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Causes of Reoccurring Cat Colds

by Pam
(Houston, Texas)

My 10 year old cat has just come down with another cold, this is her 4th in 18 months. She has been treated with antibiotics for the previous colds by the vet, but I'm wondering why the keep reoccurring?


She seems healthy, is eating and drinking like normal. Does anyone know what the cause could be?

Right now the cold seems all in her head with some nasal discharge when she sneezes.

Vet Suggestion regarding reoccurring cat colds

Hi Pam,

Two of the common causes of what look to be kitty “colds” are viruses, feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus. When a cat becomes infected with these microorganisms, they are never able to fully eradicate them from their body, kind of like the virus that causes cold sores in people.

Some cats live happily with small numbers of these viruses and never have another “cold.” Other cats have frequent relapses. This could be what is going on with your cat.

Your veterinarian can test for these viruses. If they are found, medications can help, although they usually won’t completely eradicate the problem.

Other possibilities include a nasal tumor or fungal infection. The antibiotics are dealing with the secondary bacterial infection, but symptoms keep reoccurring because the underlying problem is not being dealt with.

Good luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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