Can cats get a cold? Yes! Cat colds are upper respiratory infections characterized by all the same symptoms as the human cold. If your feline friend is sneezing or has a runny nose there's a good chance they have a cat cold. Today, our Stroudsburg vets explain how you can help your cat feel better and when to seek veterinary care. 

How did my cat catch a cold?

Your cat having a cold is indicated by sneezing and sniffles. Cat colds are typically caused by bacteria or a virus, resulting in an upper respiratory infection (URI).

Cat colds can easily spread from one cat to another, just like how humans can catch colds from each other. Outdoor cats have a higher likelihood of contracting the cold virus compared to indoor cats due to their increased interaction with other felines. Cats that spend time in boarding facilities also fall under the same category. 

Humans cannot catch colds from cats, and vice versa.

What are the signs of colds in cats?

If your cat is suffering from an URI you may notice that they are exhibiting one or more of the following cat cold symptoms:

  • sneezing
  • sniffles
  • watery eyes
  • runny nose
  • mild fever
More Severe Symptoms
  • reduced appetite
  • coughing

What to Do if Your Cat Has a Cold

To help your cat feel more comfortable if they have a cold, wipe their runny nose with a clean cloth and their runny eyes with a cloth and saline solution. Running a humidifier can help alleviate dryness in the air. 

To help your cat breathe easier if they're congested, place them in their pet carrier, position a bowl of hot water in front of the cage, and cover both with a blanket for approximately 15 minutes.

Your cat's recovery will be faster if they continue to eat and drink regularly. They might find the process more appealing if the food is warmed up and easier to swallow. Make sure to keep them warm by adding an extra blanket to their bed or favorite spot to snuggle up.

Never administer cold medication or any medication to your cat without consulting your vet. Consult your vet for their recommended course of action for your pet.

Does my cat have allergies or a cold?

To determine whether your cat has allergies or a cold, it is important to observe their symptoms. Allergies in cats often manifest as sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and skin irritations. On the other hand, a cold typically presents with symptoms like sneezing, nasal congestion, coughing, and a runny nose.

How will I know if my cat needs to see a vet?

In most cases, cat colds are harmless and will go away on their within 1-2 weeks. However, if you notice your cat's cold isn't getting better or is worsening by the fourth day of their infection, you should bring them to the vet. In some cases, cat colds may develop into pneumonia, particularly if your cat is a kitten, a senior, or is immunocompromised. 

In any case, if your cat begins coughing, has difficulty breathing, or stops eating or drinking, they need to see a 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. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Does your cat have a cold that isn't getting better? Contact our Stroudsburg vets today to book an appointment for your feline friend.