If your veterinarian has recommended lysine for cats in the past, or has recently suggested treating your feline friend with Lysine, you may have a few questions about what lysine is and how it can affect your cat’s health.
What is Lysine?
Lysine is an essential amino acid. You may already know that amino acids are the components from which protein is created. And because it is an essential nutrient, the body requires it but cannot manufacture it; we (and cats) must get lysine from our food or from supplements. Lysine helps the system absorb another nutrient, calcium, and also helps the body create collagen, which is important for the formation and health of skin, bones and cartilage. These are a few of the important functions of lysine. For cats, lysine is a common treatment for feline herpes
Feline Herpes and Lysine
Feline herpes is a completely different disease from the herpes virus in humans (and cannot be transmitted to humans). In cats, herpes manifests as an upper respiratory infection, and can also cause conjunctivitis, or eye infection.
Because feline herpes is extremely contagious, almost all cats are exposed to it as kittens. The feline distemper vaccine includes an inoculation against felilne herpes, but this vaccine only lessens the severity of the disease; there is no vaccine to prevent feline herpes.
One of the best holistic treatments is lysine for cats with feline herpes; lysine can be administered in a larger dose to fend off an episode of feline herpes and then in a smaller does on an ongoing basis as a protective treatment.
Treating Feline Herpes with Lysine
Your health food store is one of the best places to find lysine for cats, because lysine is a nutrient for humans, as well. Regular “human” lysine is fine for treating your cat.
The recommended dosage of lysine for cats during an outbreak of upper respiratory infection is 500mg of lysine for as long as one week, with a maintenance dose of 250mg. You should be careful to keep to a dose no higher than 500mg, because lysine is a competitor with the amino acid arginine, and cats need arginine as well as lysine. Also, do not give the maximum dose for more than one week in a row.
How to Administer Lysine for Cats
If you purchase your lysine at the health food store, choose capsules over caplets, because the capsules are very convenient. Lysine tastes a bit salty, and you can disguise it in canned cat food quite easily. Caplets, on the other hand, are much more difficult to convince a cat to swallow.
You can also purchase lysine specifically for cats, in gel or paste form, and either squeeze it into your cat’s throat or put it on or in cat food. These cat-specific lysine products often come with a syringe for measuring out the correct dose for your cat.
Our pets are important to us, and cats particularly are more dependent on us than they would like to admit. When one of our feline friends gets sick, we want to take care of him and do our best to help him stay well.
On the other hand, no one wants to continually give a cat strong prescription medications. Lysine for cats is a very effective way of treating the upper respiratory infections and eye infections caused by feline herpes. At the same time, because it is a natural solution, you can feel comfortable giving lysine to your cat on an ongoing basis to protect against future outbreaks of feline herpes and the uncomfortable and dangerous upper respiratory infections it can cause.