Treating Your Cat’s Cold at Home

Is your cat suffering from a cold? You don’t have to take them to the vet right away. In this blog, you will learn how to treat your cat’s cold at home and provide relief.

Quick facts: Treating Cats With Colds At Home

  • ✅ Common Symptoms of a Cold in Cats Include Coughing, Sneezing, and Runny Nose (VCA Hospitals)
  • ✅ Cats with Cold Symptoms Should be Taken to the Vet for Evaluation (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
  • ✅ The Most Common Treatment for a Cat’s Cold is Rest and Supportive Care (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
  • ✅ Ways to Help a Cat with a Cold at Home Include Warming up the Room and Offering Warm Food and Liquids (Pet MD)
  • ✅ Keeping Your Cat Hydrated and Monitoring Temperature are Key in Caring for a Cat with a Cold at Home (Pet MD)
  • Introduction

    When your cat starts to show signs of a cold or the flu, you may experience a lot of concern, as you want to make sure that your beloved pet stays healthy and comfortable. However, it is important to understand the difference between a common cold or the flu versus something that requires more serious medical attention. This guide will help you understand how to identify and treat a cold at home.

    By taking simple, preventative steps such as washing hands after handling your pet and keeping them warm in colder weather, you can help prevent contact illness from happening in the first place. If your cat has caught a cold, early treatment is key for reducing severity and getting them back on their feet quickly.

    There are many ways you can provide relief from symptoms such as sneezing, coughing and fever depending on what stage of infection your pet is in. With proper care, most cases of cat colds can be treated successfully at home without any further complications.

    Symptoms of a Cold

    When your cat is feeling under the weather, it’s important to be able to identify the symptoms of a cold. Common signs of a cold in cats include sneezing, watery eyes, and a runny nose. Other symptoms such as coughing, lethargy, and loss of appetite can also indicate that your cat’s health is in decline.

    It’s important to take note and take the necessary steps to ensure your cat gets the care it needs.


    One of the most common symptoms of a cold in cats is sneezing. Cats will often start to develop sneezing fits and may even experience violent and powerful sneezes. In some cases, this could be accompanied by a runny nose, watery eyes, or coughing. You may also notice that your cat has trouble breathing and because their airways are blocked due to the cold virus, their sleeping patterns may also be disrupted.

    Another obvious sign is that your cat may have lost its appetite or be less energetic than usual. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to take action and provide your kitty with some TLC!


    Coughing is one of the most common symptoms of a cold in cats. When a cat has a cold, it can cause inflammation in their airways which results in an excessive amount of mucus production. Coughing is typically one of the first signs that your cat may be sick. It is important to take your cat to the vet if they are coughing so they can get proper diagnosis and treatment.

    In some cases, coughing may be caused by allergies or asthma and will require specific treatments. If your vet determines that your cat has a cold, it is important to keep them comfortable and limit their exposure to viruses or bacteria.

    • Keep them warm
    • Give them plenty of fluids
    • Provide easy access to their food and litter box

    Runny nose

    A runny nose is a common symptom of a cold in cats. A runny nose is also known as rhinitis, which is an inflammation of the mucous membranes in the nose. This typically will cause watery discharge from the nostrils and sneezing, as well as congestion and difficulty breathing. The discharge can be clear or yellow/greenish in color and can become thickened over time. It may also be accompanied by a fever, lethargy, appetite loss, coughing or wheezing.

    If your cat has a runny nose, it’s important to pay attention to other signs of illness to help determine whether your cat may need medical attention.

    Watery eyes

    Watery eyes, or ocular discharge, is one of the most common symptoms of a cold in cats. When your cat’s eyes become watery, it means that their eye ducts are producing an excess amount of tears and mucus. This excess can cause the eyes to be dry, red, and irritated. The mucus can also block the tear ducts and make it difficult for your cat to blink.

    If your cat is displaying watery eyes as a symptom of their cold then it is important to:

    • Clean their eyes daily with a warm cloth.
    • Take them to the vet so they can get medication if needed as this can help reduce any further irritation or infection.
    • Give them lots of rest and warm cuddles when feeling under the weather!


    When it comes to treating a cold in cats, there are many different approaches you can take. You can opt for over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements or natural remedies. You may also have the option to visit the vet for treatment.

