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Can A Pet Catch A Human's Cold?  
User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 8
Posted (14 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4664 times:

Hi guys.

I'm just getting over a typical winter cold. I usually get only one per year (Thank GOD), however, this year is different. I seem to have given it to my cat, who's name is REX. The poor guy's been sneezing on & off for 5 days now. Sad He's 7 years old and has never done this before. He's very mellow and affectionate, so I'm always breathing on him.

Now I'm wondering...can a pet cat or dog catch their owners cold? I called a Vet and was told that a cat CAN'T catch a human's cold, unless that person also has an pnemonia (spelling?) which I've never had. He said that a common cold is caused by a virus and is "Species Specific" (meaning one type of animal species can't pass it to another type) and a pnemonia is caused by bacteria, and CAN be spread to a cat.

Do you think that Vet's are always right? Why else would my cat REX start sneezing? Have any of you guys/girls ever felt sure that you gave a cold to your pet? I think I did!

Your thoughts and opinions are appreciated.

Chris  Smile

"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (14 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4646 times:

I have nothing to add..except that Leukemia in cats in contagious (obviously to other felines). I thought that was interesting.

BTW..there is both viral and bacterial pnemonia.

User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (14 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4636 times:

Hi Greg.

Thanks for your reply.

You are correct regarding how cats can catch & spread Feline Leukemia. When a kitten is old enough for it's vaccination shots (6 months old), apparently the Leukemia shot is more important than Rabbies or Distemperment.

Now that you've mentioned how pnemonia can be both viral and bacterial....I think I'll make a bunch of phone calls to different Vets, regarding why my cat is sneezing. Whether or not they will all agree that cats are resistant to a human's common cold should be interesting to find out.

Take Care.

Chris  Smile

"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
User currently offlineAirways1 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 563 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (14 years 4 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 4626 times:

Primates (monkeys, etc) are very prone to catching colds off humans.

User currently offlineHepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (14 years 4 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 4623 times:


I dote on my cat as well, so I feel compelled to answer. I don't know if cats can catch a human cold, so I'd have to believe what your vet said. Why not call up another vet to get a second opinion?

What I do know is that cats do get colds, as I've seen in my cat. Probably its cold has nothing to do with yours, have you considered that possibility? It could have just been a coincidence that you both caught colds at the same time.

I remember the last time my cat caught a cold, I was wondering where he got it from. I didn't have it, and no one that visited me had it, so maybe he just caught it from some virus floating in the air. Or maybe my apartment was too cold or something.

User currently offlinePilot1113 From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2333 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (14 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 4601 times:

I think I remember reading some thing somewhere that said it's true that household pets can catch their human counterparts' colds.

I can't be certain though.

- Neil Harrison

User currently offlineSophiemaltese From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2064 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (14 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4596 times:

From what I understand, no, but they can carry certain bacteria and give it to other humans without catching the sickness themselves. I could be wrong about this though. I do know I don't think my dog has ever been sick.

User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (14 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4586 times:

Hello, Thanks for your replies.

Well, I phoned 6 different Vets this morning about whether or not my cat REX may have cought my cold, and got the same basic info from their secretaries / technicians, which was...I'm not sure! That's very helpful info, especially when it costs $50 dollars (Canadian) just to walk through a Vet's door here in Toronto. (my cat REX is more than worth it!).

Then I lucked out and talked to an actual Veterinarian. He told me that cats and humans "can't" share the same cold virus. Finally an answer! He then explained how cats can catch viruses that lead to upper respiratory diseases! That's all I needed to hear. He's on his way to the Vet at 7:00 pm.

I always feel sorry for REX when the Vet rams a thermometer up his...well you know where. Oouch!!!

Chris  Smile

"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
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