Cat Colds


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A sneeze can be caused by irritation or tickles to the nose. However, if you have a cat or kitten that's sneezing excessively, you might have to do a little bit of digging to see if anything is wrong. Cats that sneeze without any other symptoms such as no discharge from their eyes or nose, good appetite, zero changes in their behavior or activity level, and so on might be suffering from an allergy or being irritated with air fresheners or cigarette smoke. However, if your cat displays other symptoms such as a runny nose and eyes in addition to his/her sneezing, he/she might be dealing with an upper respiratory infection.

Can cats get colds?

People generally catch colds that are species-specific. Most colds are incapable of being transmitted to other species. If you were wondering if your cat caught a cold from a person, you could rest assured that the answer is almost always no.

There are a couple of viruses that our feline friends are susceptible to that look similar to symptoms that people with colds develop. All cats are susceptible to upper respiratory infections. However, kittens and under-vaccinated adults who have had contact with other cats are most susceptible.

What are the symptoms of cat colds?

Cats normally display similar symptoms when afflicted with a cat cold. Some of their symptoms are as follows.

  • Raise the third eyelid
  • Sneezing
  • Dehydration
  • Discharge from the eyes or a runny nose
  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive swallowing
  • Lethargy

What are cat colds caused by?

Cat colds are normally caused by infection with specific viruses. The most common viruses are feline calicivirus and the feline herpes virus. There have even been cases where a secondary bacterial infection has developed, which has led to pneumonia.

What can you do for a cat suffering from a cat cold?

Follow these tips to help out a cat suffering from a cat cold.

  1. Make sure that the affected cat has access to plenty of fresh water to drink.
  2. Help your cat out with his/her eye and nose discharge often by making use of a soft cloth or paper towel moistened with warm water.
  3. Warmed canned cat food or meat-based baby food should regularly be offered to the cat in order to encourage it to eat.
  4. Forget about giving the cat any sort of medication. This is because many medicines that are helpful to people are toxic to cats. Consult a veterinarian before giving the cat any medicine.
  5. If the cat isnโ€™t interested in food and is experiencing symptoms that are getting worse, make it a priority to take the cat to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

The best way to deal with a cat cold before it gets out of hand is to take the affected cat to a qualified veterinarian.

Can Cats Get a Cold?

Some people believe that cats have nine lives, and their amazing immune systems do a lot to give credence to that idea. Cats are efficient at taking care of themselves, but sometimes they do need a helping hand. Cats can absolutely catch colds, and if not properly handled, the situation can result in the cat ultimately losing its life.

A cold virus can affect your beloved feline in a variety of ways. One common way a cat can catch a cold is by wandering around an area where a car has already been infected by the virus. A cold virus is likely to spread, and if one can catches a cold, then the chances are that the others will as well. This could pose a problem, especially for multi-cat households. However, a vaccine is available that treats this kind of a disease, called an 'upper respiratory tract infection' by the veterinarian. You should ensure that your cat is vaccinated in order to prevent the chances of then catching an upper respiratory tract infection.

How do you know if your cat has caught a cold?

Cats are hardy creatures, and they don't always show their pain. But there are some tell-tale signs you can watch out for to see whether your cat has a cold or not.

  1. The most common and prominent sign would be a nasal discharge. You can also find your cat sneezing more often if they can get an upper respiratory tract infection.
  2. Your cat can also have discharge coming out from their eyes.
  3. Your cat can start to avoid food and water. Dehydration is another telling sign that your cat may have caught a cold, especially when seen together with discharge from the eyes or nose
  4. Your cat may start avoiding food. As their nose and sense of smell are what informs them of the food they will eat, a cold prevents them from properly processing that information. A blocked nose means that they won't be able to smell the food, which means they are less likely to want to eat it.
  5. Your cat may also appear lethargic.
  6. Signs of breathing difficulty indicate that the upper respiratory infection has progressed far and that your cat needs immediate medical attention.

What should you do if you think your cat has caught a cold?

If you suspect that your feline friend has caught an upper respiratory tract infection, then you have to take them to the vet immediately. As soon as your vet diagnosed them with a cold, they will be given antibiotics, alongside other medication designed to help your cat fight off the virus.

While an antibiotic won't help your car fight off the cold, it does help them in fighting off any underlying infections that could gave crept up due to the cold. You will also have to force feed your cat for a fee days until the medications take effect and they recover their sense of smell. This can easily be achieved by buying a dropper and feeding them either nutritious soup, or other food ground into liquid form, through the dropper. You can also use a humidifier to create a warm and humid atmosphere for your pet, as that can also help alleviate nasal congestion. Consult with your vet about decongestants as well as the appropriate diet for your pet. Most importantly, remember to keep updating your vet on the status of your cat so you can give them the best as well as consistent healthcare.

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