There’s nothing worse than seeing your cat suffering from an upper respiratory or urinary tract infection and feeling helpless to do anything about it. Vet visits and prescription medications can be time consuming and costly, and many prescription antibiotics cause side effects that are almost as bad as the infections they are intended to treat. Some of these side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fever, seizures, and allergic reactions.
According to Dr. Shawn Messonnier, DVM, “While antibiotics can be very helpful for those conditions caused by serious bacterial infections, very often a patient will improve by using alternatives to antibiotics. This is important, as repeated (and unnecessary) use of antibiotics can cause antibiotic resistance. This term means that with repeated antibiotic use, bacteria will become resistant to that antibiotic, making it ineffective. This is a serious and potentially life-threatening problem.”
Fortunately, there are some natural antibiotics for cats which you can try, in coordination with vet care, to ease your feline companion’s suffering and resolve her infection naturally and without the severe side effects of prescription medications.
Natural Antibiotics for Felines
Please remember that many herbs can be harmful or fatal to cats if not given in the proper doses, based on your cat’s specific weight and health condition. Cats have a relatively short digestive tract so proper dosage of any medication, including natural antibiotics is critical. Most feline antibiotics are administered daily for up to 15 days. Consult your veterinarian before administering any herb or natural remedy to your cat and read here for our detailed list of healthy herbs for common feline issues.
Below is our list of our top natural remedies for a variety of feline infections and ailments, from skin infections to pain to gastrointestinal distress:
- Aloe Vera functions as a disinfectant and is a good natural remedy for infections affecting the skin. It should not be given internally due to the risk of diarrhea. Read here for more holistic remedies to give your kitty a gorgeous coat and healthy skin.
- Goldenseal contains a biochemical called berberine, a natural plant-derived substance with, among other things, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and antibiotic benefits. Goldenseal can be used to address many types of bacteria and fungi, respiratory infections and issues involving the gastrointestinal tract.
- Chamomile does a lot more than provide the calming effect it’s known for. The herb is an antispasmodic and pain reliever and can help fight infections and reduce their symptoms.
- Calendula is great for healing wounds and skin infections due to its powerful antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal activity. You may also give your kitty a bowl of calendula tea.
- Dandelion and burdock can both be used as a laxative to address digestive issues and dandelion will also help address the underlying digestive upset causing the constipation. Dandelion is particularly useful because it will cause no adverse interaction with any other supplements or medications.
- Licorice is a potent anti-inflammatory that also offers mild antimicrobial benefits to inhibit the growth of viruses and bacteria.
- Ginger and turmeric both are known for treating skin wounds, ulcers, and other superficial injuries. Turmeric especially has strong antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. Read here for a detailed discussion of the pros and cons of turmeric for your cat.
- Cranberry contains D-Mannose, a simple sugar that may be beneficial in treating urinary tract infections that have resisted other treatments. It works by attracting the bacteria to bind with itself rather than the wall of the bladder, allowing the bacteria to be passed out of the body during urination.
- Slippery elm bark works well on infections of the gastrointestinal and urinary tract primarily by reducing inflammation, lubricating the mucus membranes, acting as an astringent, and making the body’s tissues less hospitable to bacteria.
If your cat doesn’t respond quickly to natural antibiotics, it is crucial to take her to see a veterinarian. Some infections will require conventional antibiotic medications, and waiting too long to treat such infections can result in serious illness or even death.
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