Much like their human counterparts, cats are susceptible to colds that can manifest in similar symptoms such as a runny nose and sneezing. At Somerset, our veterinarian is exploring the ways in which our furry felines can contract them and the signs that it's time to schedule a visit to the vet.
Can Cats Get a Cold?
If your feline friend is exhibiting signs of a sniffle and sneeze, it's possible they have contracted a cold. This raises the question of how they caught it, and most importantly, how to prevent it from happening again. Just like human colds, cat colds can be highly contagious. Outdoor cats are more vulnerable to the virus due to their increased exposure to other felines.
A cat cold is an upper respiratory infection caused by a virus or bacteria. While it is not transmissible to humans, it can easily spread among cats, particularly in crowded conditions. So if you have recently boarded your cat and they came down with a cold, chances are they were in close proximity to another infected feline. To minimize the risk of your cat developing a URI, it's important to choose a reputable boarding provider who can help reduce their stress levels. By doing so, you can help ensure the health and well-being of your furry companion.
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 furry friend is suffering from a cold, you can take steps to ensure their comfort. Wipe away any mucus from their nose with a clean cloth and clean their runny eyes with a cloth and saline solution. Additionally, consider running a humidifier to keep the air from becoming too dry. If your cat is struggling to breathe, create a cozy and warm environment for them. Place them in their carrier and place a bowl of hot water in front of the cage.
Then, drape a blanket over both for about 15 minutes. It's essential that your cat maintains their appetite and stays hydrated to speed up their recovery. Try warming their food to make it more enticing and easier for them to eat. Also, provide extra warmth by placing a blanket in their bed or preferred snuggling spot. Never administer human cold medication or any other medication without the advice of your veterinarian. Always consult with your vet to determine the best course of action for your pet's health.
When Should I Take My Cat to the Vet?
Cats can sometimes develop a cold, which is usually harmless and goes away on its own within a week or two. However, it's crucial to keep an eye on your feline friend's health and seek veterinary help if there's no improvement by day four. Neglecting proper treatment for a persistent cold could lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia.
Some cats, such as older felines, kittens, and those with pre-existing health issues, are more susceptible to the effects of a cold. This is particularly true for nursing cats and those who haven't received proper vaccinations. If your cat falls into any of these categories, don't hesitate to schedule a vet appointment.
It's important to seek immediate veterinary care if your cat shows symptoms like coughing, breathing difficulties, or a loss of appetite. These could indicate a more serious underlying issue that requires prompt attention.
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.