Natural Remedies for Feline Respiratory Illness

Written by: Dr. Jean Hofve, Holistic Veterinarian, DVM

Are there home remedies or natural antibiotics for cats with breathing problems?


One of my cats, Turbo, has been coughing and has a discharge from her eyes. She also had a fever. I took her to our veterinarian and he diagnosed her with an upper respiratory infection. She is now on antibiotics. Are there any natural remedies that can help her as well?


Most upper respiratory infections are viral. I am guessing the veterinarian put her on antibiotics because the fever may indicate a secondary bacterial infection.

There are a few things you can do for Turbo to help build her immune system to fight the infection. Here are some upper respiratory infection in cats home treatments:

Immune Support

Holistic blends of vitamins and herbs offer great support to the immune system trying to rid itself of the virus. Since your cat may be fending off two separate invaders, supporting a healthy immune system is vital.


This amino acid provides additional immune support and helps reduce viral replication. Give 500 mg. twice a day.

Vitamin C

This is always a good supplement to fight viral infections, and it also is a good antioxidant. Give 250 mg. daily and reduce if stools become too soft. Continue Vitamin C supplementation until symptoms have been absent for at least several weeks.


Since Turbo is on antibiotics, she could benefit from probiotics to help her digestive system balance its intestinal flora.


Typically I would prescribe a homeopathic remedy in a case like this. This cannot be done, however, without more detailed information, as there are many different remedies that might be appropriate depending on the individual symptoms. If you are interested in a homeopathic remedy and if it seems appropriate for your cat, contact a holistic veterinarian trained in homeopathy.


What Turbo eats has a very significant effect on her overall health and immunity to illness. Feed her the best diet you can that fits within your lifestyle and budget. Make sure she has access to clean, fresh water at all times.

Some cats drink better from lightly running or circulating water. A fountain type waterer is recommended for cats that won't drink for still water.

Fresh Air

Clean, fresh air is important for Turbo while healing and in general. If she is indoor only cat, try to find a way to give her access to a porch or balcony that is secured, even a partially open window with something nearby for her to sit or lie on.

If she is amenable to it, you could try a kitty harness and leash to let her explore the outdoors safely. But be sure to keep her off chemically treated grass or garden areas.

Consider an air filter if you cannot provide adequate fresh air.

For Multi-Cat Households

You begin your note with "one of my cats." To protect Turbo's housemates from contracting the virus, start them on an immune support supplement and keep them on it, at least until Turbo is healthy again.

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