What to Do if My Cat Has a Cold?

Cats can catch colds, but not from us humans. Learn to recognize when your cat has a cold, how to help her feel better, and when to get help from your veterinarian.

This makes places with lots of cats in close quarters, such as a shelter, boarding kennel, or cattery, prime spots for transmitting colds. Systemic illnesses such as kidney disease, asthma, allergies, or even stress can all put your cat at increased risk.

For cats with asthma and allergies, forced air heat in the winter can cause an increase in symptoms and potentially predispose them to getting a URI, especially if the vents are not well-maintained. Some viruses can also stay in your cat‘s body long term even after the initial illness has resolved. These viruses remain latent until stress or another illness triggers them to recur later in the cat‘s life.

Clean her face as needed using a damp cloth to remove any crusting around her nose or eyes. Aspirin is appropriate in some situations, but is also easy to overdose, so it is crucial to have an accurate dosage from your veterinarian based on your cat‘s current weight. Cats who have been vaccinated for these diseases can still contract them in some cases but will have milder symptoms and recover more quickly.

Difficulty breathing (this is an emergency) Cough Excessive or pus-like discharge from the nose or eyes Not eating for more than a day Ulcer on the tongue or in the mouth Lethargy or depression It is possible to find out exactly what is causing your cat‘s illness by sending out an upper respiratory panel test, so that is something the vet may do during the visit. While there is no cure for most colds, your vet can provide medications to relieve symptoms and resolve secondary bacterial infections.

What can I give my cat at home for a cold?

Keep an Eye on Food and Water Bowl Levels. When your kitty is congested, she can lose her sense of smell, which can result in a loss of appetite. Dr. Osborne says you may be able to entice your kitty to eat with special treats such as a teaspoon of tuna, sardine juice, raw liver or chicken baby food with no onions.

How do I know if my cat has a cold?

Sneezing..Congestion or sniffles..Runny nose..Runny eyes..Poor appetite..Lethargy..Ulcers, particularly on the tongue..Fever.

When should I take my cat to the vet for a cold?

But if your cat or dog shows trouble breathing, stops eating or drinking, becomes overly lethargic, or seems to be in pain, go see your veterinarian right away. The symptoms of a cold can also look very similar to more serious diseases, so you’ll want a vet to do a full checkup.

What happens when a cat gets a cold?

Typical Symptoms of a Cat Cold. The first symptoms that will be noticeable in your cat are red watery eyes, sneezing, and snorting to clear the congestion. Other symptoms that may appear within 24 hours after the first symptoms start are: Runny nose. Excessive sneezing.

Bouts of sneezing and a runny nose are both sure signs your cat has caught a cold. When this happens us, we know exactly what to do: we grab a hot drink, wrap up in a blanket and make sure we have a years supply of tissues within arms reach. But when our cats are struck by the same plight, were not so sure how to proceed. Fear not! Read on and youll soon know exactly what to do the next time your cat falls ill.

It is therefore vital to pay close attention to your cats condition and to bring them to the vet if there is no sign of improvement within 4 or 5 days.

Cats seek relief from most of the same cat cold symptoms as we do, including watery eyes, a runny nose, fever, sneezing, loss of appetite and a feeling of lethargy. Cat colds typically last from one to four weeks depending on how quickly theyre diagnosed and treated.

The most important thing is to bring your cat to the vet for care before you do anything, says Dr. Rachel Barrack, a licensed veterinarian and certified veterinary acupuncturist. So, once you consult with your veterinarian to determine the diagnosis and have gotten a prescription pet medication , you can also supplement treatment with a little TLC.

Your vet may suggest lysine, an essential amino acid that serves as a building block for proteins, to help inhibit the replication of the virus. Vitamin C and apple cider vinegar are commonly discussed on the internet, but are not recommended by veterinarians to treat cats with colds. Cats are not generally known for being aquatic creatures, but getting them to spend five to ten minutes a in a hot, steamy bathroom can help open their airways.

