4 Reasons Cats Get Runny Noses

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Dr. Marc is a veterinarian and writer for pet insurance agency, Pets Best

Hi, my name is Marc Caldwell. I’m a veterinarian in Boise, Idaho working with Pets Best Insurance to answer some web-based questions for you guys.

Our next question is:  “What are the top reasons that cats get runny noses?”

1. Infections
We see a lot of runny noses in cats, and the top four reasons that I see runny noses are, first, infectious problems. Most of these problems are going to be viral in nature. So we see a lot of herpes, calicivirus, things like that, that can actually cause runny noses and discharge in cats. We also see bacterial problems. Fungal issues can cause nasal discharge as well.

2. Allergies
The second reason is going to be allergies. So allergies occur in cats just like they do in people. Typically, these cats will have a very clear nasal discharge. You can see a lot of sneezing with these types of problems. Sometimes that’s seasonal, sometimes it’s not.

3. Dental Disease
Third problem it might be dental disease in cats. So with tooth root abscesses, sometimes those will actually communicate with the sinus above the tooth root itself, and those can cause a discharge as well. Sometimes you’ll see that as more of a bloody discharge or what we call serosanguinous, meaning a clear sort of a pinkish discharge as well.

4. Growths & Tumors
The last reason is going to be tumors in cats. Sometimes when we get something growing up in the nasal passage, it can cause localized [agitation]. You can get a variety of discharges from the nose itself, sometimes bloody, sometimes not.

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Those are going to be the top four reasons that I see nasal discharge in cats, and if you’re seeing it, you should definitely see your local veterinarian.

If you have other questions, please post them below or visit the Pets Best Insurance Facebook page.

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