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Can Your Cat Get a Cold?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Although cats do get an illness similar to the common cold, it is not the same illness as the cold human's get. The cold that human's get is a virus. Viruses are almost always species specific. This means that it can only be spread from human to human, and cat's cannot get it. What we call a cold, is actually an upper respiratory infection. This is true for cats too. There is no cure for upper respiratory infections. In cats we have to do the same as we do in humans-treat the symptoms as they come. 

Although cat colds cannot be spread to humans, they are very contagious from cat to cat. If you have multiple cats in your household, you may want to separate the one who has a cold from the others so they don't get sick too. 

How Can I Tell That My Cat Has A Cold?

A kitty cold usually consists of a runny nose, sneezing, and clear mucus running from the eyes and nose.  A more serious infection will also have a fever, cough, yellow or green discharge from nose or eyes, enlarged lymph nodes, and/or loss of appetite. If these symptoms are present, then antibiotics may be required. 

How Does My Cat Get A Cold?

You may be surprised to find that indoor cats can get colds, even without every coming into contact with another cat. The viruses which cause upper respiratory infections are often airborne, though some travel in water. These viruses will get into your home since it is impossible to filter out all air and water that comes into the home. 

How Can I Prevent a Cat Cold?

The best way to prevent your cat from getting a cold is by making sure he gets his vaccinations. A basic cat booster will offer protection from many viruses, including some of the more common cold viruses. 

How to Treat a Cat's Cold?

First, make sure that you cat can eat, drink, and breathe properly. Often, all that you need to do is wipe off the cat's nose and mouth. However, if their eating, breathing, or drinking is inhibited, you may need to bring them to the vet. If your cat is not eating, it may be because he cannot smell his food. Try feeding him some stinky wet food. 

Do not give your cat any over the counter medicines made for humans. These can kill your cat. The vet may give you a nasal spray or anti-histamine. Follow his instructions about how much and how often to give this to the cat. 


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