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Can you give your cat a cold?

Is there a cold going around in your office right now? When you’re sneezing and wheezing from a cold, you may be tempted to cuddle up with kitty for comfort. But you also may be wondering if you’re putting their health at risk. After all, can a cat catch a human’s cold?

How your cat catches a cold

Cats are especially sensitive to upper respiratory infections. And just like humans, they can catch colds if they contract a virus. While veterinarians once thought it was impossible for cats and humans to share the same illnesses, they now believe that some cold and flu viruses can spread from humans to cats.

How to take precautions

The good news? It’s extremely rare and highly unlikely that your cat will catch your cold. Cats are far more likely to catch cold viruses from other cats. However, if you’re still concerned, you can take precautions. Whenever you’re sick, wash your hands before or after handling your cat. Avoid any contact between their saliva and the mucous membranes around your nose or eyes (the same goes if they’re sick too!).

How to relieve your cat’s symptoms

So if your cat can catch a cold, how would you know? Look for symptoms like sneezing, sniffing, and a discharge around their eyes and nose. Your cat may also be lethargic and show poor appetite. If you notice these signs, take the cat to the vet, who will properly diagnose and set a course of treatment. In the meantime, keep your cat’s food dishes clean and change their litter often. Try to increase the humidity in your home and gently wipe any discharge from your cat’s eyes or nose.

Is your cat under the weather? Our cat sitters will make sure your cat is comfortable, clean, and fed while they recover. Call today!


Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

Photo by Dave Scelfo on Wikimedia Commons.

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