How can cats catch a cold?
A cat can catch a cold if its immune system is weakened. This can happen due to age, poor nutrition, chronic underlying diseases, wet and cold weather, drafts and stress. As a result, the body is unable to fight off the virus. Cats can also transmit the virus to other cats. Felines that spend a lot of time outside or in confined spaces with other cats are particularly prone to get colds.
- runny or stuffy nose
- runny eyes
- increased need for rest and warmth
- loss of appetite
How to care for your sick cat
The first step to take care of your cat is to visit a veterinarian, to make sure that it is only a cold and nothing worse. To help your cat recover, you can give her or him a lot of peace and quiet to rest, make sure that the environment is cosy and warm and by giving lots of cuddles and attention.
In case your cats’ nose is crusty or dirty you can carefully clean it; this will help your cat to breathe. Also, remember to clean their eyes. Use a clean washcloth and warm water, but no soap. Adding a humidifier to the room can also help. With your loving care, your cat should be recovered within a few days.
Pay attention to food and water
Cats with a cold tend to eat and drink less because they have issues with their sense of smell and taste. Test out which food your cat still eats, you need to make sure that your cat's food intake remains. You can also mix a bit of water to the food, to make sure your cat stays hydrated. The fluid intake helps loosen the mucus in the back of the nose and throat.
Veterinary care is important
Cats with a cold can recover in a relatively short time. But to make sure your cat is doing ok, it is highly recommended to visit your vet. Monitor your cat's health carefully. If you don't see any improvement within a few days, make another appointment with your veterinarian. A persistent cold that is not properly treated can develop into pneumonia and otitis media.
A word of caution
Never give your cat medicine for humans! Medicines are only given by the vet and only when they are necessary.