My Cat Seems to Have a Cold

by carolann
(san francisco)

My cat is approx 2 1/2 years old, and seems to have a cold. He is sneezing and has some whitish gunk in his eyes. He seems fine otherwise, eating, good energy etc. I've been told that you can't do anything for a cat cold, is that true?

Editor's note: First, everyone should be aware that you shouldn't give your cat human medication. I have seen elsewhere on the Web where people have suggested acetaminophen or aspirin.

Do not give cats these products.

Tylenol (acetaminophen) can kill a cat, and aspirin takes several days to work its way out of the body, so overdosing is highly probable.

Eating, drinking, and high activity level is a good sign that your cat probably isn't letting this cold get him down, at least not yet. Still, one of the most common reasons for cats to be brought in for veterinary care is feline upper respiratory infections. Cats can easily become dehydrated from illness, so for that and other reasons, it's best to call the vet if you notice signs of a cold.

Colds in cats are primarily caused by feline specific viral infections, and are highly contagious (to other cats). There could also be secondary bacterial infections present, and what many vets will do is treat for those with antibiotics while your cat's body fights the virus that causes the cold.

If dehydration has occurred, then some form of fluid delivery will be given. This could be either intravenous, or by injecting the fluid under the skin and letting it rehydrate the cat over several days.

There are also some vets who will give immune system boosters, and sometimes lysine is recommended as it inhibits the herpes virus, which is a common cause of the feline cold.

Your vet can advise you on what to do , but keeping your cat as stress free as possible, and making sure there are warm places to sleep are important. Monitor your cat's behavior. If he shows a fever, or becomes lethargic, stops eating or drinking, or develops any new symptoms, you'll definitely want to visit the vet.

I hope that helps and good luck with him!


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Nov 27, 2008
So sorry for you
by: Anonymous

I really hope your cat gets better. I have three cats of my own and just lost two others. But I got a new kitten that is crazy! If you haven't, take your cat to the vet. GOOD LUCK!

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