Both cirrhosis and acute respiratory illness (ARI) carry substantial disease and financial burden. To compare hospitalized patients with cirrhosis with ARI to cirrhotic patients without ARI, a retrospective cohort study was conducted using the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development database. To balance the groups, propensity score matching (PSM) was used. We identified a total of 46,192 cirrhotic patients during the three study periods (14,049, 15,699, and 16,444 patients, respectively). Among patients hospitalized with cirrhosis, the ARI prevalence was higher in older age groups (p < 0.001), the Asian population (p = 0.002), non-Hispanic population (p = 0.001), and among Medicare patients (p < 0.001). Compared to controls, patients with ARI had 53.8% higher adjusted hospital charge ($122,555 vs. $79,685 per patient per admission, p < 0.001) and 35.0% higher adjusted in-hospital mortality (p < 0.001). Older patients, patients with alcoholic liver disease or liver cancer were at particularly higher risk (adjusted hazard ratio = 2.94 (95% CI: 2.26-3.83), 1.22 (95% CI: 1.02-1.45), and 2.17 (95% CI: 1.76-2.68) respectively, p = 0.028 to <0.001). Mortality rates and hospital charges in hospitalized cirrhotic patients with ARI were higher than in cirrhotic controls without ARI. Preventive efforts such as influenza and pneumococcal vaccination, especially in older patients and those with liver cancer, or alcoholic liver disease, would be of value.