    Let’s look at the treatments available for your cat’s cold:

    • Over-the-counter medications
    • Herbal supplements
    • Natural remedies
    • Veterinary treatment

    Increase humidity

    In order to help your cat better cope with a cold, it is important to increase the humidity in their environment. This can be done by using a humidifier or by hanging wet towels in the room. Increasing the humidity will make it easier for your pet to breathe and help loosen their mucus.

    Additionally, bathing your cat in warm water may also help loosen the mucus and will leave them feeling much more comfortable. Make sure that the towels you use are not too hot and always keep an eye on your pet while they are bathing.

    Provide extra warmth

    When your cat has a cold, you can help them to feel more comfortable by providing extra warmth. You should ensure the temperature in the environment your cat is in is warm enough for them. This could mean adjusting the thermostat in your home or adding another heater to the room. Also, it’s beneficial if you offer warm compresses such as a hot water bottle or heating pad for them to snuggle up against.

    If you provide extra warmth, make sure that it’s safe and that your cat won’t overheat or get burned from the source of warmth. The room temperature should not exceed 85°F (29°C) and you should always keep an eye on your cat while they are using any supplemental heat sources, such as a heating pad or hot water bottle.

    Offer extra fluids

    When your cat has a cold, it is important to monitor their hydration levels. Offering extra fluid can help prevent dehydration if your cat does not want to drink from their bowl. This could be in the form of wet food, chicken or beef broth, tuna water, or even plain water.

    If you are concerned that your cat is not drinking enough, offer small amounts throughout the day. If they do not drink voluntarily, you may need to give supplemental fluids under the direction of your veterinarian or veterinary technician. Additionally, you can use a syringe or eyedropper to allow your cat to take small sips of liquid until their appetite improves.

    Use steam

    One of the most effective and cost-effective ways of treating your cat’s cold at home is by using steam. You can use a sauna, steam room, hot shower or simply boil a pot of water and direct the steam directly to your cat’s face.

    The benefits of using steam on your cat include loosening mucus, bringing more circulation to their sinuses, and helping to keep their nasal passages clear. It’s important that you don’t direct the steam too closely to your cat’s face so they don’t burn themselves. You should also make sure you monitor the temperature carefully as cats can get overwhelmed if it gets too hot.

    Steam treatments are best done for 15 minutes daily and should be continued until symptoms resolve or decrease in severity.

    Home Remedies

    If your cat is showing the signs of a cold, such as coughing and sneezing, you may be looking for some home remedies to help them recover. Home remedies can be a great way to help support your cat’s health without having to make a trip to the vet.

    Let’s look into some of the options that are available:

    Herbal teas

    Many home remedies for colds in cats include the use of herbal teas. Herbal teas are made from steeping herbs in hot water to extract their medicinal benefits. Many of the herbs used have been known to have natural anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial for treating a cat’s cold.

    Herbal teas that may help sooth your cat’s cold symptoms include:

    • Chamomile
    • Elderberry
    • Lemon balm
    • Ginger tea

    To make an herbal tea for your cat, simply simmer a teaspoon of dried herb in two cups of boiling water for 10 minutes before straining it into a mug or bowl. Allow the mixture to cool down until it’s lukewarm before giving it to your cat as small sips throughout the day. You can also add honey or lemon juice if desired.


    Honey is one of the most effective natural home remedies for treating your cat’s cold at home. Honey has been used medicinally in ancient cultures for thousands of years and continues to be used in modern times to help fight colds, coughs, and other respiratory infections.

    By taking a tablespoon or two of raw honey as a treat or adding it to your cat’s food each day, you can help reduce the symptoms of your cat’s cold while strengthening their immune system. You can also mix honey with some warm water and use this mixture to help soothe a sore throat or unblock stuffed up nostrils.

    To ensure safe consumption, raw honey should never be given to any kittens under one year old since their developing digestive systems cannot process the spore count present in raw honey.

    Apple cider vinegar

    Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a natural remedy used for a variety of conditions, including colds in cats. ACV helps treat the symptoms of a cat’s cold by balancing their pH levels and fighting off infections. Apple cider vinegar also contains enzymes, which help to rid the body of harmful pathogens that can perpetuate cold symptoms in cats.

    To use apple cider vinegar as a home remedy for your cat’s cold:

    • Mix one part ACV with three parts water in a spray bottle and spray it on your cat’s fur and skin. Be sure to avoid the eyes, nose, and mouth when spray-applying the solution.
    • Give your cat one teaspoon of raw ACV in their food each day until they recover from the cold.
    • Add some ACV to her drinking water and she will benefit from its natural healing effects.


