cat runny nose

Find Out Why Your Cat Has A Runny Nose

Having a runny nose can cause you so much discomfort. You can imagine how uncomfortable we normally feel especially if you are at a public place and you have to use your handkerchief to blow your nose constantly. What about when your cat is suffering from a runny nose? It is quite a pitiable sight.


Cats don’t blow their noses neither do they use handkerchiefs, so it basically means that cats experience double suffering from a running nose as compared to human beings. Read on and get to know the causes of a runny nose in cats and how the situation can be handled. With that, you can easily ease your kitty’s discomfort.

Nasal Discharge in Cats

The two air passageways which start at the nostrils end at the throat. The nasal passages are filled with turbinate fine bone scrolls. The turbinate fine bone scrolls are covered with mucosa. Air passes in the turbinate bone scrolls in the nose and gets filtered and warmed then moves on to the lungs. A hard palate separates the mouth from the nasal cavity.

Nasal discharge mainly originates from the organs of the upper respiratory like the sinuses, post nasal area and the nasal cavities. In an instance where your cat suffers from a swallowing disorder or a disease of the digestive tract, there is a high probability of secretions being forced into the postnasal area. Secretions being let out from the eyes could be as a result of nerve damage in your cat’s middle ear.

The occurrence of nasal discharge is common when chemicals, inflammatory invaders, a foreign object or infections cause irritation to your cat’s nasal passage. If your furbaby has a disease of the middle ear, the ear’s normal secretions can be less. The end result of this is secretion of quite a significant amount, which is far from normal, of mucus. Nasal discharge appears in varying forms such as mucus-like, thick or watery. If the nasal discharge has specks of blood or pus, that indicates that your kitty could have a blood disorder.

Nasal discharge is normal, and only when it gets chronic should you be concerned and seek aid from a veterinarian.

Cat cold

Top Reasons Why Cats Get Runny Nose

Infectious Problems

Most infectious problems which cause runny noses in cats are viral. These viral problems are caliciviral and herpes. Herpes virus causes symptoms similar to those of a cold. These are the most common causes of runny noses and discharge in cats. Bacterial and fungal problems are also known causes of nasal discharge.

Bacterial infections which cause cold-like symptoms in cats are Bordetella bronchiseptica and Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Mycoplasma is the major cause of conjunctivitis in almost all cats which suffer from problems in the upper respiratory system.


When cats are suffering from allergies, they have clear nasal discharge. This could be accompanied by sneezing. Nasal discharge in cats due to allergies could be seasonal at times.

Dental Disease

Tooth diseases such as the tooth root abscesses communicate mostly through the sinus found above the tooth root which is likely to cause a discharge. At times the discharge is clear, and at other times it could have a pinkish color, a condition known as serosanguinous.

Tumors in Cats

A growth in the nasal passage of cats causes agitation. The tumor can lead to secretion of discharges from the cat’s nose. The discharge could be bloody or not.

At times you can realize that only one nostril of your kitty is runny. In this situation, you don’t need to seek any remedy because most likely, there is something that is irritating your cat’s nasal passage. It could be dust, pollen or a strand of grass which is stuck in her nose. In most cases, it works itself out.

Indicators of a Runny Nose in Cats

  • Tumor or fourth premolar abscess which causes the face or the hard palate to swell
  • Dental disease
  • Low nasal air flow
  • Polyp. This one can be detected by examining the ear or during oral examination; you can push the soft palate downwards
  • Dried discharge or secretions on the forelimbs or on the hair of the muzzle.
cat has runny nose

What To Do When Your Cat Has A Runny Nose

How can you diagnose a Runny Nose in cats?

  • Continuous discharge of bacteria and fungus
  • Dental examination
  • Nasal cavity biopsy
  • If coughing often accompanies discharge, this condition is known as Bronchoscopy
  • Blood and blood pressure test, inclusive of coagulation profile
  • Using a specialized instrument examine the nasal cavity. The process is known as Rhinoscopy

Treating of Runny Nose in cats

For treatment to be effective, your vet has to carry out some tests and determine the results and diagnose the cause of your kitty’s runny nose. In most cases, reasons for a runny nose are barely identified.

Antibiotics are administered to cats with a runny nose. Their effect is instant, but the effect barely lasts. You should seek further help from your veterinarian who will most likely advise you to administer nutritional supplements like L-lysine which helps in the repair and maintenance of mucous membrane as well as boosting your cat’s immune system. This is effective when dealing with viral infections which are chronic.

There are some conditions which are recurrent while others remain chronic. For these circumstances, the treatment that is available will only ease your feline friend’s discomfort and improve her or his quality of life. This kind of medication is periodic.

You can take a look at this helpful video


A cat having a runny nose is normal. You should only be worried and consult a veterinarian when the situation gets chronic. It is our sincere hope that you have not only enjoyed reading the article but also learned a lot about what could be causing your feline friend to suffer the discomfort of a runny nose, the symptoms, how you can diagnose that she has a runny nose and the effective treatment for the condition. Leave a comment on the article and if you need clarification on anything feel free to inquire.

Sarah Keene

I’m Sarah Keene, and I’m glad you found your way to my blog. I love cats so much; I consider myself a cat woman. I have 5 cats at the moment, and I am planning to grow my cat family. It is not easy to take care of these cats appropriately though I would wish to make them feel as comfortable as possible. This is why I depend on other blogging cat lovers like me to help me in providing all the necessities for my cats to have the best life possible.

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