What Are Cold Symptoms For Cats
- A sore throat
Colds are the worst!
And while not all of the symptoms are exactly the same, some feline symptoms are similar to those of humans, meaning youll probably be able to sympathize with your cat!
The most common viral and bacterial infections that are classified as colds affect the nasal passage and sinuses.
Listen to this poor kitty below:
This means that discharge in the nose and eyes is very common.
Nasal discharge typically is:
- Light green.
If there is blood in the drainage, consult a veterinarian immediately, as this may be a sign of a more serious ailment.
Inevitably, drainage in the nasal passage can result in sneezing.
I have to admit that the first time I heard my cat sneeze, I thought I might melt from how adorable she sounded.
However cute it may be, though, sneezing is still a sign that your cat is suffering from an infection.
If you notice your cat moving slowly and hesitantly, this may also be a symptom.
Some of the other symptoms of a feline infection require a bit more observation.
These include loss of appetite and dehydration from not eating or drinking enough.
You should be familiar with your cats eating and drinking routines, and if you suspect that she has a cold, pay attention to any changes that take place.
Treating A Cat Cold Or Flu
Treating a cat cold is simple. If your cat has a cold there is usually no need to worry, simply wait it out. Most cat colds will last no more than 7-10 days. The cold virus will remain in your cats system for years which significantly increases the chances of it recurring in the future.
This can cause problems, particularly as your cat ages, because as they age their body will be more prone to respiratory ailments such as pneumonia which can be fatal.
How To Take Care Of A Sick Cat
If your cat has a cold, you can help her feel more comfortable by wiping her watery eyes with a warm washcloth. You can also use a humidifier to ease any symptoms of a dry, scratchy throat. If your cat seems very congested, you can put her in her cat carrier with a bowl of hot water and cover both with a blanket for 15 minutes. This may help make breathing a little easier for her. To keep her warm, place an extra blanket in her bed or favorite napping spot.;
Its important for your cat to continue to eat and drink normally. Warming canned food up might make the food more appetizing and make it a little easier to swallow.;
Do not ever give your cat any medication or supplement without a prescription from your vet.;
Also Check: What Happens When You Are Allergic To Cats
Reasons Why Your Cat’s Eyes Might Water
If your cat has watery eyes it likely means that the eye is attempting to fight off some form of health threat such as a virus or a foreign body. In many cases the cause is minor and will clear up without veterinary care. That said, there are a host of more serious reasons that your cat’s eyes could be watering. To find the cause of your cat’s eye issue it’s necessary to look for other symptoms.
Uri Symptoms Severity And Diagnosis
The first symptom of a URI is usually red, watery eyes. The eyelids themselves will look sore and the cat may squint one or both eyes. Some cat owners might think the cat got something in her eye or scratched her it.
Sneezes follow rapidly, usually within 24 hours of the red eyes, and the sneezing will be followed by bubbles at the nose, snorting to clear the nose and head congestion. A mild case may not progress any further than this, but some cats will also begin coughing, act as if they have a sore throat, run a fever and develop chest congestion. In severe cases, the cat will stop eating and may have difficulty breathing.
Like human colds, URIs are not generally considered life-threatening. That said, young kittens, cats with health challenges, elderly cats, cats who develop secondary infections or cats who stop eating may die.
Most URIs can be treated at home, and often your veterinarian will not ask for your cat to come to the clinic. After all, your cat could then spread it to other cats there. However, if the symptoms appear to be severe , your vet will want to examine your cat.
You May Like: Can You Become Allergic To Cats
How Do Cats Get Upper Respiratory Infections
80% to 90% of the contagious upper respiratory issues from ; are mostly found in:
These viruses can be transmitted from cat to cat through:
- Sharing food and water bowls
As much as I would love to protect my precious feline from everything harmful in this wild world, the truth of the matter is that illness will, most likely, happen at one point or another.
Just as humans are likely to catch a cold at some point, cats are, too.
So how does it happen?
In the world of felines, what we consider the common cold is actually an infection.
It can be classified as either a:
- Viral infection
- Bacterial infection
Both types appear with similar symptomatic reactions in cats.
So unless youre a qualified veterinarian, its pretty difficult to distinguish between them based on symptoms.
There are two most common infections that can be considered the culprits for feline colds.
- Feline herpes virus
- Feline calicivirus
They make up for 95% of feline infections.
Research studies have shown that both of these viruses affect cats regardless of their breed or sex.
This means that male and female cats are at an equal risk of becoming infected, as are cats of any breed.
You might think that feral cats are more likely to get sick because of their unpredictable environment.
However, both feral and domestic felines are at risk of getting URIs.
Even cats that spend all their time indoors in the safety of home can get sick.
