How Do Indoor Cats Get Colds? If you keep your cat indoors, he is unlikely to get in fights with other cats or become injured in a fight. Indoor cats do not risk exposure to the viruses and bacteria that outdoor cats are exposed to. They also avoid the dangers of cars, predators, and toxic substances like antifreeze they might otherwise run across while roaming outside.
Cats do not need winter coats. A good brush before winter starts will help you remove excess hair from their coat (you can even find brushes designed for this purpose). Long-haired cats especially should be groomed before it gets cold because mats often form on long fur during the winter months. If you plan on taking your cat outside for walks, be sure to do so before the temperature reaches freezing and avoid walking them in extreme cold or during a snowfall.
If your outdoor cat is going to stay out all winter, try keeping him inside on extremely cold nights. Bring him inside if he appears sick or lethargic and offers him warm liquids such as chicken broth, tea with honey, or beef soup (with no onions). Take him to see his vet if you notice that he has trouble breathing due to congestion from a cold. If your cat does not mind taking pills you can give him decongestants like pseudoephedrine-based medications available over the counter at a pharmacy. However, be aware of the possible side effects of decongestants on older cats. Large doses of decongestants can cause agitation due to increased blood pressure.
Save your furniture by covering it with plastic sheeting or weather-resistant fabric. If you keep your cat indoors, the warmth his body generates will be trapped underneath this cover and help keep your furnishing warm. You can buy special covers for this purpose at most pet supply stores (and even some hardware stores) but if you do not want to spend money on them, look online for instructions on how to make one yourself using simple tools like duct tape, staples, and scissors.
If you let your outdoor cat stay outside in winter try to provide him with a good shelter so he stays warm and dry when he is not prowling outdoors. His shelter should be elevated off the ground, like an old doghouse. The shelter can be made of plywood, plastic storage bins (for cats that weigh less than fifteen pounds), hay bales, or anything else you might have lying around your house. Make sure it is large enough for him to turn around in and has proper drainage so it doesn’t flood if water gets inside. If he refuses to stay in his shelter, bring him indoors overnight when the temperature drops below 40 degrees (4 degrees Celsius).
If your indoor cat seems restless or bored during the winter months try giving him some simple toys, such as balls with bells inside to keep him entertained for hours. You can also take a small box, put a soft pillow inside and place it in your closet. Your kitty will enjoy snuggling in it and when he sleeps, the warmth his body generates will help keep you warm when you get up to go to work or school.
Remember: if you let your cat outside, be safe and smart about it! Keep an eye on him and take him back in when he starts shivering or has trouble breathing due to congestion from a cold. And remember that cats just like people can develop cancer, so take him to see his vet if he develops lumps, bumps, sores, or anything else strange over the winter.
How do indoor cats get respiratory infections?
Cats can develop respiratory infections from exposure to cold or smoke, for example, so keeping them indoors and away from the elements is one way to prevent this.
What can you do if your indoor cat has a respiratory infection?
If your indoor cat gets a respiratory infection, take him to see his vet as soon as possible. If he has a high fever, difficulty breathing, or seems weak and lethargic, he could be developing pneumonia. In these cases, call your vet as soon as possible because the cat may need to be hospitalized for a few days on antibiotics and other medications.
Can domestic cats get colds?
Yes, cats can get colds just like humans – especially if they are exposed to the elements for long periods.
What diseases or viruses do indoor cats get?
Indoor cats may become infected with a variety of different viruses and diseases that will weaken their immune system and make them sick if not properly treated by a veterinarian.
What can I give my cat at home for a cold?
You can give him decongestants like pseudoephedrine-based medications available over the counter at a pharmacy. However, be aware of the possible side effects of decongestants on older cats. Large doses of decongestants can cause agitation due to increased blood pressure.