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What is cat cold? – Various pathogens can trigger a cat cold

What is cat cold - Various pathogens can trigger a cat cold / Image by Ben Kerckx from Pixabay
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What is cat cold? – Cat cold refers, initially quite unspecifically, various diseases of the respiratory tract and mucous membranes in the cat’s head area.

The particular forms of cat cold are getting triggered by viruses, bacteria, and occasionally both in parallel and are infectious.

Cats can become infected by contact with each other, but droplet or smear infection via food, objects, and even humans as intermediate carriers is also possible.

The pathogens are mostly getting spread via body fluids. When the cat sneezes or salivates, subtle secretions are getting sprayed. The viruses and bacteria in the cat can survive for a while even without a host.

Cats are highly vulnerable to infection: In case of an illness with a cat cold, you should immediately visit the vet.


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What is cat cold? – Various pathogens can trigger a cat cold

What is cat cold?
What is cat cold / Image by alexas_fptps from Pixabay

Cat cold is a contagious, insidious viral disease in domestic cats. The condition can build up independently due to the involvement of so-called secondary pathogens (bacteria).

Caliciviruses and herpes viruses are prevalent culprits. But also chlamydia (bacteria-like parasites), mycoplasma (cell wall-less bacteria), and bordetella (another parasite species) trigger a cat cold.


Cat cold: Particularly insidious

Once the viruses have created a feeding ground, it attracts more bacteria. In the course of this, a more complex clinical picture develops, which can cover significantly more symptoms. The demarcation between the actual cat cold and any secondary diseases becomes more difficult as the disease progresses.


Cat cold: Particularly contagious

Besides, the cat cold is highly contagious: Since the transmission occurs through the eye and nasal secretions, a healthy cat can be infected when sniffing an already sick animal. Often a sneeze without direct body contact is sufficient.

Indirect infection, for example, by using an infected food bowl, is also possible. Depending on the pathogen, the incubation period between infection and the disease outbreak is between two and ten days.


How to recognize a cat cold?

Among the first symptoms is a general malaise associated with inflammation of the mucous membranes and constant sneezing. Very often, this is accompanied by conjunctivitis.

The infectious nasal and ocular discharge is initially very watery and straightforward but becomes cloudier as the disease progresses. As a result, the cat appears tired and groggy.

Gradually, their food and water consumption decreases, which is especially dangerous for dehydration. The resulting weakened circulation favors the cat cold.


FAQ Cat Cold

How does a cat could manifest itself?

Recognizing cat cold symptoms: It's beginning with frequent sneezing, feline rhinitis leads to watery and later mucous discharge from the cat's nose and eyes.

How long does it take for cat cold to go away?

While the disease can subside in young and fit cats on average after 7-10 days, older cats or animals with weakened immune systems can suffer for 3-4 weeks. So the duration of a cat cold can vary greatly.

How to treat cat cold?

The veterinarian will usually treat a cat cold with antibiotics, with the active ingredients amoxicillin or tetracycline. A cat antibiotic is a drug that kills bacteria in cats.

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How dangerous is cat cold for humans?

Cat cold is a common infectious disease that doctors call feline pneumonia or feline rhinitis. For us humans, a cold is part of a common cold that often strikes us during the cold winter months. However, the type of disease is not dangerous.

What happens when a cat sneezes?

Just like with us humans, sneezing in a cat is a protective reflex. Dust and foreign bodies are getting ejected from the nose. It's a natural reaction that is not a cause for concern.

Can you treat cat cold yourself?

Cat cold is easily curable. Usually, cats recover from cat cold without complications in ten to 20 days and show no further illness signs after that. However, kittens can become severely ill - within the first four weeks of life, the infection is often fatal.

What does the vet do for a cat cold?

The veterinarian can quickly diagnose cat cold thanks to the exact symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes, and nasal discharge. If there is purulent eye or nasal discharge, treatment is with a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

On cats, how long does a viral infection last?

It can take between three and five days for the first symptoms to become apparent after an infection. Another seven days, in some cases even longer, the cat flu then lasts in the typical case.

What can be getting done against conjunctivitis in cats?

Conjunctivitis in cats is getting treated with eye drops or an ointment. Which active ingredients the medication contains depends on the cause of conjunctivitis.

How can feline rhinitis be transmitted?

Caliciviruses are getting transmitted by direct contact between a cat and an animal infected by the pathogen. Spread by aerosols does not play a role in this form of feline rhinitis. The virus is excreted mainly through secretions of the upper respiratory tract and occasionally through feces.

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What can I do if my cat is sick?

Please contact your veterinarian directly at the first signs, even if your cat shows only one symptom. Always present your animal to your doctor, preferably once too much than once too little. Treatment is now with antibiotics.



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