Viruses can be passed between felines.
Can I Catch A Cold From My Cat
When I told my friends about this story, they were eager to know if they could get sick from a cat.
Funny enough, I had already wondered the same thing and had looked into the matter to ease my own concerns.
So for all the hypochondriacs out there, heres some good news.
Cats that are infected with a viral or bacterial infection cannot pass this illness to people.
The bacterial and viral strains are different from those that cause similar symptoms, like sneezing and a runny nose, in people.
This means that it is highly unlikely for an infected cat to be contagious to her human friends.
As mentioned before, however, cats can be contagious to other cats.
So its better to try and stop the infection from spreading any further if you suspect your cat is sick.
And remember, objects that come into contact with viruses and bacteria can remain there for several hours.
This means that if you come into contact with a sick cat, its best to wash your hands and disinfect items so the illness isnt spread further.
Read Also: Cat Tail Bone Exposed
Can You Comfort Your Cat Without Going To The Vet
If your kitty is lethargic, not eating or breathing with its mouth open, she really does need to be seen immediately by a veterinarian. However, if she is eating and stays active, a little supportive care may help her to feel much better.
Feeding canned cat food is not only healthy, but it is a little less scratchy on the throat going down. Also, if kitty is quite congested, warming the food slightly or adding warm water as a gravy will make it smell more appealing and help entice your cat to eat.
Bringing the cat into the bathroom while you take a warm shower can also help loosen up some of the congestionlike a giant, humid steam bathand help to make kitty more comfortable.
As far as any over-the-counter drops or supplements are concerned, these are generally not helpful or necessary, unless specifically recommended by your veterinarian for a specific case/reason. Most upper respiratory infections run their course in about 10-14 days.
However, some kitties do suffer from chronic infections and are then prone to periodic flare-ups or ongoing congestion. These are the exception rather than the rule.
We consider upper respiratory infections in cats to be very contagious, and it is not uncommon for a normal-looking kitten to be adopted from a shelter, only to start sneezing within a few days, followed shortly by all of the other cats in the house.
What Are The Symptoms Of An Upper Respiratory Infection
“The typical upper respiratory infection involves the nose and throat…”
The typical upper respiratory infection involves the nose and throat, causing symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, conjunctivitis , and discharges from the nose or eyes. The discharges may be clear or may become purulent . ;With FVR and FCV, the cat may develop ulcers in the mouth. Other, less specific symptoms of an upper respiratory infection include anorexia, lethargy, fever, enlarged lymph nodes and blepharospasm . In severe cases, the cat may have difficulty breathing. Most cases of URI in cats last seven to ten days.
You May Like: Why Does My Cat Attack My Hair
When Should You Contact A Veterinarian
First, it important to state that every animal adopted from a shelter should be taken for an examination by your regular veterinarian three to seven days after adoption. With rest and good care, many cats will recover from mild URI in one or two weeks. Sometimes cats need additional help. If your cat has any of the following signs, contact your veterinarian.
- Not eating for more than 24 hours.
- Green or yellow discharge from the nose or eyes . You can gently clean the cats nose and eyes with a soft cloth moistened with warm water.
- Difficulty breathing, especially panting or breathing through an open mouth.
- Depressed or unresponsive a slight decrease in activity is expected, but contact your veterinarian if your cat is much less active than usual or than you would expect.
- Vomiting or diarrhea that lasts more than 24 hours.
- Little or no improvement after a week of home care
Information courtesy of the University of California at Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program
How Does Your Nose Work To Protect Your Body
Your breathing process starts in your nose. Air gets into your lungs through your nose. It helps filter, humidify, warm or cool the air that comes through it so that the air that gets to your lungs is clean.
A special lining of mucosa, or a moist tissue, covers the area inside your nose and consists of many mucus-producing glands. As bacteria, allergens, dust or other harmful particles come into the nose, the mucus traps them. Mucus contains antibodies, or enzymes, which kill unwanted bacteria and viruses.
The mucosa lining also includes cilia, tiny hair-like structures. The cilia are continually in motion and move the collected harmful particles and the mucus that they are trapped in through your nose into the back of your throat. Its then swallowed and destroyed by the acid in your stomach. Mucus and particles can also be coughed up or sneezed out.
When outdoor temperatures turn cold, the pace of this process slows down. Many times, the mucus stays in your nose and then drips or dribbles out.
Also Check: Cat Years And Dog Years Chart
Why Does My Cat Cough
Coughing can occur because of the overproduction of mucous, which drains down the throat. However, just because your cat coughs, does not mean they have an upper respiratory infection.
Like people, cats can cough for other reasons besides an infection, such as allergies or clearing something from the throat. If youre concerned about your cats cough, see your veterinarian who can help diagnose the problem and recommend appropriate treatment.
