An older cat lying down and resting. Photography ©krblokhin | Thinkstock.
An older cat lying down and resting. Photography ©krblokhin | Thinkstock.

Feline Herpes: It Sounds Scary, But It’s Manageable

From symptoms to treatments, here’s everything you need to know about feline herpes — and what to do if your cat is diagnosed with feline herpesvirus.


When my mother-in-law decided to adopt another cat, she chose a local cage-free rescue, where she adopted an orange tabby named Goldie. The director handed my mother-in-law a small tube, and said it was “ointment” for the kitten’s eye. The director was pretty vague about the need for the ointment, simply stating Goldie had slight symptoms of an eye infection and the ointment was only a precaution. After getting her home, the eye didn’t clear up, and Goldie started exhibiting signs of an upper respiratory infection — sneezing and runny/watery eyes. My mother-in-law took Goldie to the vet, who gave her some antibiotics. In just a few weeks, the symptoms were back. Many vet visits and tests later, Goldie had a diagnosis — feline herpes.

What to know if your cat has feline herpes

A tabby cat, lying down and sick.
Does your cat have feline herpes? Photography ©Eugene03 | Thinkstock.

Hearing that her cat had feline herpes was cause for recoil, but her vet quickly assured her that it could NOT be spread to humans or even dogs, and it was not the type associated with the sexually transmitted disease in humans. The real bad news was that, by the time of diagnosis, her other cat, Hawkins, had already been exposed to the virus. The only thing to do at that point was move forward with management.

After months of vet visits and antibiotics, Goldie and Hawkins finally stopped showing symptoms of feline herpes. As the vet explained to my mother-in-law, both of her cats were now carriers of the feline herpesvirus, and they might “shed” the virus when stressed. Cats infected with feline herpes might experience occasional flare-ups of their symptoms, especially in stressful situations, such as being introduced to a new pet, moving or a change in their routine. In this case, lowering stress meant more seclusion from the household’s other pets — some rather rambunctious dogs.

What exactly is feline herpes?

Feline herpes, also known as FVR (feline viral rhinopneumonitis) and FHV-1 (feline herpesvirus type 1), is an infectious disease known to affect only cats, domestic and wild. The virus is a major cause of upper respiratory infections, as well as conjunctivitis (swelling of the tissue around the eyes).

Feline herpes can be spread from cat to cat by sharing litter boxes and food/water dishes and mutual grooming. The standard “core” vaccines your cat receives as a kitten and the yearly exam can help protect your cat against the virus. If a vaccinated cat does contract the virus, the symptoms will probably be less severe than a non-vaccinated cat.

What are the symptoms of feline herpes?

When I asked the vet about feline herpes, the person declined to comment, not wanting any “comments to be construed as treatment advice.” The vet was quick to say that, if you suspect your cat or kitten has an upper respiratory infection or eye infection, see your vet immediately for a proper diagnosis.

Let your vet know if your cat has come in contact with any stray cats, was recently adopted or spent time in a vet office with cats who were potentially infected with feline herpes. While antibiotics might be necessary for cats with severe infections of feline herpes, others might respond to treatment with L-lysine, an amino acid that can help prevent the virus from replicating. With her vet’s guidance, my mother-in-law was able to keep her cats in good health by supplementing their premium diet with L-lysine.

Managing feline herpes

Feline herpes sounds scary, but it’s a manageable condition, and surprisingly common. Many people might not even be aware their cats have feline herpes because the kitties display no symptoms. With prompt attention from your vet and some simple management techniques, cats with feline herpes will continue to live happy, healthy lives.

Tell us: What about you? Have you ever had a cat with feline herpes? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Thumbnail: Photography ©krblokhin | Thinkstock. 

This piece was originally published in 2014.

About the author:

About Meghan Lodge: Fits the Aquarius definition to a fault, loves animals, and is always pushing for change. Loves ink, whether it’s in tattoos, books, or writing on that pretty sheet of blank paper. Proud parent of Toby (cat) and Axle (dog). I’m a former quiet nerd who’s turned bubbly animal-obsessed advocate.

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165 thoughts on “Feline Herpes: It Sounds Scary, But It’s Manageable”

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  2. Well my cat has just been diagnosed, the vet made it sound like it was no big deal. I’m not getting that impression reading all these posts. I got Elliot in October from a “breeder” I was suspect of her and the conditions of her home ( she wouldn’t let us in)
    He was always wheezing I didn’t think anything of it but he started sneezing the other day so we took him to the vet. I’m completely deflated.
    I’ll do my best to take care of it and am going to try some of the suggestions on this feed.
    All the best to everyone dealing with this.

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    1. Sounds like your doctor is a quack. How much money he get out of U. There is no cure for herpes in animals or humans. Once either party gets this disease , U have it for life. Most suffer many sickness from herpes. All die from it. I have had about 9 cats with the herpes virus. All developed tumors and other diseases like cancer. A cat with herpes means sickness for the short period of life it has. In humans it is weakness and death. Makes me ill, that I have had to put so many herpes cats to death. I am down to two cats now with the herpes virus. One is 4years old and the other 6 years old. Both have come down with congestion and blocked intestines. If I did not take them to emergency vets. Both would be dead. Most street cats with herpes do not last a year. Soon as winter comes around, it is death, if they can not find a warm place to stay out of the wet and cold. There is no cure for herpes in humans or animals. ONLY death is the cure.

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    Lysine is not effective for feline herpes. If you dig hard enough you'll also find a connection to excessive Lysine and FIP.

    There are indications that lactoferrin is helpful.. and it is what I give my fosters

    1. I have a Tiny Oriental Female, has Feline Herpes since she came to me at 4 months old. She is now 8 years old. I Give her 500 mg L-Lysine every DAY! When I try skipping a dose or wait over 24 hours she starts getting all the symptoms. A few years ago she stopped eating and had over a weeks in hospital. I think she threw up L-Lysine and had Herpes. We never risk this by giving her every day…..she has NO OTHER PROBLEM never has. I mix 8 capsules in a jar of chicken baby food, make 7 servings on a Tupperware lid, freeze, put them in a baggie. Defrost one daily and give to her.

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  6. Oh, just want to mention one other thing. Another reason I think my vet didn't think it was FRV was because this cat literally had these symptoms for years and from what I was able to find out, that usually resolve within 7-10 days. So, if this cat still has these symptoms for years, nasal discharge and difficulty breathing, if it's not FRV what else could it be?

    1. Please do not have her put down. That would very much be a betrayal of the trust she gave you. Go to another vet, have them run tests to find out exactly what is going on, get her medication, and if you feel you can't take care of her, then find someone who will or release her back outside. But don't kill her. She just wants to have a chance at life, too.

