Typically, cat colds are mild. They can last from a few days to a few weeks, and are not life-threatening. However, cats with severe colds may need to be hospitalized for a few days to get treated. They may also need to get a lot of fluids to keep them hydrated.
Symptoms may include a fever, lethargy, coughing, nasal discharge, and a loss of appetite. Cats may also exhibit watery eyes. In rare cases, cats may develop pneumonia. However, most kitty colds will go away on their own.
A vet may recommend antibiotics for cats with suspected bacterial infections. In some cases, the vet will recommend blood tests or chest X-rays to rule out more serious problems. Depending on the diagnosis, the vet may prescribe eye ointments to soothe the eyes and relieve some of the pain.
The most common cause of cat colds is a virus. The majority of viruses are species-specific, so they cannot be transferred between cats. However, the feline rhinotracheitis virus is particularly contagious. Cats with weak immune systems are more susceptible to viruses. They are also more likely to contract secondary bacterial infections, which can complicate a viral infection.
A vet can tell you if your cat has a cold by looking at its general health history. They may also recommend routine diagnostic tests to check for cold complications. The veterinarian will also recommend medications to relieve the symptoms of a cold. They may also prescribe a specialized, personalized treatment plan based on the diagnosis.
The most important symptom of a cat’s cold is the so-called incubation period. This is when a cat is most likely to spread the cold to other cats in its environment. When a cat is sick, it may spray minuscule drops of discharge into the air, which can spread to other cats in close proximity. The incubation period is typically two to ten days, but it can last longer if the cat is ill.
Cats may also get colds from exposure to rain, sleet, or snow. The cold may cause hypothermia, so keep your cat indoors when the weather turns cold. Another good idea is to wash the cat’s bedding and toys to kill any germs. A humidifier or steam therapy may help your cat recover faster.
The best way to prevent a cold in your cat is to practice good pet hygiene. This includes washing the bedding, bowls, and toys to remove bacteria. If your cat is prone to getting colds, keep the room around it warm, and provide a humidifier. You may also want to give your cat some TLC to help ease his symptoms. If your cat is suffering from a cold, try to keep him away from other cats until the cold has gone away. If the symptoms persist, see a vet as soon as possible.
The most important thing to remember is to keep your cat warm and hydrated. Cats with colds should be given eye ointments or antibiotics to relieve the symptoms.