and I can definitely tell when I've skipped a dose.
Thanks for helping my Bobo!" - Pamela, Illinois
Natural Antibiotics For Cats
Veterinarians frequently prescribe antibiotics for a cat respiratory infection. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections by either killing the bacteria (bactericidal) or inhibiting their growth and reproduction (bacteriostatic). Chronic overuse use of antibiotics in cats can lead to several potential problems:
Are there natural antibiotics for cats? There are home remedies for cats that have antimicrobial properties, but they are not meant to be a replacement for prescription medications. Natural antimicrobial properties are not the same as laboratory produced medication that has been developed specifically to treat certain bacteria. However, using natural supplements can support your cat's immune system and potentially reduce the need for antibiotics. Here are some natural ingredients that may be helpful for cats with chronic infections:
- Antibiotic Resistance - Frequent or prolonged use of antibiotics can contribute to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This means that the bacteria become resistant to the effects of the antibiotics, making them less effective in treating future infections. Antibiotic-resistant infections can be more difficult to treat and may require stronger or alternative antibiotics.
- Disruption of the Microbiome - Antibiotics can't differentiate between the harmful bacteria causing the infection and the beneficial bacteria in the cat's body. Antibiotics also kill the beneficial bacteria that maintain a healthy balance in the gut and support the immune system. Disrupting the microbiome can lead to digestive issues or secondary infections such as yeast overgrowth.
- Increased Susceptibility to Other Infections - The overuse of antibiotics can weaken the immune system and make a cat more susceptible to other infections. This can occur due an upset microbiome or suppressed immune response.
- Allergic Reactions - Cats can have allergic reactions to antibiotics. The overuse increases the risk of developing these reactions. Allergic reactions can range from mild skin irritations to severe allergic responses, such as anaphylaxis.
- Colloidal or Ionic Silver - Colloidal silver is a suspension of silver particles in liquid. Some studies suggest that colloidal silver may have antimicrobial effects against certain bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The use of traditional colloidal silver carries the potential risk of silver particles accumulating in tissue over time. Silver Support For Pets differs from traditional colloidal formulas, as it utilizes a patented technology that permanently distributes the silver into the water, so it will not fall out of suspension. It has been shown to support immune function by killing drug-resistant bacterial strains and inhibiting viral replication. Safe for long-term use.
- Olive Leaf - Olive leaf extract contains a compound called oleuropein, with antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Animal studies have shown the antimicrobial activity of olive leaf extract against multiple types of bacteria and fungi that can cause respiratory infections. The research shows that olive leaf inhibited the growth and spread of all tested pathogens. Olive Leaf Extract for Cats is helpful for cats with respiratory conditions including asthma, chronic upper respiratory infections (URIs), allergies and feline viruses. Supports a healthy immune system.
- Probiotics - Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help restore the balance of the gut microbiome. Antibiotic use can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the gut, which may result in diarrhea. Probiotics specially formulated for cats can help to reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and help normalize bowel movements. Probiotics support gastrointestinal health and immune function by restoring a healthy gut microbiome and supporting digestive health.
- Penicillium - Natural homeopathies from the Penicillium genus should not be confused with the antibiotic penicillin. While they are not antibiotics, some studies suggest that certain species of Penicillium, including Penicillium notatum and Penicillium frequentans may produce bioactive compounds with antimicrobial properties. These compounds may have the ability to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and fungi.
Home Remedies For Cat Upper Respiratory Infection Treatment
While conventional veterinary medical options are limited, home remedies for cat upper respiratory infections can make a significant improvement in the cat's life. Cats with viruses may have many of the same symptoms as cats with URIs.
When dealing with an upper respiratory infection in cats, home treatment with a holistic approach encompasses a two-fold approach: changing your cat's diet to strengthen the immune system and using a few supportive supplements to control the virus. It is essential for cat owners who have a cat with a viral infection to keep antiviral supplements on hand in the event of a flare-up.
Respiratory Support Kit - The Immune & Respiratory Support Kit in an effective treatment for cats with URIs, sinus congestion, sneezing, viruses, sores and coughing.
Easy to use drops (with minimal smell and taste - no alcohol).
Fight infections to reduce nasal discharge and sneezing.
Clears up nasal and sinus congestion to help and improve breathing.
Gentle, natural remedies that can safely be used on an ongoing basis.
Immune booster for cat rhinitis home treatment.