  7. I feed feral cats. I feed them very well and as a result all are healthy and fat, at least until a few years ago. About 2 winters ago I started noticing many of the cats getting sick – but not all the cats. The ones who were started with their eyes getting infected. Right away I jumped on it and started mixing antibiotics into their food. A group of kittens that were born all had eye infections. They too were treated with antibiotics and all except one recovered. The one that didn't, lost the sight in one eye (cornea totally white) and has chronic, puss discharge from the nose, no matter the antibiotics or antihistamines used. I finally manage to trap this cat, and the vet was at a loss as to what was wrong as he wasn't sure it was the herpes virus – though he never did any test to ascertain what it could be. I believe he thought this cat would just die in the end and didn't want to put me through the expense of testing and treatment for something he felt was futile anyway. He did give the cat a long acting antibiotic shot and told me not to get my hopes up. As it is late fall here, I didn't have the heart to put this sick cat back outside. I put her in a big spare room in my house. She is clearly still having issues breathing, and is still discharging from the nose, though continued antibiotic use and antihistamines have cleared that up somewhat. What I am mostly concerned about is my one indoor cat contracting this if it is FVR. To date, he is still healthy after several weeks of this other cat in the house, but since I can't keep this cat indefinitely cooped up in one room and let her roam throughout my house because of my other cat, or ever put her back outside again, or give her to anyone else who will possibly have to deal with a lifetime of health issues, I am seriously considering having her euthanized. I am really upset over this, as she is so sweet and I know already loves me. She follows me the whole time I am in the room with her. She knows I am trying to help her and euthanizing her feels like it would be a betrayal of the trust she has in me. I am sick over this and don't know what to do.

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    1. I’m so sorry your kitty is not well. I can completely sympathize as my mother adopted a 1 year old cat from our shelter a year ago without knowing it had the virus. She is given a lysine supplement everytime she becomes symptomatic but it’s still heart breaking to see her going through when it happens!!! They are like babies an totally dependent on us for their care. My dream was to become a veterinarian when I was young so the welfare and health of all animals is my utmost concern. Wishing all you furbaby parents and your furbabies warm blessings and good health for the coming year 2021!????????????

      1. Take her to the vet. There is a vaccine specifically for it. It won't stop her from getting the illness, but it will reduce the severity and duration of it. Also, there are other medications your vet can prescribe that will reduce her symptoms dramatically.

    2. Chris Ann Ferguson


  10. I have a kitten thats been suffering from herpes virus, he was born with it and was near death when i got him at 3 weeks old (I am a foster) he is now 5 months old and is having a flair up right now..i have 6 other cats in the house, all updated with started sneezing a few days then her good immune system kicked in and she was ok in a couple days..hes still fighting. Its breaks my heart.

    1. How can I explain this to the world that there is a man who
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      I found this woman post write about this great Man Called @Dr_ihonre1 telling people about him that this man have cured to
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      Herpes had no cure, thank god for my life today am Herpes
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      1. You’re an idiot posting your spam message about how you were cured of herpes. This is about FELINE HERPES, the kind that cats get; not at all the same as human herpes. Idiot.

      2. Chris Ann Ferguson


    2. Take her to the vet. There is a vaccine specifically for it. It won't completely stop her from getting it, but it will reduce the severity and duration of her illness. Also, there are other medications your vet can prescribe that will help her symptoms dramatically.

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    1. How can I explain this to the world that there is a man who
      can cure Herpess drug I can’t anymore I decide to look for help then
      I found this woman post write about this great Man Called @Dr_ihonre1 telling people about him that this man have cured to
      Herpes I don’t believe that because all I have in mind is
      Herpes had no cure, thank god for my life today am Herpes
      negative through the power of Dr_ihonre1 contact this man
      help because who write about him drop an email of the man I
      pick the email and emailed him for the cure this man told me
      what to do about the cure well am from Africa this man cast a
      curing spell on me and he told me that he will call me after
      the cure is done truly he did I was cured within 12hours spell,
      what a wonderful man, if you need his cure just
      email him now {drihonreherbalhome01@gmail .com} or
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    2. Chris Ann Ferguson


  12. My kitty’s left eye started running clear discharge. I had my vet take a look and she wanted to wait for a week to see if she had scratched her eye. It didn’t stop so vet gave her some antibiotic drops for 7 days. It seemed to get better. A couple of days after the drops it started running again. I am taking her back to the vet when I get her an appointment. She will be doing some tests but I just wondering if anyone has ever had this sort of thing happen to their kitty?

    1. My cat with feline herpes gets corneal abrasions. I am not exactly sure what that is but he keeps his eye shut. It recurs on & off. The vet can use a light ( & maybe a dye) to see the abrasion. My cat is treated with atropine ( sometimes) for pain & an antibiotic eye drops. At first I used to take my cat to the vet each time. It was always the same symptoms & diagnosis so I don’t go anymore – for money reasons.

    2. Sounds like the medication your vet prescribed didn't stop the infection in your kittys eye. Maybe it wasn't given to her long enough, maybe the dosage was wrong, or maybe your kitty has some other infection. Maybe your kitty needed another medication, perhaps an oral medication such as Azithromycin, along with the eye drops. I don't know. Hopefully your vet was able to run tests and figure it out. Good luck to you and your kitty.

  13. My cat was in the pound for 9 months before I adopted her, so it’s not surprising that she has Feline Herpes. After a vet said to try Lysine, which did nothing, I did my own research and found Super Immune drops from Animals Essentials. It’s a proprietary blend of Echinacea, olive leaf, and Eleuthero herb which I put in her water when I see signs and I’m happy to tell you it really works. When I feel I’m coming down with something I drink Echinacea tea and it works very well which is how I deducted that these drops might work. Since my cat will not allow me to give her anything by mouth I am very grateful to have found something that is so effective. They are inexpensive compared to medications, don’t seem to have any side effects which antibiotics can have, and all you have to do is follow the directions on the bottle. For my cat it works like magic. There is another preparation call Eye and Upper Respiratory drops by Only Natural Pet and they are good, but not as good as the Super Immune for my cat. As long as your cat will drink the water it’s easy peasy.

    1. Thank you for bit of info. I have been trying to get my cat to eat regularly the Ly-Sine treats, but this sounds easier. When she has a flare up I am tempted to bring her to the vet-which is quite costly, especially since introduging her to 3 new cats ( my daughter moved back in with her 2 cats and we rescued a kitten) the stress is making her have closer flare ups. All seem well and this treatment should do good for all kitties! So thank you!

    2. Always be sure to check with your vet before giving your kitty any kind of medication, including homeopathic (or home remedies) medicine. Even if they are made at home or are "all natural", that doesn't always mean they are completely safe for your pet. Better safe than sorry. Good luck to you and your kitty.

  14. Claire Louise Cleverly

    I’m so glad I came across this article. I’m in the UK and it’s been more informative than my vet! We have 4 cats, the youngest of which is approx a year old. He was a stray that we found outside a store in January this year. Our problems started a few months ago. I’d never even heard of feline herpes and the vet told me it wasn’t contagious and my others had been vaccinated against it. Turns out she was wrong on both points and now I have all four of them with it, contaminated from the stray. He’s been the worst out of them all, including ulcers in his eyes. I’ve just ordered the things recommended on here that have helped others. Thank you all.

      1. Vanessa d’Ambrosio

        Just wanted to chime in and comment. I have a 13 yr old Brown nose tabby. When she was 6 we moved to a small farm that had many feral visitors. Kitty received all her vaccinations as scheduled, from the SPCA and post adoption. She was adopted at 8 weeks. After a scrappy run in with a couple of the ferals, she came down with symptoms. Its been more than 6 years and now my old gal rarely goes out. She uses a litter box almost exclusively. Kitty used to love sunning in the garden especially in the morning. Now if i make her go out even a couple Of days in a row, she exhibits symptoms, mostly sneezing and a hacking cough at night. I’m now focused on improving her immune system so she’s not suffering esp during the Spring and Summer and renew her love of time in the garden ????????????

        1. Stress can cause the virus to be reactivated. Stress can include a new pet being introduced into the home, moving, and a change in routine. I emphasize the last one. Sounds to me, like she gets stressed when she's forced to go outside, which causes the virus to reactivate. Your best bet might be to keep her inside to avoid more flare ups. Hope this helps.

