Just like humans, cats can get cold and show similar signs, like a runny nose and sneezing. Today, our Roswell vets discuss cat colds, including how our kitties can catch them and when you should take your feline friend to see the vet.
How do cats catch colds?
If your cat is sniffling and sneezing, they might have a cold. You might wonder how they got it and how to prevent it from happening again.
Just like colds in humans are contagious, cat colds can spread too. Outdoor cats are at a higher risk because they often meet other cats.
Cat colds are an upper respiratory infection (URI) caused by a virus or bacteria. It can't be transmitted to humans, but it can easily spread among cats, especially in compact conditions. So if you have recently boarded your cat and they have developed a cold, odds are your pet was close to another cat that has a cold.
Choosing a reputable boarding provider can reduce your cat's stress and lower their chances of contracting a respiratory infection.
Cat Colds: Signs & Symptoms
- runny nose
- watery eyes
- mild fever
More Severe Symptoms
- reduced appetite
What to do if Your Cat Has a Cold
If your kitty has caught a cold, you can gently wipe their runny nose and eyes with a clean cloth and saline solution. You could also turn on a humidifier so the air isn't too dry.
If your cats are congested, place them in a pet carrier, put a bowl of hot water in front of the carrier, and cover both with a blanket for 15 minutes.
Your cat must continue eating and drinking so they can recover faster. You might be able to make their food more appealing and easier for them to eat by warming it up. Your kitty also needs to stay warm, so place an extra blanket in their bed or favorite area to curl up.
Never give human cold medication (or any medication without the advice of your vet) to your cat. Always speak with your vet to see what they recommend for your pet.
When Should I Take My Cat to the Vet?
Cat colds are usually harmless and often go away within 1-2 weeks. But it's crucial to watch your cat's health. Most of the time, cat colds are harmless and will go away within 1-2 weeks. You do need to monitor their health, however, and if there is no sign of improvement by the fourth day, you should make an appointment with your vet, as a persisting cold that does not get treated properly can lead to pneumonia.
Be extra cautious with older cats, kittens, or cats with health issues. This is especially true for nursing cats or those without vaccinations. If your cat fits into these groups, see the vet right away.
Regardless, if your cat starts coughing, struggles to breathe, or stops eating, get them to a vet as soon as you can.