Cats and Colds: How to Recognize, Treat, and Prevent Feline Upper Respiratory Infections

As a cat owner, it is important to keep your feline friend healthy and happy. One common question that many cat owners may ask themselves is whether cats can get colds. In short, the answer is yes – just like humans, cats are susceptible to respiratory infections commonly referred to as “colds.” However, the symptoms and causes of these infections can be vastly different from those experienced by humans.

Signs of a Cold in Cats

The signs of a cold in cats may vary depending on the severity of the infection but typically include:

• Sneezing
• Runny nose
• Watery eyes
• Coughing or wheezing
• Loss of appetite
• Lethargy

If you notice any of these symptoms in your furry friend, it may be time to visit your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.


Cats can catch colds from other animals who carry respiratory viruses such as Feline Herpesvirus (FHV-1) or Feline Calicivirus (FCV). These viruses are highly contagious among felines and often spread through direct contact with infected animals’ bodily fluids such as saliva or mucus. The virus also spreads when healthy cats come into contact with contaminated objects such as food bowls, bedding or litter boxes.


To prevent your cat from catching a cold virus, it’s essential to keep them away from other sick animals. Additionally, it’s crucial to clean up their living area regularly and disinfect their toys frequently. Keep your kitty indoors during times when there’s an increased risk for respiratory illness outbreaks – this will help reduce exposure levels significantly.


If you suspect that your furry friend has caught a cold virus despite taking preventive measures discussed above, take him/her immediately to the veterinarian. Your vet will conduct tests that will determine if its indeed flu causing its sickness; else some underlying health issues might cause similar symptoms. In most cases, cats will recover from colds on their own with proper care and rest. However, in severe infections, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics or other medications to help alleviate symptoms.


In conclusion, it is possible for cats to catch colds just like humans; however, the causes and symptoms can be different than what we experience. Keeping your feline friend healthy and happy means taking preventive measures such as regular cleaning of its environment and visiting the vet at the first sign of illness. By doing so, you can ensure that your furry companion remains healthy and by your side for years to come!