/Can My Cat Catch A Cold?

Can My Cat Catch A Cold?

Cats can catch cold just like we do! According to PetMD, felines seek relief from most of the same cold symptoms as humans do such as a running nose, watery eyes, sneezing and fever. They can get Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) or what we call the common cold or flu. The viruses and bacterias that most commonly cause URIs in felines are Feline herpesvirus type-1 (FHV-1), Feline calicivirus (FVC), Chlamydophila felis and Bordetella bronchiseptica. Here are a few things you should know about feline colds.

Duration Of Upper Respiratory Infections


According to Banfield Pet Hospital, an Upper Respiratory Infection, in general, lasts about 7 to 10 days. Most feline colds are not serious, however, they may lead to pneumonia if not closely monitored.

On the other hand, the experts of Pet Health Network said that feline colds generally will last for 7 to 21 days. Before developing symptoms, the cat will go through an incubation period of 2 to 10 days once she is exposed to an infectious agent. In general, it will last for 7 to 21 days if the infection is uncomplicated.

Symptoms Of Upper Respiratory Infections


What should you look for if you think your cat has a cold? Sneezing, sniffling, clear to pus-like discharge from the nose or/and eyes, fever, lethargy and coughing are the common signs of a feline cold. Some cats may experience loss of appetite, dehydration and congestion with open-mouth breathing. In severe cases, the feline may have difficulty breathing, according to VCA Hospitals.

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Upper Respiratory Infections


Take your cat to the vet immediately for an examination if you suspect any sort of “cold”. According to Banfield Pet Hospital, your vet may collect the samples of cells and discharges from your feline friend’s mouth, throat or nose to be examined for a definitive diagnosis.

Most feline colds can be treated with anti-bacterial medications. This is to avoid any potential complications due to secondary bacteria taking advantage of your feline friend’s weakened immune system. A vaccine is another option of treatment. It can help fight against URIs. If your feline friend has a purulent eye discharge, your vet may also prescribe an eye medication to be applied topically. In most cases, a cat with an URI can be treated symptomatically at home.

Prevention Of Upper Respiratory Infections


It’s important to keep your cat indoors and vaccination is the common way to protect your cat from the most common causes of upper respiratory infection, including FVR and FVC. Most importantly, you should prevent direct contact between cats. Note that susceptible felines can get an infection by direct contact with another infected cat or by environmental exposure to objects such as water and food bowls, cat toys or litter boxes, that have been contaminated with infectious secretions. If you are bringing a new cat home, you are advised to have her visit the vet before introducing her to other cats in your house.