Many pet owners don’t know that their precious kitties are capable of catching a cold. But a dripping nose and watery eyes might make them change their minds.
The most common symptoms of feline upper respiratory infections (an equivalent of a common cold in humans) and allergies in cats are watery eyes and a runny nose. However, only a doctor would be able to make the right diagnosis after conducting a few tests.
Why Does My Cat Have a Runny Nose and Watery Eyes?
Watery eyes and a runny nose in cats are typical symptoms of a cat cold (feline upper respiratory infection) and an allergy.
Do bear in mind, however, that these symptoms together can indicate the conditions mentioned above. If your cat has only watery eyes, then it can be an eye infection.
What Does It Mean If My Cat’s Nose Is Dripping?
We, as humans, are used to thinking that a runny nose can’t mean anything serious. But in cats, a dripping nose can serve as an indicator of an extremely serious issue, so taking the little guy to the vet is always the best decision.
Your kitty’s nose might be dripping because of:
- An allergy
- An upper respiratory infection
- An infection in the nasal cavity
- Foreign objects or tumors in the nasal cavity
- Nasal polyps
- Head trauma
Read: Why Cat on Diet Won’t Stop Meowing?
Cat Sneezing and Watery Eyes
Watery eyes, nasal discharge, and sneezing usually indicate an allergy or a feline upper respiratory infection.
Does My Cat Have Cat Flu?
If your cat has the following symptoms, then the chances are high that it has cat flu:
- Sore eyes
- Runny nose
- Loss of appetite
- Eye and mouth ulcers
- Subdued behavior
What Does Seasonal Allergies Look Like in Cats?
Humans that tend to suffer from seasonal allergies usually experience respiratory issues, while cats will, most likely, develop a condition that’s called ‘atopic dermatitis’.
Even though the kitty might have a runny nose and watery eyes, allergies in cats will also manifest the following symptoms:
- Excessive scratching and biting of the skin
- Hair loss
- Open sores
- Redness on the paws, chin, anus, or mouth
- Head shaking
Read: Why Does My Cat Smell Bad All of a Sudden?
What Are the Symptoms of Upper Respiratory Infection in Cats?
- Discharge from the eyes and nose
- Swelling of the membranes around the eyes
- Ulcers in the mouth
- Trouble breathing
Why Does My Cat Have Brown Stuff in His Nose?
The brown crustiness around the kitty’s nose is usually just watery discharge from the nose that has been oxidized. The good news is that these things rarely seem to bother the cat.
If you feel like there is such a need, you can take a warm wet cloth and wipe the discharge off the cute face.
Such discharge can be a symptom of an upper respiratory infection, so basic home care is also recommended.
Read: Why Does My Cat Smell Bad All of a Sudden?
How Can I Help My Cats Runny Nose?
Ideally, any treatment should be prescribed by a vet. The professional would take some blood tests and conduct a nasal discharge analysis.
This will help the vet determine the root cause of the problem and prescribe an appropriate treatment. In some cases, you might have to get antibiotics to help the kitty.
The things that you can do at home include:
- Keeping the house clean and free of dust and other irritants
- Using humidifiers and nebulizers with clear water or a saline solution (this will help decrease congestion)
- Offering an alternative diet with a powerful aroma or warming the food up before serving it to increase the aroma – this will help stimulate the little guy’s appetite as compromised olfactory senses can lead to its loss
What Can I Do If My Cat Is Sneezing and Has Watery Eyes?
If your cat is sneezing and has watery eyes because of an allergy, then the main thing that you should do is remove the allergen. This might involve changing the cat’s diet and keeping the house squeaky clean.
If you’re dealing with cat flu, then you can:
- Let the kitty enter the bathroom after you’ve had a shower – the steam will help open the nasal passages
- Offer the cat strong-smelling food or warm up the meal before giving it to the little guy to encourage the kitty to eat
- Use a warm wet cloth to gently wipe the cat’s nose and eyes to remove the discharge
Read: Why Does My Cat Grunt When I Pet Him?
What Can I Give My Cat for Sneezing and Watery Eyes?
If you are sure that the cat is suffering from an allergy and it needs fast relief, then you can go for an over-the-counter antihistamine. The most common one used in cats is chlorpheniramine.
When it comes to cat flu, the vet can prescribe pain medication, eye drops, and antiviral agents, depending on the symptoms and their severity.
How Can I Treat My Cats Cold Without Going to the Vet?
There are a few things that you can do to help the cat feel better:
- Clean the kitty’s eyes and nose
- Groom the cat as sick fluffy balls are not always able to keep themselves looking nice and fresh
- Run a humidifier
- Place the kitty in a cat carrier, put it in the bathroom, and turn the shower on – the steam should help the little guy (leave the cat in the bathroom for around 10-15 minutes)
- Make sure that the cat is eating and drinking
- Create a stress-free environment (provide a quiet space with a comfortable bed and a few hiding places)
- Keep the house at a comfortable temperature (a hot water bottle or a heating pad will help the cat keep itself cozy)
How Do You Tell If Your Cat Has a Cold or Allergies?
The symptoms of an allergy and a cold are pretty similar, so it might be challenging to distinguish between the two.
Typically, if your cat is allergic to something, then you are going to notice the issue consistently popping up during certain periods.
However, only a vet will be able to make the right diagnosis (after a few blood tests).
Read: Why Does My Cat Sneeze So Much at Night?
How Did My Indoor Cat Get a Cold?
Cats can catch colds from other cats, but the truth is that every kitty is already carrying a virus inside.
The majority of upper respiratory infections are caused by herpesvirus and calicivirus – there is no way to fully get rid of them and your kitty will ‘catch a cold’ as soon as its immune system becomes a bit weaker (due to stress or another medical condition).
Read: Why Does My Cat Hiss at Me When I Pick Her Up?
Will My Cats Cold Go Away on Its Own?
In most cases, the cold will go away on its own in 7-14 days. But your kitty is still going to need a bit of TLC and you should be closely monitoring the little guy’s health the whole time.
When Should I Worry About My Cats Cold?
If your precious pet has been suffering from the symptoms of cat flu for over 4 days without showing any improvement, then you would have to take the fluffy ball to the vet.
A cold can lead to a serious infection if it is left untreated.
Read: Why Does My Cat Nibble My Fingers?
Can Cats Get COVID-19 Symptoms?
Kitties that are sick with the virus that causes COVID-19 can have the following symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Eye discharge