Should I Take My Cat to a Vet for Just a Cold?

Written by alison decamp
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Should I Take My Cat to a Vet for Just a Cold?
Cold symptoms may be similar in cats and humans. (cat face image by Viktor Korpan from

You can treat your cat's symptoms by moisturising the nose, using a vaporiser to loosen any mucus, encouraging the cat to eat by presenting it with pungent foods and using over-the-counter remedies for cat colds. Cat colds can last a week or longer and typically are not dangerous to a cat's overall health.

Cold Symptoms Can Indicate Other Health Problems

The consistency and frequency of nasal discharge can indicate the type of infection affecting your cat. A thick yellow discharge probably means a bacterial infection. Any discharge that lingers for a few hours may require a veterinarian's opinion. Sneezing can mean an object is lodged in the nose. Moreover, a cat's appetite is triggered by its sense of smell; therefore a stuffy nose may translate into weight loss.

Should I Take My Cat to a Vet for Just a Cold?
Bacterial infections may require antibiotics. (bacteria image by chrisharvey from

Bottom Line

Cat colds can be managed at home with simple treatments and usually are not dangerous. Symptoms that last more than a week, excessive nasal discharge or weight loss are reasons to contact your veterinarian. Additionally, sometimes antibiotics prescribed by the vet are needed to cure an infection.

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