      1. Probably through her vet, or through Chewy, who gets authorization from your vet before filling and sending you any prescriptions. I recommend asking your vet about Azithromycin, which is an oral medication that can help your kitty suffering from the feline herpes virus, and Ofloxacin, which is a prescription ophthalmic solution (eye drops) , if your kitty is suffering from conjunctivitis, that can occur from the feline herpes virus. Hope this helps. Good luck to you and your kitty.

  15. Research published in 2015 indicates that Lysine is not effective for feline herpes virus, even though lots of vets recommend it. I have just started treating my cat with famciclovir, and it seems to be working well. I wrap it in butter, and then give a treat afterwards (freeze-dried turkey, broken into small pieces and hydrated with distilled water), and my cat does not seem to mind at all. My vet had suggested following up with Lysine, but I plan to show her the research article.

      1. Your vet. And if your kitty does suffer from FVR, I recommend asking your vet about Azithromycin, which is an oral medication, and Ofloxacin, which is an ophthalmic solution (meaning eye drops), if your kitty also suffers from conjunctivitis that can occur from the feline herpes virus. Hope this helps. Good luck to you and your kitty.

    1. That’s much like saying “recent research shows drinking water does not help with dehydration.”

      If you’re not dosing your FVR cat with lysine, daily, you’re selling your kitty short.

        1. I treated my 2 cats with lysine in their food daily with a daily dose of amoxicillin for 10 days and both are back to running like maniacs again. I rubbed a dab of Neosporin around their eyes. No problems. The trick is treatment within a day or 2 of symptoms appearing. I give my cats lysine every other day mixed in with their wet food. Basically it’s the common cold for kitties.

    2. Hi,

      My cat is currently going through a flare up of the Herpes Virus. We finished a 3 week round of Famciclovir and a couple days later I noticed she was starting to relapse back to being lethargic and not eating as much. My question is has anyone ever had to be on Famciclovir for an extended amount of time to get the virus to go dormant again? She is 12 years old and I’m not sure if her age plays a part in her ability to fight off the virus.

      1. Hi

        My kitty had been under treatment with Famciclovir since he was 2 months old and for a period of 6-7 months (he is 1 year now). He has also been under Trifluridine eye drops for a total of 8 months now. His eye gets better for a week or two but then flares-up again. I don’t know what else to do to help him heel fully. He plays, run, eats, cuddles as if nothing is going on with him though. I would really appreciate any recommendations from anybody who was able to control this virus on their kitties, specially after having it for such a long period of time and under different treatments.

        1. I have had great success with L-Lysine given 1-2 times per day/ I use Viralys brand oral gel, maple flavor (I know that’s odd, but I like that it doesn’t smell bad!). My cat is one that is extremely tricky to dose, but she does allow me to put my arm under front “armpits,” therefore with her paws dangling down. I’ve first squeezed a “row” of the gel onto my finger and then quickly spread it down the full length of her leg. I then put her down and quickly switch to gel on the other finger & leg. (when I put a dab on her foot as recommended by the vet she just flicked it off). She licks it off her legs without a problem.
          If I keep this up she does okay. If I slack off for a few days, especially if there’s been construction noise in the neighborhood, or visitors to our house her eye starts to tear and she starts squinting. That goes away quickly if I start right up again.
          Looks like this is a lifetime treatment.
          Good luck!

        2. Azithromycin, an oral prescription, has helped my kitties suffering from the feline herpes virus, along with Ofloxacin ophthalmic solution, which is prescription eye drops, that can help the conjunctivitis that can occur from the feline herpes virus. Talk to your vet. Ask them if they would recommend those medications for your kitties, or if there is another prescription they would recommend for your kitty suffering from this. However, FVR is not curable. Your kitties can get the vaccine (FVRCP vaccine), which will reduce the severity and duration of the disease, but it won't completely stop your kitties from getting it. FVR is a lifelong disease, but is manageable with medications, and it will spend most of your cats life dormant (no symptoms), but can be reactivated by stress. Stress such as from introducing a new pet into the environment, from moving, and from a change in routine. Just be sure to separate any kitties that start showing symptoms for a few weeks, so that any kitties that do not have the virus, won't get infected, too. And practice good hygiene, like cleaning surfaces that might have been contaminated with the virus with disinfectants and washing your hands with soap and water after handling or petting your kitties. Hope this helps. Good luck to you and your kitties.

  16. SO glad I found this article and thread. Your comments give me hope and many things to try. We adopted our newest “kitten” (almost a year old) from a friend that couldn’t keep him. They had adopted him from our humane society.
    I’ve never heard of feline herpes but turns out our Lil Squish has it. We’ve been to the vet and got eye drops for his water pink eye and zithromax to “prevent” lung infection. I thought it was odd that the vet gave an antibiotic for a virus but kitty improved rapidly.
    That was 2 months ago and he just started sneezing and snoring again. The vet didn’t explain this disease to me very well, he pretty much kept comparing it to a cold. But since it’s herpes I should’ve known better.
    I’m horribly afraid my 9 year old cat will get it…I’d feel SO bad about that if it happens. They’re not friendly so there’s no group grooming/sleeping that happens but they share a litter box, food and water dishes.
    It doesn’t surprise me that a lot of people have had good results with L-lysine. As a dental hygienist we suggest that daily regime to patients constantly with great results. (As well as a similar anti viral Rx, Acyclovir)
    My husband uses colloidal silver for many things so we already have that. Hoping the silver, lysine, allergy meds and probiotics will help him live a more symptom free life…maybe it’ll help my other cat stay healthy too.

    QUESTION- I still have eye drops should I automatically use them when sneezing/coughing starts or wait to see if the eye gets pink and watery?

    1. Thank you for mentioning the Colloidal Silver. I took a chance and bought some. I have been giving it to my cat and not only has the bleeding from one nostril stopped but the sneezing is down to a minimum. My 11 year cat is acting just like a kitty again.

          1. Silver is not dangerous. The worst that can happen is the skin can turn blue, which only happens at extreme dosing.. like far more than a cat's normal water intake every day for months if not years… and the cat wouldn't care.. and you wouldn't notice.

    2. what allergy med ( antihistamine) are you giving your cat? and how do you know how much to give? Is colloidal silver helpful? I guess it’s difficulty to tell if your cat is getting all of those together.

  17. I use L-Lysine 1x daily with just under a 1/4 tsp…usually in his breakfast… for my little guy and it works like a charm. Also, we had a little feral girl who had been trapped and neutered at some point in her life (yes, I tried to re-trap to find a good home for her but she was having none of it) and she had a bad case of herpes. I got her on the L-Lysine and the improvement was noticeable within a few days.

    I purchased the NOW brand via Amazon. A 1lb container that’s in a pure powder form and I let it sit in the food for a couple of minutes before I mix it. I’ll probably try to find a good liquid form when I replenish the supply though.

    Never tried the silver though but it’s heartening to know that it too works well for some of the cats!

    Thanks so much to everybody here who so generously share their information and experiences with the health of their cats. I really, really aprreciate all the information!

