It’s that time of the year when so many people are experiencing sneezing, nasal discharge, coughing, fever, or the sniffles - yes, it’s cold season. But can your cat get a cold? Yes! Just like us humans, cats can get a cold. Don’t worry they can't catch it from humans and we can’t get it from our feline pals.
However, cat colds (also known as feline upper respiratory disease) is very common. It’s caused by the herpesvirus and calicivirus, typically lasts about 7 to 10 days, and generally is not serious.
Your cat likely has a cold if it is exhibiting excessive sneezing, a lot of coughing, discharge from the nose or eyes, ulcers in the nose, mouth or eyes, fever, loss of appetite, dehydration or congestion with open mouth breathing.
Visit your vet if your cat shows these signs. Your vet will likely give your cat antibacterial medications to avoid any potential complications due to secondary bacteria taking advantage of your pet’s weakened immune system. Oral medications, eye ointments, medications meant to stimulate your cat’s immune system, and other medications that interfere with the herpesvirus reproduction may also be prescribed to help combat the virus.
If your cat is congested, you can help keep his or her eyes and nasal passages clear by removing the discharge, increasing the humidity in your home with a vaporizer, and using a nasal decongestant if prescribed by your vet.
Also be sure that your cat gets plenty of food and water. Because your feline pal is congested, they might not be able to smell their food and not and thus resist eating. You may have to help them eat their food.