Home Remedy For A Cat’s Cold

My cat is getting a cold. I remember my mother mixing up something just for that, but I have no clue what it was. Do you know what I can do for her, besides the vet?



From The Hillbilly Housewife:


There’s been a lot of great discussion in the comments section. I would like to recommend the following ebook that I’ve found very helpful when it comes to treating all kinds of feline ailments.

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  1. Valerie says

    My vet told me that cats don’t get colds. If they appear to have one, it’s a type of infection that needs antibiotics to cure. Please contact your vet soon about this, so your cat doesn’t get any sicker!

    • Manda says

      The above comment by your veterinarian is completely untrue. Cats get colds – it’s called the Feline Calicvirus. It causes sniffles and eye discharge. Cats that get it need careful home care, such as making sure that they get enough water (just like humans, they need fluids for a cold) and that they eat properly [smelly cat food or baby food containing only meat and meat juice, no onions] will entice them to eat more) as well as humidifiers during months when the heat is on in your house and drying out the air.
      Children’s saline drops are helpful, buy “Little Noses” spray (without any medication, just the saline) and lavage the nostrils with it just like you would with human cold spray. This is a temporary treatment that lasts about 1/2 day, so do it morning and night. Sniffles can also be decreased with use of sudafed drops for kids, but the dosage must be exact to your cat’s weight: see this page:
      It recommends 2mg per kilogram of weight. That means you must weight your cat precisely and give only the calculated amount. You MUST be sure of the ingredients in the medication. It cannot have any pain meds or fever treatment in it. DO NOT GIVE ASPIRIN. (This can cause an animal who is having lung problems or internal problems to hemorrhage inside, destroy liver and kidney functions, and kill the cat. It must be real and only pseudo-ephedrine.
      Do not use pills. Use only the drops marketed for children and babies. The dosage is so low that you will have a hard time overdosing. Cats do not like it, it contains a bitter constituent that makes them froth at the mouth, so try to administer in two short shots with a medically marked eye dropper. Wipe away any froth and comfort the cat afterwards. See that he/she has a heating pad to sit on set at the lowest setting, under a towel or blanket. Allow them peaceful time alone, and monitor their fluid (pulling back on the skin gently at the back of the neck and looking for “tenting” of the tissue – when the skin does not “snap” back, the cat needs more fluids). Also check by running your finger over their gums. Tacky, gummy feeling gums are a sign of dehydration. Healthy gums are very slick, with plenty of saliva. If the cat needs fluid, get an eyedropper and give a few droppers of water at least once an hour, or until the skin appears more elastic. Pedialyte (baby electrolyte solution) unflavored is good for this, heat it a little until warm and administer like water.
      If this does not work, you must take the cat to your vet within 24 hours. They will need sub-q fluids as soon as possible.
      Be sure to check your cat over completely for scratches, sores of any kind, wounds, cysts, fleas, or anything out of the ordinary – a healthy cat has a shiny coat, un-matted fur, sits straight, has clear shining eyes, and responds to your voice.
      Please monitor your cat every hour (even through the night) to assure that he or she is eating and getting enough fluids. This is key to recovery. Cats that eat and drink rarely develop other symptoms. Make sure they eliminate at least twice daily (urine) and once daily (feces). Check that the amount is usual for your cat. If it is decreased or not present at all, take the cat to the vet. Watery stool, and dark urine are signs that your cat needs better hydration, better food, and possibly – vet care for worms and other parasites.
