Fight the Good Feline Fight with Natural Antibiotics
These days, there is significant controversy surrounding the use, and in many cases, the overuse of antibiotics, both for humans as well as animals.
When it comes to your cat, you should know that there are plenty of alternative or natural antibiotics that will effectively reduce the symptoms of the disease without producing many of the negative side effects typically associated with powerful prescription pharmaceutical antibiotic drugs.
You have numerous reasons to turn to natural antibiotics for your cat, so let’s explore them here.
Natural Antibiotics Significantly Benefit the Health of Your Cat
For starters, the two most important reasons to use natural antibiotics for your cats are:
1. Pharmaceutical antibiotics not only produce side effects, they also tend to destroy the good intestinal bacteria along with the bad bacteria they are designed to eliminate. Neither of these conditions occurs when you use natural antibiotics.
2. Natural antibiotics do not cause the buildup of powerfully resistant bacteria strains, referred to as “superbugs” such as those you may risk with each antibiotic use.
Despite these risks, there are times when the use of antibiotics is the best remedy. For example, when an infection has rapidly progressed, antibiotics can be a lifesaver.
However, you should avoid turning to them as a universal treatment for every infection. You should only use antibiotics when prescribed by a veterinarian and follow the course of treatment judiciously.
Even Educators are Cautioning the Use of Antibiotics
When natural antibiotic remedies can be successfully given, teaching institutions are now advising both students and practicing veterinarians against the liberal use of antibiotics.
This is because there is no denying the harsh reality of these superbugs that are becoming resistant to some of our strongest drugs rendering them ineffective as we find ourselves growing more susceptible to incurable diseases.
That means turning to drugs so powerful that they do more harm to your cat while having no effect on the disease they are intended to cure.
The Homeopathy for Animals site advises that whenever you give your cat antibiotics, whether natural or prescribed, you should also give them a probiotic.
Probiotics not only replace healthy bacteria in the system, but they also fortify an animal that may have a compromised immune condition.
You also have ways to improve your cat’s immunity by making some changes to their diet and supplement regime.
Commercial Antibiotics can be Hard on Your Cat’s System
If you have given commercial antibiotics to your cat before, you may have wondered if the cure was worth the various side effects that may have occurred.
This typically happens when the medication is given in inappropriate amounts. Your cat may have endured some of the following side effects from taking commercial antibiotics:
- Abdominal pain
- Allergic reactions
- Loss of appetite
What Can You Use Instead of Commercial Antibiotics?
When used correctly, there are many homeopathic and herbal remedies that have shown successful results in such conditions as ear infections, bladder or urinary tract infections, abscesses, respiratory diseases, skin conditions, tooth infections and more.
Mother Nature has provided us with over 2,500 non-resistant and safe alternatives. The key is in learning the correct dosages for your cat since their digestive tract is not very long.
The VetInfo site recommends that natural antibiotics are best when delivered over a 15-day period for the effective treatment of minor ailments.
For severe illnesses or life-threatening diseases, they are not as effective as commercial antibiotics.
Therefore, it is useful to familiarize yourself with some of the most commonly used herbs to have on hand so that you can administer them in the early stages before conditions have a chance to grow more severe.
Here is a list of some of the most effective herbs used as natural antibiotics:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Aloe Vera
- Bee Propolis
- Coconut oil
- Colloidal silver
- Cranberry-containing D-Mannose
- Goldenseal tincture
- Manuka honey
- Oil of oregano
- Olive leaf
- Pau d’arco tincture
- Slippery Elm bark
- White vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is Effective in Treating a Wide Range of Cat Ailments
There are few remedies that are as universal as apple cider vinegar, both in cats and humans. It is used to treat bladder conditions, ear infections and mites, fleas, mange, ringworm, respiratory infections and more.
Once again, the emphasis is on taking your cat to your local vet to be sure you have a proper diagnosis before you decide on whether to use a holistic or pharmaceutical approach to treatment.
Apple Cider Vinegar can be Given Internally
It is the acidic nature of apple cider vinegar that creates a curative environment inside the body to break up bladder crystals and kill harmful bacteria.
Adding ¼ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with 1 teaspoon of chicken broth or tuna juice to your cat’s wet food helps make it palatable and increases the moisture intake. This would be a switch up for cats that normally eat a dry food diet.
You can also add 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of water. If you want to prime the pump, so to speak, you can dip a paw in the mixture to get your cat to lick it off.
You do not need your cat to drink the whole cup, but Petnet advises it is useful to leave it there and repeat it a few times daily to help alleviate symptoms.
You can Apply Apple Cider Vinegar as a Topical Treatment
The acidity in apple cider vinegar is effective in warding off parasites. When diluted, it can be applied as a topical treatment to kill fleas, mites, and ringworm.
A mixture of diluted apple cider vinegar is useful in thoroughly cleaning the skin to remove allergens that may cause itching. Be mindful that it can be abrasive if not sufficiently diluted.
When using it to treat mange, you can start by bathing your cat using shampoo and rinsing with a warm water and apple cider vinegar mixture.
