Cat Cold Symptoms
14 January, 2014

It is difficult for us cat owners to tell when our cats aren’t feeling well.  They are very good at hiding and/or masking their feelings and sometimes we just don’t know if they are feeling unwell or just want to be left alone!  However, there are some ways in which you can tell if your feline friend has a cold.

Below are some of the symptoms that are usually associated with the common cold in our kitties:

1. Coughing: Coughing usually indicates the infection has spread to the lungs and is causing mucus production. This might indicate that the cat is going into pneumonia.

2. Difficulty breathing: This is beyond the typical breathing difficulty associated with blocked nasal passages. A cat with labored breathing will seem much weaker, and you can see the chest rise and fall with greater effort. This usually means there is fluid buildup in the lungs that requires an antibiotic treatment to relieve.

3. Mucus darkens in color: It’s typical to see a clear or creamy colored mucus discharge in a cat with a cold virus, but if the mucus begins to turn darker shades of yellow, green or brown, it is likely a sign that a secondary bacterial infection has set in while the immune system is compromised. This is usually when a common cold turns into a dangerous respiratory infection, and it becomes time to consult with your vet.

4. Discharge around the eyes:  If your cat has mucus or pus around the eyes, it is a cold or could be an eye infection.

If your cat does have a cold, make sure to take her or him to your veterinarian to see if your kitty needs medication.   There are also some things you can do at home to help your cat feel better and heal quickly.

Try running a vaporizer: Adding more humidity to your cat’s surroundings can help keep your cat’s nasal passages stay moist. This in turn helps him expel mucus buildup. You should use a cool mist vaporizer.

2. Keep your cat away from any draft:  It’s important to keep your pet warm and comfortable while he or she isn’t feeling well. It’s true that a cat mainly relies on his fur to keep him warm, but cold drafts provide added stress to his body, and stress can keep the immune system from functioning as it should. If necessary, move your cat’s bedding to a warmer location in the house.

3. Keep the mucus away:  Wipe away secretions with a warm, moist paper towel and discard.

4. Make sure your kitty drinks plenty of water: Although your cat may feel less like drinking while he’s ill, it’s important to keep up his fluid intake to prevent dehydration. Make sure your cat has fresh water available and feed him more moist food at this time if you normally feed you kitty dry food. Cats really take in more moisture from their food than by drinking.

Although there is no way to completely prevent a cat from getting a cold, you can help boost his immune system so he is better able to fight off cold by keeping your cat’s living space clean.  Make sure to wash your cat’s food bowl and water dish daily.  By keeping your cat properly vaccinated and limiting his or her exposure to the outside also helps.

Your kitty will get over his cold and if you watch for the signs, you can prevent it from turning into anything serious.

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