My cat has cat flu

by Karen Richards

Jasmine my cat is 15 years old and started sneezing 4 months ago. She has been under the vet and had antibiotics and when this did not work she had an operation to flush her nasal passages. She has been on Metacam just over a month and she is still no better. She has now started with one eye that looks very red and sore. We have been bathing it with warm salt water and cotton wool. This also does not seem to have worked and now her eye seems to be virtually closed. Up to now it has cost us £500 in vet fees and she is still poorly. Is there anything else we can do, or should we take her back to the vets?


One of the difficulties that you face is the age of your cat. Cat flu shouldn’t last 4 months, especially when you’ve taken her to the vet and she’s had antibiotics. However, remember that antibiotics don’t work on viruses and the flu is a virus. The antibiotics help take care of other possible upper respiratory tract illnesses that might target your cat during her vulnerable stage of the flu.

Plus, Metacam is for dogs…not cats! Yes, some vets prescribe it in smaller quantities for cats because in some situations it appears to help…but only for a brief period of time…NOT weeks and months. I have a cat (almost 13 yrs.) that has arthritis and was on a couple of drops of Metacam every second day for about 2 weeks when she appeared to get lethargic. I had the vet change her to another medication after reading the professional insert in the package. The manufacturer makes a big deal out of saying “not for cats”. It can cause swelling, scratching, etc. hence, I no longer use it.

Bathing your cat’s eyes in salty water helps as will bathing them with a boric acid solution. However, I use Vetericyn Ophthalmic Gel . It cleans and relieves eyes affected by burning, stinging, itching, pollutants, contaminants, wounds, infections and other irritations…that’s what is listed on the label. I don’t know if it’s available in the U.K. but the active ingredient is Hypochlorous Acid (0.008%) It is available in the USA at Petco and

My suggestions are to get your cat off Metacam, bathe the eyes in a mild solution of boric acid and soothe the eyes with an eye gel. Make sure your cat is eating properly and see if there is some improvement over the next few days. You’ve already spent a lot of money with the vet so hopefully your cat will respond to the elimination of the Metacam (which can cause an allergic reaction) and also see improvement in the eyes clearing up. If the situation continues as it currently is, then I see no other option than to return to the vet.

Topic page: Cat Sneezing

I wish you and Jasmine both Good Luck and Good Health.

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