Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
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Can A Pet Catch A Human's Cold?

Thu Jan 24, 2002 6:45 am

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"
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RE: Can A Pet Catch A Human's Cold?

Thu Jan 24, 2002 7:09 am

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.
Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Greg

Thu Jan 24, 2002 7:52 am

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"
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RE: Can A Pet Catch A Human's Cold?

Thu Jan 24, 2002 8:18 am

Primates (monkeys, etc) are very prone to catching colds off humans.
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RE: Can A Pet Catch A Human's Cold?

Thu Jan 24, 2002 8:24 am


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.
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RE: Can A Pet Catch A Human's Cold?

Thu Jan 24, 2002 12:17 pm

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
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2001 2:08 pm

RE: Can A Pet Catch A Human's Cold?

Thu Jan 24, 2002 1:51 pm

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.
Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Can A Pet Catch A Human's Cold?

Fri Jan 25, 2002 2:52 am

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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