Zootonics is an area of study focused on the transmittal of disease from human to animal. Though rare, some illnesses can be passed between owners and their pets. Of course, the threat level varies depending on what kind of pet you have and the virus in question.
Dogs are mostly safe from any interspecies transference. Cats, on the other hand, incur a bit more risk.
While a cat is unlikely to outright catch your rhinovirus-fueled cold, they can develop “cat flu” in the form of upper respiratory infections. Some studies also suggest H1N1 can make the jump from human to a feline.
While symptoms and treatments are similar to humans, cats that fall ill are at a much greater risk. From symptoms to recovery, we’ll explore how to help if your cat has caught a cold.
Signs Your Cat Caught a Cold
You know fluffy better than anyone. Should you notice them acting a bit off, pay close attention. Some symptoms can signal more serious illnesses like bordatella, pneumonia, distemper or infections from parasites.
Look out for irregularities like:
- Appetite loss
- Sneezing or coughing
- Nasal or eye discharge
- Ulcers in the mouth
After you identify the most prevalent ails, time to make an appointment with the vet.
Cat Cold Remedy
It’s important to get your sick cat in to see the vet as soon as you identify an issue. Illnesses can progress really quickly in your kitty. Still, there are some ways to help Fluffy feel better at home, too.
Start by cleaning their environment. Wash their bedding, scrub their food and water bowls and change the litter more frequently. Doing so will also prevent other cats in the household from indirectly contracting the virus.
Just like humans, your fur baby will also need plenty of time to rest and lots of hydration. The more fluids they take in, the quicker the system can flush the cold.
Perhaps the best thing you can do for a sick pet is to encourage them to continue eating. Looking to help spark your cat’s appetite? Target the congestion.
Start by removing any visible discharge. You can use saline drops to help clear nasal passages. Humidifiers or water vapors may also help them breathe easier. The more cats can smell what they’re eating, the more likely they are to eat it.
You can also try temporarily switching their diet to entice them a bit. If your usual high-quality holistic pet food isn’t doing the trick, try sprinkling your all-natural cat food with a bit of canned tuna or tuna juice. Heated wet cat food may also help Fluffy feel more inclined to munch.
Prevention and Recovery
Cat colds pass easily to other kitties in the house. It’s important to mitigate the spread by taking some necessary preventative steps.
Start by avoiding direct contact with fluids. The virus lives best in moist environments. That means any nasal discharge, be it snot or airborne particles from a sneeze, can spread the infection. Eye discharge and saliva also contain pathogens making them agents of contagion.
Be extra careful about washing your hands after contact, especially before you feed or handle other cats in the house. In fact, it’s often best to keep the sick kitty in isolation for a few days.
Young kittens, senior cats, or those with compromised immune systems are at higher risk of infection. However, under normal circumstances, you should see Fluffy make a full recovery within a week or two.
Now that we know it’s possible for your kitty to catch a cold, remember that symptoms can belie the severity. Always consult your vet to see if antibiotics or advanced treatment is needed.
With a little rest and lot of love, you can help heal that winter cat-choo without it spreading to your other fur babies