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Yes, your cat can catch a cold just like you except that they can’t catch a cold from you.
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, Colds in cats can be caused by bacterial or viral agents.
Feline herpesvirus type-1 (also referred to as feline calicivirus or feline viral rhinotracheitis) is the virus that is known for causing feline colds.
The bacterial agents that can also cause these colds are Chlamydophilafelis and Bordetellabronchiseptica.
Colds in cats are also referred to as Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) and in some cases, feline URI can be more serious than colds in humans.
Some of the symptoms of feline URI include fever, drooling, lethargy, depression hoarse voice, rubbing of eyes, loss of appetite, and oral or nasal ulcers.
So, Do Cat Colds Go Away On Their Own?
For the most part, cat colds are not serious and they can go away on their own after a week or two.
During this time, your cat will need plenty of rest and lots of love and care.
However, if the cold is severe, your cat will need to be seen by a vet.
According to Hillcrest Animal Hospital, coughing and loss of appetite are good indications that your cat is suffering from a severe cold and your cat will have to be put on antibiotics and other drugs as prescribed by the vet for them to recover.
How Long Do Colds In Cats Last?
Feline URI lasts for an average of 7-10 days. If it is not a severe cold, the symptoms should start fading away by day four.
However, if your cat seems not to be showing signs of improvement after the fourth day, it might be a sign that your cat has a severe cold that might not go away on its own.
In such a case, get in touch with your vet right away.
Can My Cat Get Over A Cold Without Antibiotics?
As we have seen, most colds in cats can go away without any medication. However, this will depend on the agent that caused the cold.
Colds in cats can be caused by either bacteria or viruses. Expert opinion says that a cold that was a result of a virus may not need medical attention. This is because all the clinical symptoms of the cold will go away in a week.
However, if the cold was caused by bacteria, then your cat will have to be put on antibiotics.
The best way to know if the cold was caused by a bacteria or virus is to watch and see if the symptoms will start going away on their own after around 4 days.
If they persist rather than wade away, you will need a vet to examine your cat and prescribe antibiotics for your feline friend.
Can Cats Get Colds From Humans?
No, your cat can’t catch a cold from humans – so don’t be a friend to snuggle up with her when you are under the weather.
The viruses and bacteria that cause colds are species-specific and this is why the cold cannot pass from one specie to the other.
That said, some bacterial infections can be passed from a cat to a human – although this is very rare.
Even though your cat can’t catch common cold from humans, the CDC cautions that felines can catch the COVID-19 virus from humans.
Data from the CDC shows that both cats and dogs have been infected by the COVID-19 virus which was transmitted from a human host to the pets. This happens when the pets come into close contact with humans that have the virus.
However, there is no evidence that the pets that have been infected with the virus (by a human) can transmit the same virus to another human.
That said, you shouldn’t put a mask on your cat because the mask could harm them. Additionally, you shouldn’t use any chemical disinfectants like hydrogen peroxide and hand sanitizer on your cat because it could harm them.
Besides, the virus won’t spread from the cat to you, so there is no point. You should however isolate yourself or the cat if you catch the COVID-19 virus to avoid infecting them.
Taking Care of A Cat That Has A Cold
A cat that has a cold will require lots of sleep and rest. Sleep is regenerative and so sleeping will help them recover faster.
You can help them rest by providing a comfortable environment that is not too brightly lit to encourage them to sleep.
Nasal congestion is one of the main issues of colds in cats and that can make them quite uncomfortable.
A simple way of dealing with nasal congestion is by keeping your cat in the bathroom while you take a hot bath.
The extra humidity from the hot water can help to alleviate nasal congestion. Depending on the humidity levels of your area, you can also use a humidifier.
It is also important to keep your cat stress-free during her recovery. One way of doing this is isolating them from other pets and children who may stress them by wanting to play with them.
You can keep your pet in a small room that has all she needs including a litter box, a warm bed, food, and water.
Also, don’t be afraid to cuddle your feline friend because she can’t infect you with the cold. The love and affection will help to alleviate any stress and that will speed up the healing process.
If your cat catches a cold, do not worry about it because in most cases, the cold will go away on its own without the need for medical intervention.
Just give your feline friend a couple of days and the cold should go away.
However, this is only true if the cold was a viral infection. For bacterial infections, your cat will need antibiotics.
Just observe your cat to see if she isn’t getting better and if not, take her to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.
But more importantly, don’t be afraid of being close to your cat because she cannot infect you with the cold.
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Hi! I am Eleanor Price. I started this website after my cat, Louie, almost died from a case of botulism (a type of food poisoning often caused by bacteria that grow on food items). Turned out that my cat’s diet was the problem. I have made it my duty to provide the best information and recommendations about everything cat lovers need to know about their felines’ health and wellbeing. My goal is to find the most informative content on anything feline-related and share it with fellow hardworking kitty lovers.