The name of this condition is often confusing to people upon first hearing it, likely due to the human condition of the same name. However, these conditions are in no way related. Your cat can’t pass feline herpes on to you or even to dogs if you have them. This condition is however contagious for other cats, and if you have recently brought an infected cat into your home then you need to get your other cats checked as well.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for feline herpes. Once an animal has this disease they will have it for the rest of their life. However, this condition can be treated at home. There are steps you can take to reduce or almost eliminate your cat’s flare ups and ways that you can continue to give them an excellent quality of life for their remaining years. In this article we explore treatment options and changes you can make that will help your cat with this condition.
What happens to cats with feline herpes?
This virus can cause several symptoms in cats which can negatively impact them. These include respitory infections, and conjunctivitus. Cats who experience these symptoms could have other trickle down issues as well. Since these respirtory issues often reduce your cat’s sense of smell they may be less inclined to eat. In sever cases a cat may even be prescribed an appetite stimulant if it seems that they are losing a lot of weight. If your cat has feline herpes you should monitor them closely to make sure that they are eating.
Ways to help a cat with feline herpes
Cats with feline herpes suffer from a number of different ailments, and so we’re going to attempt to address the most common ones. All of these are at home treatments which you can attempt to use to reduce your cat’s symptoms. However, it is important to watch your cat very closely. If it seems their symptoms are getting drastically worse or if they are losing a noticeable amount of weight, then you should seek veterinary assistance. While in many cases at home treatments will do fine for them, there are extreme cases which will require your vet’s help. Letting a cat lose too much weight can be very dangerous for them and you should take this very seriously.
Give them an L-lysine supplement
Many cats with feline herpes respond well to L-lysine supplements. This product is an immune system booster that helps to fight off infections. For cats suffering from feline herpes, this is often their biggest concern. Their bodies have trouble fighting off these infections and giving them a supplement can help to keep these flare ups at bay. Most of these supplements come in either powder form or convenient chews or treats which are easy to feed to your cat.
You should keep in mind that while this supplement can be very beneficial in most cases it is not a miracle drug. It will not keep your cat from getting infections 100% of the time, but it can help them to fight them off and to reduce them.
If your veterinarian has prescribed medications for your cat for their ailments, then you should consult with your vet before giving them L-lysine supplements. Sometimes this product can interfere with the vet’s prescribed meds, and you’ll need to ask them if this will be the case for whatever they have prescribed for your cat.
For cats who are particularly sensitive, L-lysine may cause them to have an upset stomach in some cases. If this is the case for your feline friend you can try adding something to their food which will settle their stomach. A little bit of canned pumpkin is a good way to give them some regularity in their digestive tract if you can get them to eat it.
Offer them a more attractive food option
If your cat is not excited about eating, then offering them a more palatable food option can be a very good way to get them to eat more. Usually foods that offer a higher meat content and contain fresher ingredients are your best bet here. If you’re feeding your cat a dry kibble, then swap them out to a fresh or a wet food.
It should be noted that we have not included any raw diets in our list. The reason for that is that cats who are suffering from feline herpes often have weakened immune systems. Raw diets, which can be perfectly good for healthy pets could be dangerous for them. If there is any bacteria residing in the food animals with weakened immune systems are more likely to contract an illness from it. All of the recipes we’ve chosen include only cooked foods as they are safer for these animals. Here’s our picks.
#1 – NomNomNow
This is a fresh pet food company that delivers meals straight to your door. Everything is formulated by a vet, and the meals are specifically portioned for your cat. The company cooks everything fresh every week, and they only use human grade, fresh ingredients. All of the recipes are very limited in ingredients, making them a great choice for picky kitties. Their Fish Feast recipe will likely be the most enticing to kitties with a weakened appetite and sense of smell.
NomNomNow is the cream of the crop when it comes to offering your cat the best diet. Their whole food ingredient approach helps a magnitude of pet ailments often brought on by feeding a lower quality kibble. If you’re interested in learning more about feeding your fur baby like a kitty king or queen, then you can learn more about this awesome company here.
#2 – Wysong Uretic
Wysong’s high quality food line is great for pets suffering from many ailments. This wet food is low in carbohydrates and high in quality proteins. Cats are obligate carnivores and high meat diets are often very palatable to them. If you are currently feeding your cat a dry kibble diet, then you should consider swapping to a wet food diet. Not only will they be more willing to eat, but it’s also a healthier option for all cats to prevent urinary tract issues like struvite crystals and to keep your cat hydrated.
This food is not only great on the protein front, but it also has added immune system boosting foods like cranberries. Wysong Uretic is full of foods that offer maximum nutrition to sick kitties, and they use only high quality, organic, whole chicken to make this food. You can see the full ingredients list and learn more about Wyson’s approach to pet health here.
#3 – Halo Cat Food
If your cat is having digestive issues, then Halo makes an excellent food which may help them. This food is also very palatable, and most cats love the taste, so if your cat is particularly picky and not very excited about eating, this is a great choice. Halo only uses whole food ingredients for their foods, and they also offer many grain free varieties if you’d prefer to not feed your cat any grains.
Halo’s foods are so digestible that they’ve actually tested them in a lab to prove it. That not only means that your cat will not have any issues with diarrhea or vomiting, but they will also be absorbing more nutrients from their diet, which is important for sick cats. Interested in learning more about Halo? You can pick up some of their great products at Amazon.
Other ways to help your cat
Try a humidifier
If your cat is having difficulties with congestion, then a humidifier could help to clear them up a bit. Though you don’t really need to go out and buy one. If you don’t already have a humidifier, then you could try letting your cat spend a few minutes in a steamy bathroom.
Reduce environmental stress
Sometimes stress can cause flare ups in cats. While knowing how to reduce stress for a cat can sometimes be difficult, your best bet is to focus on sticking to a routine. Avoid doing things that will mess with their comfort levels. This could include limiting visitors, avoiding loud noises, ect.
If possible, you may want to create a safe space in your home for your cat where they can retreat. This could be a seldom used room that is very quiet. Move their things in there and give them some clean bedding to lay on, this can help to make them feel safer at times when your home is busy.
Frequently clean away discharge from their face
Many cats will quickly become overwhelmed with discharge from their infections. Use a slightly damp cloth to clean this away from their eyes or nose. If allowed to harden this can become crusted and cause discomfort to them or possibly block up their nasal passage more.
Encourage your cat to drink more water
Cats suffering from feline herpes may also be dehydrated. Try to make note of how much water your cat is drinking. It’s typically difficult to get cats to drink enough fluids, and your best bet is to try to supplement them by switching to a high quality wet food diet. You could also try purchasing a pet fountain. These devices provide fresh, aerated water which cats love, and it makes them more likely to drink more fluids.