On a side note, you should know that cats dont cough because of hairballs. Hairballs develop in the digestive tract, not the respiratory system, and are vomited up. Both vomiting and coughing can cause cats to heave and make similar sounds, so it can be hard for cat parents to tell the difference.
Q: How Do Cats Get Cat Flu
A: A cat can be a carrier of cat flu without necessarily showing symptoms. Its transmitted through sneeze or saliva droplets, or eye discharge. While kittens are usually most at risk of catching cat flu, older cats with weakened immune systems may also be susceptible. If your cat is a golden oldie or has a pre-existing heart or lung disease , youll need to watch her carefully and you might need to speak to your vet about possible treatments.
Don’t Miss: Why Do Cats Roll On The Ground
How Do Cats Catch Colds
These pathogens are usually airborne but can also be spread through water. Most cats catch colds by being close to a cat that is already sick. This makes places with lots of cats in close quarters, such as a shelter, boarding kennel, or cattery, prime spots for transmitting colds. Cats living indoors in family homes are not protected from catching colds, however. Your cat can still be exposed to viruses and bacteria from cats who hang out outside your home, or even if you pet a sick cat elsewhere and then come home and interact with your cat.
Poor air quality and ventilation can increase the risk of catching a cold. Cats who have a weakened immune system due to other issues are also at increased risk. Systemic illnesses such as kidney disease, asthma, allergies, or even stress can all put your cat at increased risk. For cats with asthma and allergies, forced air heat in the winter can cause an increase in symptoms and potentially predispose them to getting a URI, especially if the vents are not well-maintained.
Some viruses can also stay in your cat’s body long term even after the initial illness has resolved. These viruses remain latent until stress or another illness triggers them to recur later in the cat’s life. Feline herpes in particular tends to do this.
Do Cats Get Colds Or Flu
Do Cats Get Colds Or Flu? Can Cats Get The Flu From Humans? Cat flu is not actually caused by an influenza virus, unlike the flu that humans get. Humans cannot catch cat flu, and cats cannot catch human colds or influenza viruses.
Will cat sneezing go away on its own? Certain vaccines, like those used to prevent upper respiratory infections, may also cause sneezing in cats. However, symptoms usually resolve on their own within a few days.
What are the first signs of cat flu? sneezing. coughing. loss of appetite. tongue ulcers.
Will my cats upper respiratory infection go away on its own? Most upper respiratory infections in cats will resolve themselves with a little extra TLC and time. However, more severe infections may require treatment, prescription pet medication or even hospitalization.
Also Check: Cat T Shirt Designs
What Home Remedy Can You Give A Cat For A Cold
Keep an Eye on Food and Water Bowl Levels. When your kitty is congested, she can lose her sense of smell, which can result in a loss of appetite. Dr. Osborne says you may be able to entice your kitty to eat with special treats such as a teaspoon of tuna, sardine juice, raw liver or chicken baby food with no onions.
When Pets Get The Sniffles: Understanding Cold Symptoms In Dogs And Cats
Its that time of year again colds, sniffles and even the flu start taking over schools and offices. It seems like almost everyone is carrying tissues and spending a few days in bed. With such a prevalence of colds in humans during winter, its easy to wonder if and how such viruses pass to our pets. Can dogs and cats catch a cold?
What is a Cold?
A cold is a general term we use to describe a virus that causes certain symptoms, usually runny noses, watery eyes, sneezing, congestion, coughing and/or scratchy throat. In humans, the cold virus is usually a rhinovirus, though there are a few other culprits. These viruses are specific only to humans, and cannot be passed to dogs or cats. Similarly, dog and cat viruses cannot be passed to humans.
So when we use the term cold to describe a dog or cat illness that has the same symptoms as a human cold, we are using the same generic term , but it refers to different actual viruses. In dogs, these viruses are usually canine respiratory coronavirus, canine adenovirus type 2, canine parainfluenza virus, or Bordetella . In cats, the virus whose symptoms looks like a human cold is usually herpesvirus or calicivirus.
What are symptoms of a dog or cat cold?
Dogs and cats do catch colds, and their symptoms are just like humans. Both may have discharge from their noses, wet or labored breathing from congestion, sneezing , watery eyes and lethargy . The cold symptoms will likely last 5-10 days.
Also Check: Do Cats Like The Smell Of Vanilla
Q: Can Cat Flu Be Prevented
A: Yes, theres a simple way to protect your pet from cat flu: a yearly vaccination, which cats can have from nine weeks old. To help prevent your cat from ever catching the condition, though, youll need to make sure she receives her immunisations every year. Unfortunately, the vaccine wont be effective if your cat has already contracted the flu virus.