You may wondering right now, “Can my cat catch my cold?”
It’s the middle of cold and flu season and all of a sudden you feel it. A sore throat, a cough that won’t end, and a runny nose that seems to run non-stop all day.
You feel like crap all day. Maybe you even call in sick to work that day. And as you curl up on your couch under a warm blanket, a cup of warm chicken broth, and your favorite feline friend, it makes you wonder at that very moment in time.
Are cats even capable of getting a cold or flu? And even if they can catch a cold or flu, what’s the best way to treat your four-legged companion if they do experience this type of illness?
Yes, your cat can actually get a cold, however, it isn’t the same type of cold that humans experience. And research suggests that we can’t actually pass on our sickness to our feline family members.
The most common type of cold or flu virus that humans get is what is commonly known as a rhinovirus. Cats, on the other hand, can catch upper respiratory infections, which is essentially similar.
There are two viruses that are known to cause the common cold type of symptoms like runny noses and sneezing. They are the Herpes virus and the Calici Virus. They can’t be passed to or from the human species.
What Are the Symptoms?
The symptoms in a cat are very similar to the symptoms that humans experience. These symptoms include sneezing, coughing, runny nose, lethargy, and discharge from the eyes and nose. They may also lose their appetite.
Can Cats Catch a Cold From Other Cats?
Cats can indeed catch colds from their feline housemates. Kittens are especially susceptible to catching colds because they have a weaker immune system than adult cats.
Momma cats who have a cold will almost always spread the virus to their litter. Usually, your cat will catch a cold from a little wet sneeze that comes from another cat. Another way is through the eyes and nose discharge of an infected cat.
How Do You Treat a Cat With a Cold?
One way to help your furry companion to recover from a cold is to keep your home humid. Increased humidity such as from a shower will help your cat breathe better, but never force your cat into a hot and steamy room. It may make matters worse.
Another way to help ease your cat’s cold is to keep their eyes and nose free of discharge. Use a clean fragrance-free tissue each time so as to not spread the same virus that got your cat sick.
You can also warm up a can of your cat’s favorite wet food. Baby food that is meat based will work in a pinch, but keep it to a minimum. Also, make sure your cat has plenty of water.
And try to separate your sick furbaby from the rest of the animals in the house. This helps to ensure that the virus does not get spread around to any other animal children you might have.
When Should I Bring My Cat to the Vet?
Most cats will recover naturally from a cold within about 10 days, however, make sure that your cat actually has a cold by bringing them into the veterinarian. That way you will know for sure. It’s better to be safe than sorry.