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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21336
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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Sneezing, runny eyes, poor to no appetite

Customer Question

Sneezing, runny eyes, poor to no appetite
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Cher replied 11 months ago.

Hello, Cathie and welcome.

I'm so sorry Lucy is experiencing these problems.

Has she been to the vet, when you received the prescribed eye ointment?

What is the name of the ointment?

How long has she had these symptoms?

When she sneezes, is the discharge clear or is it greenish or yellowish?

Same with the eye discharge--is it clear or colored?

Thanks for all your additional information and after you reply, please allow me some time to compose and send your detailed answer.

Warmest regards,


Expert:  Cher replied 11 months ago.

Hi again, Cathie.

The symptoms you describe Lucy having, could be due to an upper respiratory infection, allergies or the feline herpes virus.

If it's an upper respiratory infection (similar to our common cold), it has to run it's course--about 1-2 weeks--and then she'll feel back to herself. She's not eating or barely eating because first, she most likely has to breathe through her mouth if her nose is very stuffy and secondly, her appetite is diminished because her taste buds can detect less flavor. You can try serving her high quality, 'smelly' fish-based canned foods that are warmed very slightly in the microwave to increase the aroma. You can also offer her plain, jarred baby food chicken containing NO onion or garlic products. Beechnut Stage 1 chicken is a good one. You can try to finger feed her and also, raise her dishes up to chest level, so she doesn't have to bend her head down as much; that's also generally better for digestion. If she won't eat at all, you can dropper feed her watered down smooth (paté) canned cat food or the baby food. Go in from the side of the mouth and just squeeze in a little at a time, then wait for a swallow; you can gently rub her throat to encourage the swallow reflex. Use a 1ml or 1cc medicine dropper and give her 2 droppers full every 30 minutes for an hour, then repeat in two hours.

Drinking adequately is also very important, so if she's also not drinking at all or enough, you can dropper feed her a mixture of 50/50 water and children's clear, unflavored Pedialyte. Also, give 2 droppersful 30 minutes apart, in the hours when you're not dropper feeding her food.

If any of her discharges (nasal/ocular) are greenish or yellowish, this indicates a bacterial infection (a URI is typically viral), and then, the vet will prescribe oral antibiotics to help fight the infection. I'm glad she was prescribed eye ointment to help with that problem.

She could have allergies to something inside (or outside, if she goes outside) the house, especially if you recently added any new carpet, furniture, bedding, wood flooring, any type of air fresheners, incense, smoking in the house, etc.

The feline herpes virus causes the same upper respiratory symptoms as a URI (upper respiratory infection), but once a cat has it, symptoms may not always be evident, but there will be 'flare-ups.' L-lysine is helpful in treating these symptoms. Whether Lucy has a kitty cold or feline herpes, the L-lysine can be helpful. You can find this product in any natural foods stores and there are specific formulations in gel form and chews for cats:




If Lucy hasn't seen a vet yet, to be evaluated, diagnosed and treated, this would be a good next step, so you know what's causing her symptoms, then she can be prescribed the best treatment for the condition diagnosed.

Typically, no medication is prescribed for URI's, but if the sneezing is very constant, you can try giving her an over the counter antihistamine like Chlor-trimeton, until you see the vet. You would give 1/4 of a 4 mg. tablet twice a day. A side effect is drowsiness. Here is more information:


I hope your Lucy is feeling better, soon!

Please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback, as that is the only way I receive recognition from the site for my assistance. Thank you very much!

Providing a positive rating will not end our conversation, should you need me for any follow-up. Simply click 'Reply' for clarification or additional information, if needed.

Warmest regards,


Expert:  Cher replied 11 months ago.
Hi Cathie,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Lucy. How is everything going?
Expert:  Cher replied 11 months ago.

Hi again, Cathie.

I'm just following up with you to see how Lucy is doing and if you found my answer helpful. Please let me know. Thanks!

If you need any further information, just click 'reply' and I will always be here for you and Lucy.

Warmest regards,