Categories: Cat HealthInfection

Cat Sauna to clear nasal congestion due to bacterial infection

Does a water vapor session in your bathroom while you shower, or under a towel with a bowl of steaming water, really help to relieve the nasal congestion of a cat suffering from a bacterial and viral infection, which has blocked his nose with snot? The theory is to loosen the snot so that it flows out. It is also a technique recommended for people.

Cat in sauna to relieve nasal congestion brought about by infection

Sometimes people add a decongestant to the water to make the process more effective. Dee says “add a dollop of mentholatum to the water”. My vet said don’t add anything to the water but I totally trust Dee because she has years of hands-on experience.

I have two veterinary sources which say steaming is good so I am doing it to try to help relieve the discomfort for my cat who is very ill with suspected herpes virus or calicivirus or some other nasty cat virus combined with a horrible secondary infection. My vet recommends it and so do the books I have.

The downside is that cats don’t like it. People know what is happening. They understand that there will be steam or water vapour in the bathroom but cats don’t. For them it’s strange and unsettling. Also you have to put your cat in a carrier to control him. This downside offsets the potential benefits I feel.

Also a cat will learn to be wary of you if you constantly make him do things which he finds unpleasant because he does not realise it is for his benefit.

I will continue to do it at least once per day as I have to try everything I can to promote a return to health. I am giving him L-lysine when I can.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • Its great to hear he's doing abit Better. Also that hes going outside too. I'm sure the fresh Air will Help clear his nasel conjustion. I Prob Smelt that wrong. I hope he will approve. I hope you have some time to not worry so much. It's best that you take some time out. We will Survive a few days at least :)

  • Let's all think POSITIVE and send healing thoughts to Charlie and loving support to Michael.
    Charlie isn't wandering, he's staying close to home, that's good!
    When Ebony was dying she wanted to wander away from us, we couldn't let her of course, but she made it obvious she wanted no fuss.

    • Same with my dear old Oliver...She and I both knew from that wise old look she gave me, that she wanted to walk away, to her favorite woods. I followed but could not find her, because she wanted to be alone. She IS still here, though, for all of the cats, esp. Muckaluck, who died a year later of twenty years. Bless them all, All of Them. <3

    • Thanks Ruth. He is on my chair now and he is indoors all night from about 8pm to 9am usually. I think he has a nice balance of safe outdoors and indoors. I don't think I could do much better in that regard.

      • No, no.
        I'm so sorry, but Charlie is dying.
        Just looking at the video after he even had "speed", ie. a steroid shot, he's not going to survive.
        Your last and only hope is to take him to a feline only vet.
        R, I'm sorry; but positive thinking can't help right now.

        • Positive thinking can't hurt, Dee, sorry but the last thing someone with a very poorly cat wants to hear is that he's dying. If you don't have hope you have nothing!
          I've seen cats given up on but their spirit and will is strong, if Charlie is fighting to survive he will. If he is surrounded by doom and gloom and stops fighting, nothing can save him.
          He's back in his old home now, surrounded by love and care, I will keep thinking positive.

          • You know, R....
            You have a good head and attitude to boot.
            I seem to be overcome with with gloom and doom these days and forget to remember "The Power of Positive Thinking" (Reverand Dr, Norman Vincent Peale). It can work magic.
            Thanks for the slap back into reality.

          • Doom and gloom tries to swallow me up too sometimes but I think if it does, what more use will I be?
            I know you only want the best for Charlie and feel as passionately about it as I do and I'm sure Michael appreciates you very much.
            Passions run high because we love cats so much and care about each and every one xx

          • Feel free to just slap me anytime.
            I tend to do this when I've reached exhaustion. At least I think that's it. I can't blame it on hormones anymore. LOL! I'm not even aware that I have turned into a witchy doom and gloomer. But, my daughter, Sarah, picks up on it fast and volunteers to take over my life for a day or two. She's coming Tuesday. Thank god it doesn't happen very often.
            I want Charlie to recover so badly...

          • But, sometimes, we need to come to grips, R.

            He has been saying for some months that he thought Charlie was dying. So, why wasn't Charlie at the vet then? It's not the time to go into why Charlie wasn't at a vet's office months ago when that feeling erupted.

            This isn't about guilt, but about what can be done RIGHT NOW to help Charlie.

            You know me.. and, I say to f-ck that stupid vet bitch chick. A sixth visit? Really? Dump that stupid bitch! Get some real help for Charie.

          • Dee, as soon as Charlie was ill he went to the vet it is just that the vet didn't get a hold of this properly.

          • Sometimes with the best will in the world a vet has great difficulty diagnosing, they are only human, we've lost 2 cats though their lacking and have blamed them.
            It's a very difficult situation, we saw all the vets at our previous practice, it wasn't just one vet lacking, so what I'm saying is some illnesses are extremely difficult to diagnose and treat. NONE of those vets saved our Bryan or Popsy, but would any vet have? Would a specialist have? We will never know and will feel bad forever that we didn't ask about a specialist.
            Human family members of ours have died because of doctors not diagnosing early or treating properly, it happens all the time, no vet or doctor is perfect.
            I don't trust any vet or doctor any more but what choice do we have but to take their advice if we need them!

