Does your kitty’s eyes run? Does she sniffle, sneeze, and sound like she’s coughing up a hairball (without a hairball coming out)? Is she also eating and moving a lot less than usual? She could have a cold. Yes, cats get them, too!

A feline cold is caused by a virus, just like human colds. And many of the steps to provide comfort are similar, too.

Since kitty can’t use a handkerchief, use a warm, moist washcloth to gently wipe away fluid from the cat’s eyes and nose. Many sick cats don’t feel up to grooming and will tolerate, if not welcome, the grooming.

Operating a humidifier can help moisturize nasal passages and ease breathing for sick people or cats.

Love chicken soup when sick? Offer chicken broth to help kitty feel better, too. She may drink more fluids if you offer broth, but keep the water bowl full as well. If her appetite wanes, warmed wet cat food or tuna may pep her up since it’s more aromatic than dry food for a kitty with a stuffy nose.  

Offer more petting and cuddling if attention seems to comfort your cat. Some cats prefer to hide away and sleep when sick, however. Don’t force her to stay with you if that’s the case, but just keep tabs on how she’s doing.

Keep your healthy pets away from the sickie to prevent the illness from spreading through all your animals.
After a day or so, your cat should begin to feel better and become more active. If not, see your veterinarian. The illness could be something more serious.

If you have a kitten or elderly cat, call your vet to see if she should be seen since these cats are more prone to kitty colds developing into a worse infection. Cats who refuse all food or water,  don’t move at all, or exhibit any other worrisome symptoms should see the vet right away.

If your vet prescribes any medication, use each dose as directed.

Get well soon, kitty!

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant