The Common Cold In Cats: Symptoms, At-Home Care, And When To Go To The Vet

17 October 2015
 Categories: , Blog


You do all that you can to ensure the health of your furry friend, but unfortunately, viruses can't be avoided, even by pets. Colds are a common ailment in felines, so knowing the symptoms, how to treat the symptoms at home, and when to go to the vet are important for a pet owner.

Symptoms of a Feline Cold

Felines exhibit much the same symptoms that humans do when they're suffering from a cold, which makes diagnosis quite easy.

Sneezing, nasal discharge, lethargy, and lack of appetite are all common cold symptoms. To ensure these symptoms don't worsen, it's important to keep an eye on them and track any changes, such as increased mucus production. While a common cold isn't life threatening, it's important to remember that your cat's condition can change within a matter of hours and it may be best to have your cat checked out by the veterinarian to ensure your cat's health.

Treating the Cold at Home

Even though a cold isn't dangerous, your cat is certainly uncomfortable and there are a number of at-home treatments that can keep your kitty as comfortable as possible and keep the cold from progressing to a more serious issue.

Aside from medication, the same treatments used on humans can be used on cats as well. Increased humidity can help the cold along, so running a vaporizer in the same room as your cat can help to keep their nasal passages from drying out. Hydration is also key, so adding a bit of water to your cat's food, or putting water into a medicine dropper and putting directly into their mouth are just two ways to keep them hydrated and healthy.

When a Cold Is More Than a Cold

If your cat begins to show signs of a more serious issue, such as a respiratory infection, it's time to visit a veterinarian and take a more aggressive approach to treatment.

Head colds usually pass in a matter of days, but they can sometimes progress and the virus can travel to the chest, leading to a respiratory infection that could be fatal. While mouth breathing is normal during a cold, if your cat's breathing becomes labored, it's time to bring them to the vet. Other signs of a respiratory infection include coughing, dark-colored mucus, and mucus that has thickened. If any of these signs are observed, a trip to the vet is necessary so antibiotics can be prescribed and proper hydration can be administered.

If you're worried about your cat's condition or would like to know more about treating feline cold symptoms at home, consult with your veterinarian or a local pet hospital.