Although a cat can stick their nose into something that might make them sneeze, when a cat sneezes more than usual in a day there is a good chance that your cat has caught a cold. Just like us humans, cats catch colds through bacterial and viral irritation of their immune system.
Cat Cold Signs
Cats can catch colds just like us through virus and bacterial infections. A cold can be potentially dangerous to cats, when they are not treated accordingly for it.
First, let’s take a look at the common cold signs in cats.
Your cat isn’t healthy when it is showing one or multiple of the following signs:
- watery eyes
- runny nose
- loss of appetite
First Line Of Care
As some of these symptoms can also be symptoms of more serious issues, it can be a good idea to take your cat to the veterinary. The vet can decide whether your cat has a common cold or whether your cat has a more serious illness. A vet can also advise you how to take care of your cat during their time of recovery.
Are you absolutely certain that it is a common cold, then you can leave this out. Be sure though to take proper care of your cat in this time when a cat is more vulnerable to more serious infections and illnesses and keep an eye out if things are (starting to get) out of control.
How To Take Care Of A Cat With A Cold
Doing the most important things in taking care of your cat can help reduce the duration of the healing period:
- Don’t Kick Them Out
- Keep Them Warm
- Help With (Warm) Wet Food
- Clean Nasal Passages & Eyes
Don’t Kick Them Out
If your cat is an out going cat, you might be tempted to let him go out again whenever they ask for it. Just like us, cats get a little confused about what they want to do about their illness, even if it is a cold. They want to go out, go in, go out, don’t know where to go, don’t know where to be. They feel they can do something about it, but they cannot.
They need a place they can sleep. Sleeping is what heals us all the most. The body has to fight the illness off and needs lots of energy. It is therefore we feel so out of energy when we are ill. Give your cat a warm place inside, not outside.
Keep Them Warm
It is very important to keep your cat warm enough. Too warm isn’t good, too cold is certainly not good. If they are too cold, they need to use energy on keeping themselves warm, which distracts the body from doing the healing job.
A good temperature is also needed for those that want to sleep and feel better. While having your cat inside, give them something to lie upon, such as a soft cat bed or a cat blanket. It is never good to have a cat on the cold floor.
Make sure you cuddle with your kitty, for they enjoy that the most. It will make them feel loved and make them feel welcome. It relaxes them, so they can sleep better. Love, care and sleep are very important for healing.
It is fine to crank up the heat in the room a little, cats are used to higher temperatures than most households use. Even when we leave for a weekend, we keep the heat up at 22-25 Celsius in our living room for them. Our cats love it that we got a heat pump installed, that blows a constant flow of warm air in their beds and keeps the room at a steady temperature.
Help Them With (Warm) Wet Food and Clean Water
When a cat is ill, they could have a fever and hence lose more water from their body. If the cat is also vomiting or having diarrhea, dehydration is even more imminent. It is therefore important to keep hydrating your cat with clean water.
To keep cats interested in drinking water, they need either smell or action in their environment. A cat fountain continuously pumps up water through a cleaning filter and makes enough noise and sparkling water to keep a cat interested.
When your cat has little interest to drink, it might help to add some cold bouillon to the water (but not into cat fountains). Make sure that the bouillon is made without garlic, onion and salt.
Wet food contains a lot of water and might be easier to eat when your cat has a respiratory infection going. Sometimes it helps to heat up the wet food a little, so that the food will smell stronger. Especially with common colds and respiratory infections, the nasal channel is blocked and it might be difficult to recognize food.
Keep Nasal Passages and Eyes Clean
Nasal passages do get easily blocked when there is an infection. These areas are difficult to clean for cats, so please help your cat with this. The same goes for their eyes. Often their eyes built up some pus that needs to be cleaned off.
It is best to clean with warm damp paper towels, because you need to throw it away after each wipe. It is important to not spread possible infections over the eyes, nose and face, so please swipe once, fold and swipe again or swipe with several pieces of paper towel.
No Human Medicine, Heat Pads etc
Do not give your cat any form of human medicine or heat pads. Human medicines are meant for humans only. Some medicines are potentially deadly for cats upon ingestion.
Although it might sound logical to keep your cat warm with a heat pad or water bottle, these surfaces are often too hot for your cat’s skin and they might burn themselves on it. A water bottle can also jump a leak with those sharp claws, which puts your cat at an even more dangerous situation.
Although I am sure that a lot of the remedies might work on cats, I would suggest you do not do them. For one, they are often difficult to apply to cats and they absolutely hate to be fiddled with. Just already when they are perfectly healthy they hate it, so they hate it even more when they are not feeling well.
Save yourself the trouble and save your cat the trouble. They are fully capable to heal by themselves, provided they are kept in the right conditions and right environment.
Give your cat what it needs when a common cold strikes, namely inside the house warmth, cuddles, love, enough (wet) food and water and general care and your cat will heal fine.
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