After towel drying your cat, use a soft-bristled tool to gently scrub and remove the mange you have just killed with the apple cider vinegar.
If you want to suffocate mange further, you can follow this up with a lather of castor or olive oil.
When treating skin allergies, fleas, acne or ringworm, mix a 1 to 1 ratio of water and apple cider vinegar and apply it to the coat with a paper towel.
You do not have to be concerned if your cat tries to lick it off as apple cider vinegar can be ingested without any problems.
For allergies, you can also change to scent-free or low-dust cat litter and switch to using a ceramic or stainless-steel food dish.
The Best Treatment for Ear Mites
While apple cider vinegar can be used to clean your cat’s ears, you want to perform a more effective and therapeutic treatment to get rid of the parasites called Otodectes cynotis.
Nearly 95 percent of cats are affected by these tiny, eight-legged critters that get into the cat’s ear canals where they feed off the wax and oils they find there.
You may first be alerted to your cat’s ear mite infestation by the excessive head shaking, scratching and ear rubbing that goes on.
Your vet can take a swab of the coffee ground-like debris commonly found in the ears when mites are present. With or without a microscope, it is not too difficult to detect these tiny creatures.
There is a medication that can be prescribed to treat an ear mite condition, but you can also use a simple mixture of olive oil and vitamin E delivered by dropper inside the ear.
Watch this YouTube video to see an excellent example of how to handle the cat during this treatment.
Here is a Brief Overview of the Top Natural Antibiotics
Aloe Vera serves as a topical disinfectant and natural remedy for treating skin infections. Since it should not be taken internally, consider using a cone to prevent your cat from licking it off after being applied.
Bee Propolis has been used historically to kill germs, but it also heals wounds, tumors, and abscesses.
The combination of bee saliva and tree resin makes propolis an effective seal for any gaps or cracks in the hive.
It just happens that bee propolis is full of amino acids, polyphenols and natural steroids in addition to containing powerful anti-microbial, antibiotic properties.
Calendula has powerful antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is effective in healing wounds and skin infections. You can also give a bowl of calendula tea to your cat.
Chamomile, known for its calming effect when taken as a tea, is an effective antispasmodic and pain-relieving herb that helps fight infections and reduce symptoms.
Cranberry is very effective in treating urinary tract infections. It contains D-mannose, a simple sugar that binds with bacteria allowing it to pass from the body through urination.
Dandelion is useful for digestive issues. It is a natural laxative as it stimulates the production of bile and does not cause any adverse reactions when used with other medications or supplements.
Ginger and turmeric are two key elements in the treatment of superficial skin conditions. Turmeric is especially effective because of its strong antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and analgesic properties.
Goldenseal has berberine, the natural plant-derived substance that has anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and antibiotic properties.
It is useful in addressing a wide range of bacteria and fungi as well as gastrointestinal tract issues and respiratory infections.
Licorice possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties and has proven useful in its ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses due to its antimicrobial benefits.
Manuka honey is unique to New Zealand where the bees visit the manuka flowers to reap the nutritious nectar and pollen.
All types of honey have some degree of antiseptic, antibiotic and disinfectant properties, and the darker the honey, the better. It is used to help heal wounds, burns, abscesses, ulcers, diabetes and skin conditions.
Slippery elm bark is useful in treating urinary tract infections and gastrointestinal issues because of its ability to act as an astringent, by lubricating mucous membranes, reducing inflammation and making the body’s tissues an inhospitable environment for bacteria.
Colloidal Silver has a Long History as a Germicide
At Just Cats and Dogs, you can find the extensive knowledge of the historical benefits of using silver going all the way back to the fourth century B.C. Colloidal silver consists of microscopic silver particles suspended in distilled water.
Its use predates modern antibiotics as the best remedy for wounds, viral ailments, eye ailments, surgical sutures, and bacterial and fungal infections.
Everyone from the Romans to the Egyptians to Chinese emperors to the Druids to the early Australian settlers used silver to prevent food and beverage spoilage.
Early American pioneers dropped silver coins in their casks of drinking water to keep them free of algae and bacteria.
Hospitals used silver before the advent of antibiotics to prevent the growth of bacteria, and doctors in the early 1800s used silver sutures to close surgical wounds with great success.
Here is a note clarifying the difference between colloidal and ionic silver concentrates:
While there are cautions about silver causing a discoloration of the skin known as argyria, this is caused by ingesting highly concentrated forms of ionic silver, not colloidal silver.
The Happy Cat site tells us that while the efficacy of the use of colloidal silver for felines is less well-documented, it should not be underestimated for its powerful antibacterial, anti-fungal properties.
Your life with your cat should be one of the best experiences that deserve your interest in learning all you can about natural antibiotics for safely and effectively treating the common ailments that may afflict your favorite feline.
As your knowledge accumulates, you will find that you have less stress when facing the typical conditions that might otherwise give you “paws” when it comes to seeking conventional treatment.
In the long run, you may find you are saving money while saving your cat from suffering from a variety of conditions by simply having a few of these natural remedies on hand.