If you and your cat have an upper respiratory infection (URI or in layman’s terms “cold”) around the same time, it is likely coincidental.
There are some environmental factors that can make it more likely for you and your cat to develop URI symptoms around the same time. For instance, stress or cold weather can suppress the immune system and make it more likely for an individual (cat or person) to develop a URI. However, the causative agent (i.e. virus, bacterium, etc.) will almost invariably be different between you and your cat.
Cats can carry diseases that infect people. These are termed zoonotic diseases.
It is very rare for these zoonotic diseases to cause upper respiratory symptoms in people. Most zoonotic diseases that cats carry are transmitted to people through biting, scratching or contact with stool. Some of these diseases can be serious, so it is important to bring your cat in for annual health evaluations and vaccinations to keep both you and your cat healthy. (more…)