Do Cats Catch Colds? Know the Signs and Symptoms

Over the world, millions of people adore having cats as companions. However, can cats get colds? Let’s study this topic in greater detail.

Do Cats Catch Colds?

Do cats get colds the same way people do? Sure, Cats are equally prone to upper respiratory infections like colds as people are. They even experience the fall and winter as our “cold season.”

The majority of cat colds do not pose a serious threat to life, which is good news. You should be aware of a few symptoms, though, as they could indicate a secondary or worsening infection. These pose a particular risk to elderly cats, kittens, and cats who have not received their vaccinations. Take extra care if your cat has a chronic illness or a weakened immune system.

How Do Colds Affect Cats?

A cat’s cold might be brought on by bacteria or a virus. Cats can catch colds from other sick cats because they are contagious. Cats are more likely to contract colds through cough or sneeze droplets. When cats are brought to the groomer or a kennel and interact with other cats, this frequently occurs. Cats that are permitted outside tend to get colds far more frequently than indoor cats.

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of a Cat Cold?

The majority of cats will begin to exhibit symptoms of illness within 24 hours of contracting a cold. During the course of 72 hours, these symptoms typically develop worse before starting to get better on their own.

  • A sneeze
  • Coughing
  • swollen nose
  • breathing from their mouth, which is indicative of a congested nose
  • Fever (a body temperature over 102.5°F)
  • Red eyes.
  • Watering eyes
  • refuses or consumes little food

How to Handle a Cold in a Cat

Make your cat as comfortable as you can if you suspect they have a cold. Using a humidifier to increase the humidity in your house is beneficial. To relieve their discomfort, it may be a good idea to position their blanket or bed near an area that is humid. Since many essential oils are poisonous to cats, avoid adding them to the humidifier. Warm water should be applied on a cloth to help your cat’s clogged nose open. Wipe their face with a fresh cloth or a piece of gauze soaked in saline solution to relieve runny eyes.

Your cat might not be able to smell their food and might not want to eat if they are congested. Try purchasing a more flavored wet cat food and reheating it to help your cat absorb the nutrients they require. Provide your cat with sodium-free broth or tuna juice to help them stay hydrated.

Make sure your cat has an ample supply of blankets to keep them warm during their recuperation. This is a fantastic time to offer your cat more cuddles because you cannot get their cold.

Severe Cold Symptoms: It’s Time to Visit the Vet with Kitty

Like a human cold, a cat’s cold will probably endure 7–14 days in total. On day four, though, you ought to notice some improvement. It’s necessary to take the cat to the veterinarian if, after four days, they are not getting better or are growing worse. The cat may get pneumonia or a dangerous sinus or ear infection if the condition is left to fester. This mostly affects kittens, older cats, and cats who are dealing with other health problems. In cats who have not received their vaccinations, it is also more common. If your cat exhibits even one of the following signs, take them to the vet right away.

  • 105°F or greater fever: consult an emergency veterinarian.
  • Deep cough lasting more than 4 days.
  • Heart rate over 220 beats per minute.
  • Blue lips
  • Green or yellow discharge coming from the nostril.
  • Black or yellow fluid in the ear.
  • Swelling or red ear canal.
  • Loss of balance.
  • A sour odor coming from the ear.
  • The feline is licking or pawing at their face or ear.
  • The cat frequently tilts their head.
  • Cherry eye or protruding third eyelid.
  • Any swelling of any part of the face, nose, or head.

Can Cats Catch Colds From Humans?

Cats are not likely to catch colds from people. It is extremely unusual that a cold can spread from one species to another because most viruses can only live in their own. This implies that your cat won’t likely get a cold from a different kind of pet in the house. So you don’t need to be concerned about your cat and dog getting sick together.

Although it happens occasionally, certain bacteria can spread from humans to cats and vice versa. Although it is not common, cats can catch COVID-19 from people and may experience moderate symptoms.

How to Identify Allergies in Cats and Separate Them from a Cold

The distinctions between allergies and a cold might be challenging to discern because of their similarities. Sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and runny eyes are signs of allergies in cats. The same symptoms of a cold!

The length and timing of a cat cold and allergies are the main distinctions. Many feline allergies are a chronic issue that recurs frequently. For instance, if your cat suffers from seasonal allergies, it may display symptoms every spring and fall. Alternatively, they may exhibit symptoms each time they use or eat a certain brand of food or cat litter if they are allergic to it.

Definitely not a cold if your cat exhibits skin-related symptoms like rashes or itching. Bloating and gas are common indications of allergies, not cat colds, when it comes to digestion.

In general, cats may experience a cold once or twice a year. It’s time to visit the veterinarian for an allergy test if your cat is exhibiting cold symptoms more frequently than that.

Can I Give Cold Medicine to My Cat?

Never administer medication to a cat by a person. The veterinarian can recommend safe and efficient cat medication if your cat has a bad cold. Human over-the-counter drugs may pose a risk to cats. Simple drugs like aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), and Pepto Bismal, for instance, are completely safe for human use yet lethal and toxic to cats. Cats’ red blood cells are harmed by even natural cold medicines that contain zinc and vitamin C. As was already noted, cats are particularly vulnerable to the toxicity of essential oils, so before using, see a veterinarian.

It’s fine to use regular saline nasal spray to assist your cat breathe easier if they have a stuffy or dry nose. In a similar vein, you can safely remove excretions from your eyes by using saline fake tears. Make sure it is only salt water and contains no other components. Adding hot steam from a shower to the bathroom can also help soothe irritable mucous membranes.

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How Do I Prevent a Cat Cold From Spreading to Other Cats?

If you live with other cats, you should attempt to reduce the risk of infection by

If at all feasible, keeping your cat apart from other cats.

Cleaning and sanitizing every item of furniture, toys, food bowls, and litter boxes that your sick cat has used.

After touching the ill cat or any items it may have come into contact with, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water.

In order to stop infections from entering your household or spreading, keep your healthy cats apart from other cats.

Maintain current immunization records for all cats living in the home.

Make sure all kitties are not overly anxious. Stress increases their susceptibility to illnesses like the flu and colds.