Can My Dog Catch My Cat’s Cold?

A dog looking very annoyed
I wasn’t sick in this picture. Well, sick of taking pictures. Anyway, it was the only photo I had that truly expressed my feelings about catching a cold from a cat.

You better keep your cat snot and cat boogers away from me. Cats already make me paranoid because of their freaky cat like reflexes. I don’t trust the feline ninjas. Now you’re telling me they could sneeze me into submission? Nope. I am not here for that. I need to dive deeper into the possibilities. Can a dog catch a cat’s cold?

Come with me?

It is possible that your dog could catch your cat’s respiratory infection if not monitored appropriately and quickly treated. While the infectious spread is not a guarantee, and canine influenza is far less common, it is still best to keep the pets separated until your cat is feeling better.

You guys know I’m not a doctor. I’m a dog. Not a medical professional. The decision to continue reading is yours, and yours alone. May the force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, baby bye bye bye, and whatever other quotable cliché you need to reiterate in order to make your decision.

Disclaimer: The Can My Dog articles contain information based on the individual research and opinions of the author of the site – who just so happens to be a dog. How you utilize the information given is completely up to you. Proceed at your own risk.

Who Can Catch What? Let’s Set the Record Straight

I could count on zero toe pads the amount of times I’ve been around a cat sneezing it’s head off and pooping all over the carpet.

You see, most humans are acting under the presumption that colds can’t be spread across species. While, in most cases this is in fact true, it is not the case when it comes to feline respiratory infections.

So who can catch what and which way does this infectious creek flow?

No virus or infection of any kind has been transmitted from human to cat or dog. This goes back the other way too. No cat or dog cold or virus has been shown to be transmissible in any way to humans.

Cats are more susceptible to catching a cold, while the dog flu (or canine influenza) is less common. I feel like this is a valuable opportunity to insert a “and this is another reason dogs are cooler than cats” plug, but I’ll leave it alone.

You all are smart enough to draw your own conclusions.

What Causes a Cat’s Cold and Can a Dog Catch it?

Feline respiratory infections are caused by a bacteria infection. Bacteria, by nature, has the capabilities to transcend differing immune systems thus throwing the dogs living in your house directly into the mucus-coated unsafe zone.

The dogs who are continuously around the cats in your house have a heightened probability of catching the same infection. But let’s be honest. Most of the time, your dog contracts an annoying infection like kennel cough, from being boarded and in a kennel with other animals, shelters, frequented dog parks, and doggy day cares.

These are the same type of situations as the human children I hear you guys talk about.

Want to know what else causes a cat to catch a cold?


You know what it ultimately did to the ole puss.

Perhaps if they’d stop tip toeing on the top of trashcan lids laden with moldy lentils the humans threw out in a fridge cleaning frenzy and then licking their paws like an ice cone at a beach stand, then they wouldn’t come down with the congestion and sticky eye booger goo.

Just my two cents.

How to Know: Did Your Dog Catch Your Cat’s Cold?

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we (dogs in general) are creatures of habit. If we start acting different or omitting typical things we live for, I don’t know…like eating, then you should probably take note.

This is always a red flag and an indication that something isn’t quite clicking on all cylinders for us.

Varying other symptoms can accompany behavior that is out of the ordinary. Examples are as follows:

  • Lethargy
  • Nasal Discharge
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Coughing
  • Persistent Sneezing

I’ll tell you right now. If I’m displaying any of the above bulleted items, scoop me up and swaddle me like a baby. I get a bad case of the human man colds. I need loves, snugs, and lots of kisses.

Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t happen often. As a matter of fact, I can count these instances on just 3 paw pads. Only 3 notable times in my 4 years of life have I needed my mom to carry me around in her hoodie. Other times I just want her to.

If the symptoms persist, take your dog to their vet. You don’t want the infection to worsen. Best to take care of this as soon as you catch it.

Unless my mom is reading this, and in that case, I’m perfectly fine. Don’t take me to the vet. He looks in my ears with his metal brain probe and tries to touch my feet. I’m not going back there.

Recovery from the Feline Infection

I mean…does one ever truly recover from catching the cat crud? Asking for a friend.

It sounds horrible. Do you start purring too? Insist on rubbing the corners of your mouth all over every single object in the house?

Get out of here with that insanity. Keep your cat craze away from me. Shouldn’t nobody have the natural ability to jump so high. Witches.

Anyway, I digress.

What to expect if your dog were to catch your cats cold:

You should expect to see all symptoms subside within 3-5 weeks. However, puppies may require a week or two longer.

Here’s the kicker though…

The respiratory infection can be contagious for up to 2 weeks. You read that right. 14 whole days.

Re-read that if you need to. I couldn’t believe it either.

Make sure you continuously sanitize and treat your pet to minimize cross contamination. Ain’t no party like a sick dog party.

No. I’m wrong. Nobody wants to come to a sick dog’s party.

Stay healthy, my friends.


When it all boils down to it, nobody has time to be sick. That goes for my crazy cat friends too.

I get it, sick happens, but there’s a lot of things you humans can do to minimize the chances of any of your pets coming down with the fizzy lifting snots.

Diet plays a huge roll. “Huge-er” than you can possibly imagine.

I’ve talked about diets a lot here on my blog for a reason. Here’s a link to why you should be cooking for you dogs. Read it.

Consistent exercise and ridiculous amounts of human cuddles don’t hurt either.

Repeat after me, “I read this all on my own. I have free will, I know how to use it and I fully understand that Jax Boy the Cocker Spaniel has no medical authority or domain in the western medicinal space. I am a human and am fully aware that I am reading the words written by a dog. And I accept that.”

Good humans. Oh, before I forget, don’t you forget to Live, Love, Laugh, and Scratch our bellies often.

Love you guys,


P.S. If you’re new to this world, you may want to check out my Ultimate Guide for First Time Dog Parents. It’s a great reference to get you started on this journey.

Related Questions

Can My Dog Catch My Cold?

Your dog cannot catch your cold because viruses that cause the common cold are species-specific.

Meaning only human to human or dog to dog – no interspecies contagion.

Do Dog Colds Go Away On Their Own?

In the case of a mild cold, your dog should recover on their own in under a weeks time.

If the cold progresses and turns into an infection, then a vet will need to administer antibiotics in order to fight off your dog’s cold.

Play it safe here and take your dog to the vet as soon as you think they may be coming down with something.

This article has been reviewed by our Editorial Board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our Editorial Policies.

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