      Clean your cat with a clean, warm, moist wash cloth, dry, and brush out the hair frequently to promote clean fur and good circulation. Monitor for fleas, but do not treat except to remove with a flea comb. Sick cats cannot tolerate flea treatments. Be gentle and thorough. (Even a vet’s office will not do this, it’s a shame, but they rarely have the time to treat each pet with this kind of compassionate, loving care.) Your cat will appreciate it.
      This nursing will be needed for the same duration that you would treat yourself for a cold.
      Do NOT give antibiotics, unless prescribed by a vet, and discuss with your vet if it is absolutely needed. It’s like you going to the doctor and asking for antibiotics when you got a cold. They will do nothing for a virus. Antibiotics should only be given if the patient is truly experiencing an inflection, debilitated, old, or very young. They are prescribed in those cases because there is a very real chance that the animal will develop pneumonia.
      Smart cat owners know that l-lysine (a protein) helps to break up colds in cats, and when administered during an outbreak tends to break the cycle of the virus. Learn how to crush the rills (with the back of a teaspoon, add clean water, mix, fill and eyedropper and administer at least 1000mg for the first dose then 500mg twice daily thereafter for no longer than 1 week). B-vitamins, found in brewer’s yeast pills (a common cat vitamin) are also beneficial – most cats eat them up like they’re a treat. Give a few daily.
      Always know that medications given to cats are the same that you would give to a human baby – you must be precise, on time, and check frequently. Allergy tests for any medication should be done prior to administration. Even vets don’t do this, and I cannot understand it. A simple scratch test: the medication is applied to a sterilized needle and gently scratched over exposed skin. Within 3 hours if the animal has a reaction to the medication, the area will have puffed up and look sore, red, and possibly weeping. If this is discovered do NOT administer medication, and wash the area immediately with soap and cold water. Dry thoroughly. If there is no reaction, the meds are safe to use.
      Be aware that cats who do not eat for 24 hours will develop horrible internal problems, they are not like you and me – they require constant energy to survive. Some cats will prefer that you feed them by hand – a fingertip of food placed in their mouths (you may have to open the mouth with a gentle pressure on the side teeth and pop the food on their tongue. They may spit some out. Try again, be patient). Watch to make sure they chew and swallow properly. Never force- feed. If they get too uppity, give them a rest and try again in 1/2 hour. You can feed your cat via syringe (or eyedropper, but this takes twice the time). Purchase a large “feeding” or “Lavage” syringe from any surgical supply/drug store) fill with watered down baby food or very fine grind cat food and hold that cat in your lap. A towel over your legs will help. Push the nipple of the syringe between the teeth on the side of the mouth and depress the plunger, giving only 1/4 teaspoon of food at a time. Usually cats will struggle at first, but once they taste the food (baby food as discussed) works best. Making sure that they get at least 2 full cans-worth of food a day plus at least 1-1 1/2 cups of water or pedialyte a day will insure that they are getting enough food.
      Check your cat for signs of fever. A feverish cat will have hot ears, and dry, hot nose, and hot feet. Also check for signs of infection and shock, including cold feet, pale gums (press gently on the gum to see if blood re-enters, good gums look pink and healthy, just like you and me). Feel gently under the neck for enlarged lymph-nodes (the same as you and me when we get a sore throat). If enlarged, take the cat to the vet. In these cases, they will need attention and antibiotics.
      Veterinarians today are too much involved in prescribing what they think will be a quick cure and not treating the underlying symptoms. They tend to dose up the animals with medications and “hope for the best”, often forgetting to counsel pet owners in careful nursing techniques, common-sense daily care, and daily requirements. Your best bet is to find an elderly veterinarian who has had over 40 years of experience. these are the vets who will actually help.

