Generally, a cold is an inflammation of the nose and throat, characterized by an increased production of mucus. While human colds are usually associated with a change in season, cat colds are independent of seasonality and are usually caused by a virus. The most important thing to note is that a virus must run its course and cannot be killed by drugs. Treating viral infections, especially in the feline respiratory, tract, is therefore futile.
That said, cat owners should remember that although the symptoms of cat colds are similar to those experienced by humans, there is a vast difference in how feline colds should be managed. One of the common viruses that cause cold-like symptoms in cats is feline calicivirus, which belongs to a family of viruses that continually change their compositions. Moreover, feline upper respiratory infections, tend to progress due to a vulnerability to secondary infections.
You will be required to address cat colds only if the underlying cause has been identified as a bacterial infection. Otherwise, a cat cold must run its course. Cats are likely to sneeze and sleep a lot during the course of the infection, which can last between 7 to 14 days, maximum. You can make use of some time-tested home remedies, herbal cures and homeopathic remedies to alleviate the symptoms.
You should aim to provide comfort to your pet as long as the symptoms persist. Keep your cat warm and dry. Do not let her out in the cold. Low temperatures tend to constrict the bronchial tubes and can make breathing difficult for the already troubled cat. Colds usually lead to loss of smell and the cat may refuse to eat. Your primary attention should be to ensure that your pet is properly fed, and in doing so, you may have to coax her to eat well to keep up energy levels and immunity.
If the cat is showing symptoms of a secondary infection like a yellowish-green discharge from the nose, it is time to take your cat to the veterinarian.
A weak immune system enhances the risk of catching a cold. Older cats with compromised immunity need extra care to avoid any serious medical emergency. Kittens fall under the same category due to an underdeveloped immune system. As soon as you bring a cat home, your primary attention should be to build up her immunity so that the risk of catching a cold is minimized. This will also help your cat to ward of many other diseases, as well.