Does your cat have a cold? Don’t worry, cats do get colds, and it’s typically not that serious.
If you’re wondering, how long does a cat cold last? – it’s usually anywhere between 1-2 weeks.
Here is a closer look at the symptoms of a cat cold, what you can do to help your kitty recover, and how long you can expect it to take.
How Long Does a Cat Cold Last?
If your cat has a cold, I’m sure you’re worried and want to know how quickly they’ll be back to 100%.
The good news is, cat colds usually only last between 1-2 weeks – very rarely will the symptoms persist longer than two weeks.
If your cat is still sneezing and displaying cold-like symptoms after two weeks, it might mean there is something else wrong.
Here is a look at the symptoms of a typical cat cold, how you can help your cat recover, and what it means if your cat doesn’t seem to be recovering:
Symptoms of a Cat Cold
The most common symptoms of a cat cold are sneezing, having a runny nose, and watery eyes.
Other symptoms can include fever (although this is rare), lethargy, reduced appetite, and coughing (which sounds like dry heaving).
Symptoms can range from mild and hardly noticeable – to pretty gross!
One of my cats seems to get a cold every winter and sneezes out huge globs of snot that end up getting tangled in their paws as they try to clean it up!
If your cat is displaying any of these symptoms, they probably have a ‘cat cold’.
To confirm that it’s indeed a cold and not something more serious, you can take your cat to the vet.
Do Cat Colds Go Away on Their Own?
Yes, cat colds usually go away on their own – although you can help your cat feel more comfortable and speed up the recovery process.
Cat colds are viral infections, just as our common colds are. The good news, however, is that we cannot catch a cold from our cats.
As PetMD explains that “about 90% are caused by the feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus.”
These are two feline viruses that humans are not able to get. So, even though it’s super gross when your cat sneezes near you, you don’t have to worry about catching it.
How Do You Help a Cat That Has a Cold?
There are a number of things you can do to help your cat recover quicker from their cold – and it’s not too dissimilar to how we recover.
Here are a few things you can do to help your cat feel better and recover quicker:
- Make sure they have plenty of fresh water to drink.
- Add some wet food to their diet (canned food or kitten food is best).
- Keep them in the bathroom while you shower as the steam will help relieve nasal congestion.
- Make sure they have a nice warm place to sleep (even if they don’t use it!).
- Use a humidifier in their room (this will also help with congestion).
If your cat is still displaying cold symptoms after two weeks, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out anything more serious or get a course of antibiotics.
Are Cat Colds Contagious Between Cats?
Cat colds are very contagious among cats. If you have multiple cats at home, it’s likely that all of them will eventually catch a cold.
The best thing you can do if you spot the symptoms with one of your cats is to isolate the sick cat in a separate room with all their necessities (food, water, litter box, bed, etc.)
This will help to prevent the spread of the cold and give the sick cat a chance to rest and recover.
If it does spread, however, you’re going to be dealing with a lot of sneezing and coughing for a couple of weeks!
Related – Here’s how many litter boxes you need and whether two cats can use the same box.
How Did My Indoor Cat Get a Cold?
Outdoor cats are much more susceptible to catching a cold and just about any other viral infection.
But indoor cats can also catch a cold, so don’t be that surprised if your cat has a cold but never goes outdoors.
Cats typically catch colds from other cats – even if they just meet up at the door or sit near an open window.
In addition to this, if a cat is exposed to either the feline herpesvirus or feline calicivirus at any stage in their lives, the virus stays in their system for their whole life.
This means a cold can surface at any time – typically when a cat is stressed or has a compromised immune system.
I can’t tell you exactly how your cat caught their cold, but it’s likely due to one or both of the above reasons.
Colds in cats are pretty similar to colds in humans. They’re viral infections that typically have to be left to run their course.
Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and fever.
If you have multiple cats, it’s likely that they will all catch a cold at some point.
Cat colds typically last between 1-2 weeks, but I can tell you one thing, they don’t moan about having a cold as much as we do!
Image credits – Photo by Artem Militonían on Unsplash