Dr. Osborne says you may be able to entice your kitty to eat with special treats such as a teaspoon of tuna, sardine juice, raw liver or chicken baby food with no onions. It may make it more palatable and enticing to eat because it brings out the natural odors of the food, Dr. Barrack says. You can get an estimate on how hydrated she is by gently pinching the neck at the spot where a mother cat would pick up her kitten and holding it up for five seconds, Dr. Osborne says.

How Do Cats Catch Colds?

Most colds in cats are caused by viruses, but they can also be caused by bacterial infections (or your cat can get a secondary bacterial infection on top of her viral illness). Two of the most common culprits are calicivirus and feline herpesvirus or rhinotracheitis.These pathogens are usually airborne but can also be spread through water. Most cats catch colds by being close to a cat that is already sick. This makes places with lots of cats in close quarters, such as a shelter, boarding kennel, or cattery, prime spots for transmitting colds. Cats living indoors in family homes are not protected from catching colds, however. Your cat can still be exposed to viruses and bacteria from cats who hang out outside your home, or even if you pet a sick cat elsewhere and then come home and interact with your cat.Poor air quality and ventilation can increase the risk of catching a cold. Cats who have a weakened immune system due to other issues are also at increased risk. Systemic illnesses such as kidney disease, asthma, allergies, or even stress can all put your cat at increased risk. For cats with asthma and allergies, forced air heat in the winter can cause an increase in symptoms and potentially predispose them to getting a URI, especially if the vents are not well-maintained.Some viruses can also stay in your cat‘s body long term even after the initial illness has resolved. These viruses remain latent until stress or another illness triggers them to recur later in the cat‘s life. Feline herpes in particular tends to do this.

Can Cats Get Colds From Humans?

No, cats cannot get colds from humans. The vast majority of viruses are highly species-specific and will not survive in a different host. Some bacterial infections can be transmitted to and from humans and cats, but this is rare.Cats can get COVID-19 from humans and may show mild symptoms, but this is extremely rare. Cats are in much more danger from feline coronavirus, which can cause the usually fatal disease feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).

Can Cats Get Sick From Cold Weather?

Not exactly. Cold weather can weaken your cat‘s immune system if she does not have access to proper shelter and nutrition, which would then put her at increased risk of contracting a cold. But for a healthy cat who is well cared-for, cold weather does not pose a risk for this illness.

Cat Cold Symptoms

Symptoms of a cold or upper respiratory infection in cats include:Cold symptoms in cats can generally last for one or two weeks.

Cat Colds: When to See a Veterinarian

“The most important thing is to bring your cat to the vet for care before you do anything,” says Dr. Rachel Barrack, a licensed veterinarian and certified veterinary acupuncturist.Dr. Barrack says some more severe symptoms that cat owners should watch out for include difficulty breathing, increased eye or nasal discharge, increased lethargy or a refusal to eat or drink. This is why you should initially make sure to see a vet instead of first trying to treat the problem at home.“These are all signs that more care is required. It’s easy to think that when your cat has a cold, there’s nothing to worry about, but I think it’s better to err on the side of caution,” says Dr. Barrack. “It’s easier to treat in the early stages.”So, once you consult with your veterinarian to determine the diagnosis and have gotten a prescription pet medication, you can also supplement treatment with a little TLC. Here are some additional home remedies for cats with colds that can bring comfort when your cat isn’t feeling his best.

Help Your Cat With Grooming

Cats are usually fastidious about grooming themselves, but cats with colds may need your help with hard-to-reach areas. Dr. Carol Osborne, an integrative veterinarian and authority in traditional and alternative veterinary medicine, suggests using a clean, warm, damp washcloth to clean their nasal passages and eyes.“Gently massage your kitty’s face with a washcloth to clean out his mouth and nose. You can also use an infant’s bulb syringe to wash mucus out of your cat’s nose,” she says. If you use the syringe, be gentle and don’t force it on your cat if he’s uncomfortable.

Turn Up the Heat

It’s unclear on whether or not giving your cat vitamins or trying natural cat cold remedies really can help her kick her cold (Dr. Barrack says she doesn’t use or recommend them), but you can try giving your cat the following items, provided they’ve first been green-lit by your veterinarian: