Nasal Discharge In Cats: Things You Need To Know About It


Having a nasal discharge is normal for cats and is usually not a call for a concern. However, there are times that nasal discharge in cats may be an indication of an underlying condition too. There are also times when cat owners observe their cat having a nasal discharge and tend to ask if it is a call to go to the vet. In the actual fact, some of the causes of runny nose are minor and don’t really need any treatment. Get to learn more about this and more, read on to this article!

Nasal Discharge in Cats: What is this?

The throat is the end of the two main air passages, which start at the nostrils. Very fine scrolls of bone known as turbinate fill the nasal passages. These have a covering of mucosa, which are much like the lining of the mouth. As the air passes through the turbinate through the nose, t is being warmed and filtered on its way into the lungs. Furthermore, the nasal cavity is being separated from the mouth via what they call as the roof of the mouth or the hard palate.

The main source of the nasal discharge is common in the upper respiratory organs like the sinuses, postnatal area, and the cavities. Nevertheless, if the cat has a swallowing disorder or a digestive tract condition, the secretions might be forced in the postnatal area. When the secretions are hailing from the eyes, it might be due to a nerve damage on the middle ear.

This particular nasal discharge might be thick, watery, and mucus-like, or it might have a pus or blood on it. Moreover, nasal discharge in cats typically happens when an infection, chemical, or some inflammatory intruders irritate the nasal passages. Further, it might also be from a foreign entity, which has become blocked into the nose. In case the cat has a middle ear disease, it might reduce the normal secretions and may cause the body to secrete some anomalous amount of mucus.

Bear in mind that it is just normal for cats to sneeze and have this nasal discharge. It is o much like how it is in humans. It is just when it starts to become austere or long-lasting that you must be concerned.

Causes of Nasal Discharge

There are actually a lot of health conditions, which might cause a nasal discharge in cats. Some of which are minor issues only, while some of which may need medical emergency attention from a vet. The causes of nasal discharge in cats may include the following:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic ear inflammation
  • Weak immune system
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Foreign bodies
  • Chronic pneumonia
  • Weak immune system
  • Chronic use of steroid
  • Infectious agents
  • Dental illness
  • Nasal polyps
  • Head trauma
  • Tumors in the nasal cavity
  • Fungal or bacterial infection
  • Upper respiratory infection or cat flu
  • Allergies

Symptoms of Nasal Discharge

A runny nose is being characterized by a nasal discharge. The cat owners might notice a watery or thick discharge, which is colorless and clear. Nevertheless, nasal discharge might also have splashes of pus or blood, thus giving it a bit yellow, green, or red color. The symptoms that may come with the condition include:

  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stuffy nose
  • Eye discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Polyp
  • Swelling of the hard palate or face
  • Secretions or dried discharge on the hair of the forelimbs or muzzle
  • Diseased teeth
  • Reduction in the nasal air flow
  • Inflamed eyes

Prognosis of Nasal Discharge

A veterinarian may determine that a cat has a nasal discharge by just simply observing it. Nevertheless, you need to still inform your vet of whatever symptoms you may have noticed, apart from the runny nose, so the vet may diagnose the main condition. In case the discharge is clear, the vet might identify the cause as allergies without even conducting any extra testing. Nevertheless, if there is an appearance of a pus or blood in the nasal discharge, additional tests might be essential.

Here are some other ways in diagnosing nasal discharge in cats:

  • Teat test for the evaluation of the possible facial nerve damage from the chronic ear infections
  • Blood pressure and blood test, comprising the coagulation profile
  • Bronchoscopy, in case the discharge has been accompanied by coughing
  • Biopsy of the nasal cavity
  • Culture of discharge for bacteria and fungus
  • Dental examination
  • Rhinoscopy

Treatments for Nasal Discharge

The illness may not need hospitalization except surgery is necessary, or if an investigative scope of the nasal cavity or the sinuses is needed.

Furthermore, the treatment may depend on the cause of the nasal discharge. The bacterial infections might need to be cured with antibiotics. In case that it is determined that the cause of the condition is fungal, the vet may prescribe an anti-fungal medication. Furthermore, decongestants might also be advisable. Some antiviral medications are at times used for some chronic upper respiratory infections that is viral in nature.

Moreover, dental work, perhaps including the extraction of the diseased teeth, might be essential if the cause is in connection to one or more bad teeth. Various tumors and polyps might need to get removed through surgery, when needed. The foreign bodies, of found, must be removed from the nasal cavity too.


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