What to do if your cat has the “sniffles”
Bouts of sneezing and a runny nose are both sure signs your cat has caught a cold. When this happens to us, we know exactly what to do: we grab a hot drink, wrap up in a blanket and make sure we have a year’s supply of tissues within arm’s reach. But when our cats are struck by the same trouble, we’re not so sure how to proceed. Fear not!
Read on and you’ll soon know exactly what to do the next time your cat falls ill.
Pay particular attention to more delicate cats
For the most part, cats suffer from the same cold symptoms as we do: watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, mild fever, loss of appetite and sometimes, though rarely, coughing.
Colds are a type of upper respiratory infection, which can be caused by bacteria or a virus. They are not contagious for humans, but can be passed on to other cats (you’ll need to keep other cats away from the infected cat for the duration of the illness).
Cat colds are usually harmless and the symptoms should disappear within 10 days or so. However, if you fail to treat your cat correctly, they can develop pneumonia.
It is vital to pay close attention to your cat’s condition and to bring them to the vet if there is no sign of improvement within 4 or 5 days. In certain cases, you will need to consult a vet as soon as you notice the symptoms, for example if they appear in a kitten, an elderly cat, a female that is nursing, or a cat that has not been vaccinated against feline calicivirus (a sort of cat “flu” with similar symptoms to a cold, but much more dangerous).
Colds are usually caused by viruses and so antibiotics will not help, so don’t ask for them. Instead try natural products that will boost the immune system like probiotics, vitamins etc.