Can cats get colds? Winter will soon be upon us. While us humans can expect to catch the common cold as the season changes, does the same go for our cats? Do felines get colds or even worse the flu?
Furthermore, can humans give it to them? And if so what can we do about it?
Let’s take a look.
Cats and colds
The simple fact is, cats can and do catch colds. A cat shows signs of a cold much the same as humans do. They can have respiratory problems and will look and feel lethargic. There are quite a few symptoms to look out for however.
Cats and Colds – The Common Symptoms
You will be pleased to know that your cats cannot catch a cold from you. So if you have a cold, that’s one less thing to worry about.
- Sneezing – As we all know, sneezing is an involuntary reflex. A sneeze is the body’s way of expelling foreign bodies and other invaders from the nasal system. Cats do exactly the same thing too. If your cat is sneezing, it is a good sign that a cold virus has set in.
- Nasal discharge – As the cold virus begins to cause irritation to the nasal lining, the body produces excess mucus in order to protect those passages. The abundance of mucus will begin to leak from your cat’s nose. See this and you know your cat is suffering.
- Eye discharge – As the cold virus progresses, you might see mucus building up in and around your cat’s eyes. Again this is due to the excess mucus building up within your cat’s respiratory system. You should wipe this away to prevent it from drying up and causing discomfort.
- Mouth breathing – Difficulty in breathing is another sign your cat has a cold. Mucus is the guilty culprit once again. The cause? Blocking of the nasal areas so that your cat is forced to breath through the mouth.
- Mild lethargy – Lethargy is due to the immune system working overtime to beat the infection. Your cat will be trying to sleep more.
- Less appetite – If your cat has a cold he may well eat less food than normal.
Treatment for a cat with a cold
It is very important that you don’t give your cat any human cold relief medications.
The wrong type of medication, in the wrong dosage could cause serious illness or death. Before giving your cat any kind of medication, you need to have approval from your vet.
How you can help if your cat has a cold
Beyond a trip to the vets, there is plenty that you can do to make your cat feel more comfortable while they are ill. This includes:
- Keep your cat warm – Keep your cat as warm and comfortable as you possibly can. Reduce their exposure to cold drafts (or the cold outside) These extra stresses on the body can keep the immune system from battling the cold.
- Remove the mucus. – Use a moist wipe to remove any mucus before it has a chance to dry.
- Give your cat plenty of water – Your cat needs to be as hydrated as possible. Dehydration will make the fever worse, and cause the mucus to thicken.