Can I use Vicks vapor rub on my cats? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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Old 10-17-2005, 11:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Michigan, US
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Default Can I use Vicks vapor rub on my cats?

THE SHORT VERSION:
Hi, all. My cat Sir Kitty (seen in my avatar) is very congested and is sneezing all over the place. We run a humidifier in our bedroom where he sleeps with us at night, and we lock him in the bathroom with the hot water running (steam therapy) for about 10 minutes twice a day. However, I still hear him sniffling and sneezing throughout the day, and I'd like to help alleviate his congestion. I was wondering if I could rub some Vicks vapor rub under his chin (so he can't lick it or paw it then lick it) to help clear his nasal passages. Is it safe? Will it work?

THE LONG VERSION (because I know some will have questions):
Sir Kitty has some sort of upper respiratory problem. Two vets have already seen him over a period of over 2 years. The first one thought it was just a cold and prescribed antibiotics, but the sneezing and nasal discharge simply resurfaced after we used up the medicine. I took him to the second one who determined it was Bartonella (the bacterium that causes cat scratch fever). He responded very well to the treatment for Bartonella, so he was cured as far as we knew.

A number of months later, he had an allergic reaction to his second annual rabies shot. It was after-hours, so I gave him a little Children's Benadryl using a syringe. He was fine after that.

A couple of weeks ago, I took him in for his scheduled PRC vaccination. His sneezing and coughing started up again right after that.

He also has a ruptured left ear drum which had at one point, after a complete ear flush and some antibiotic drops, completely healed. However, the ear drum is now ruptured again, although he doesn't have the heavy waxy debris that he did prior to the ear flush.

The vet we see now suspects that there is a polyp somewhere in my poor kitty which is causing both the ear drum to rupture and upper respiratory problems. Our next course of action is to take him to some specialists (at Michigan State University) to be checked out and for possible soft tissue surgery.

I was just wondering if, between now and his scheduled appointment, there was some way I could alleviate his congestion so he can breathe more easily throughout the day. I know how horrible I feel when my nose is stuffed up.
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Old 10-17-2005, 04:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No, I wouldn't. Vicks is extremely strong and I would think it would irritate a cat no ends. Cats have a sense of smell much much more powerful than ours, and it sometimes stings to breathe it myself if I'm in too close.
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Old 10-17-2005, 08:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That's a very good reason in and of itself. And if that isn't enough, there are a couple of ingredients in Vicks which are toxic to cats in sufficient amounts.
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Old 10-18-2005, 09:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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hi i read on a vets website that u can put only a little bit on there bed.
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