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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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My 6.5 yo cat has been sneezing past week and now has watery

Customer Question

Customer: Hi. My 6.5 yo cat has been sneezing for the past week and now has watery eyes. The eyes are clear and he behaves like he has a cold.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I don't have much history with him as he was adopted from a local humane society 6 months ago. He has been healthy and still eats and drinks well. His bathroom habits have not changed either. He is an indoor cat in Minnesota.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $19) to post your type of question to Cat Veterinary Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. Are you willing to wait a bit?
Customer: He weighs 8 pounds Maybe 9.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with cats and dogs. I'm sorry to hear that your kitty hasn't been well - I'll do my best to help.

The most common reason for a cat to develop a sneeze, eye discharge, and upper airway congestion would be a viral infection. With viral infections they also usually have a watery discharge from their nose with their sneezing, as opposed to a cloudy green or tan discharge which could indicate a bacterial infection. The most common virus that will cause these signs in cats is the feline herpesvirus, but many others can cause it as well. Feline herpes is a life long infection that will have "flare up" periods where their symptoms recur. At times when they are not symptomatic, the herpesvirus is what we call latent - meaning that it's there but "sleeping". Times of stress or any weakening of the immune system can cause a flare up, and some flare ups will have no discernible cause. When I see patients who are having sneezing and watery eyes but are acting completely normally otherwise, I usually encourage owners to wait it out - as antibiotics won't help with a virus. A lysine supplement can help the kitty put the herpesvirus back into latency. Lysine supplements can be found at your veterinarian, online, or in pet stores. If I'm seeing signs of secondary bacterial infection like green or yellow boogers or evidence of pneumonia, that's when I usually will prescribe antibiotics. Most of these guys get over their "cold" on their own just like we do.

Please let me know what questions I can answer for you :)

~Dr. Sara

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Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Doc Sara