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Can cats catch colds?

Did your cat suddenly start coughing or have you noticed that their nose is running? They may be experiencing a common cold. Here, our veterinarians in Oceanside share the common signs of cat colds and when it might be good to bring your feline friend to see the vet.

Does my cat have allergies, or is it a cold?

Many pet parents ask us, 'Can cats get a cold, or do they have allergies?' While allergies are possible, cats can catch colds just like humans, and the symptoms include sneezing and sniffles. Cat colds are highly contagious, and outdoor cats are more at risk than indoor cats because they are more likely to interact with other cats.

When cats spend time together in close quarters, they risk spreading and contracting contagious diseases. If your cat has recently been boarded and suddenly develops a cold, it's possible that it was exposed to another cat with a cold.

A cold itself isn't a serious illness, but if left untreated, your cat may become susceptible to a number of other conditions and infections.

Signs & Symptoms of a Cat Cold

If you notice any of the following symptoms, bring your cat to Surfside Animal Hospital for a wellness exam.

  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Sniffling
  • Coughing
  • Dehydration

    What to Do if Your Cat Has a Cold

    When your cat suffers from cold symptoms like a runny nose or eyes, you can help them feel better by wiping their nose with a clean cloth and their eyes with a saline solution-dampened cloth. Setting up a humidifier may also be a good idea to help add moisture to the air.

    If your cat has difficulty breathing due to congestion, place them in their pet carrier, put a bowl of hot water in front of it, and cover both with a blanket for 15 minutes. This can go a long way toward helping your cat to breathe easier.

    Keeping your cat well-fed and hydrated is important to help them recover more quickly. Try warming up their food, which may make it more appealing and easier to swallow. Provide extra blankets in their bed or favorite spot to keep them warm.

    Never give your cat human cold medicine or any medication without consulting your vet first. Always check with your vet to determine the best treatment for your cat's illness.

    My cat has a cold. Should I bring them to the vet?

    Most colds will disappear without further intervention in about one to two weeks. However, it's important to monitor your cat's health during this time. If there are no signs of improvement by the fourth day, it's best to take your cat to the vet. An untreated cold can lead to pneumonia, which can be more severe.

    Usually, a cat's cold symptoms will improve within a few days. However, if your cat has been experiencing cold symptoms and there is no sign of improvement within four days, it may be time to see a veterinarian.

    Just like humans, caring extra for older cats, kittens, and cats with other health conditions is important. This is particularly true for cats that are nursing or have not been vaccinated.

    A cat's cold can lead to more serious infections if left untreated. If your cat is a senior, a young kitten, or has a weakened immune system, it is essential to contact a vet.

    If your cat starts coughing, has trouble breathing, or stops eating, it is crucial to take them to the 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. Please visit your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.

    Is your cat coughing, sneezing or showing other symptoms that point to an illness like a cold? Contact our Oceanside vets to schedule an exam.

    Specialty Vets at Surfside Animal Hospital

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    Surfside Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Oceanside companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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