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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21218
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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My cat has a runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing could he ...

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My cat has a runny nose, watery eyes, and he's sneezing could he have a cold or allergies, or could it be something more serious? This is the second time this has happened, the last time the symtoms went away on there own, but someone mentioned something about leukemia is this a possability?
Hi Vicky,

Is your cat fully vaccinated, and up to date on his shots? What color is his nasal and eye discharge? When did you first notice these symptoms?

How old is he? Is he in contact with any other cats in your household or outside?

How is his appetite? Is he eating as usual or has that slowed down?

Thanks for any additional detail.

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
He has only had regular rabies vaccinations is there others that he needs?
The discharge is clear.
I first noticed these symtons two days ago, but he had the same thing in January that went away in about 5 days.
He is 5 yrs old.
Yes, he is in contact with wild strays that I can't catch, but they sure do love him.
His appetite seems to be the same, but he has a little touble eating with a stuffy nose.
Hi again, Vicky, and thanks for your additional information.

Regarding vaccinations, yes, cats (especially those that spend time outside with stray, unvaccinated cats) need to be tested first, for FIV (feline AIDS) and FeLV (feline leukemia virus), and if those test results are negative the cat will be vaccinated against those diseases, plus, feline rhinotracheitis (cat flu), and distemper. If your cat was vaccinated by your vet, it's most likely that he received a 3 or 4 in one vaccine called FVCRP, which covers all of the necessary protection against these deadly feline illnesses.

I assume your cat is neutered. If not, and he's not fully vaccinated or up to date on all his vaccinations with yearly boosters, he's mating with the female strays who may carry communicable diseases.

If the discharges from his nose and eyes are clear, that's good! If you notice that they turn greenish-yellow, that indicates infection. Your cat most likely has an upper respiratory infection and yes, it can resolve on it's own within a week, like the last one did, and even though a 'kitty cold' is viral in nature, most vets do prescribe antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infections. I would recommend a vet visit at this time, to help your boy feel better, and he might also be given an antihistamine to help his runny nose and sneezing. It's also possible that he has allergies, but if this just happened a short while ago, and now has reoccurred, he might need to be treated by the vet with medication to prevent his allergic reactions.

Cats won't eat what they can't smell, so I'm not surprised he has trouble eating due to his stuffy nose. You can help decongest at home by running a humidifier and also run a hot shower to steam up your bathroom and sit in there for about 15 minutes at a time, every few hours. Make sure he doesn't get a chill when you come out, and wrap him in a towel, if he'll allow. Also, very slightly warm some 'smelly' variety of canned cat food (seafood flavor) in the microwave, and the aroma might entice him to eat more.

Please check on his vaccination status, as his contact with the strays may be making him sick at this time. Also, you can call your local Humane Society, ASPCA or Animal Control and ask to borrow a 'humane' trap, which is baited with food, to trap the strays, have them neutered, checked over medically, vaccinated, and returned to the neighborhood. Programs like this will help you find low-cost vets in your area to spay/neuter these cats.

I hope he's feeling better very soon!

Cher and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Thank you so much, I will get him to the doctor I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX time.
Thanks again, Customer
You're most welcome, Vicky, and thank you for your 'accept'! I hope he'll be fine, and please let me know if you ever need further help; I'll always be here to answer your kitty questions! : )

I'm posting this as an information request so you're not prompted to accept a second time.