    Garlic is a common home remedy for treating colds in cats. A small dosage of garlic (1/2 clove, per 10 pounds of body weight) can help ease the symptoms associated with a cat’s cold. The active compounds in garlic—allicin, thiosulfinates and sulfides—have been known to have antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral properties.

    As cats are sensitive to certain compounds found in garlic, it is important to always start with the lowest dosage possible.

    It is important to keep in mind that garlic should never be given as a long-term supplement as it will affect a cat’s health negatively over time. Garlic may also interact negatively with certain medications or supplements cats may already be taking, so it is advised to talk to your veterinarian before giving your pet garlic supplements for a cold.

    Preventative Measures

    Precautionary measures are key when it comes to treating a cat’s cold. Keeping your cat away from any other cats or animals and providing them with a stress-free home environment can help prevent colds and other illnesses. Additionally, regular grooming and nutrition is essential for your cats health and should be done on a regular basis.

    Let’s look into more ways to prevent your cat from getting sick:


    Vaccinations are an important preventative measure for cats, making them less likely to acquire a cold. Most veterinarians recommend that all cats be vaccinated against common illnesses such as feline distemper and panleukopenia (feline parvovirus).

    Vaccines help to boost a cat’s immune system so it can fight off any foreign invaders like viruses or bacteria. Vaccination is also important for humans who come in contact with cats as cats can pass these illnesses along to humans as well.

    There may be risks associated with vaccinating your cat, so make sure you discuss these with your veterinarian before getting the vaccination. Additionally, keep your cat up-to-date on their vaccinations and consult your veterinarian if they show any signs of illness.

    Keep your cat indoors

    When it comes to treating your cat’s cold, the best thing you can do is to keep them indoors. By keeping your cat inside your home, you are protecting them from external factors that can make their cold worse. This includes weather conditions such as rain and wind, as well as other animals which may be carrying germs.

    Additionally, cats tend to be less active when kept inside, which can help them regain their strength more quickly and heal faster from their cold. Keeping your cat indoors also helps reduce the risk of them catching a new cold from outside sources.

    Make sure your house is properly ventilated and comfortable for your cat, and provide plenty of toys and activities to keep your cat occupied while they heal:

    • Provide comfortable bedding
    • Ensure there are plenty of toys
    • Give your cat a scratching post
    • Provide a warm and cozy spot for your cat to sleep
    • Provide a variety of treats

    Maintain a clean environment

    Maintaining a clean environment can go a long way in preventing your cat’s cold from becoming worse. It is important to keep the area where your cat lives as clean and sanitized as possible. This means wiping down any surfaces where your cat sleeps or plays regularly and vacuuming any dirt, dust, hair, or other debris that they may have tracked around. Regularly replacing bedding and blankets will help to keep the environment sanitary and reduce the risk of illness.

    Keeping windows closed during cold months will also help to reduce the risk of colds in cats as drafts can easily contribute to lower temperatures and sickness in cats.


    The goal of treating your cat’s cold at home is to make him comfortable, help his body fight off the infection, and prevent any further complications. Some simple measures you can take include:

    • Providing a warm and comfortable environment.
    • Providing nutritious food.
    • Giving kidney-friendly fluids or supplements.
    • Keeping him active and entertained.

    If your cat’s cold is not responding to home treatment within a few days or if your cat is showing signs of an emergency situation such as difficulty breathing, lethargy or disorientation, seek professional veterinary help immediately. By closely monitoring your cat’s condition and symptoms during home treatment for a cold you can quickly act should things take a turn for the worse. With patience and proper care you can help your feline friend recover quickly from his cold.

    FAQs about: Treating Cats With Colds At Home

    Q: What are some common symptoms of a cold in cats?

    A: Common symptoms of a cold in cats include a runny nose, sneezing, congestion, and coughing.

    Q: What are some home remedies for cats with colds?

    A: Home remedies for cats with colds include providing a warm and humid environment, giving the cat extra fluids, providing a steamy bathroom, and administering over-the-counter medications.

    Q: When should I take my cat to the vet?

    A: If your cat’s symptoms are severe or if they last longer than a few days, you should take your cat to the vet for further treatment.

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