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Cats & Colds: Can they get them?

Has your cat been sneezing or showing other signs that would indicate illness? It may be a cold! Here, our veterinarians in Clinton Township discuss the signs of cat colds and what you should do if you think your feline friend is feeling under the weather.

Can cats get a cold?

Many pet parents ask us, 'Does my cat have allergies or a cold?' While allergies are possible, cats can catch colds just like humans, and the symptoms include sneezing and sniffles. Cat colds are highly contagious, and outdoor cats are more at risk than indoor cats because they are more likely to interact with other cats.

Colds are caused by bacteria or viruses and can easily spread among cats in compact conditions. If your cat has recently been boarded and suddenly develops a cold, it's possible that it was exposed to another cat with a cold.

While the cold is usually harmless, the symptoms can lead to more serious illnesses and infections.

Signs & Symptoms of a Cat Cold

If your cat has severe or prolonged symptoms like those listed below, bring your cat to Snider Veterinary Services for a wellness exam.

  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Sniffling
  • Coughing
  • Dehydration

    What to Do if Your Cat Has a Cold

    If your cat suffers from cold symptoms like a runny nose or eyes, you can help them feel better by wiping their nose with a clean cloth and their eyes with a saline solution-dampened cloth. A humidifier can also keep the air moist.

    If your cat has difficulty breathing due to congestion, place them in their pet carrier, put a bowl of hot water in front of it, and cover both with a blanket for 15 minutes. This will help your cat breathe more easily.

    Keeping your cat well-fed and hydrated is important to help them recover more quickly. Try warming up their food, which may make it more appealing and easier to swallow. Provide extra blankets in their bed or favorite spot to keep them warm.

    Never give your cat human cold medicine or any medication without consulting your vet first. Always check with your vet to determine your pet's best course of action.

    My cat has a cold; do they need to see a vet?

    Colds in cats are typically harmless and can go away on their own within one to two weeks. However, monitoring your cat's health during this time is important. If there are no signs of improvement by the fourth day, it's best to take your cat to the vet. An untreated cold can lead to pneumonia, which can be more severe.

    Usually, a cat's cold symptoms will improve within a few days. However, if your cat has been experiencing cold symptoms and there is no sign of improvement within four days, it may be time to see a veterinarian.

    Just like humans, caring extra for older cats, kittens, and cats with other health conditions is important. This is particularly true for cats that are nursing or have not been vaccinated.

    A cat's cold can lead to more serious infections if left untreated. If your cat is a senior, a young kitten, or has a weakened immune system, it is essential to contact a vet.

    If your cat starts coughing, has trouble breathing, or stops eating, it is crucial to take them to the vet as soon as possible.

    Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please visit your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.

    Is your cat sneezing, wheezing, or otherwise showing signs of illness? Contact our Clinton Township vets as soon as possible to schedule an exam.

    New Patients Welcome

    Snider Veterinary Service is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Clinton Township companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

    Contact Us

    Contact (586) 286-5684