Has your cat been wheezing, having usually wetter nose, coughing due to the haze?
If your cat is vaccinated against the cat flu strains and is usually healthy, here are some tips on how to ease kitty through some breathing difficulty when the PSI is unhealthy.
Humidity helps. This means that placing your cat in a carrier while you take a hot shower will help clear the respiratory tract. It should be about 10 minutes long. Aircon rooms means that the air is being filtered but it also means the air is dry. If there are non-aircon rooms in the house that have no haze seeping in, let kitty sleep in those rooms. You can also turn on a humidifier if you have one.
Aromatherapy works wonders for cats. To help ease breathing, place a few drops of eucalyptus, peppermint and clary sage essential oils in a small bowl of hot water, place kitty in a carrier, put the bowl outside the door. Cover bowl and carrier with a towel for no longer than 10 minutes. Manage breathing periodically through the day diffusing the same oils on a diffuser with breaks in between (make sure it is not a closed room, door should be open). The smoky odour can be eliminated by diffusing pine needle and tea tree essential oils. Do not apply the oils directly on the cat at anytime. We get our essential oils from iherb.com (use our discount code AVA985 if you are a first time customer, to get USD5-10 off your purchase).
To ease symptoms in the short term, you can also give a quarter tablet of chlorphenaramine (yellow flu tablet) otherwise also known as Piriton. This antihistamine will ease the itchiness and runny nose. Do not administer any other antihistamine or flu medication – this is important, some flu medication contains paracetemol which is toxic to cats.
Clean your cat’s eyes. Drip some saline into the inner corner of her eyes and wipe with a cotton or gauze. If you have Pet Alive Eye-Heal even better! Follow the instructions and use it to clean your cat’s eyes. This helps keep eyes clear and prevents any irritation. Otherwise you can also steep some chamomile tea in water and when cooled, wipe kitty’s eyes with it using cotton or a gauze.
If all these methods do not help give immediate relief, you will need to go to the vet because there might be mucus buildup obstructing breathing and this needs prescription-only medication. This is especially important if you hear a ‘wet’ noise when your cat breathes, if eyes start producing mucoidal discharge, if cat starts breathing with difficulty, causing it to hunch or hyperventilate. A normal cat’s respiratory rate should be 20 to 30 breaths per minute.
Keep the windows closed! Take care, kitties and kitty folk.