Skip to Main Content

Pet Care Blog

Cats & Colds: Can They Get Them and What To Do For Them

Is your cat feeling a little under the weather? Cats can catch colds much like people do, and with very similar symptoms. Here, our Southeast Memphis vets share the signs that your cat may have a cold, and when you should bring your cat in to see the vet. 


Feline Upper Respiratory Infection

Feline Upper Respiratory Infection or 'cat colds' are very similar to human colds. Cat colds are typically not considered life-threatening, however, in some cases, symptoms may become severe and lead to a more dangerous secondary infection. It is especially important to closely monitor very young, or senior cats if they show signs of a cat cold.

How Cats Catch Colds

Cat colds can be viral or bacterial and are commonly passed between cats through the droplets spread by sneezing. Outdoor cats are much more susceptible to catching a cold due to their frequent contact with other cats.

Typical Symptoms of a Cat Cold

If your cat isn't feeling their best they could be suffering from a cold. Cat colds generally start with sneezing, with other symptoms appearing over the course of 24 hours. Below is a list of the most common symptoms of cat colds:

  • Runny nose
  • Excessive sneezing
  • Excessive coughing
  • Congestion leading to open mouth breathing
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Red watery eyes

How You Can Help Your Cat Feel Better

While your cat is sick, increase humidity in your house by keeping a humidifier or vaporizer running. If your cat has a stuffy nose use a clean damp cloth or some cotton wool soaked in warm water to gently wipe your cat's nose. Cleanse and soothe your cat's watery eyes by applying a saline solution with gauze pads.  

While your cat is stuffy they will have difficulty smelling food and may stop eating. Food is important for keeping your cat's strength up while they recover, so it may be a good time to buy some extra special wet cat food to tempt your feline friend to eat. Warming your cat's food may also help. 

Add an extra blanket to your cat's favorite resting spots to help keep them warm and comfortable.

Signs That It's Time To Visit the Vet

Cat colds typically begin to clear up after just a few days. If your cat has been suffering from the symptoms of a cold and shows no sign of improvement within 4 days, it may be time to visit the vet.

Cat colds can lead to more serious infections if left untreated. It is particularly important to contact your vet if you have a senior cat, young kitten, or immune-compromised cat. 

If you're concerned about your cat's cold symptoms, contact our Southeast Memphis vets today to book an appointment for your cat.

Why won't my cat or kitten eat? Southeast Memphis vets

Looking for a vet in Southeast Memphis?

We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Related Articles View All

Is it an emergency if my cat won't drink water?

Staying hydrated is essential for your cat's health, but what if your cat won't drink water? In today's post, our Memphis vets share some reasons why your cat may not be drinking and what you should do.

What You Need to Know About Osteoarthritis in Dogs

Osteoarthritis is a progressive, degenerative condition in dogs that becomes more severe over time. There's no cure for this painful condition, however, our Memphis vets can provide treatments that may help manage symptoms and allow your dog to enjoy a good quality of life as they age.

How Often Should I Take My Cat to The Vet?

You love your cat and want to do everything you can to make sure they live a long and healthy life. So how often do you take a cat to the vet to keep them looking and feeling they're very best? Here's what our Memphis vets recommend.

What To Do With Your Dog When You Travel

We understand that leaving your dog behind when you're traveling can be stressful, especially if your pet has medical needs. Here, our Memphis vets share tips to help lessen your anxiety about leaving your dog while on vacation and choose the best place to leave your dog while you're away. 

What are the symptoms of laryngeal paralysis in dogs?

Laryngeal paralysis in dogs is characterized by a failure of the windpipe to open correctly when your pup breathes in, instead the sides of the windpipe are sucked into the opening. In severe cases laryngeal paralysis can lead to suffocation, but when diagnosed early there are treatment options available. Our Memphis vets explain... 

(901) 362-8321 Contact