Did you know that our feline friends can get their own kitty versions of colds or flus? In many cases, cats may just feel a bit stuffy and tired for a couple of days. They will usually recover on their own. However, kitty colds can sometimes develop into upper respiratory infections, or URIs. These can be extremely dangerous! Senior cats and kittens are especially at risk, because of their weaker immune systems. A vet discusses cat colds below.
W arning Signs
Keep an eye out for warning signs. Lethargy is one of the common ones. If Fluffy is really stuffed up, she may sleep even more than usual. Some other red flags to watch for include coughing, sneezing, fever, runny nose, watery eyes, reduced appetite and/or thirst, wheezing, and/or difficulty breathing. Contact your vet right away if your pet shows any of these symptoms.
Once Fluffy has been properly diagnosed, your veterinarian will be able to give you some specific treatment options. These may include antibiotics and/or other medications. Don’t ever give Fluffy human medications, unless your vet specifically recommends it. This rule applies to home remedies too. Things like garlic, whiskey, lemon, and turmeric, which are in many of Grandma’s old home remedies, might work for us but are dangerous for our furry friends!
What do you give a sick cat? Believe it or not, chicken soup is fine. Just skip the garlic, onions, rice, and pasta: warm, sodium-free chicken broth with some plain, boneless chicken (and perhaps some peas and carrots) will work. Some kitties like having their canned food warmed up a bit. You can also put a humidifier on and/or bring Fluffy into the bathroom while you shower, so she can breathe the steam. You may want to get your kitty a new bed or a soft throw blanket to curl up in. You’ll also need to make sure your furry buddy is drinking plenty of fresh water. Of course, some extra snuggles are on the agenda as well.
As the old saying says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keep up with Fluffy’s vaccinations, such as the vaccine for feline calcivirus. However, cats can still spread the virus after they have recovered. Keeping your cat indoors will reduce the odds of her coming into contact with other cats, and either catching or spreading it.
Do you have questions about cat colds? Contact us, your vet clinic, today!