Your cat’s not feeling the best, and the first thing that comes to mind is, of course, something that you swear by, Vicks Vapopads.
But never make this mistake with your cat.
Vicks Vapopads should never be given to your cat. It’s uniquely designed to work with your humidifier for medicated steam that suppresses coughs and relieves cold symptoms in humans. However, that’s not the case with cats. Vicks Vapopads contain Menthol, alcohol, silicone, some chemicals, and three oils: eucalyptus, cedar leaf, and Nutmeg. Some of these ingredients can be toxic when they enter a cat’s bloodstream.
You can, however, use Vicks Vapopads for your cat safely, but with modifications.
Keep reading till the end to find an easy cat-safe Vicks remedy and a warning that every cat parent should be aware of.
What makes Vicks harmful to cats?
This cough suppressor used in Vicks can cause poisoning in cats if:
- It’s absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream
- It’s absorbed in the body through broken skin
- A cat licks the ointment off their coat
Ever heard of catnip? This ingredient isn’t much different.
Cats go crazy over Menthol’s smell, but it’s not harmful when inhaled. It’s worth noting that the strong attraction to its smell may make your cat go crazy to reach for Vicks Vapopad’s packs. So you have to be careful not to let them near it as ingesting Menthol can be fatal for them.
If you use Vicks on yourself, ensure not to cuddle with your cat and wash your hands before touching him.
Nutmeg is naturally toxic for cats if ingested. If Nutmeg oil is inhaled continuously, it can damage a cat’s liver beyond repair.
Additionally, Nutmeg contains a neurotoxin called myristicin. If cats come in contact with it in significant quantities, it can cause:
- Increased blood pressure
- Heart palpitation
- Abdominal pain
- Dry mouth
4. Eucalyptus oil:
Like nutmeg oil, eucalyptus oil can also severely harm cats. Even if the oil is diffused through a large space, it can still cause toxicity in cats, including aspiration pneumonia.
Symptoms of Vicks VapoSteam poisoning:
Vicks Vapopads can affect a cat mildly or severely, depending on the amount they’re exposed to. Common symptoms of Vicks Vapopad poisoning include:
Some cats will experience skin problems when they come into contact with the harmful ingredients mentioned in the article. These include:
- Licking and pawing the skin to soothe it
- Reddened skin
- Excessive itching
- Teary eyes due to the irritants
Excessive contact with Vicks Vapopad can even worsen our feline friends’ symptoms. They can go into depression or even experience instant seizures.
In case your cat ingests Vicks, rush them to the vet and make sure to take the cream or ointment that they had. This will make it easier for the vet to diagnose and treat your cat.
How can I use Vicks safely for my cat?
If your cat’s condition is getting worse and you want an immediate solution, then you can follow these steps:
- Dilute Vicks with an equal amount of petroleum jelly
- Apply it ONLY on your cat’s paws
- Cover it with a warm towel
If you’re unsure how to use it, always consult a vet first.
And let us warn you:
You’ll also find many Vicks remedies for your cat online, explaining how to use Vicks ‘safely’ for your cat, topically and with a humidifier.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll know better to steer clear of Vicks and Vicks Vapopad when it comes to your furry friend.
How else can I help my cat relieve its cold?
There are many other ways to treat your cat’s congestion or cough at home. These are some steps you can follow when your buddy is feeling under the weather.
1. Increase Humidity
The most common one is to increase the humidity in your house. This can be done using a humidifier or a vaporizer but without essential oils. This will decrease airway irritation in your cat.
Steam works as effectively on cats as it does for us. You can either take your cat to the bathroom and turn on the hot shower, so the steam clears the nasal congestion. Or, if your cat allows it, you could try the old-school steam method.
3. Reduce your cat’s stress
Try confining your cat in its comfort zone and bringing everything he needs (food, litter, warm bed) in that room. This will help him with his recovery.
In severe cases, the vet will prescribe antibiotics you will have to give your cat orally, typically at home.
If your cat’s condition worsens, he stops eating, or has trouble breathing, the veteran may hospitalize your cat for 1-2 days until the situation becomes stable.
Can Vicks kill dogs?
Yes, Vicks is as dangerous for dogs as it’s for cats. The harmful ingredients mentioned above in the article also impose the same toxicity on dogs, so dog owners should also remain vigilant about this.
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