Ask a Cat Lady: Cats Get Colds? What's Up with That?

Mar 22nd 2012  |   17 Contributions

Catster reader Kelly asks, “What is up with kitty colds? Should I take my cat to the vet or wait it out?”

Sarah Says: I hate cat colds, mostly for selfish reasons. Dunkin sleeps very close to my face at night, and on several occasions he’s sprayed my face. It’s like that scene in Jurassic Park when Lex, the young girl, is sneezed on by a brachiosaurus. I feel like I’m in the movies, but not in that sexy way.

Anyways, it’s annoying but no cause for alarm. A sporadic sneeze here and there is okay. Believe or not, cats can have allergies too. Perfumes, secondhand smoke, bug spray, and litter dust are a few of the culprits that can irritate Bingo Starr’s nose. My Rory is allergic to onions!

If your cat is also lethargic, eating poorly, and/or has colored mucus, take him to your vet!  If it’s a virus, your vet may prescribe antibiotics to ward off secondary infections. This has happened to me with foster kittens. In rare cases, it could actually be a dental problem. In addition to sneezing, vomiting can also be a sign of an obstruction -- so don’t wait that one out. Getting things stuck up the nose is only funny when it’s a Lego and your little brother.

THE LYRICS:

If something’s dripping from your kitty’s nose

And it frequently flows and flows

You could probably safely suppose

It could be contagious, someone was exposed

 

Or it could be a case of allergies

Making her cough and puff and sneeze

You could wait it out and watch if she’s

Not lethargic and eating healthy

 

All stuffed up, I can’t enjoy my wet meats

Without thumbs, I can’t blow my nose into a hanky

Oh, how I wish that I could sip

Oh chicken soup, but I don’t have lips

 

A rarer issue it could be

A dental problem in a nasal cavity

 

Or an infection a vet can treat

In the lungs or upper respiratory tract

 

All stuffed up, I can’t enjoy my wet meats

Without thumbs, I can’t blow my nose into a hanky

Oh, how I wish that I could sip

On chicken soup, but I don’t have lips

Oh, a congested kitty is a problem

Oh, Benedryl is not an option

 

SOURCES: Cat Health Problems, The Cat Practice

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