Cats & Colds: Can They Get Them and What To Do For Them

Did you know that cats can catch colds? They can even develop some of the same symptoms that people do when they catch a cold. Today our Jacksonville vets discuss the symptoms of cat colds, and how you can help your kitty feel better.

Feline Upper Respiratory Infection

Feline Upper Respiratory Infection or 'cat colds' are much like the colds people get. Cat colds generally arent considered life-threatening, but, sometimes, symptoms can become severe and cause more dangerous secondary infections. It's very important to closely monitor very young, or senior cats if they show signs of having a cat cold.

How Cats Catch Colds

When a cat has a cold it could either be bacterial or viral. Usually, it spreads between cats through droplets when an infected cat sneezes. Outdoor cats are at a higher risk of catching a cold because they frequently come into contact with other cats.

Common Cat Cold Symptoms

If your cat isn't feeling well it may have a cold. Cat colds typically start with sneezing, while the other symptoms will begin appearing over the course of 24 hours. Here we have listed some of the most common cat cold symptoms: 

  • Excessive coughing
  • Excessive sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Congestion leading to open mouth breathing
  • Red watery eyes
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever

What to do if Your Cat Has a Cold

When your cat is sick, you should increase humidity in your home by running a humidifier or vaporizer. If your cat has a stuffy nose you can use a clean damp cloth or some cotton wool soaked in warm water to carefully wipe your cat's nose. You may also soothe and cleanse your cat's watery eyes by applying a saline solution with gauze pads.

When your cat has a stuffy nose they will have a hard time smelling their food and might stop eating. It's essential that your cat keeps eating so they can build up their strength while they recover, so it might be a good idea to buy some extra special wet cat food to tempt your feline friend to eat. Warming your cat's food may also help.

Add an extra blanket to your cat's favorite resting spots to help keep them warm and comfortable.

When You Should Take Your Cat to the Vet For Their Cold

When cats have a cold their symptoms usually start to go away after several days. If 4 days have passed and their symptoms are showing no signs of clearing up you should call your vet to make an appointment. 

If your cat's cold goes untreated they can develop more serious infections. It's even more important to call your vet if you have a senior cat, young kitten, or immune-compromised cat.

Are your cat's cold symptoms worrying you? Contact our Jacksonville vets today to schedule an appointment.