Cat caught a cold? Hey, it happens.
Just like us humans tend to pick up the cold virus at times (usually at the least convenient of times, if you ask me) – cats can catch colds as well. And the symptoms are darn similar, too! Find out common cat cold symptoms here.
The good news is that you can’t catch your cat’s cold – or vice versa. Human colds and cat colds are caused by different viruses so feel free to snuggle up to kitty while she goes through a week of cat cold hell.
And rest assured in the comfort of knowing that although colds happen to the best and furriest of us, your cat needn’t suffer through it. There are a bunch of home remedies for cat colds that you can put to use to make this a not-so-miserable time for your beloved feline.
Here are some cat cold remedies to get you started!
Warm Up the Cat Food
Cats – like humans – tend to lose their appetite when they’re sick. But in order to get better quick, they absolutely need the nutrition!
If your cat is uninterested in all things food, it can be because their congested sinuses prevent them from smelling the yumminess. So get out the good stuff – canned food in their favorite flavor – and warm it up to release the scent and stimulate his appetite.
Offer Human Foods Cats Can’t Resist
You can also try offering her more tempting, human foods during her cold.
My cat loves chicken soup when she’s sick as well as beef stew, a soft fish stew and scrambled eggs. Just make absolutely sure the human food you give your cat does not contain onions, garlic, mushrooms, yeast dough, citruses or any other human foods cats can’t eat.
Oh, and make sure to switch kitty back to her own food as soon as she gets better, no matter how much she demands otherwise!
Hand Feed Your Cat
Your cat is feeling under the weather and reluctant to even get up from his cozy cat bed and wander on over his bowl. So why not bring the food to him?
Try scooping up a small amount of cat food with your fingers and placing it on your cat’s tongue. You can also go for a feeding syringe to gently make sure your cat is getting enough to eat without forcing the food down.
Nutrients in a Tube
If your cat is entirely uninterested in eating, it might take a little more than coaxing. If you absolutely can’t encourage him to eat, your best option is to get a high-calorie, high-nutrition and yummy paste to make sure your cat is getting enough nutrition to help him recover faster.
Prevent Cat Dehydration
If your cat isn’t eating, he’s probably also not visiting his water bowl too often. Cat dehydration is a common side effect of the cat cold so you may want to bring the water to him.
And easy way to check for signs of cat dehydration is to pinch a your cat’s skin on the back of his neck. Pull it up gently and then let go. If it snaps back immediately, he’s fine and hydrated. If it goes down slowly, he needs more fluids in his body.
Again, chicken, beef or fish stew (basically just the meats stewed in water to create a soft broth) is a good way to give your cats both nutrients and water in one go. So is canned cat food.
Wipe Away the Evidence
Cat colds cause discharge. And poor kitty can’t just blow her nose like we can.
The best way to help her out with all the gunk her body is discharging during the cold is to keep a pack of cat wipes handy to gently remove eye and nasal discharge.
She might not appreciate the gesture – my cat hates having her face cleaned by anything other than her own paws – but she’ll appreciate the lack of runny gunk on her face.
Clear the Congestion
That icky, frustrating congested feeling in the nose and chest is probably the worst part of the common cold for most of us – and it’s no different for your cat. I mean, have you ever seen your cat breathe through her mouth by choice?
You can help kitty breathe better by ramping up the humidity. A good humidifier definitely helps. If you don’t have one and like hot showers, let your cat come into the bathroom with you so the steam can help her breathe better.
You can also get nasal drops for your cat to clear the congestion.
Keep Your Cat Warm
Cats prefer temperatures above 70 degrees even when they’re not sick. But when your cat is sick and possibly feverish, it’s more important than ever to keep her warm and toasty.
Move her beds and lounging spaces away from the windows or anywhere that’s drafty and set her up with a blanket or space heater so she can keep warm.
Over the Counter Cold Medicine for Cats
Your vet may prescribe antibiotics of antiviral cold medicine for cats but if you’re unable to visit the vet or prefer natural cat medicine, a good alternative is an all-natural antibiotic like Vibactra.
Also, cat colds are commonly caused by feline herpes virus, which doesn’t truly leave your cat even after treatment. L-lysine supplements help manage the feline herpes virus and over the long term and can help relieve the symptoms like congestion and discharge.