      I know that all this information is hard to follow, if you must, copy down treatments on 3×5 cards and check them every time you check your cat. Separate the directions by “food”, “water” “checking for symptoms” “checking for elimination” “routine care” and “checking for symptoms”. It should help you to learn proper care as if you were born to it.

      • Stacy says

        My cat has some type of cold or allergy she sneezes up snotty stuff and has cold symptoms im going to try all this you posted, thank you!

      • william vandament says

        well a great big hug goes to you for the HELP set up my hospital and gave her
        the sudafed as you requested and made her a little bed with heat, have not
        heard a peep out of her, checked up several times, and she sleeping
        GOD BLESS to you

      • ~Shawn says

        That was amazing. Thank you! We have an elderly cat, who’s healthy except for a few little things, and right now he’s sneezing.. I forgot about the L-Lysine, and which I have in possession, because I give to my cats because they’re prone to get UTI’s.. and I just am trying my hardest to find them relief without going to the vets all the time.. With the few things that I use, I believe I am helping them immensely. As pet owners, we can’t expect the Vet to give us the information, we need. You won’t get the information as you would from those that have done the research… I absolutely loved your post..

        Thank you for the reminder Manda!

      • Cindy says

        Manda you are fabulous and sounds like you know a lot about sick cats please find me on FB and msg me is there a weight limit on the lyionsine(sp?) vitamin? Please contact me on FB Cindy Hall

      • Bethany says

        Thank you for taking the time to carefully outline each step… You are a godsend to all kitty mommies!

      • Tony says

        Take your cat to the vet, don’t give him any type of medicine that my harm your cat or dog I followed Mandas instructions and my cat died, not sure if it was the medicine or if he already was very ill but my cat died and now I feel like shit! get an exam from a vet, they are not expensive $25 $45 and then make your decisions.

    • Darlene says

      My Vet says cats get viruses or bacterial colds. Viruses antibiotics wont help with, but bacterial infections will need antibiotics. Just like humans the same rule applies.

  2. lynne says

    Not sure exactly what would be best, but some animals respond well to homepathic remedies. Maybe you could go online and look up homepathic for animals (cats) and find some results. Most healthfood stores have a selection of the remedies for people, which many are safe for animals. But be sure to find out which ones first.
    Hope this helps.

  3. aran says

    Sorry I don’t know what you can mix up at home but my mother has several cats and when one starts coughing and sneezing, eventually they’ll pass it around. She has had excellent results using notatum. You can get it online, it’s homeopathic, you just put a few drops on their food.

  4. dotte says

    If your cat sneezes and has a runny nose, it has distemper and will die if it doesn’t receive antibiotics quickly. It is not like a cold in humans. If you wait, you may take a listless cat to the vet, pay for visit and antibiotics, only to find you waited too late. Homeopatic remedies won’t work on this — you will lose your cat to a slow death.

    • George says

      Dotte…this is just a cold, If the runny nose is watery then it’s not a bacterial infection..do not panic,

    • HerbalHealer says

      Umm… I had a cat that got a “cold’ every spring, without fail. Before I learned that most Vets and Drs are a big scam, except for really serious things, I would run him to the vet every spring and, luckily, I had an old fashioned vet that did not LIE TO ME TO MAKE MONEY! Sneezing is NOT a sure sign of distemper! Stop going on Forums and SCARING people! STOP believing everything you are told so you can get money sucked out of you! My Cat lived to be 13 and died of old age. He was VERY healthy and was susceptible to pollen and it would put him in the disposition for “cat’s Cold” which Manda discussed above. Lots of fluids, meaty foods, keep the eyes and nose clear with warm water, and or saline spray for 3 days. Distemper shows it self with significant fatigue and profuse nose and eye discharge more than sneezing.. Cheeze and Crackers, People! Cats have survived 1000’s of years without vets!

      • denice says

        Mt kitty had a “cold.” Just a runny nose and sneezing. When I took him to the vet he was diagnosed with FIP and died within a couple of weeks. However, there is no cure for FIP.

  5. Suzanne says

    A sneezy, runny nose does NOT mean it’s distemper! Cats can have allergies as well as get colds. And, just like in humans, home remedies or homeopathic treatments can ease symptoms. Homeopathy is the foundation of modern medicine!

  6. Brooke says

    Dotte, sorry to say that a cat sneezing and having a runny nose does not mean that it has distemper, or that it will die. It is actually very common for cats to get colds and have allergies. There aren’t many home remedies but there are some and the colds often go away on their own within a week or so. And if the cold doesn’t than the cat needs to be brought to a vet for a diagnosis and it can be given proper treatment. So, don’t jump to conclusions if your cat gets a runny nose or lets out a sneeze.

