Does Your Cat Have A Cold?
9 January, 2012

Now that the cold and flu season are upon us, you might wonder if your cat is low-energy or listless, if he has a cold.  And, yes it is common among our feline friends to develop colds.

Sneezing, sniffles, and coughing are signs that your cat might have a cold. It is known in the as a feline upper respiratory infection and is quite common among cats that are indoor- outdoor cats. Most colds will last about seven to twelve days and are usually not too serious. The cold is spread by wet sneezes and is similar to how we, humans, get sick.

If your cat has any of the following symptoms, you should take him or her to your veterinarian:

1. Nasal discharge
2: Excessive sneezing
3: Fever
4: Loss of appetite
5: Congestion with open mouth breathing
6: Red painful ulcers around the eyes, nose, or mouth

I don’t feel well!


Your vet may take your cat’s temperature, take a culture from your cat’s mouth or throat if ulcers are present, and diagnose if it’s a feline upper respiratory infection. If it is an infection, the veterinarian will give you medication to fight off the virus. It is common for viral infections to become complicated by a secondary bacterial infection so it’s important to keep your cat inside, finish all the prescribed medication, and follow the instructions you are given.


If your cat is congested, you can help alleviate the condition by increasing the humidity of your house or a room where you may want to keep your cat for a few days. Make sure your cat has fresh water, food, and a warm place to sleep as he or she fights off the cold. If she doesn’t eat, talk to your veterinarian about how to get your cat to eat and what foods to offer. Sometimes you may have to get some super smelly foods and canned food for your cat while she’s sick. If she can’t smell food she may not eat and that can make the recovery time tougher and longer.


During these colder months, think about keeping your cat inside to avoid exposure to other sick cats, chemicals that are used to de-ice cars and sidewalks, and other cold weather dangers. And, as always, if your cat is an outdoor cat, make sure he or she has proper identification and get him or her back in the house by dusk.  You want to make sure he doesn’t get too cold.

I hope these tips help and that your cat does not have a cold or infection this season.

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