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6 DIY Cat Cold Remedies & FAQs Answered

Updated: May 30

We collected the best Homemade Remedies For Cold In Cats, A list of common Symptoms, Causes, and mistakes to avoid.

Cats are agile and robust creatures, but like any other animal, they are susceptible to diseases and infections. Cats, like humans, can get the common cold, and while it is not life-threatening, it can be an annoying condition that can have a negative impact on your cat's overall health.

Cold in cats affects the upper respiratory tract and is caused by viruses and bacteria. Cold can be contagious and infected cats can transmit it to healthy cats. The severity of cold in cats varies, and cats may exhibit mild or severe symptoms that can last for weeks.

Table Of Content:


Cold Symptoms In Cats

Cats can exhibit a variety of different symptoms when suffering from a cold. Cats can experience anything from mild to severe cold symptoms.

The cat's age and overall health will usually affect how severe the symptoms are. Young kittens and senior cats typically have severe symptoms. Also, if your cat already has a respiratory illness like pneumonia, the symptoms of a cold will be very severe.

As a responsible cat owner, you must never overlook the cold symptoms in cats because they can negatively impact the health of your kitty. Some common symptoms of cold exhibited by cats include the following:

  1. Mild symptoms

  2. Sneezing

  3. Sniffles

  4. Watery eyes

  5. Runny nose

  6. Mild fever

  7. Severe symptoms

  8. Appetite loss

  9. Exhaustion

  10. Constant cough (dry or productive)

Causes Of Cold In Cats

Cold in cats is primarily caused by viruses, but it can be caused by bacterial infections as well. A few common causes of the cold in cats are listed below:

  • Calicivirus

  • Feline herpesvirus or rhinotracheitis

  • Secondary bacterial infections

Mistakes To Avoid

  1. If your cat has a cold, avoid strenuous play activities because physical activity can aggravate its symptoms. Instead, give them plenty of time to rest.

  2. Don't overlook your cat's symptoms in the hope that the symptoms will go away on their own.

  3. Never use human cold medications or over-the-counter drugs to treat colds in cats.

  4. When cats are sick, avoid giving them cold water and instead give them lukewarm water to drink.

  5. If home remedies fail, don't delay treatment and take your cat to vet clinic as soon as possible.

  6. Because cat colds can be contagious, it is best to keep your cat away from other pets.

Homemade Remedies For Cold In Cats

The following are some effective vet-approved homemade remedies that you can try to help your cat recover from a cold.

The majority of the time, these will provide relief for your cat, but if they do not, you should seek medical help. In addition, if your cat has a history of heart problems or other serious illnesses, you should consult a veterinarian before trying any of these home remedies.

Hot shower steam

Placing your cat in the bathroom while you take a hot shower can help reduce the severity of cold symptoms in cats by reducing nasal congestion. Steam from the shower can also help moisten your cat's nasal membranes, reducing irritation, and dilating the bronchioles in the lungs, improving breathing.

Increase humidity

When the weather is cold, the air is usually dry, which can aggravate cold symptoms in cats. So, by placing a humidifier near your cat's living area, humidity can be increased, providing great relief to your cat's nasal congestion and certainly improving breathing.

Improve hydration

Provide your cat with plenty of fresh warm drinking water to improve its hydration status. Increased hydration levels will make your cat feel much better.

Offer chicken broth

If your cat isn't drinking water, try offering chicken broth, beef broth, or another meat or bone broth. Providing broths will not only stimulate your cat's appetite but will also improve its hydration status while providing it with plenty of nutrients.

Offer catnip

You should try offering catnip to your cat if it has a lot of coughing and sneezing. Catnip contains a number of substances that relieve coughing in cats. You can sprinkle dry catnip around your cat's living area, and if your cat sniffs or eats it, its cold will improve. Catnip can also be mixed into cat food.

Warm compress

Warm compresses can be applied to your cat's nose and face to provide relief from the cold. Placing a warm damp cloth over your cat's face will help relieve congestion in its nasal cavity and sinuses, which will reduce discomfort and irritation. Make sure the cloth is not too hot or too wet; it should be barely damp.


Common Questions About Cat Cold

Question #1: How long can a cat cold last?

Cat colds, also known as upper respiratory infections, are caused by viruses and bacteria. Symptoms can include sneezing, coughing, runny nose, and fever. While it's always necessary to consult with a vet if your cat shows signs of illness, the duration of a cat's cold can vary.

In most cases, mild cases will last around seven to ten days. However, more severe cases can take up to two weeks or longer to clear up. It's important to monitor your cat closely during this time and ensure they are eating and drinking enough water.

If your cat's symptoms persist beyond ten days or become more severe over time - such as difficulty breathing - you should seek vet care immediately. These may indicate more serious health issues than just a simple cold.

Ultimately, recovery depends on several factors, including your pet's age and overall health condition.

Question #2: What medicine can I give my cat for a cold?

When giving medicine to your cat for a cold, it's important to consult with your veterinarian first. They can advise you on what medications are safe and effective for your furry friend.

One option may be antihistamines, which can help reduce sneezing and watery eyes. However, not all antihistamines are safe for cats, so check with your vet before administering any medication.

Another potential treatment is antibiotics, but only if the cold has progressed into a bacterial infection. It's essential not to give antibiotics without consulting a vet first, as they won't work against viral infections that cause most feline colds.

You may also consider using over-the-counter saline drops or sprays in their nose if they have congestion. These products help moisten nasal passages and facilitate mucus drainage from the sinuses.

Ultimately, there isn't one specific medicine that works for every cat cold because each case can vary in severity and symptoms. Your veterinarian will always provide the best course of action when treating illnesses like these in our beloved pets, so don't hesitate to seek their expertise!

Question #3: What do you feed a sick cat?

