How to Get Rid of a Kitten's Cold

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If a kitten is sneezing or coughing frequently, it may have a cold.
If a kitten is sneezing or coughing frequently, it may have a cold. (Image: Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Sneezing, coughing and a runny nose and eyes are common signs a kitten has a cold. According to Kansas State University, supportive care is often the best medicine in treating a cat with a cold, as clinical signs from viruses often go away on their own in a week or so and don't require treatment. Get rid of your kitten’s cold by providing your cat with constant care and supervision.

Things You'll Need

  • Humidifier
  • Rags
  • Moist kitten food
  • Lysine supplement

Take the kitten to a professional veterinarian for a physical examination. The veterinarian will determine whether the kitten is experiencing a cold and will prescribe the appropriate medication(s) needed to help reduce or eliminate the symptoms of the cold.

Place the kitten in a safe, quite area in your home so it can recover from its cold peacefully and without constant disruptions. Other cats or pets should not be allowed in the room with the sick kitten because the cold can be spread or transmitted to other animals.

Give the kitten the medicine exactly as the veterinarian prescribed. Follow all label directions carefully to prevent overdosing your kitten with the medicine.

Put a humidifier in the room your kitten will be occupying. A humidifier is an appliance that increases the moisture in a room. Fill the water compartment with water, and turn on the appliance. The added moisture prevalent in the room will help open your kitten’s sinuses and allow it to breathe easier.

Clean your kitten’s runny eyes and nose regularly with a damp rag. Clean the rag thoroughly after every cleaning or throw it away and use separate rags for each cleaning.

Feed your kitten warm, moist food. Warm food will help open the kitten’s stuffy nose and make food, in general, more appetizing to the sick cat. Take the wet food out of the can and place it on a microwavable dish. Warm the food slightly in the microwave, making sure it's not too hot for the kitten.

Add a supplement to the kitten’s food. Kansas State University recommends adding an amino acid supplement called lysine to the kitten’s food. Lysine is used to help treat infections brought on by a virus. Ask your vet for this supplement, as well as how much you should give the kitten.

Take the kitten back to the veterinarian after a week or two if the kitten is still showing signs or symptoms of having a cold. Colds can worsen over time and cause a kitten to experience pneumonia or even death.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't want to purchase a humidifier, place your kitten in a steamy bathroom.
  • Kittens need extra nourishment while sick. Make sure the kitten has access to plenty of fresh food and water.

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