Cat colds are upper respiratory infections that have all of the same characteristics as human colds. If your kitty is sneezing or suffering from a runny nose they may have a cat cold. Today, our vets in Walnut Creek share important details about cat colds, including the symptoms and when to see a vet.
How do cats catch colds?
Is your cat sniffling and sneezing? If so, these are signs that they may have a cat cold. Now, you are probably wondering how they caught it in the first place, and, more importantly, how you can prevent them.
Cat colds are contagious, just like human colds. This means that outdoor cats are at a higher risk of catching the cold virus than indoor kitties, as they are more likely to come into contact with other cats.
Cat colds are an upper respiratory infection (URI) caused by bacteria or a virus. Humans can't catch it, but it spreads easily between cats, especially in crowded environments. So if you have recently boarded your cat, and they started exhibiting cold-like symptoms, your feline friend was probably near another cat suffering from an upper respiratory infection.
Choosing a reputable boarding provider could also help to reduce the chances of increasing your pet's stress levels, and will make it less likely for your cat to develop a URI.
What are the signs of cat colds?
If your cat is suffering from a URI you may notice that they are exhibiting one or more of the following cat cold symptoms:
- Runny Nose
- Mild Fever
- Watery Eyes
More Severe Symptoms
- Reduced Appetite
What can I do if my cat has a cold?
If your cat has a cold, you can help them feel more comfortable by wiping their runny nose with a clean cloth, and runny eyes with a cloth and saline solution. You can also run a humidifier so the air isn't too dry.
If your cat seems to be stuffed up, making breathing a little difficult, secure them in their pet carrier, put a bowl of hot water in front of the cage, and cover both with a blanket for about 15 minutes.
It's imperative that your cat keeps eating and drinking so they can recover faster. Food that is warmed up and easier to swallow might make this process more appealing for them. They also have to stay warm, so place an extra blanket in their bed or favorite area to curl up.
Never give your cat human cold medication (or any medication without talking to your vet first). Always ask your veterinarian what they recommend for your furry friend.
When do I take my cat to the vet for their cold?
Most cat colds are harmless and will go away in approximately 1-2 weeks. However, you do need to monitor your kitty's health. If there are no signs of improvement by the fourth day, you should contact your ver to schedule an appointment. A persisting cold that doesn't get treated properly could lead to pneumonia.
As with humans, it's important to be careful with older cats, kittens, and cats with other conditions that may make them more susceptible to the effects of a cold. This is especially true of cats that are nursing, or that haven't been vaccinated. If your cat falls into one of these categories, make an appointment immediately.
In any case, if your cat begins coughing, has difficulty breathing, or stops eating, they need to see a vet as soon as possible.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.