Sniffles in Cats

Sniffles aren't only uncomfortable for Patches, they may be a sign of illness.

Sniffles aren't only uncomfortable for Patches, they may be a sign of illness.

Little Patches seems a little down lately. He's sleeping more than normal, doesn't act interested in his toys, and keeps sneezing. Like you, your furry companion can have the sniffles from a cold or seasonal allergies. If his runny nose doesn't clear up quickly, he probably needs to see the vet.

Cat Cold

Your purring pal may be suffering from an upper respiratory tract infection, or cat cold. Felines have their very own strains of colds, so they cannot transmit the bug to other animals or humans. However, kitty colds are highly contagious to other cats. Once one gets the sniffles and starts sneezing, odds are he'll pass it on. In addition to sniffles, Patches might have discharge coming out of his eye, ulcers appearing on his gums and an overall hard time breathing.

Cold Precautions

Usually, symptoms subside after two or three weeks. If symptoms continue to worsen or last for an extended period of time, consult your vet again. Patches may need to go on antibiotics to clear up his cold. Kitty colds are not generally serious on their own, but if the illness persists, he might wind up with another illness on top of his cold, since his immune system is weak. For his protection, as well as to avoid spreading the illness, keep Patches away from his fuzzy family until he gets better .

Allergies

Every springtime as the flowers in your garden start blooming, Patches has constant draining from his nose. Daily, outside allergens cause his sensitive immune system to go into attack mode, leading to an array of symptoms. In addition to sniffles, Patches might have runny eyes, scratch at his skin or snore when he sleeps. If allergies are severe, he'll vomit or have diarrhea.

Allergen Considerations

Patches will need a thorough examination to get to the root of his allergies. Your veterinarian may put your cuddly companion on a special allergy diet to ensure that he's not reacting to something in his food. You'll also need to rid his living area of any allergens. Keep him indoors, avoid using a strong-scented litter, and eliminate fleas from his home, if flea bites are causing the allergies.

At-Home Treatment

While Patches is recovering from his cold or allergy episode, you can make breathing easier for him. Put him in a hot, steamy bathroom for a few moments to clear his nasal passages and wipe away any drainage with a clean cloth or cotton ball. Setting up a humidifier in his sleeping area can also loosen up anything stuck in his nose, possibly stopping his constant snoring.

 

About the Author

Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.

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