Can You Give a Cat Cold Medicine?

A cat cold is signaled by sneezing, coughing, eye and nasal discharges and fever. If you notice these symptoms you may suspect your cat has a cold. Unfortunately, a lot of cat owners tend to treat their pets at home and for a cold they are tempted to administer human cold medicine. This is not recommended as it may present a number of problems in your pet.

Reasons You Shouldn’t Give a Cat Cold Medicine

Giving your sick cat cold medicine will not treat your pet, but it will only cause complications.

Cat cold is caused by different viruses different than the viruses that cause human colds, so the cold medicine will not be effective. It is good to know that human colds cannot be transmittable to cats and cat colds will not affect humans.

The cold medicine can cause an allergic reaction in your cat and in some cases, it may even be toxic for your pet; it all depends on the ingredients of the cold medicine. If you have given human cold medicine to your cat, you should watch out for poisoning symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, pale gums, confusion or sudden collapse. If these symptoms occur, you should stimulate the cat to vomit and rush to the vet, as the toxic substance should be removed from the cat’s stomach as soon as possible, ideally before this is digested and enters the cat’s blood flow.

Cat Cold Treatment

Cat colds may be caused by different viruses and bacteria and you should visit the vet to get a proper diagnosis and a suitable treatment.

Typically, colds can be treated with antibiotics and an antibiotics cure of 2 weeks. If the cat displays symptoms such as coughing and the cough is dry, the vet may recommend some cough suppressants or antitussive drugs. 

For the eye discharge you may use a saline solution; dilute a 1 to 3 tbsp of salt in lukewarm water and use some cotton buds to gently clear the eye area. The same type of solution may be used to clear the nasal discharge.

You should also make sure that the cat stays in a warm environment. Place a humidifier in the room the cat spends most of his time and provide a few blankets. The humidifier can help the cat breathe more easily.

If you have several cats in your household, you should keep the sick cat isolated, as the cold is highly contagious. Cat colds are not transmittable to humans.

If your cat refuses to eat, you should force feed your pet. Grab the lose skin on the pet’s neck and use a try to administer the food using a syringe. You may consider switching to a kitten food, as the cat is more likely to eat this while he is sick. You should also make sure that the cat stays hydrated. Keep fresh water available for the cat at all times.

A feline cold can last between 1 and 3 weeks.