Can My Cat Catch A Cold From Humans?

Can My Cat Catch A Cold From Humans? 

When we have a cold or the flu, it often crosses our minds that we might pass it to others. Sometimes this worry extends to our cats – so can a cat catch a cold from a human?

Cats and colds

The most basic answer to the question is no; cats can’t catch a cold from a human. This is because colds are caused by something called a rhinovirus Can My Cat Catch A Cold From Humans?and this only passes from one host to another of the same species. In other words, we can pass our cold to another human but not to a cat, a dog or a rabbit. However, there is a respiratory infection that cats can get which is referred to as cat flu and does have similar symptoms to a cold in a human.

Symptoms include:

• Nasal discharge (a runny nose)

• Eye discharge (runny eyes)

• Fever

• Ulcers in the mouth

• Coughing and sneezing

• Loss of appetite

There are two main viruses that account for about 80% of cat flu cases – feline herpes and calicivirus. Others that can cause these symptoms include chlamydia, bordetella and mycoplasma. Cats get colds very quickly and can become very sick with them, unlike humans where the virus tends to be self-limiting. Kittens and older cats are at the highest risk of becoming seriously ill while healthy adult cats tend to fight it off within a week or two.

In the case of feline herpes virus, once a cat becomes infected, they carry the virus for the rest of their life. This means that it may at some point reactivate and the symptoms appear once again. It also means that the cat can be a carrier of the virus when it is showing no symptoms and can pass it on to other cats.

Transmission and treatment

Can My Cat Catch A Cold From Humans?Cats contract these viruses most commonly through direct contact with another infected cat. This can be when a cat sneezes, and the virus particles are thrown up into the air and then breathed in by another cat. Both the eye discharge and saliva are also highly contagious.

The other main way is called indirect contact. The virus can remain alive in the environment for as long as it is moist though this isn’t too long. It means bedding, food and water bowls; litter boxes and toys can all harbour the virus for a short time and be picked up by another cat using those items.

Treating a cold in a cat is a bit like treating it in a human – there’s not a lot that can be done. Watching their fluid intake to avoid dehydration is important, as is wiping their face and eyes to remove the discharge. This is good for cleanliness, preventing spread but also for their sense of smell, vital as part of their appetite – if they can’t smell the food, they won’t eat it.

Medication can be prescribed to help with the condition, especially if a secondary condition develops while saline drops may be used to help with the blocked nose. Finally, sometimes a vet may prescribe L-Lysine, an amino acid that has been shown to suppress the replication of viruses.

Get Started




Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign Up For Our Newsletter!

Keep up with all the specials and important updates that are pet related!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This