  18. Pingback: Feline Herpes: It Sounds Scary, But It’s Manageable | Funny Cute Cats

  19. I’ve been meaning to update an earlier comment I made when my cat was in full-blown feline herpes stage. She refused to take the prescription meds Famcyclovir and another that I can’t remember the name of. I had taken her to 3 vets, spent over 2K, and also had her meds compounded so it was easier to give her. It wasn’t. She barely ate, was leaving scabs and fur everywhere – she had horrible ulcers all over her skin. I couldn’t give her her meds – she’s one of “those” cats that will bite and scratch – and then hide. Then, in a last ditch effort I called the breeder I got her from 6 years ago. She told me to try a natural remedy called Colloidial Silver – and to put a syringe full in her food and water every day. I bought it at my local Whole Foods. In about a week, I saw improvement. Now, 5 weeks later – she’s 100% back to normal. Ulcers gone, appetite back, loving personality back. This stuff is also used by humans – I tasted it and it’s completely taste and odor free so my cat didn’t seem to detect it when she ate. I’m not a herbal remedy nut, but I do believe this stuff works. And it costs about 90% less than what the prescription meds cost, as a bonus. I just wanted to post this for anyone as desperate as I was. I truly believe this stuff saved my cat’s life.

    1. What kind of syringe do you use(in terms of ml)? Can I just use a full dropper that comes with the bottle? Would that be enough? Water, yes, how do you put it in their food though, would the added liquid make their canned food too watery? How did you do it?

      My traumatized Siamese kitten that came from a rescue center started to show loss of hair around one of his eyes, and a scab appeared on top his head. His companion kitten started to have bumps showing up on her legs in multiple areas. Vet suspected it’s herpes, but not confirmed her diagnosis yet. Came home with Famciclovir, but it’s basically a mission impossible to shove it down his throat. He would not let me get close enough to him to grab him. Tried pill pockets to no avail. He ate around it and spit out the tablet. I am going to give your Colloidial Silver a hard try.

      1. Crush the pill up with a spoon (in a dish with sides, as it scatters). Sprinkle the contents in wet food and mix slightly to distribute the taste.

      2. Please don’t ever try to give famciclovir without wrapping it in a piece of a pill pocket!!! My cat had such a fit that I tasted the pill & i myself would not take anything that taste like that. It was very very bitter.the smallest mg is 125 & i have to split it & then wrap
        It. Make it as small ad u can. Hope this helps

        1. We break up the famcyclovir pill into a powder then mix it into a spoon of yoghurt – our kittens absolutely love it. I confirmed with the vet yoghurt is safe for cats.

    2. My last group of rescue kittens came to me with Herpes I did not know it until they were in my house for 3 months I suspected it was a possibility but it has been it quite evident now. My two adult cats have it now as they sneeze and have runny noses. I have seen it before as I work for a rescue. They have all been thru 2 rounds of antibiotics to no avail the best thing I have done for them is to mix colloidial silver and Lysine in there water they are not nearly as bad as Erin’s cat but the sneezing is never ending until I started using this I also put drops of Collidial silver in one who has a runny eye and I am seeing improvement with him. I had 5 kittens 3 have been adopted out those 3 showed no signs of the virus they may well have it but they have been gone now for 6 -10 wks. I may never adopt out the other 2 as they are bound to have health issues. The really sad part it I do not think I can foster anymore.

    3. Hi Erin, my kitty is really suffering with this. Her nose is plugged, excessive phlegm that goes down her throat and causes her to gag and “reverse sneeze,” conjunctivitis in one eye, and occasional sneezing fits. Doctor gave me Zithromycin but she’s one of those cats that will not let me near her face. So, she’s only had two doses instead of the prescribed six. My friend is a holistic practitioner who swears by colloidal silver. I want to try it but it may be too late. She isn’t drinking water and yesterday stopped eating as it causes her to gag—she is extremely congested and I’m at my wit’s end. If you might have any tips for me on how I could get the CS into her, I’d appreciate it. I’m glad your kitty is all better!

      1. my cat also suffers from these allergies and when it gets bad I take her to vet and they give her an antibiotic shot of conviena or thats what they call it. once the shot is given it clears up for a few weeks and starts again. maybe the antibiotic shot will give her the start of clearing up and then start the colloidial silver. I am going to go buy some and see if it works better than the Ly-sene I give my cat after her shot. hope this helps…the shot will definitely give you a start to clear up symptoms

        1. what allergy med ( antihistamine) are you giving your cat? and how do you know how much to give? Is colloidal silver helpful? I guess it’s difficulty to tell if your cat is getting all of those together.

      2. A few drops of olbas oil in some hot water near them will help with decongesting their poor little nose. I’ve raised a farm cat with fhv1 and she is now a picture of health, it can’t of been too difficult as I’ve just got two more farm kittens with fhv1!god luck x

      3. I buy c.silver in a spray bottle. Easy to spray on food and possibly spray into side of a cats mouth? Or maybe onto paws if they will lick them. I also squeeze lysine onto my cats paws from a tube and she licks it all off.

      4. I also have VERY difficult cats, who absolutely hates getting their medicine. This is what I have to do, which I learned from a vet, and maybe it will help you. Wrap your kitty in a towel, sit on the floor with your feet under you and the cat in question between your legs. Take their face in your left hand, squeeze the sides of their mouth (carefully!), until they open their mouth just wide enough to gently slip the syringe in, and push on the plunger until all of the medicine is administered. They may try to jerk their head to the side at the last second, causing the medicine to land on you or your hand and not in their mouth, so be prepared for them to try that. And you will feel like you are at a rodeo and they are a bucking bull underneath you, but with practice you will get the hang of it. Also, I would try the Azithromycin again. You might have to get a new prescription of it from your vet, because after it's been opened for 10 days, you are supposed to throw it out. But that's the medicine I give my kitties for the feline herpes virus, and it works like a charm for their symptoms. It's fast acting and short term. I would just ask your vet about it. Anyways, hope this helps! Good luck to you and your kitties!

    4. Thank you for you advice! Truly, last night I was so scared about my Alice, her eye looked so goopy and she was struggling to open it, anyway I used the Colloidial Silver and then mixed warm water and apple cider vinegar (Braggs) and rubbed into the back of her neck. This morning she was so happy and it was like a miracle. It was lovely to see her happy! Yes natural is amazing.

    5. I am gonna try the silver I got some viralys l-lysine jel at vet just started it ,he is 8 yr has eye problem and cough almost quit eating lost 4 lbs he weighed 14 lbs he has the fvr virus do u have any suggestions he licked the maple flavor jel off my finger how much silver would u give him and where do I get it ? I thought health food store might have it does it taste ? thanks for a response

  20. Yes, this disease is a killer. Maybe not for some lucky cats – but it looks like it is for mine. My 6 year old cat was diagnosed with feline herpes after multiple visits to different vets and lab tests – a dermatologist finally did a biopsy to final diagnose her. She doesn’t have the respiratory issue – but her entire face and ears are covered in crusty, thick, ulcerous-looking scabs. I’m wondering if anyone has the scabs issue? It’s hard to tell if her eyes are discharging with the scabs all around her eyes. There is zero fur left there. She is looking emaciated and her body fur, pus and scab debris fall from her everywhere she goes. She is on famcyclovir and another med for the bacteria all over her face – but she hates it. She is barely coming home and is terrified of me now because I force the meds (I got liquid form after she kept spitting out pills) down her throat – not twice a day like I need to but only once since she hides in the mornings. It’s heartbreaking, and her quality of life is horrible. There’s no way I can medicate her daily for the rest of her life – it’s ruined her quality of life. I feel like if this doesn’t clear up soon, I’m beginning to resign myself that the humane thing to do would be to put her down and out of her misery. I’ve put her on a prescription diet (from the vet also), but she’s not improving between that and her $230 prescription meds. This disease in indeed horrific.

