Can Cats Catch Human Colds?

Can Cats Catch Human Colds - SweetieKitty

Last updated: October 25, 2016

Cats are famous for being cute little pets, but there’s nothing cuter than to hear their achoo. They scrunch up their faces in the most adorable way and blurt out the softest sneeze. Hearing my cats sneeze gives me the giggles every single time they do it. Sometimes, I do kind of worry that they are sneezing because they might have a cold. It worries me a lot when people in the house have got colds too and my first instinct is to keep the cats away from them and sometimes, even from me, for fear of having them catch the cold too.

As a cat owner, it can get pretty stressful when it comes to thinking about the health of my cats. It’s just so hard to determine whether there is something wrong with them or if their just lazing around. We have a very busy household and we’re out of the house for most of the day, so our cats are all by themselves most of the time. Being the eldest in the family however, I am just always on alert and do my best to keep a keen eye on my cat’s behavior every day and keeping a lookout for any irregularities in their movements and their day-to-day activities.

Symptoms of Colds

As every human knows, the first sign of a cold is a sneeze. No matter how cute a cat’s sneeze can be, cat owners know that on the first sneeze, they should be on alert and start observing if their cat’s achoos persist throughout the day. Unlike humans who can instantly tell the difference between a cold and an allergy, it takes some extra effort to determine what a cat’s sneeze is for. 1 or 2 achoos could be for dust in the air, especially since cats are natural adventure-seekers and love to sneak into dusty nooks and crannies around the house. They also tend to rub their faces against many things in and outside the house. However, multiple achoos throughout the day and a bunch of other symptoms such as a brewing fever is a surefire signal for a cat’s cold.

Aside from excessive sneezing and a fever, there are other symptoms that can help cat owners identify whether their cat has gotten a cold. One of the clearest signs of a cold is a liquid discharge coming out from the eyes or of course, the nose. This liquid discharge can be a watery discharge and can even contain blood as well. The liquid can be thick and color clear, yellow or green. Cats also tend to be quite lethargic and dehydrated whenever they have a cold. They can also lose their appetite and not touch their food or even their water bowls. A cat’s eye can also be a telltale sign. Whenever a cat does have a cold their eyes will all be red, runny and swollen.

Can Cats Catch Human Colds - Cat in Snow - SweetieKittyCause of Colds

Much like in the case of humans, colds in cats are a result of a viral infection running through the air. The common cold is more prevalent during the winter season when the air is cold and immune systems are down. However, the virus that gets to a cat and causes their cold is a feline virus and therefore, affects cats only. The same goes for humans, whose colds are also the result of a human viral infection and can only affect humans.

It is so very easy to think that humans can give their colds to their cats and even vice versa, but the truth is, both infections hit both species during the same season which gives the illusion that both are sick because they have transferred the virus from one another. When in fact, it’s just a miserable coincidence and viruses are humans are only for humans, and viruses for cats are only for cats.

Treatment of Colds

As humans know all too well, the common cold is not a deadly virus but it can be quite an uncomfortable time and cause a lot of headaches. When it comes to cats, it’s pretty much the same and the best treatment for such a health hazard is a trip to the veterinarian for a dose of medication for their cold.

Aside from this, the rest of the treatment would come a lot from the cat owner’s part. During this time, cats are very vulnerable and weak and cat owners must keep them away from cold mists and keep them well fed with a can of their favorite soft cat food. It will also be good to keep them away from the outdoors, even from the garden for some time. A cat owner can help alleviate their cat’s discomfort even more with cozy bedding to keep them warm all throughout the day and the night, as well as a constant wiping of their runny noses with soft, fluffy cotton balls.

Otherwise, cats are pretty smart creatures and are very wise. When they have a cold, they know to lessen their activity and conserve their energy. Cat owners are sure to notice their cats to be sleeping more and more and most likely would be keeping to themselves in an isolated area where no one can really bother them too much. With the help of their medication, cats are sure to get back up on their feet after a few days of bed and rest. They are naturally fast healers, well, faster than humans anyway and will all be well and good in 3 weeks time.  

Can Cats Catch Human Colds - Cat in Bed - SweetieKittyPrevention of Colds

Unfortunately, the common cold is a rampant virus with no preventive medicine available yet. The germs in the air are highly transferrable especially because cats would be expending their energy to keep themselves warm during the winter season. All a cat owner can do is to do their best to always make sure that their cats always keep dry and stay away from cold drafts.

The health constitution of each cat is different from another. Some may have strong immunity and never catch a cold, while others tend to get them during cold days. Cat owners are just left to make sure that they are provided with enough nutritious cat food every day, that they’re environment is as clean as can be and most importantly, that they are given regular check-ups to help keep away not just colds, but other potential infections and diseases as well.

Cats are like babies who can’t really express themselves directly when there is something the matter with them and cat owners are like mothers who must keep an eye on them at all times, in case of any untoward incidences. The best prevention for any condition is always love and care. A loving cat owner will always do anything and everything to keep their cat away from harm.

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