December 27, 2018

Can Cats Get Colds

Can cat get colds just like humans? Yes, your cat can actually catch a cold. The good thing is that humans can’t pass their cold to cats and vice versa. The common cold is caused by a virus. Most viruses are species specific. It means different species cannot pass the virus to one another. So for us humans, we cannot pass out common cold virus to cats and cats cannot pass their feline cold virus to us.

It is common every now and then for your cat to sneeze occasionally. However, there may be times when the sneezing becomes more and more frequent accompany by certain symptoms, then it is time for concern. If your cat’s cold is left unattended, it  may lead to more serious upper respiratory diseases.

Symptoms to look out for
Getting colds is especially more prevalent during the winter season, so this is the period to look out for. The following symptoms are usually indicative of a cat having the colds.

  • Dehydration
  • Fever
  • Frequent and excessive coughing
  • Frequent and excessive sneezing
  • Frequent swallowing of saliva
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy and tiredness
  • Tendency to sleep more often than usual
  • The third eyelid is raised
  • Ulcers in the eyes, mouth or nose
  • Watery discharge from the eyes, which may be bloody, clear, green or yellow
  • Watery discharge from the nose, which may be bloody, clear, green or yellow

Once you are able to identify the symptoms, you should bring your cat to the vet immediately for a check up and treatment. This is to ensure your cat’s common cold will not develop into anything more serious. A discharge that is bloody, green or yellow normally indicate a more serious upper respiratory infection and requires immediate attention and treatment.

There are no cures for colds and other upper respiratory viruses. Your vet can only prescribe treatments to alleviate the symptoms, prevent secondary infections and make lives more pleasant for your kitty. Treatment may include the following:

  • Antibiotics to fight off secondary bacterial infection
  • Antihistamines if necessary to prevent allergies
  • Interferon, which is a drug to stimulate the body’s cell into fighting the infection
  • L-lysine, which is an amino acid
  • Nasal sprays to help with nasal congestion

Do take note not to purchase over the counter medication for your cat. These medications may do more harm than good. Unless recommended by your vet, do not buy over the counter medication or medication for humans or dogs on your cat.

Caring for your cat
Treatment for the common feline cold can take anything from a week and up to three weeks or more depending on the seriousness of the infection as well as the condition of your cat. During this period of time, it is important to pay more attention to your cat and ensure that you follow through with the whole course of medication for your pet.

It is important to prevent your cat from going outdoors, as well as making sure your house is enclosed to prevent drafts from affecting your cat again. You can also provide a blanket for your cat to keep warm at all times. A vaporizer is highly recommended to add more humidity to the air to make your cat breath more easily.

You should encourage your cat to eat as normally as possible. Getting enough food and rest is very important in making a full recovery. Your cat also needs to drink more water to keep it hydrated to fight off the infection.

Use cotton balls or warm, moist paper towels to wipe off your kitty’s eyes and nose discharge from time to time. Throw them away after using.

Prevention tips
If you have multiple cats at home, you need to isolate your sick cat from the rest of your cats as colds are highly contagious. By doing so, you lower the risks of the rest of your cats catching the same virus. Once your cat recovers from the cold, it is essential to minimize it from interacting with other cats in the future to prevent reinfection.

Providing a well balanced diet with enough exercise and rest will ensure your cat will be in a better physical condition to withstand the common cold. As such, it is important to look into your cat’s diet and make sure your cat get enough carbohydrates, nutrients and minerals. Also, exercise and playtime are equally essential as well. Make sure you are providing the best in these areas for your cat.

Vaccination shots are available to prevent your cat from catching a cold again. You can check with your vet what options are available for your cat.

Like humans, cats can get colds just as easily. Though there are no cures for upper respiratory infections, treatments are there to help ease the symptoms and sufferings experienced by infected cats. If your cat gets a cold, it is important to provide the optimum attention and care so that it can recover at the soonest. So there you have it, I hope it answers your question on whether can cats get cold.

Image Credit
Photo by Trish HammeCC BY 2.0

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More information here. does not intend to provide veterinary advice. We go to great lengths to help cat owners better understand their pet cats. However, the content on this site is not substitute for veterinary guidance.

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