    1. My cat is suffering with this in his nose not sure if it’s cancer or herpes but he won’t eat and I’m having to syringe feed. He’s so congested. Tried 3 antibiotics and lysine nothing is working. On top of this he had lymphoma in his stomach hes 14. I feel awful for him I may have to put him down I’m running out of options :(

      1. Hi Lisa,
        We suggest working with your vet and hope your kitty feels better.
        Here are some suggestions on vet bills:

        and some suggestions on cat nose issues:

      2. Hi. Are they sure it’s herpes? Have never heard those symptoms before. Could it be a fungus infection instead? Completely different med. I would get second opinion. All the best to you. B

    2. My cat came from a shelter with the
      feline herpes virus showing up later on.
      I have managed the problem myself by studying
      anti-viral supplements ok for cats.

      He is somewhere between 16-20 yrs old by now,
      and I have had him since 2004.
      Every other day he gets the following:

      Lysine, 500 mg crumbled (pliers work for that)
      and, a partial capsule of the following all mixed in with
      canned food:
      bee propolis
      pine bark
      licorice root

      Alternate days he gets in the wet food about a quarter
      teaspoon apple cider vinegar (like Braggs “with the mother”),
      and a drizzle of olive oil with it. Reduces bacteria forming in
      the cat’s system.

      When the eyes get gooky, I dab some vaseline on each one
      to soften the gook. The cat will then use paws to clean itself
      around the eyes.
      It’s a lot of work, but my cat suffers less and I do not have to
      make vet visits.
      If an infection does happen (the cat’s breath will smell really
      bad), I have successfully used amoxicillin, half a capsule like the kind used for fish tanks when fish are ill.

      BTW, I am treating an old dog with natural supplements for it’s different condition. Best Wishes.

      1. My cat is 4 yrs old now but he had FHV when I adopted him as a kitten from the shelter. The upper respiratory issues were pretty severe as he experienced very troubled breathing and an infection in his eye. Luckily the medicine and ointment he was prescribed cleared things up and he’s been doing well .. up until recently. In the last couple weeks he’s had a large increase in drool and it often hangs from his mouth and I’ll have to wipe it away for him.

        Has your cat ever had excessive drool as a symptom of a FHV flare up? I’m just wondering if it could possibly be a recurrence?

        1. Hi Gina,
          We suggest asking your vet about this. This article might provide some insight, too:

        2. My cat drools due to throat inflammation from feline herpes virus. From vet try antiinflammatory. Horrible virus. Eye and skin issues too. Try famvir from vet.

      2. Very hard work looking after sick animals but what a good job you are doing. I use colloidal silver too. Lysine spread on paws from a tube do she licks it off.

    3. Please see both my posts – one in July and one in September. I found a miracle treatment for those desperate cat owners out there dealing with this virus.

    4. Could be mites mange which requires oral liquid medication from the vet. If your vet didn’t diagnose this, I would suggest going to a different vet and tell them you suspect mites mange. Plus use colloidal silver. Its great for humans and animals! Good luck!

  21. Make no mistake. Feline herpes is highly contagious and a killer. The cat I adopted from the humane society ten years ago had herpes, undiagnosed by the society. He died two months ago. No treatment was effective. The only measure that kept him comfortable was double surgery for entropian to relieve the irritation caused by eyelid swelling when he experienced flareups. He was symptomatic most of the time; I nursed him through a two-month long attack which left him unable to eat on his own or walk without staggering. Essentially he was a ragdoll during this period. He appeared to recover, only to experience another similar month-long attack two years later which I could not nurse him out of. There is no research currently being conducted on feline herpes (to my knowledge). He transmitted the disease to my other cat, who, despite somewhat different symptoms, now is wasting physically despite treatment and the university clinic vet’s pronouncement about my original cat that the disease would not be transmitted.

    I am devastated by this and by the veterinary community’s refusal to initiate research on this presently incurable disease.

    1. Truly sounds more like fungal infection.

      I am fighting herpes with my cat right now. Vicks is not great but I out some in a bandaid on his collar if he is really congested (usually at night). Trying hemp/omega3 oil and hemp really seems to help (works like a steroid but way easier on them), good results. Also a good cat liquid vitamin. Lysine didn’t seem to help anymore. My cat (luckily) still lives food but is skinny.

  22. Pingback: What Is Fading Kitten Syndrome and Why Do So Many Foster Kittens Die From It? | Speaking of Pets at Rescue Pet Supply

  23. Pingback: cat herpes antibiotics – fqhelp

  24. Jennifer Andrzejewski

    lysene doesnt help my 14 year old cat. We go normally to the vet for a shot they give her to help, it last 10 days its a 50.00 shot. I need something else to try my poor pumpkin, keeps sneezing and snot comes out i feel so bad.

  25. I have a white house cat. She had it since she was 3 weeks old. She is now 2 years old and it does not go away. I don’t understand, we have tried everything. She is always up and about, but today her eyes look as if it was bleeding and yesterday she threw up and today.

  26. Susan Stewart, what color is the label of the Dr. Mercola probiotic for dogs and cats.
    I am thinking on getting this and want to make sure I get the correct one.

  27. To all you folks out there who have used Lysine for feline herpes.
    Have you read the info on Lysine.
    If you haven’t, I suggest you do before you buy or use the stuff. It isn’t nice!

    1. Lysine is an amino acid, part of protein. It is in many of the foods we eat. I take lysine supplement when I have outbreak of herpes on my lips. No sure what you were reading but can’t see why there should be a problem.

      1. I believe Lysine caused my fourteen year old cat’s kidney disease. When he was diagnosed with kidney disease, I was stunned because I had been doing everything to avoid it! He eats a raw prey model diet, no vaccines (except when he was a young cat), no toxic cleansers in the house, etc. I gave it a lot of thought and did a lot of searching for answers. Then I came across a website where the author had a interesting take on dogs’ and cats’ health, their diet and disease. Basically she said there’s something causing disease and when you remove it, it heals itself. Don’t just treat the symptoms. And she believed diet was the key. So question everything when there’s a problem. One night it occurred to me to wonder if it was Lysine. I google lots and discovered a scientific study by a vet that linked long term, high dosage use of lysine in cats with kidney disease (never thought to save the link). So I’ve stopped giving my cats lysine and the one with fourth stage kidney disease, after much care and pampering, has miraculously become healthy again. I haven’t had his lab work done but seeing his energy level, his body, his weight, his coat, is believing. He still suffers occasionally from the herpes and I’m searching for another treatment other than lysine. My recommendation? If you want to use lysine, use it sparlingly. At times of stress, a flare-up, etc. Find the lowest dosage that works. Maybe have lab work done to monitor his kidney function levels. Just a cautionary tale.

  28. Before Lusi (Pixie-B0b) was diagnosed with herpes, she had a couple bouts of respiratory issues. Then she developed eye ulcers. After a month of treatment by the vet with little or no improvement, I decided to step up the treatment and took her to an ophthalmologist. I’m glad I did because she nearly lost one of her eyes, but the more intensive treatment eventually helped her get better. Lusi does better with warmer temps, so I try to keep the home a little on the warmer side . At bedtime, she gets the overnight spa treatment. I put her into the sunroom where she has all her creature comforts with a space heater and a humidifier. This, along with Lysine powder in her food and a vitamin supplement, helps Lusi maintain her health. If I had it to do over again, I would have taken her to the ophthalmologist as soon as the eye ulcers were diagnosed.