Contains three natural remedies that provide relief by calming infection and inflammation.
The natural remedies in the Immune & Respiratory Support Kit can also be purchased individually. Please click on the links below for more detailed information about each product.
NOT Drops - NOT Drops help control harmful bacteria and restore gut flora balance, improving your cat's immune function. Acts like natural antibiotics for cat respiratory infections.
QUENT Drops - Natural antiviral for cats. QUENT Drops target the lung and upper respiratory system. QUENT and NOT Drops work synergistically to control infections and inflammation.
Silver Immune Support - An all-natural at-home treatment for feline upper respiratory infections. Helps your cat recover from a bacterial infection or viral flare-up. It is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial and well tolerated even by tiny pets.
Power Probiotic - Backed by scientific research, this powerful multi-strain formula promotes the growth of friendly bacteria, which are essential to a healthy immune system. Why is this important? The majority of your pet's immune system resides in the intestinal tract. Using Power Probiotic is essential if your pet has taken steroids or antibiotics, as these medications reduce the population of friendly bacteria. Friendly bacteria fight off pathogens, bad bacteria and viruses in an effort to keep your cat healthy. Power Probiotic is essential for all pets. The powder from the capsule can be sprinkled on food or eaten by itself. Many cats love the taste.
Happy Paws Drops - If you are looking for an over the counter medicine for a cat respiratory infection, Happy Paws Drops can provide soothing relief for cat upper respiratory symptoms. Happy Paws Hemp Oil can help to reduce the inflammation associated with chronic sinus infections in cats. Cat CBD oil also provides calming and can balance general well-being. Each 1oz bottle contains 550mg of full-spectrum hemp extract in an unflavored all-natural coconut oil base. 100% organic. Made in the USA.
Olive Leaf Extract For Pets - A natural antiviral and antibacterial herbal remedy that is one of the best home remedies for cat mucus. It is helpful for cats with respiratory conditions including asthma, chronic upper respiratory infections (URIs), allergies, viruses and sinus infections. There is significant scientific research on the effectiveness of Olive Leaf Extract against multiple types of bacteria that can cause respiratory infections. Olive Leaf Extract for Pet's active ingredient, oleuropein, helps fight against pathogens while causing no harm to healthy bacteria in your pet's gut and mucous membranes. It contains protective polyphenols to help improve immune function and offer powerful antioxidant protection. Olive Leaf Extract For Pets is a simple, one-ingredient formula that is helpful for a variety of immune and respiratory conditions. Made in the USA.
PureOcean Wild Omegas - PureOcean Wild Omegas are made from wild-caught sardines, anchovies & mackerel. They have a natural fishy flavor and many cats love the taste. Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful for cats with chronic URIs due to their anti-inflammatory properties. They help reduce inflammation, which may alleviate some of the discomfort and symptoms associated with URIs, such as nasal congestion, sneezing, and coughing. URIs can cause increased production of mucus in the respiratory tract that leads to congestion. Omega-3s can help maintain the health of mucous membranes, potentially reducing excessive mucus production and improving respiratory function. Excellent value. One bottle lasts 4-6 months for cats.
Immune Harmony - This cat sinus infection home treatment is a unique patented plant sterol formula that provides long-term immune support. It’s very helpful for cat sinus infections, cat rhinitis, and feline viruses. Immune Harmony helps to modulate the immune system and supports long-term immune health. While home remedies for cat upper respiratory infections can alleviate some symptoms, using Immune Harmony can provide long-term immune support and help prevent reinfection.
The Best Diet for Cats With Upper Respiratory Infections & Sinus Infections
To strengthen your cat's immunity, feeding a grain-free, hypoallergenic, low-carbohydrate diet with a novel protein is helpful. Many quality pet foods, even "holistic brands," contain too many starchy carbohydrates that convert to sugar, weakening your cat's immune system. Changing your cat's diet can help it feel better. Grains can contribute to long-term inflammation (please see food allergy articles).
Please include your cat's diet on the order form at checkout. We will review your cat's information and include a FREE diet tips on the packing slip that comes with your order.
If you have questions about home remedies for cat upper respiratory infection treatment, please feel free to email us at [email protected]
. We will be happy to provide you with additional information about our natural remedies for upper respiratory infections, but please know that due to veterinary regulations, we cannot provide individualized consultative advice without a physical exam.