  7. Kathy says

    Wow, sounds like poor Dotte had a bad cat experience, for which Im sorry about.
    Cats can get what will pass for a cold (regardless of what the vet says, hes out to make a buck just like the rest of us). My cats (for which there are eight) Do a lot of sneezing. Occasionally have watery eyes. Its when they have fever that you need to worry most (or refuse to eat because they cant “smell” the food). Most people will dispute what I am about to say, but I will say it anyway because it is what works for me.
    Go to your local Heath food store, get yourself a bottle of Bio-active Silver Hydrosol (AKA Colloidal silver) (only buy in a glass brown bottle, and store it in a dark cupboard) and a small bottle of Johnsons baby aspirin. It must be real aspirin, (the ingredients in things like Tylenol will kill your animal). Cut that baby aspirin in 1/4 (preferably with a pill splitter, makes it much easier, talk to the Pharmacist if you dont have one, he may be willing to do it for you). Now comes the tricky part…getting animal to take tiny piece of aspirin. If my cat is still eating well, I get a bit of canned cat food, and crush up the tiny 1/4 aspirin in that and let them have at it, otherwise stuff it down the throat. as best you can (You can also put in the dropper of Silver hydrosol in the same food, 2 birds with 1 stone kind of thing). I give 1 dropper full (however much makes in the dropper when I squeeze the top and release in liquid) 3 times a day. and the aspirin morning and evening when needed. If there is no fever, dont use the aspirin. Even if its just an allergy, the hydrosol will help with that…unless you have mold in the home you dont know about. Mold will kill a cat.
    I also have a cat that has Asthma, something my mother suffered with, and I remembered that when we had a chihuahua, mom would not suffer as badly. So, even tho I am not fond of that breed of dog, I got one, and after just a few hours of them being together, Angel has not had another attack since bringing Festus into the home. hes not a bad dog, just has an annoying bark. (got off track there a bit, sorry)

    Anyway, thats what I do. Ive also been known to give Penicillin shots to them to, but, unless you have the stomach for it, dont even try. Its not fun.

    • Elise says

      Just took my 16 yr old cat to the vet for a runny nose, sneezing & a raspy meow. He said it was a typical cold and sent us home with antibiotics and L LYSINE. Keep your cat warm, feed her 2 cans of very high quality wet food a day and make sure she has plenty of fresh water easily available to her/him at all times. Keep the cat in a cozy, dark stress free area until she/he is better. I hope this helped. :-) If the cat stops eating or drinking, get her/him to the vet asap.

  8. Stacy says

    My cat is a rescue I adopted in June, shes a picky eater only hard food, tried almost every wet food out there, I even have tried giving her real chicken and broth and she snubs it 200%… Never had a cat like this in my life…. She has a cold. Sniffles, sneezing, wraspy meows at times… shes still eating well, and drinking, and going to the bathroom normal. I was going to try the baby asprin, I was going to crush it and mix it all over her food …. Do you think its ok to give a cat a small crushed piece of vitamin C ? I ordered her Cat Vitamins a few days ago to build her immune system up. Where can I get Lysine? Is that tasteless to a cat ? She still wants to play and follows me everywhere…. Ive been cleaning often and brushing her… Im going to wipe her fur down with a wet paper towel later and washed all her things in the washer…

  9. Jessii says

    L-Lysine… it’s a pill with a powder inside that you can buy at the drugstore for human herpes. Sprinkle 1/4 of a capsule in wet food and mix it well. This should be done 3 times a week.

    My resource is myself. I’ve volunteered at cat shelters since I was a young teen, and cat colds are common in shelters.

  10. Christina says

    I found a kitten I amnot sur how old it is but it has a cough and a lot of yellow mucas comming outof it nose please help

    • Ver says

      @ Christina,
      As soon as there is a pus or discharge from nose/eyes you should see a vet and most likely get antibiotics or else it will get worse and spread further… I’m against all pills but believe there are times when it’s needed and there is no way around…
      I would give you a place but it’s in NY so not sure it will help you… they try holistic approach first, and they never take cases when they simply have to send you to a vet because it’s serious. There is an awesome older gentlemen who knows Everything! He helped me a lot with my cats… Never gave them pills but treated few things with his help…
      Just in Case it’s called holistic pet store and located in east village manhattan. Good luck!

  11. Jane Moses says

    Hello, Thank you so much for all the great info. My 5 yr. old cat has had upper respiratory problems for over a year now and this info. sounds like to will really work for my cat as antibiotics have not helped after 3 rounds. Thanks again, Jane

  12. Christina says

    Hello all thanks for the info all was helpful I have a female cat her name is sox and she is 7 years old. She has been sneezing for the last three days. I am not sure what to do to help her. I am sad because she is my cat and my other kid so I don’t like seeing her sick does anyone have some suggestions please help and thanks in advance.

  13. Angela says

    Awesome, informative tips!! Thank you so much for your wisdom and guidance Manda and everyone else. This is a great forum for cat owners~!

