Is cold the same for cats as humans?
When a cat has cold it is known as “Cat Cold”. It is similar to the common cold we get when we are sick. Cat colds are caused by viral infections mainly the feline herpesvirus & feline calicivirus and can be quite uneasy for your feline.
Viruses that cause cold, cough and flu in cats do not spread to humans. But a cat can catch the flu or cold from you. Cats can also catch a virus from another cat as well. If you have two or more cats living in the same household and one of them has a cold or a virus, you must take extra care to keep some distance between them. Feeding them separately in a different bowl and maintaining hygiene will help stop the spread to your other kitty’s. It is always a good idea to wash your hands after touching your cat to not let it spread to your other kittys’.
How can I tell if my cat is sick or has a cold?
Cats show different symptoms when they are not feeling well. If you suspect your cat isn’t well and may have a cold, look for the following symptoms –
- Discharge from the eyes & nose
- Loss of appetite
- Avoids drinking water
- Unable to play or explore
- Tail is low to the ground
How do I help treat my cat for Cold?
Most cat colds do not require serious medical treatment. Cats have the ability to rest and heal themselves. If your cat is suffering from cold and is not doing too well, take them to the vet immediately.
You can help your cat feel better at home with these simple tips –
- Humidity & steam can help your fur buddy relieve congestion and mucus. Start up the hot shower and let the steam build. Once the Bathroom is filled with steam, let your cat in & stay for as long as you can. This will help relieve your cats’ nasal passage and give them some relief. You can also place a steamer that blows out steam near your cat. If your cat is scared easily, placing your cat in a carrier and covering the carrier with a cloth with the steamer beneath the cloth will help too. Please be mindful that it doesn’t get too hot or the steam is not directly facing your kitty.
- Breathing gets difficult and causes a lot of discomfort for your fur buddy. If the air around your cat is dry & cold, using a humidifier will surely help relieve any discomfort your cat may be going through & help their breathing.
- Providing a comfortable & safe place for your cat in these times is most essential. Giving your cat a cosy place to sleep with their favourite toy, playing some relaxing music, warm food, favourite treat and lots of attention, cuddles & love will surely help them recover super quick. Cats feed off good energy and vibrations. Make sure you are providing them with ample of them and keeping the space clean.
- Cleanliness is very important to a cat. Make sure their litter is clean and their sleeping and lounging areas are dust free. Dust, dirt and unclean areas cause more irritation and may make their cold worse.
- If your cat needs to take medication, make sure you try giving it to them in a less stressful manner. When my cat was sick, I would smash the medication and mix it in her favourite treat. Before mixing it in her treat I tried mixing it in her food but she saw right through it and refused to eat. I then tried to hide it in her favourite treat and it worked. Make an effort and find out what works for your kitty. It will help reduce their stress and will ensure all the medication is consumed.
- Help your cat by gently wiping their sniffy nose & discharge around their eyes with a soft wet cloth.
- Please do not give your kitty any human medication. Although they are a part of our family, cats are a completely different species and one medication does not fit all. Please only medicate your cat with medication prescribed by your vet.
When should I take my cat to the vet?
Generally, cat colds are nothing to worry about. They take about one to two weeks to heal on their own. However, cats have a tendency to downplay their sickness and will try and hide it. If by the end of the 3rd day you find your cat has lost appetite and your cat is having a hard time breathing or is in too much discomfort, visit the vet. If you are unsure how your kitty is feeling, its best to put your mind at ease and consult a vet. Cat colds have a high chance of developing into pneumonia. Kittens and senior cats must be given extra care as their immune systems are fragile.
Help your cat with lots of love and attention. They feel your warmth and care. Comforting them during a cold will help them recover twice as fast and help them feel safe and loved.