    1. I have five cats with the herpes virus, every one of them was so sick when I first got them this probiotic has changed their lives they no longer have to take antibiotics , I tried the lysine it did not seem to help, I did not want to put them on the antiviral medication because there are so many side effects this product has been amazing.

        1. Hi, could you please tell me if this Dr. Mercola probiotic works? My 7 month old baby (kitten) has the herpes virus and her eye runs terribly. I’ve been giving her l-lysine for about a month now. I thought I saw a little improvement in her eye, but I was wrong. Her eye squints and is constantly tearing. Besides this probiotic, what else can I do for her? I think it bothers me more than her.

      1. I see many Mercola probiotics online. Can you tell me which one you are using? Does it have a blue label saying complete probiotics?

  29. I adopted a kitten from a very reputable breeder…nationally known and published..after Christmas of this year. I noticed when I picked her up from the breeders that a couple of the cats had ‘tear-like’ shaped stains on their faces but didn’t think anything of it. Long story short it was a matter of days before kitten and I were in the vets and she had a full blown sinus infection…impacting both her eyes and sinuses. The vet recommended antibiotics …gel for both her eyes and oral for her sinuses. I contacted the breeder who was adamant that it was an allergy to something in my house or simply a cold and that it would be irresponsible for me to administer antibiotics. I held off for a week, using humidifiers, warm compresses to her eyes (she’s very tolerant and sweet)… and although the eyes improved some her respiratory issues just became worse (eyes still haven’t completely resolved). I started the antibiotic and she began to improve immediately. She is a lot better but still has discharge from one eye and a sneezy, runny nose… I do .a lot of wiping of her nose and furniture, floors and walls … from the green discharge. She’s also developed foul smelling breath. At times she has these sneezing fits producing ‘man-size boogers’, suggesting to me that there’s congestion even if she’s seems okay. She also has days when she’s ‘spent’, just tired out. Other days of course she’s a normal kitten. Her eating/ drinking is good. She poops and pees regularly. The vet says it would be unwise to put her on another antibiotic. I’ve been administering l-lysine since she first was diagnosed but not sure it’s really making a difference. I would say she’s not acute but experiencing just daily chronic symptoms. She is my only cat at this time and I have no wish to return her to the breeder (was suggested)…but she’s not healthy and I don’t know what else I can do. Any suggestions…other supplements, special food, special tx….I’m willing to try anything that might benefit her. I prefer a more homeopathic route….though I don’t have access to a homeopathic vet.

    1. Please try Dr Mercola probiotic for dogs and cats I have five cats that have the herpes virus and this as change their lives.

    2. I have put a deposit on A kitten from a very reputable breeder and have received photos that the kitten to me apppears to have conjunctivitis of one eye and the eye appears smaller than the other or swollen and the lids are very pink. Photos two weeks prior the eyes were equally sized and lids were not pink. In your opinion would you have not adopted your cat if you knew what you now know at the time of adoption? I feel bad for this kitty and hate to lose my deposit but am afraid of the special care this will entail. I don’t know if I am able to handle it. I’m not in the best health, and I suspect this could be a very stressful issue.

  30. Has anyone ever had a biopsy to diagnose herpes? My cat doesn’t have the respiratory issue but her eye is the problem. We rescued her 10 years ago. She has always had a pinkish eye. Sometimes worse than others. Now it is terrible. It is red and runny and sometimes bleeding. It looks like it hurts her too. It is right below her eye on her under eye lid I guess you would say. I am worried about the biopsy. My vet wants to put her to sleep to do this. She also has hyper-thyroid. Other than that she is a happy healthy cat! We tried the steroids but I think that made it worse.

    1. One vet prescribed steroids for my cat and they worked, but another vet warned that steroids suppress the immune system so he does not recommend them against a viral infection like herpesvirus. I never had my cat officially diagnosed with a test, but the first vet was confident it was herpes (quite common in that area and the cat was a rescue from the shelter) and the symptoms match (recurrent sneezing and watery eye, always the same eye). I started my cat on a lysine powder (pure lysine – I mix it into wet food – he’s also allergic to chicken so the chewable/flavored lysine products are not appropriate) two years ago. Since then he has not had a herpes flare-up! Clearly that is not a scientific experiment =) but based on my experience, I would suggest lysine supplements are worth a try, and avoid the steroids if you can. The pure lysine powder I got is super cheap and the dosage is very small (1/8 tsp twice a day for adults – I’ve only given 1/8th tsp once a day though) so a $9 bottle lasted me 2 years for 2 cats. Might take some time to see a difference if your cat is currently experiencing an episode. Good luck!

      1. Please try Dr Mercola probiotic for dogs and cats I have five cats with herpes and it makes a huge difference.

    2. Please don’t buy cats from a breeder. thousands and thousands of wonderful cats are eutanzized daily at shelters across the country. Save a life and don’t support breeders who only add to the problem, Please!

      1. There is absolutely nothing wrong if someone wants to own a purebreed from a reputable breeder. what i do think is wrong is people demanding that only mixed breed shelter cats be adopted and demonizing breeders. Many people have dedicated their whole lives in the last few hundred years to work on the stunning and unique breeds we now have thanks to them. We have hundreds of beautiful and unique breeds each one having its own charming traits. I personally have and breed Bengal cats. there is no comparison between Bengals and a regular cat. every morning a get to wake up and be blessed with living works of art sharing my home with me. i love to be surrounded by beautiful things in my life and having such stunning cats really makes me happy. further more unlike regular mixed cats, Bengals have unique endearing traits such as being very friendly, loving water, and playing fetch. lastly with today technology good breeders screen all their potential breeding cats for hundreds of diseases and genetic ailments, before producing any kittens from them, something you dont get with a shelter cat. I love having cats that take my breath away every time i look at them,and that are i know are free of any genetic diseases and alawys will be. Im proud to breed such beautiful cats and to be able to share the beauty and joy i experience every day with others. to those who decide to adopt that truly is wonderful. however there are some people that want something particular in a cat, such a stunning rosettes and wild look/ancestry of a Bengal and i personally believe there is nothing wrong with that . to those who totally appose breeding , even ethical responsible breeding due to the over abundance of unwanted animals(almost all mixed cats), i think they should them self’s should be steralized to prevent any more people being born and only adopt ! because after all there are so many children with out homes.right?

  31. We just adopted a new kitten this past weekend , by Monday night he was sneezing,watery eyes, took him to the vet, they gave him a shot of antibiotics and gel meds for his eyes, he eats and drinks water perfectly, but when will see some improvement in this poor little guy?

    1. Hi Sandra — Sorry to hear about your poor little kitty! I would call your vet and ask when you might expect to see some improvement. Best of luck and we hope your little guy feels better soon!

      1. Took him back to the vet today , because we seen no improvement! Now they say he has feline herpes! This is our first kitten so I am new at all this, will he get better or not?

        1. Hi Sandra, Your vet will be able to give you a good sense of how to treat this condition. Hope your kitty feels better!

  32. We got the most loving, patient cat from a local shelter. When we got him, he had no symptoms of herpes, but within about a week, he had watery eyes with discharge and was sneezing and shooting large chunks of mucus of various colors (clear, yellow, pink, and red) around the house. We took him to the vet, and he was put on meds, including eye drops. We finished that round and thought it was all better. A couple of weeks later, all of the symptoms returned. Again, we took him to the vet. Another round of meds. All better for about two weeks. It started up again. His nose is shaped a little strangely, so I wonder if that makes it worse, but we don’t know what to do at this point. We can’t afford $50 a week for meds as one poster suggested. Lysine in his food did nothing. He’s a happy, cuddly boy, but I hate to think he’s suffering in any way.

