Important Facts About Mucus In Cats That You Need To Know


Mucus in cats –especially in the respiratory tract may become too thick to allow a good amount of oxygen to pass into the mouth or nose, causing the oxygen levels of the blood to become treacherously low. This mucus is not something that you should worry about –this is a serious matter. In this article, we will discuss some more interesting facts about mucus in cats including its causes, symptoms, prognosis, and treatments. Read on to learn about these and many more others!

What is Mucus in Cats?

The most important function off the respiratory system is to deliver oxygen to the blood and get rid of carbon dioxide. Nonetheless, sometimes, the appearance of mucus in cat’s respiratory system may become very thick to permit an appropriate oxygen level to pass into the mouth or nose, causing the blood’s oxygen levels to be treacherously low. The mucus in cats is the thick, clear material, which may line in the whole respiratory system. When the levels of oxygen become so low in the blood, vets may use the term hypoxia or anoxia in order to describe the illness.

A cat that is in the state of hypoxia may start to show some signs of respiratory anguish. This may increase the rate of breathing to recompense for the obstruction of mucus and low levels of oxygen. The cat may soon seriously fall ill from the lack of bloodstream oxygen and develop illnesses of the respiratory system.

Moreover, respiratory diseases are so common to cats of all ages, yet the very young and very old cats are at much higher risk for the contraction. Weak immunity at the beginning of the life of the kitten, as well as the inability to filter the respiratory system is what makes them more susceptible to the disease contamination due to the organisms found in the air.

In addition, when a cat breathes in air via the mouth or nose, it passes into every part of the respiratory tract, down through the lungs, in order to exchange the oxygen in the blood. The air the cat breathes is actually filled with huge dust particles, pollen, and dirt, which may damage the respiratory system. Therefore, the respiratory system has its own filtration system that protects itself.


Respiratory diseases that are related to mucus is frequently due to the inhalation of toxic substance, allergens, which cause parasites, immune-triggered reaction, bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. Cats that live in shelters, pet shops, and boarding facilities are more vulnerable to developing mucus condition because of the fact that they’re housed in close areas with several cats. Similarly, if a cat is living in an unsanitary environments or smoke-filled home, their body may react by way of producing more mucus in order to filter these toxins.

Some of the causes of mucus in cats include the following:

  • Parasite infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Bacterial infections
  • Viral infections
  • Airborne or smoke toxins
  • Tumors
  • Nasopharyngeal polyps
  • Chronic nasal disease
  • Collapsed trachea
  • Overcrowded shelter or boarding
  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • Birth abnormalities


Mucus is actually of clear appearance in a healthy cat, yet a cat with respiratory condition may have green, yellow, reddish, or brown mucus, which come from the nose. The excessive mucus may stuff up in the nasal passage in a nostril or two, making it hard for the cat to smell or breath. As the sense of smell of the cat is depleted, it may lose its appetite and decline to eat, ultimately losing weight.

Mucus in cats might also show symptoms like:

  • Nasal discharge
  • Dry or wet cough
  • Rapid breath
  • Labored breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shallow breathing
  • Painful breath
  • Noisy breathing


An overview of the medical history of the cat and a physical exam are the first steps in the prognosis of mucus in the cat. The vet might use a scope in viewing the throat, nose, and airways, in order to determine if the mucus buildup is a problem of the lower or the upper respiratory tract. Make sure that you share the symptoms you have seen the cat showing at home, like coughing, heavy breathing, or wheezing. These symptoms may give the vet clues to the condition at hand. The diagnostic tests, which the vet might do next include the following:

  • Biopsy
  • Echocardiograph
  • Chest x-rays
  • Pulse oximetry
  • Blood gas analysis
  • Blood test
  • Mouth or nasal swab

Treatments for Mucus in Cats

If the cat is facing great breathing complications, the vet might place it in the oxygen chamber or put the oxygen mask. The vet may then prescribe or administer medication in order to reduce or thin the amount of mucus in the cat’s respiratory tract. If the vet thinks that the cat may cough the mucus up, an expectorant or cough medicine might be prescribed. Nonetheless, if the airways of the cat are so obstructed or narrow for a productive cough, a steroid or some other bronchodilator might be recommended. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to the cats who’ve been diagnosed with bacterial infection. Diuretics may also be given to patients who have accrued fluid in their lungs.


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