Good recommendations for lysine supplements for cats.
June 22, 2009 7:06 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have experience with lysine supplements for cats?

I took my Himalayan to the vet today, and to help with future flareups of his eyes, the vet recommended lysine. I've been looking on the internets and I'm overwhelmed by all the choices. Does anyone have any suggestions? My cat doesn't like cat treats, so I don't think the ones that mimic cat treats are going to work. I saw some syringe type things which I think might be the best, are they refillable, or do they come pre-filled?
posted by MaryDellamorte to Pets & Animals (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've used lysine for my cat. The only way I've ever used it is to crush up the pill and put it on her food or to crush it up and put it in some butter. I'd say she maybe ends up with half the pill inside her.
posted by aetg at 7:08 PM on June 22, 2009

I should have said via the crushing and food/treat method my cat may not get all the medicine, but she is less likely to feel traumatized. I've never had much luck with syringes.
posted by aetg at 7:10 PM on June 22, 2009

Response by poster: My cat is pretty good about letting me give him medicine from a syringe and put medication in his eyes. He was really sick when I first got him and I had to do a lot of that so he got used to it at an early age. Can you buy the powder and mix it with water and put it in the a syringe?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:11 PM on June 22, 2009

One of my cats is currently trying a lysine supplement to combat her upper respiratory issues. My (very awesome!) vet highly recommended I try this first, because for upper respiratory issues (which I think includes some eye problems?) it apparently is quite effective and relatively inexpensive. They sold me a can of "Enisyl-F" Oral Paste for Cats. It's apparently very strongly fish flavored (apparently my vet has actually tasted it herself!), looks like brown toothpaste, and cats are supposed to like it. My one cat doesn't really, but my kittens do, strangely enough. I just rub it on her momma cat's mouth anyway, and she licks it up. So far I haven't seen any improvement in momma cat, but one of the kittens appears to be sneezing less...
posted by cgg at 7:18 PM on June 22, 2009

Response by poster: Ok, the oral paste sounds like it could be a good idea actually. Is it easy to measure out a dosage? The vet recommended 125 mg twice a day.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:21 PM on June 22, 2009

The bottle's a pump-action thing -- "each pressure represents 1 ml of paste". And then, "each ml contains 250mg of L-Lysine HCl" The recommended dosage on the container is 1-2 ml twice a day for cats, 1ml twice a day for kittens. I guess you could just give one pump a day?
posted by cgg at 7:33 PM on June 22, 2009

Oh -- here's the paste I have.
posted by cgg at 7:35 PM on June 22, 2009

Response by poster: Cgg, that looks like it could be the winner, easy to dispense at a reasonable price. So could I just pump it out on my finger and stick it in his mouth or is the consistency not thick enough for that?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:39 PM on June 22, 2009

The oral paste probably depends on the kind you get - the brand my vet gave me to tide me over until I could buy pills was very easy to measure. It's a little hard to describe, but it had a click wheel and you just moved the wheel one click over for each dosing. Easy as pie. It came pre-filled. I don't remember the brand name but could try to dig up my vet receipt from that trip, if it would be useful to know the brand.

My cats are easier for me to pill than to give liquids and pastes to, so I'm using pills now. But another option I tried is using capsules, and just opening them up and sprinkling the powder on dry food or mushing it in with wet food. Both worked fine, so that's what I'll be instructing my pet sitter to do next time I leave town, since I seem to be the only one who can pill them.

I've read of people putting the powder in the cats' water, too. I use water fountains and am worried about powder clogging the pump, but if you run out of other options that's one to try.
posted by Stacey at 7:40 PM on June 22, 2009

That's exactly what I do -- i don't even get it in her mouth, i just get it near her mouth and she cleans herself up. It's rather thick in consistency, like toothpaste.
posted by cgg at 7:40 PM on June 22, 2009

One of our current two got a very bad eye infection shortly after we brought them home from the shelter, and L-lysine was one of the things prescribed. They were great big honking huge tablets that I had to cut in half to even get down her throat, but we got into a routine with it and before long it was no hassle at all. It probably helped that I always pilled her right before feeding them, so she had a reasonably positive association with it.

If you do go with pills, rather than a paste, be aware of the dangers of erosive esophagitis that can result from dry-pilling them. It's important to be sure they eat or drink something right after you give them the pill.
posted by Lexica at 8:10 PM on June 22, 2009

At our house, we've been purchasing the human lysine tablets and crushing them up and sprinkling them on their food for, oh, a couple of years now. We leave dry out all the time for them, so we add the lysine to their evening wet food serving, which they are pretty happy about. (Yes, we have very spoiled cats.) It has completely cleared up the eye-goo that a temporary housemate's cat brought with him, and the cats never seem to notice the taste or care about the lysine powder or anything.

It might be the cheapest way to go?
posted by hippybear at 8:40 PM on June 22, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the help guys. I think I'm going to go with the pump bottle as suggested by cgg, it seems like the easiest choice right now and Amazon had some good prices on it.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 8:54 PM on June 22, 2009

For my cats, I buy L-Lysine by the pound from

It is already a powder so you don't have to crush it up. From the package, 1/4 tsp contains 435mg. I mix it directly into the batches of raw food that I prepare for them. My cats seemed to be able to detect lysine dissolved in water, and wouldn't drink it, so mixing it in with food is much more effective.

1lb of lysine lasts a very long time and costs $12 plus shipping. I found this to be an excellent substitute for the very expensive pastes and preparations available through veterinarians.
posted by Seppaku at 10:33 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

My cat LOVES the paste cgg linked to above. I just squirt some on a paper plate, and he licks it up. He even begs me for it!
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 7:30 AM on June 23, 2009

Seconding hippybear. Been using Lysine for almost a year on Coal, and just grind up the human pill and sprinkle over his dry food. He doesn't seem to care.
posted by MeetMegan at 9:22 AM on June 23, 2009

Should say that he doesn't get wet food because he won't eat it (yes, he may be the only cat who hates wet food), so that's why it's over his dry food...
posted by MeetMegan at 9:23 AM on June 23, 2009

My vet gives me lysine powder that I just sprinkle into their food and they gobble it up without any problems when it's necessary. It gives their dry food a salty smell, but with wet (canned) food you can't notice the smell. I find it very easy to dispense this way.
posted by misha at 11:37 AM on June 23, 2009

Response by poster: Just to give a follow-up, I received the Lysine in the mail a few days ago. I pump the dose onto a little bit of wet cat food and he eats it right up! Problem solved, thanks a bunch!
posted by MaryDellamorte at 8:19 PM on July 9, 2009

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