    1. anti biotic was worst thing. my cat has the feline herpes dormant for 8 years! zero symptoms.. until vet gave him convenia 2 week anti biotic shot and now he is non stop sneezing. I am so worried as its the watery kind .. (water in lungs would be worst thing!) I read online convenia is bad if a cat has herpes. I didn’t know! it says it suppresses immune system and anti biotic does nothing for a virus! (herpes) he didn’t even need the shot! (he ate a leaf/houseplant) but we couldn’t be sure. we were guessing. so vet advised anti biotic;. I didn’t SEE him eat any plant.. (I removed plant) I am watching him like a hawk. don’t give convenia…. read up on it.. if your cat has the makes it active…or MORE active :(

      1. Thank you so much for that golden edvice. I too have been going thru hell with my cat herpes virus and all the doctors ever want to do is give antibotics for the secondary infections.

      2. Vets over prescribe anti bios FOR SURE!! We refused them when our shelter cat w herpes came home, as it IT USELESS FOR VIRUSES!! And only kills off good healthy gut bacteria and further compromises immune system…. $170 later for two different kinds of eye drops and L-Lysine powder regularly mixed into wet food…one of the drops irritate her and she now has a sore spot from rubbing, that didn’t exist pre vet… I will continue with the L lysine in her food because it helps me with cold sores but I honestly think that animals are overtreated over charged and seeing the vet all the time only reduces our limited budget and stresses her out. After the vet visit not only was she not improved she was a little bit worse in the first week … I know from having Simplex 1 cold sores my entire life that keeping her stress to a minimum, feeding her quality food with the additional L lysine and some other natural additional supplements, work just as well as over $200 wasted at the vet for drops she can’t stand/tolerate…get to know your cat and keep her healthy and happy and that’s a big chunk of the battle in keeping herpes triggers dormant…it is one illness that is immediately is made worse/active through stress

        1. Antibiotics are not always useless. Your cat can go from herpes outbreak into an infection that does need antibiotics. Its not a bad idea to at least have the cat looked at by a Vet, especially if the herpes outbreak has been going on a while and cats been suffering – at least rule out secondary infections

    2. So sorry to hear about your kitty, I have 5 of them with the herpes virus put your kitty on Dr mercola’s probiotics for dogs and cats it makes a huge difference.

  33. I have a cat with the virus. He is on steroids and I can’t find a way to make the symptoms subside. The nasal congestion is thick and get a everywhere in the house. He’s a good cat but I have to find a way to get the symptoms under control. He’s destroying the inside of my house and the people who surrendered him had him declawed, so he can’t go outside. I’m open to suggestions!

    1. Use L-lysine in his food. Get 100% L-lysine. Use it for the rest of his life. It’s an amino acid and boosts the immune system. You can get it in health food stores and I think drug stores over the counter. You can mix it into his dry food or his wet food. Also there is a gel form that I get on
      I have several outside cats – all TNVR – who have lived long healthy lives including one who had chronic URI, sinusitis and congunivitis.
      Vets dismiss the effectiveness of L-lysine. But for those of us who have cared long-term for feral/community cats, we know the power of this amino acid. Good luck.

    2. Steroids are contraindicated in cats with the virus….so stop them! My vet started us on Famcyclovir. It’s a antiviral drug for herpes. The dose is 120mg per ml and we give 1 mg twice a day…’s a 21 day treatment but we are on the 3rd bottle meaning it’s taking 60 days or more to clear. Her eye is almost clear now but it was horrible at first to the point of me thinking she would lose her site. She had to have surgery to remove the ulcer that had formed. I hope this helps:)

      1. My cat did not respond well for years to Lysine, antibiotics, clavamox . . . when he has outbreaks, he’s sneezing chunks everywhere and coughing. It is frightening. I find that giving him the famciclovir twice daily when the seasons change and when there is stress as a preventative – and during outbreaks – helps. I also give him 1/2 tab of the meltaway 24 hour Claritin 10 mg tab that can be purchased at the supermarket or drug store. I dissolve 1/2 tab in a couple of drops of water – it can be in his food even. The combination of both seems to help – and we do both twice a day. Famcicolir is very bitter and has to be given with an eye dropper. I try to shoot it down his throat because the bitterness makes him foam at the mouth tastes terrible to him. He’s a wonderful soul, tolerant and very deserving, as all these souls are, of relief!!!

    3. dandelion root capsule (open sprinkle tiny amount on food) 500mg capsule.. just using like 1/10 of it…made a BIG difference
      as long as that cat is drinking enough water! its a diuretic
      so its great for fluid/water build up in lungs/around heart
      same as Lasix but it potassium sparing (so its better than Lasix does not deplete potassium)
      I successfully treated a cat with congestive heart failure due to water around heart with it and he was good as new(gave it in straw/syringe with water everyday)\
      good for kidneys.makes a cat pee! so for 3 reasons its good.
      makes a cat pee if otherwise not peeing (give with water even if force the water)
      helps with stones
      good for CHF (heart/water)
      good for the watery type of fluid sneezing.. from FHV
      its water build up. people need to understand its not “congestion” per se which is from infection virus in that like in a human cold or flu itd be thick and pus like etc.. its pure WATER and that’s not good! you cant let that build up to lungs. dandelion root works wonders.
      ive give it to cats for 10 years+ always good.

      1. Re: dandelion …It is a very bitter, liver detox herb and may make your cat avoid food w the taste…worked better for me brewed in tea and syringed into her mouth once /day. …for anyone who can’t get their animals to take it…make sure there’s plenty of clean fresh water as it can be dehydrating. But helps w any viral problems/heavy loads on their liver such as steroid use, medications etc. Can also mix dried powdered dandelion into fish oil which my cat loves and helps immune system support.

    4. sorry I didn’t see about the “thick” congestion… avoid milks/creams. dandelion root still good (very inexpensive too/use partial of capsule/lasts years! would expire before you finish bottle)
      the cat really must drink extra water and its hard to get a cat to drink water if he doesn’t want to
      you may have to buy him the gravy packets they make now (gravy only in a packet)
      if he wont drink lots of water non stop for a week or two he will need the gravy and wet foods non stop
      cats do well with vitamin c! supplementation!
      and salmon oil for cats (add to food) will be excellent too (has vitamin D and definitely boosts immune system) no way for a sick cat to do well on a basic dry cat food that says “complete nutrition” if they need extra liquid and extra vitamins! they perk up and get better

    5. I also bought Dr Goodpet enymes WITH acidophilus (probiotic) (they make without also,get the one with) its highly recommended and its a powder 4 ounces…and cats don’t detect it in food so they will still eat :) this boosts immune system too… especially in my case as he received the anti biotic shot which I now regret. but I read it was recommended in this case due to the FHV…the shot didn’t cause his symtpoms.. it was the underlying FHV and the shot “brought them out”
      so I don’t really like when people say “it wasn’t the shot”
      it was
      not “directly”
      well! we need to know these things so we are aware and don’t get that shot!
      the shot /anti biotic /any anti biotic would suppress immune system and a dormant virus will become undormant!
      so probiotics too for all cats with FHV.