  14. Chris Vaughn says

    Do not give aspirin of any kind to cats. It poisons them. Just like tylenol. Ask your vet. Cats are very sensitive to many meds.

  15. Earlgrey says

    I cured my cats naturally of mouth sores and this also works for other illness :

    – rub 2% foodgrade Lugol’s Iodine on the infected area twice a day for one week then once a day with a Q-tip-apply more often if severe infection


    – add 3 drops of foodgrade Lugol’s in a small bowl of water daily for 3 months then 2X a week, if cats very ill- daily

    – sprinkle half cap 200mcg 3X a month in food

    – sprinkle some psyllium husk powder once a week on food

    – foodgrade DE on food daily for 2 months then 1X a week

    – Cod Liver oil by Nordic Naturals

    – clean cats teeth with olive oiled Q-tip

    – Nutrex Bioastin 12MG Hawaiian Astaxanthin- 2X a week on food

    – Weruva Cat food

    – Do not vaccinate pets- vaccines cause cancer

    – Do not give antibiotics to cats, cause parasite overgrowth




  16. desiree says

    my three cats have sniffles. i have already taken them to two vets. they are still sick and not eating. please help

  17. liz says

    I have 4 sick cats at the moment (OUT OF 13).. not sure if separating them at this time is worth it. I cannot afford a vet at this Time. Before you tell me I should not have them if I cannot afford them(I was like that) let me tell you that I originally had 3. Cats …and hurt homing pigeons and wild rabbits and sick dogs FIND ME. My husband tells me tput remove the “SIGN”, but they keep coming. The shelter nearby Refuses to take any cats… (isn’t that what they are for?) We have placed / returned 3 others. Boo boo came to me and she weighed 2 lbs after feeding her almost constantly for 2 weeks. Then we found out she was pregnant, too. Chloe lived on our back porch for the summer and I only brought her in when hurricane Sandy was coming… Then she came inside in the winter. No tags, no microchip, no “lost” posters. The shelter did check for micRochips. The last 2, one hung around the shed for months, and the other was in our basement until the temp dipped to 0. Only 1 cat has been young. Most of them are older…where I live, plenty of people have left due to foreclosure, loss of jobs, etc. These same people feel that leaving their animals behind to “fend for themselves” is the best thing to do.? ??? !!???. I try to take care of them, but what else can I do? We get their rabies shots and had them fixed at clinics. Not conducive to a regular vet relationship. I had a GREAT one where I used to live (cat found my engine one rainy December and they reattached his leg,other leg had nerve damage) but I cannot afford them any longer. Also, since I moved, the 45 min ride is not the cats favorite. Does anyone have any suggestions??? Where can I find some good free advice? I haven’t worked since November, no shifts available. I am going out for the lysine and brewers yeast. Any suggestions for good advice for almost everything??? Thank you in advance.

  18. Ken Jordan says

    I’ve learned so much concerning the health of my first time cat with a cold; thanks for solutions that address a realistic approach.

  19. Tonya says

    I have taken in a stray cat who is very pregnant and is suffering with a cold. She is sneezing and has a gurgling/stuffy sound to her breathing. Being a stray, it took a while for her to even warm up to me, and she still doesn’t like to be handled. Is there anything I can do to help her without having to handle her, keeping in mind she is pregnant? Should I just take her to the vet?

  20. Jennifer says

    This is a lot of useful information. I’m not sure how much of it applies to what’s going on with my cat though. She doesn’t have a fever or watery eyes. She’s eating and drinking normally. But the last couple of days she’s been sneezing a lot. When she sneezes, she has a greenish mucusy discharge and she’s sounded pretty raspy. Also, she spent like 5 days hiding out under the bed, and the last two days has been much more affectionate than normal. I know I need to take her to the vet, but I won’t have the money to do so for a few days. I just need to know what I can do in the meantime to help her feel better.

  21. Sharon says

    If your cat has a greenish mucous, then it has a bacterial infection. Like humans, the progression is typically clear mucous (non bacterial), to whitish (low level bacteria), to yellow (moderate level bacteria), and the most severe is green. Your cat will need antibiotics and may be developing pneumonia. You could call your vet and tell them your money situation; if they think it is severe/worrisome enough they will likely see the cat and send you a bill (sometimes they’ll set up a payment plan). Good luck!

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