Can Cats Catch A Cold? We Answer the Question Once and For All!

Has your poor cat been sneezing and sniffling all the time? Have you asked yourself can cats catch a cold? Luckily for you, we have all the answers!

can cats catch a cold
Magic Madzik / Flickr

We can’t count the amount of times people have come up to us and said, can cats catch a cold? For some reason, many people find it hard to understand that kitties, just like humans, can fall ill at a moment’s notice. If your cat is sniffling or generally looks unwell, it’s important that you do something about it sooner rather than later.

Sadly, if you leave a condition like this one for too long, your pet runs the risk of becoming iller and iller. That’s the last thing that you want. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. We have all the information you need about cat colds you could possibly need. So, sit back, grab yourself a cup of tea, and get reading.

So, can cats catch a cold? And, if so, how?

The short answer is, of course, yes. Cats can get colds just like we can. When you see them sneezing away, it’s down to a little something that experts call ‘upper respiratory disease’. Don’t let the name fool you. It’s not nearly as bad as it sounds. In reality, this condition is very similar to the human strain of cold you or I get.

The problem is that the virus may never leave your cat’s system once they get it. This is the reason why there are cats out there who get colds again and again. Since the virus is still dormant in their system, the cold itself will come back at any given chance.

As for why cats actually get colds, there could be a whole host of reasons out there. These types of infections can be both bacterial or viral. That means that they can pick them up from other cats, through the air, or just by being out in the cold for too long. You shouldn’t be mad at yourself for failing to prevent the cold because doing so is pretty much impossible.

What you really need to do is make sure that you catch the virus as soon as possible. The moment that you see your cat is sick, it’s important that you do something about it. A few sneezes here and there are likely no massive problem. However, if your cat is sneezing all the time, you may find that they need medical attention right away.

What are the symptoms of cat colds?

Of course, the first step is identifying the fact that your kitty actually has a cold. There are some common signs that you should look out for when your cat starts to seem unwell in anyway. If they show the following signs of a cold, you should take action:

  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Dripping (discharge) from the eyes and nose
  • Dyhydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Fever
  • Ulcers around the eyes, nose, or mouth
  • ‘Mouth breathing’

In general, you should be able to tell when your cat is ill. All of the above signs don’t have to be there, but if some are, you need to do something about it. When people ask ‘can cats get a cold’, they are often surprised to find out that they can. It’s what you do next, though, that really does count.

What should you do next?

When you’ve figured out that, yes, your cat most likely does have a cold, what should you do? Well, there are a few home remedies that you may well want to try. These will help your cat to feel better and make the illness easier for them to cope with.

Please note: When your cat is seriously ill, you absolutely have to take them to the vets. They need an expert’s opinion sooner rather than later!

Give them a little steam!

Now, your cat may not like spending a whole load of time in the bathroom, but it could be a good idea right now. When the room gets all steamy (after you’ve had a shower or the like!), get your cat to sit in there for a while. The steam and heat will help to open up their nasal passage making it easier for them to breathe.

Give them a little extra food

Do you remember that old saying? ‘Feed a cold and starve a stomach bug.’ Well, that’s what you need to do here. Your cat’s body is fighting off an infection, and so they need as much energy (and food) as possible. Give them a little extra food in their bowl each day. It might just make all the difference.

Groom your cat

When your cat has a cold, you may notice that their eyes, nose, and mouth starts to run with clear liquid. You should be sure to clean this liquid away as soon as possible. Basically, this will make your cat very uncomfortable and that’s the last thing you want. Get a bowl of warm (ish) water and a clean dry cloth. Dip the cloth in the water and gently wipe around the areas where there is liquid.

How to treat cat colds

All of the above remedies are the perfect way to help your cat deal with their cold, however, they probably need medical help as well. If your take your pet to the vets, they will be able to look them over and see just what’s wrong. Much of the time, a cat with a cold will need a prescription to help treat it. You may find that your vet suggests an antibacterial oral medication and perhaps even some eye ointment as well.

Hint: To get your cat to take oral medication, wrap it in a bit of meat or cat food. They will swallow the tablet in no time at all!

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