  34. I have 2 ….brother and sister pair….I use the lysine paste but add powered spirulina …they love it….they also have chlorophyll drops in their water. Along with a high quality cat food with probotics has pretty much kept sysmptoms at bay. Running a humidifier also helps

  35. I could write a book on our experience with Feline Herpes!! We had a stray momma kitty show up with kittens one year. She blessed us a couple time each after that with kittens (this was about 30 years ago). This particular litter (she had 6 kittens) and her daughter had 3 kittens a week later, turns out she had been a carrier for the Herpes and since she had queened to soon she passed it on to her kittens. After her daughter had her kittens she immediately took all 6 of her mothers into her box so after a day of this I had to incorporate both boxes together so both mothers could nurse the kittens. About a week later we started hearing a bunch of staccato sneezing coming from the box. By now the kittens are 1 week and 2 weeks old. The eyes on the two week old kittens were opening except 2 there was a white substance which turned out to be scar tissue from the herpes. The sneezing continued and found out from the vets what we were actually dealing with!
    The older mommy came down with the Herpes and the younger mother came down with a breast infection so neither one could nurse so that left us bottle feeding, cleaning, loving (which we did anyway), all 9 kittens plus medicating the mothers. Long story short . . . One kittens eyes were completely covered with the scar tissue and when she was a little older Dr. Dice an eye kitty doctor did surgery to remove the tissue on one eye and then several months later the other eye. She had about 50/50 vision but she was such a trooper and did get but was on eye meds the rest of her life. Her brother had a chronic nose infection with sneezing gobs of snot and blood all over. Clavamox helped a lot but he got diarrhea from it so we had that to deal with all his life. I wouldn’t have traded a moment of the time I had with those two kitties!!! There is a lot more to the story but this was the most important part I wanted to share. My Missy and Tigger are over the rainbow bridge but I think of them all the time!!!

    1. Bless you for taking care of them. I like rescue stories like this. I had rescued a newborn her mom had dropped off a couple of years ago and kitten was diagnosed with possible herpes simplex virus and clavamox and antibiotic, and still on L-Lysine today and looking for alternatives to add as well as Holistic methods and Holistic vet. I was able to make sure all litter and cats outside were fed and neutered or spayed to prevent further litters being born and continuing the problem and told by the Spca that was all they could do for them since it was a overpopulation of cats already they couldn’t do anything else for them. it breaks my heart to see homeless cats and babies running around outside, and I love to hear the rescue stories like yours. Bless the beasts and the children.

  36. My girl Xena has chronic feline herpesvirus, with occasional episodes of sneezing and minor eye discharge. Vaccination, antibiotics and lysine supplementation have not altered her frequency or severity of symptoms. It’s worth noting that l-lysine and probiotics (Fortiflora specifically) have NOT been shown to help reduce FHV-1 symptoms in scientific studies.

  37. Last year I adopted 2 female cats their names are Wanda and Ashes . I didn’t know that they had feline herpes virus they go to the vet and get checked out.

  38. My Bambino kitten had a severe upper respiratory infection when she was little which caused her left eye to close up… my breeder’s vet managed to get the eye partially open but it will never be normal (all history from my breeder) She has a lot of nasal congestion, some sneezing and eye watering. I suspected Herpes virus and my vet confirmed it when I brought her in to establish with him. I’ve been giving her L-Lysine and now adding homeopathic treatments for the virus and to ease her sinuses. Most days she does pretty well… she does have occasional days where her symptoms are worse but for the most part, she’s much improved. I love her so much and she’s such an active, sweet and loving little girl that I don’t regret taking her for one second. She eats very well and the vet suggested adding Purina Fortiflora also to help her immune system . She’ll never be a beauty with her squinty half open eye but in my eyes she’s gorgeous and whatever I have to do in the future to make her life better I will do in gratitude for the joy she brings me.

  39. Paco and Nemo’s mom

    I recently adopted a kitten from a shelter (1st cat was adopted from a reputable agency) and I think the kitten carried the virus because he got sick first and then the resident cat started displaying similar symptoms. Unfortunately, the resident cat has had a stubborn eye infection as a result of the herpes that won’t go away despite treatment. We’re starting a lysine treatment this week, so hopefully he will be responsive to it.

    Adopting my cats over this past year has truly brought me so much joy. It’s been tiring taking them to the vet all the time (and a few pet ER visits when we were scared because we didn’t know what was happening), but they’ve both improved substantially with prompt treatment. I feel like a real cat mommy because now I feel like I’ll do anything to keep them in the best health possible. I guess now my concern is knowing that stress causes the feline herpes to shed, how do I know if my cats are stressed?

  40. I have three cats, 18, 14 and 7 years old. The 14 year old came down with a cold, we took her to the vet, and she got antibiotics, which helped a bit, but not much. The other two got the same illness. We almost lost our senior, but he is the only one that fully recovered. The 14 and 7 year old to this day (two years later) still have snotty noses, heavy breathing and snorting. After countless rounds of antibiotics and three different vets, we have given up trying to cure it. All the feline herpes articles we read say that the symptoms go away and may “break out” in time of stress. This has NOT been our experience. Two of our three cats are symptomatic all the time. Luckily, they don’t have runny eyes, but they do have snot, sneezing and noisy breathing. Some times it is worse than others, but it never goes away. We tried L-lysine, and it actually made the symptoms worse. When they sound really horrible, we give them 1/3 pill of human allergy over the counter medication, which helps minimally. We also give them Homeopet nose relief drops in their food twice a day, which helps minimally as well. It is like a never ending nightmare and there is no medicine that helps. We are also scared to get another cat for fear that they will end up like the two of ours that are always snotty.

    I just can’t believe with as many cats as are afflicted with this that there has been no research on medicine to help combat these horrible symptoms.

    1. my cat is the same. my vet prescribed an anti-viral for her called famciclovir, which has been used for humans with shingles or HIV. it’s been a life-changing remedy for her. i think she might not be alive if she didn’t have this medication. it’s not cheap, but i gladly spend about $50 per week on it to keep her healthy.

  41. We adopted 2 kittens from The Humane Society. One immediately showed signs of upper respiratory illness. Took to vet and diagnosed with feline herpes. Now our other 6 have all gone through outbreaks of varying degrees. Lysine causes stomach distress and vomiting for our cats. Fortunately outbreaks in the household have calmed down and are milder when they occur. We try to isolate if there is an outbreak. It can be frustrating to not be able to do a whole lot to relieve the symptoms and wait for the outbreak to run the course.

  42. I took in a stray who has feline herpes. ALL of my cats have been exposed now, but he is the only one with symptoms. He has symptoms all the time. Clavamox works pretty well. He gets Duralactin which works really well for clearing up his eye. He is receiving drops in his nose because it helps with the inflammation in his sinuses. We are looking at surgery to obliterate his sinuses. The vet then packs that area with fat taken from another part of his body. It has been really really expensive. It’s stressful to listen to his sneezing and coughing all the time. He is never completely symptom free. Maybe he’s old. He was stray when I got him and had been neutered in a a TNR program as his ear was tipped.

    If I had known then what I know now, I would never have taken in a stray unless ALL of mine were fully vaccinated and up to date on their vaccines. The stray I took in is a very sweet natured cat. He has a squeaky meow so I named him Squeak of course. He has the nicest personality.

    1. please try famciclovir, an anti-viral medication that can be prescribed by your vet. it works very well for my cat, who had previously been on 4 different antibiotics for 6 months before being diagnosed. it’s a small pill your cat can take daily to suppress the herpes virus.

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