When your cat is sick, it's important to provide the right food to help them recover. However, feeding a sick cat can be challenging as their appetite may decrease or they may have difficulty swallowing. Here are some simple tips on what you should feed your sick feline friend.

Firstly, ensure your cat stays hydrated by providing plenty of fresh water. You can also give them wet food instead of dry kibble since it has higher moisture content and is easier for cats to eat and digest.

Suppose your cat has digestive issues such as vomiting or diarrhea. You can try feeding them small amounts of boiled chicken or fish with rice or sweet potato. This bland diet is easy on their stomach and provides essential nutrients to aid recovery.

For cats not eating at all due to illness, you can try heating their food slightly, increasing its aroma and making it more delicious. Alternatively, consider offering low-sodium chicken broth, which encourages hydration while being gentle on the stomach.

In summary, when feeding a sick cat, remember the importance of hydration and offer easily digestible foods such as boiled chicken/fish with rice/sweet potato. If necessary, heat up their meal slightly or offer low-sodium broth if they're not eating.

Question #4: What is the best cat food for respiratory problems?

Regarding respiratory problems in cats, their diet can be crucial to their recovery. It is important to choose the right cat food that supports the immune system and contains ingredients that improve respiratory health.

One of the best options for cat food with respiratory benefits is wet food with high protein content. Protein helps maintain muscle mass and boosts immunity. Look for canned foods that contain lean meats, such as chicken or turkey, rather than by-products or fillers.

Another important ingredient for cats with respiratory issues is antioxidants. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation and promote healing throughout the body. Foods containing blueberries, cranberries, sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach are great sources of antioxidants.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also vital for good respiratory health in cats since they help reduce inflammation in the airways. Fish oils like salmon contain omega-3s which can be added to your cat's diet through supplements or specially formulated foods.

Avoid feeding your cat anything too spicy or oily, as these types of foods may exacerbate any existing symptoms they may have.

Keeping these factors in mind when selecting cat food options for a pet with a history of breathing difficulties will improve their overall well-being over time!

Question #5: What can I give my cat for a cold?

When it comes to treating a cat cold, there are several options you can consider. However, before administering any medication or home remedy, it's essential to consult your veterinarian first.

If your cat has a mild common cold, it may not require any medication. They might recover independently with plenty of rest and hydration. In such cases, ensure that you always provide them with clean water and monitor their behavior for signs of improvement or worsening.

One home remedy that is usually recommended for cats with colds is steam therapy. You can create a steam room just by running hot water in your shower and placing your cat in the bathroom while keeping the door closed for about 10 minutes. This will help open up their airways, making it easier for them to breathe.

Another option is adding L-lysine supplements to your cat's food. Lysine helps boost the immune system and prevent viral infections like upper respiratory infections (URIs) that cause colds in cats.

You may also give them chicken broth as this helps stimulate appetite; however, if they have diarrhea due to the URI infection, hold off on feeding them anything heavy until they've recovered.

Again remember always consult with a veterinarian before attempting any treatment, especially if symptoms persist after several days, as further medical examination may be necessary.

Question #6: What can I give my cat for a cold and runny nose?

Cats can get colds just like humans, and one symptom is a runny nose. If your cat suffers from a runny nose, there are a number of things you can simply do to help them feel better.

Firstly, make sure that your cat has plenty of fresh water available at all times. This will help keep them hydrated and flush out any toxins in their system.

You can also try using steam to help clear your cat's nasal passages. You can accomplish this by running a hot shower or bath and letting your cat sit in the bathroom for a few minutes. Alternatively, you can use a humidifier in the room where your beloved cat spends most of their time.

Another option is to give your cat some chicken broth or bone broth. The warmth will be soothing on their throat while the nutrients will boost their immune system.

If you want something more natural, consider giving your cat some honey mixed with warm water. Honey has antibacterial properties that may help fight off any infection-causing cold symptoms.

Always consult a veterinarian before trying anything new on cats, as they have unique health requirements that vary from human beings.

Question #7: How do you treat a mild fever in a cat?

Cats can get a fever when they are sick, just like humans. A normal cat's body temperature ranges from 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit; anything above that is considered a fever.

If your cat has a mild fever, there are some things you can do at your home to help them feel better. First of all, make sure they have plenty of water available so they stay hydrated.

You can also try wiping their face and paws with cool water to slightly reduce their body temperature. It's important not to use cold water or ice as this could be too much of a shock for your feline friend.

Another way to treat a mild fever in cats is by keeping them comfortable in a quiet and calm environment where they won't be stressed out or overstimulated.

If the fever of your cat persists for more than two days or the symptoms worsen, it may be the right time to take them to the vet clinic for further evaluation and treatment options.

Question #8: Can I give Panadol to my cat for fever?

Giving your cat Panadol for fever without consulting with a veterinarian is not recommended. While it may seem quick and easy, over-the-counter medications designed for humans can be dangerous and even deadly to pets.

Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Panadol, can cause liver damage or failure in cats if given in excess. Cats are also more sensitive to other common human pain relievers such as ibuprofen and aspirin.

If you suspect your lovely cat has a fever, scheduling an appointment with your vet immediately is important. They will be able to properly diagnose the underlying cause of their illness and prescribe medication or treatment as needed.

In addition to seeking veterinary care, there are a number of things you can do at home to help lower your cat's temperature naturally. Encourage them to rest in a cool room with access to fresh water. You can also place a cool towel on their forehead or paws to help gradually reduce their body temperature.

Remember that when it comes to caring for our furry friends, it's always better to be safe than sorry!


Angel, P. (2022, March 4)

Bisset, L. (2023, March 23).

Sacramento Vet. (2022, February 15).

Kho-Pelfrey, T., DVM. (2022, August 24).

Lvt, K. E. B. (2021, January 27).

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