Can a Cat Have a Cold: Symptoms and Treatment for a Cat Cold and Flu

A cat can get a cold, but it’s not as common as people think. For example, a cat can get a cold by getting sick from bacteria or viruses. Sometimes, a cat may experience sneezing, runny nose, coughing, and fever. A common cause of feline respiratory infections is the rhinovirus which is contagious to cats and people. While it’s not as frequent as other causes of illness in kitties, a cold can be very uncomfortable for your pet! 

Symptoms of Cold in Cats

Cats can get a cold by breathing in the cold air and then getting sick from catching a virus. So many cats catch viruses through contact with other people or animals, so keep your cat indoors as much as possible to limit its exposure to others.

When it comes to colds in cats, the most common symptoms are sneezing, coughing, and fever. Other symptoms can vary, but they typically include these three. So, suppose your cat is showing any of these symptoms. In that case, getting them checked out by a veterinarian as soon as possible is essential.

Some anecdotal evidence suggests that it might, while other sources say the cat will likely recover without significant issues. Ultimately, your cat should consult a veterinarian if they exhibit any signs of illness (such as fever, difficulty breathing, coughing up mucus, etc.) to get an accurate diagnosis and determine the best course of action.

Keeping your cat healthy is important not only for their emotional well-being but also for their physical health. Knowing the cold symptoms in cats can help you take the proper steps to ensure their safety and health. 

Treating Cold in Cats

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to treat a cold in a cat will vary depending on the severity of the infection and your pet’s specific needs. However, some common tips for treating a cold in cats include providing plenty of fluids and rest, using over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, and giving antibiotics if needed. 

If your cat has a cold, drink plenty of water and take the appropriate antibiotics if their veterinarian recommends. If there is no improvement in two days, consider taking them to the vet. 

See their veterinarian immediately if your cat shows other sick signs, such as sneezing, coughing, or rhinorrhea (runny nose). If your cat is sneezing, keep them inside as much as possible. 

Clean surfaces and furniture regularly to help reduce the number of germs in the house. Provide plenty of warm shelters, food, water, and toys. Make sure to keep your cat warm and dry, and practice good hygiene habits to keep them healthy overall. 

You may require additional medical care if your cat seems incredibly ill or has an infected nose or throat. If your cat is experiencing severe symptoms such as fever, difficulty breathing, or seizures, please get in touch with a veterinarian immediately.

Difference Between Cold and Flu

The flu is a respiratory illness caused by the flu virus. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, and body aches. Many people recover quickly without any severe side effects. Still, pneumonia or even death can occur in a few cases. The cold is an infection of the nose and throat that can make breathing difficult and cause sneezing, coughing, hoarseness, runny nose, and fever. 

However, unlike with the flu, where most people get better within two weeks without specialist help, if you do catch it, there are some things that you can do to speed up your recovery, including restorative sleep, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding giving germs a chance to build up. 

Symptoms of Flu in Cats

The flu symptoms in cats typically include fever, coughing, sneezing, and a dry cough. Some cats may also experience diarrhea or vomiting. 

If your cat exhibits any of these symptoms, it must be taken to the vet for evaluation. In addition to antibiotics, other treatments are available, such as rest and fluids, if necessary. 

If your cat shows any of the following signs, it’s essential to get them checked out by a vet: 

  • Fever above 101 degrees Fahrenheit and not responding to treatment
  • Coughing more than wet/productive cough or producing blood in their coughing episodes
  • Sneezing frequently and for long periods (over 20 minutes), unusual lethargy or reluctance to move

Cats that develop pneumonia may also show these signs.

Treating Flu in Cats

There are many ways to treat a cat with the flu, but the most important thing is to keep them hydrated and comfortable. Some people give their cats water; others use ice packs or cold compresses. If your cat looks pretty sick, call your veterinarian for advice. Some over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help cats with the flu. 

However, you should not use these medications without consulting a veterinarian because they can have adverse side effects on cats.

Cats are especially susceptible to the flu because they often lack immunity to certain strains of viruses. The best way to prevent your cat from getting the flu is by ensuring they have vaccinations against both human and feline flu (flu vaccines for both cats and dogs). If your cat contracts the flu, please consult your veterinarian about specific treatment recommendations.