Cat Cold Symptoms and Preventive Measures

By Tess Thompson

Symptoms of cat colds are almost similar to the ones that humans experience during common colds. These include:

  • Nasal discharge.
  • Watery eyes.
  • Sneezing.
  • Heavy breathing.
  • Coughing.

Nasal discharge in mild instances is not serous (clear watery discharge), but a thick, purulent (containing pus) discharge signifies that the condition is more serious than a simple cold. A bloody discharge, on the other hand, may be an indication of prevalence of a serious feline respiratory disease like a nasal tumor.

Although most cat colds will run their course of a week or ten days, cats suffer from different types of colds. As with all Herpes virus infections, cat colds that occur due to this virus tend to recur. Herpes virus infections, especially in kittens, tend to be prolonged and recur very frequently. Herpes virus infections also tend to resurface upon induction of stress caused by surgery (mostly spaying or neutering and de-clawing), boarding, or when a new cat is brought home.

A cat with herpes virus remains infective for a few weeks. The other most common infection is by calicivirus, which keeps cats contagious for several months. Calicivirus infection, however, is less recurrent than herpes virus.

Some cat colds may not be self-limiting in nature. That is exactly why a veterinary assessment is recommended if you see cold-like symptoms in your cat. If it is a viral infection, then feline upper respiratory infection treatment using antibiotics is not required, as they are ineffective against viruses. Even after successful remission, with or without treatment, you will still be required to take care and prevent the recurrence of colds.

Despite the fact that the pathogenic agents causing cat colds are highly contagious, cat colds can be prevented if you are careful enough.

In order to get infected, cats must be in the same home as an infected cat. Viruses are transmitted through wet sneezes. Sharing the same human caretaker, food bowl and toys are other ways that cats get colds.

Vaccines are only partially effective and specific treatments are limited. Moreover, some viral agents are immune to disinfectants. Reduction in overcrowding, sufficient ventilation and stress control is necessary to prevent frequent recurrence of cat colds.

The other major reason of frequent infection is lack of immunity. The immune system of kittens is immature, which makes young cats more susceptible to colds. While managing symptoms of a cold in your cat, it makes sense to look for some feline upper respiratory herbal treatment. Natural remedies not only provide treatment, but also provide effective support to the immune system. Avoid commercial foods, and feed your cat with natural foods as much as you can to further boost your cat’s immunity and ability to combat opportunistic infections.


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