Like humans, cats can come down with upper respiratory infections (URIs). Commonly referred to as “cat colds,” many types of URIs exist. They may result from a virus or a bacterial infection, and they are often contracted from other cats. It is very unlikely for a cat to catch a cold from a human.
Cats that spend time outdoors or in boarding facilities where they are in contact with other cats are more likely to come down with a cat cold. So if you plan to board your cat this holiday season, this is something to keep in mind. If your cat is elderly or immunocompromised, you may want to consider other options to protect them from potential illness.
Signs your cat has a cold
Cat colds have very similar symptoms to human colds, so they should be easy to recognize. Here’s what to watch for:
· Runny nose
· Watery eyes
Sneezing is usually the first indication that your cat is suffering from a respiratory illness. If your cat feels truly rotten, they may also experience loss of appetite.
How to care for your cat
Usually, cat colds will run their course within a week or so, but you should still monitor your cat’s condition to ensure their symptoms don’t worsen. Take note of their eating and drinking habits to ensure they get enough food and water.
If your cat shows a loss of appetite, try enticing them to eat by offering them wet food, which may be easier to swallow. Snappy Tom Naturals are rich in protein and will help your cat get the nutrition they need to fight off their URI. Contact your veterinarian if your cat refuses to eat for more than a day.
Ensure your cat has a comfortable and cozy place to sleep off their symptoms. Add a blanket to their favourite spot to lounge or invest in a heating pad to keep them nice and toasty while they recover.
If your cat is experiencing watery eyes or a runny nose, take a damp cloth and gently wipe away any discharge to make it easier for them to see and breathe. If you live in a dry climate, running a dehumidifier will help make it easier for your cat to breathe while sick and congested.
If you have other cats in your home, keep them separate from your sick cat to avoid spreading the illness.
When to call the vet
Usually your cat’s cold will clear up on its own within 7 to 10 days. However, if their symptoms continue to worsen or they stop eating or drinking, it’s time to contact your veterinarian. In some cases, colds can develop into pneumonia or a secondary infection, which requires medication to overcome.
The Bottom Line
Cat colds are relatively common for cats that come into contact with other cats. In most cases, they are very mild (to the point where you may not even notice the symptoms) and clear up on their own. However, it’s always good to be mindful of changes in your cat’s state of being. If your suspect your furry friend is suffering from a cold, keep them warm, fed, and hydrated until it passes.