What is a Cold? Can Cats Get a Cold

A cold can be caused by a virus or bacteria. Importantly, it is not deadly unless it persists for many weeks. It might be a cause of alarm if your cat is experiencing it for the first time.

Observe the cat for 2-4 days and see if it will be okay. If the cat isn’t well and the cough is persistent take it to the vet to avoid her/him catching pneumonia. A cold is not dangerous unless it escalated to be more pronoun which can lead to pneumonia.

A cold or upper respiratory infection can be caused by a bacteria or virus in a cat. It may be difficult to treat a cough caused by bacteria as antibiotics do not help. You can only manage the cough, and try to keep your cat comfortable during that time.

Do Cats Get a Cold?

Yes, cats do get a cold. It is good to vaccinate the cat after bringing it home if it missed its vaccinations. Cats that have not vaccinated or have underlying health conditions can be severely affected after catching a cold.

The cold a cat catches can be caused by a virus or bacteria. Notably, outdoor cats are more exposed to catching a cold as they interact with other cats, unlike indoor cats.

An outdoor cat can catch a cold any time of the year especially if it comes in contact with other infected cats.

A household with multiple pets can lead to various infections. For example, a house with a dog that has kennel cough can infect the cat too causing the cough.

Symptoms of a Cold

One can try to treat the problem at home even though it is not recommended especially when the symptoms are severe like shortness of breath, lack of eating or drinking anything, fatigue, etc.  Avoid getting over-the-counter medicine for humans to give to your cat. Consult your vet for proper diagnosis and medication.

The most noticed symptoms that your cat can suffer from a cold is a running or stuffed nose. Also, stuffed nose can lead to difficulties in breathing and causing agitation to your cat.

Your cat’s change of behavior or body language can be an indicator that he is unwell. Check if your cat is sleeping a lot than usual, is agitated, and always curled up to keep warm. Some symptoms do not necessarily mean the cat has a cold and further examination by the vet can rule out underlying health conditions.

Others Symptoms that your Cat may experience

  • Loss of appetite
  • Sneezing
  • Running nose
  • Agitated
  • Coughing
  • Watery eyes
  • Curled up due to chills
  • Wheezing due to shortness of breath
  • Fever

Do not wait until the symptoms are severe as diagnosis can be difficult. Once the start coughs for more than 4 days consult your vet.

Solutions or Treatments for a Cat Cough

Cough caused by bacteria can be difficult to treat with antibiotics hence try to manage the situation until the cat feels better.

To start with give your cat warm scheduled meals to prevent starvation. Due to loss of appetite you can prepare warm broth and yummy food to appeal to him/her.

Keep him hydrate and provide warm fluids and water to prevent cracked mouth and sores due to dryness. You can add drop of medicine to the water but consul your vet first.

Have wipes that your cat is not allergic too for wiping his running nose. Besides that for stuffed nose get nasal drops from your vet to clear the airways and help in easy breathing.

Do not at any time give human medicines as it can be dangerous. After vet checkup he will recommend or give suitable medicines for your cats cough.

Alongside this get a blanket for your cat to curl in when resting in her bed. If the cat is chilled or feeling cold keep her warm put her bed in a cozy warm place in the house.

Clearly when the cat is coughing due to cold we want her to always be warm and may provide a hot water bottle or heating pad that can be placed inside her bed or in her resting cage. Regulate the temperature to avoid burning her/him.

Subsequently keep the house environment warm and if possible steam her when bathing her to open her congested airways for a few minutes. You can let the washing area be filled with steam and let her in for a few minutes so that she is not burnt.

Can Supplementation Eliminate a Cat Cough?

Supplementation should be advised by your vet as it is not an alternative to medicines but a boost your cat immunity.

Just like humans the supplementation can be beneficial but it’s not a guaranteed that your cat will feel better by only taking that. For instance, Lysine can be recommended by your vet if he seems necessary depending on your cat condition.

Vitamins supplementation is common and can be mixed with the cats’ food or water for easy administering.


Cats can catch colds due to bacteria or viral infection. If your cat has been in boarding areas or is an outdoor cat it can be prone to colds. Neutered or sprayed cats can have weakened immunity and easy to get colds and supplementation of lysine can boost your cat immunity.

Antibiotics may not be helpful to your cat especially if it is a bacterial infection. It is easy to manage the cold by giving warm food and drinks, provide steam therapy, keep your cat warm with a heated mat or bottle and lastly get a warm blanket for your cat bed.

If the cold is caused by a virus in mostly cases your cat will be well after 1 week and may not require treatment. Cat cough can be managed if not severe but in case it escalate to more life threatening symptoms it is good to see your vet for further diagnosis and test and treatment.

Pay attention to your cat condition, it may pass in 10 days but also it may flare up into pneumonia. Finally, get the right medication if it goes badly and consult your vet.