Somehow, even the smallest dogs seem to get through the winter season without illness, so why is it that cats seem to have such an issue with getting sick? Well, their needs are a little different than ours considering that our cats are essentially carnivores, and they need more protein on a regular basis in order to survive and thrive.
Cold weather doesn’t make us sick, but it does lower the immune system’s ability to fight off infection, no matter what species it is. Cats who like to spend a lot of time outdoors are at risk of contracting illnesses that other cats and free-roaming animals carry. While you may not be able to completely prevent the possibility of your cat getting ill, you can reduce the symptoms with Lysine. By giving your kitty a daily dose of this enzyme, their bodies can more easily fight off infection, and hopefully make them feel better a little faster.
When you and I get sick, we enjoy things like hot tea and soup; if you choose, you can heat up wet food or pour warm water over it before serving. This way, your cat stays hydrated, and the heat from their warm meal might help to open up the airways, helping them to breathe a little more easily.
Sick kitties should remain indoors, but if you’re helping feral colonies in TNR programs, would also benefit from heating pads and warm, sheltered heating stations to eat from. Adding Lysine to feral colony feeding stations is also a great way to keep cats healthy after they’ve been spayed or neutered, and released back out into their habitat.
If they’re feeling extra crummy, your cat may refuse to eat or drink altogether. While they might be able to temporarily get away with eating very small quantities of food, your cat can become fatally ill. Without fluids, our bodies are unable to control temperature, and circulation of white blood cells. Additionally, your cat is losing fluid every time they cough, sneeze, and as their body is producing phlegm.
If you plan on preventing your cat from getting sick altogether, make sure their water bowl is full at all times, even when they’re healthy.
Sometimes we avoid taking our pets to the vet because it feels like an expensive, tedious thing to deal with. However, hindsight is 20/20 and once your cat falls ill during the winter season, you’ll be saying “man, I wish I’d just made that darn vet appointment!”
The truth is, preventing illness is much easier, and far less expensive than trying combat sickness once it’s already arrived. Vaccinating is extremely important, necessary, and can mean life or death, especially in domesticated animals. Your cat should be vaccinated for FVRCP, which is feline herpes, calici, panleukopenia, leukemia, and rabies.