          • Me too Ruth, never give up on an animal that is fighting to survive, never write a cat off, and never take away someone's hope, above all be kind to people who are hurting like Michael is hurting at this moment.

      • I like it that Charlie isn't hiding away from you! I'm sure the fresh air will have helped him, I hope it's a nice day there again tomorrow, I'm all for poorly cats getting some outdoor therapy if it's nice weather, rather than being kept in against their will.

  • I can not believe that you have in a cage! [I know, I know.] Put him in the cage outside on your balcony/patio, and f*kin vacuum the h*ll out of the flat! "Lysol certain areas (carpets/rugs/upholstery/vents) then let fresh air in while you sit outside w/the Charlie, stroking, petting, soothing, playing, then bring him back in and give yourselves a robust dinner of sardines, fresh salmon and egg.
    then take a nap! You and he will feel soo much better, guaranteed by Shrimp and me :)

    • Cal, I have to place him in a carrier in the bathroom while I am showering because otherwise he'll be jumping around trying to get out and he might hurt himself. I do it for his protection and safety. He is eating cooked chicken and occasionally very high quality cat food; today I am buying some chicken liver as advised by Harvey. His appetite is poor but he is at lest maintaining his weight for the time being. He is outside at the moment. He likes to go outside which is a good sign I think but I am concerned about the other cats in the area.

      • What is worrisome to me is that Charlie wants to go outside. I pray that it is because he is better. But, with my indoor cats that are close to dying, they always want to go outside to find their resting place and, in fact, they plead to go outside. And the outdoor ones want to wander off to be alone to die. It kills me, but I comply with their wishes most of the time.

        • Good point Dee. He has picked up a little bit and I sense that he is not going out to find a quiet spot to die but it did cross my mind. He stays very close to the home and I feel it is better for him to go out. I think it makes him feel better. Some stimulation to distract him.

      • I think a bit of fresh air therapy will be good for Charlie, a cat used to going out can become worse through depression if he is stuck indoors.
        Did the vet say he is infectious?
        Possibly if it's something he has picked up since you moved there, the other neighbourhood cats will have become immune to it.
        He doesn't go far does he, so I wouldn't worry about it.
        Hope he is feeling a bit better today, you must have a black cloud hanging over your head, I know only too well what it's like. I'd rather be ill myself than one of our cats be ill.

        • He stays close. I can supervise. I have just intervened when a stray cat came around. Charlie followed me in and now he has gone out again. He likes it outside and I think it is good for him but I don't want him to spread disease. It is very complicated. It is warm and sunny here today so great for a cat to sunbath a bit and feel better.

          I am terribly stressed. It affects almost everything I do but I can still write articles just about ;)

          • I think it's good news Charlie is choosing to go out a bit, why don't you sit out in the sun with him and try to relax, read a book or listen to some music. I'm sure your PoC family will allow you some time off ;) let the articles wait!

  • And not only that, but if bacterial, even warmer temps (such as sauna) may exacerbate and accelerate the colonies so that he gets worse. Take her to a good veterinarian, please .

  • Yep, Dee may be right on. Eucalyptus or mentholatum may alleviate that nasty upper resp. If it is bacterial, which Dee has probably already mentioned, 10 to 18 day course of antiobiotics, followed by a two-wk course of plain greek yogurt, teaspoon at a time, 2x/day. Viral? Better have kitty tested, if she doesn't get better, for any of the feline virals they can test for. That may seem a bit extreme, but if the handsome little devil doesn't recover in three to five/one to three days, take the little kindred spirit to the veterinarian.

    My Shrimptaro has asthma, as well as bronchial, so I am constantly listening for anything that sounds a bit "over the top."

  • I use a vaporizer. Cats don't seem to mind. I think it's better to use the comparatively small amount of electricity required to power it than to use the amount of water required to produce and maintain steam in the bathroom.

    • Thanks Leah. It is a good sign. Although it took a lot of encouragement from me to get him to eat. I have my fingers crossed. He is not much better really but I am more hopeful than before.

  • Poor Charlie, it's awful that when cats are ill they just want to be left alone, but they have to go to the vets and be examined and have injections, they must wonder why we torture them that way.
    The steam should help him and Dee's advice of mentholatum is good, just a dollop in the water might help.
    I hope he soon improves.

    • I hope that your Charlie improves very quickly, and he should, given that you are there to take care of him! Call Cornell--when I get in a bind, with my cat's health, that's what I do! :)

      • This should be curable and manageable but I am worried because the antibiotics are not working fast enough or at all (maybe they are the wrong antibiotics and if so I'll be mad at the vets).

      • That's good news :)
        Best chicken hand fed will do him the world of good and you too to see him eating it.

  • You would be wise to trust Dee, and follow her suggestions completely. She has more experience than any vet I've met when it comes to cats. She has helped me through some of the worst times, and stayed by my virtual side with numerous emails daily. I felt like I had an angel sitting on my shoulder. Her experience and focus on cats in large numbers is more than most vets have experienced. And her medical background helps. I'm sure she has seen more than any of us know. Keep at it.

    • Thanks DW. I agree. You can tell she has the experience. She is better than a vet sometimes because vets are not cat specialists.

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