2 possible causes for your description seem most likely.
1) Upper Respiratory Viral Infection (the most likely)
Cats commonly get viruses - we tend to group this into the category of feline (cat) upper respiratory infections
. These are usually self-limiting, viral infections that can last 7-10 days or so. Similar to the herpes virus / cold sores - in people - we tend to see this when a cat is stressed.
Common signs of a cat upper respiratory infection include:
- Nasal Discharge
- Red eyes
- Ocular discharge (one or both)
- Even decreased appetite, lethargy and vomiting.
2) An allergy or sensitivity.
I do there there is little risk in trying a course of an antihistamine (Benadryl) in case this is an allergy. If you would like to do that...The dose will be 1mg for every 1 pound of body weight. For example, a 10 pound cat should receive 10mg of benadryl. You can start and then give a dose every 12 hours thereafter. Please be certain it is the product consisting of only Diphenhydramine and DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY OTHER INGREDIENTS SUCH AS A DECONGESTANT.
Other options for at home care include:
One recommendation is saline drops to use to moisten and flush the nose. Although I am not promoting this company or brand, this is one that I have used in the past:http://www.cvs.com/CVSApp/catalog/shop_product_detail.jsp?filterBy=&skuId=107863&productId=107863&navAction=jump&navCount=3
The other recommendation would be humidification. You can either use a children's / baby's humidifier for 10-15 minutes twice daily, or using the steam from a hot shower you can attempt to humidify the air that your cat breathes.
I hope this information is helpful._____________________________________________________________________
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The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would highly advise contacting your regular veterinarian