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Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. It sounds like your cat has cat flu. It is normally a viral condition and it shoukd resolve with symptomatic treatment. Encourage feeding by warming up small amount of food, especially tasty food like tuna or fish. Keep him indoors, clean nasal discharge with a bit of cotton wool and lukewarm water. If not eating, take him to see the vet. If eating, your cat should recover completely in 7-10 days. It could reoccurr in the future though and therefore vaccination is recommended.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Sneezing & Nasal Discharge

If your cat has symptoms similar to a human cold (watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose) then your feline friend is likely suffering from a cat cold or feline upper respiratory infection.

In addition to frequent sneezing, signs of rhinitis and sinusitis in cats include: Clear nasal discharge in mild cases OR yellow, green or bloody in severe cases. Labored breathing, snoring and/or breathing through the mouth. Pawing at the face.
In most cases, cat colds are harmless and will go away within 1-2 weeks. You do need to monitor their health, however, and if there is no sign of improvement by the fourth day, you should make an appointment with your vet as a persisting cold that does not get treated properly may develop into pneumonia.
If your cat is sneezing a lot for several days or if she shows other signs of being sick, you should take her to the veterinarian to be examined. She may have developed a respiratory infection, which is quite common in cats. A round of antibiotics should help her get back to her usual self.
Treatment of bacterial infections typically involves the prescription of antibiotics and topical medications, with prescribed fever and pain medications as well if needed.
Therefore, it`s common for a shelter cat to show clinical signs of a URI 7-10 days after moving to a new home. Stress from the change in routine leads to decreased immune function and allows the virus or bacteria to grow stronger.
Decongestant Medication. Some cats may need decongestants to help them deal with the symptoms of viral respiratory infections. Although there is no way to medically treat the viral infection itself, your cat`s sneezing may be able to be managed with the help of this type of medication.
In most cases, cat colds are harmless and will go away on their within 1-2 weeks. However, if you notice your cat`s cold isn`t getting better or is worsening by the fourth day of their infection, you should bring them to the vet.
Common Cold Medicine

If symptoms last more than a week, you should bring your pet to the vet for a check-up. Treating a cat with cold symptoms is a bit more complicated, and your veterinarian will most likely prescribe specific medication for cats since over-the-counter human medication is not recommended for felines.

Sick cats often lie quietly in a hunched position. They might neglect grooming. They may be purring, which cats do not only when they`re happy, but also when they`re sick or in pain.
Many cats enjoy chicken, cat biscuits, tuna, or invalid diets from the vet. Liquidise food if there is any difficulty swallowing. Offer bits of food by hand, or dab a tiny bit onto the lips or front paws. Stroking or grooming a cat may encourage eating.
Viral infections are not cured by antibiotics – as with the common cold, there is no completely effective treatment besides time and allowing the cat`s own immune system to do it`s job.
Cats like to groom each other, so if they`re grooming and licking each other`s faces, they can also get it from direct contact,” warns Elswick. “Eating after another cat [has eaten from the bowl] can also spread these infections.” Outdoor cats often catch colds from contact with other outdoor cats.
Doxycycline is the preferred empiric treatment for canine and feline upper respiratory tract infections owing to its probable effectiveness against primary bacterial pathogens such as Bordetella bronchiseptica, Mycoplasma species, and C felis, as well as numerous secondary bacterial pathogens.
In rare cases, URI can cause serious disease such as pneumonia. Also, sick cats may not eat or drink enough thus becoming severely dehydrated. In such cases, hospitalization and fluid supplementation may be needed.
Left untreated, some abscesses will burst and heal naturally. Unfortunately, some cases will develop serious consequences such as pyothorax (pus in the chest cavity), septic arthritis (infection in the joint), and tissue necrosis (where the blood supply to the skin or muscle is affected and the tissue dies).
Once a cat is exposed to an infectious agent, it will go through an incubation period of 2-10 days before developing clinical signs. If the infection is uncomplicated, it will typically last for 7-10 days, although signs may persist for up to 21 days in some cases.
complicated by bacteria. These diseases are highly contagious between cats, but generally cannot be spread to other species, like humans or dogs.
Typical Symptoms of a Cat Cold

The first symptoms that will be noticeable in your cat are red watery eyes, sneezing, and snorting to clear the congestion. Other symptoms that may appear within 24 hours after the first symptoms start are: Runny nose. Excessive sneezing.

Respiratory infections, vaccines, allergies, and nasal blockages may cause more frequent sneezing. If your cat keeps sneezing multiple times in a row or for several days, it`s best to call a vet.
Severe complications can include respiratory failure when there`s too much carbon dioxide in your blood. The infection could also spread to other parts of your body, such as your brain or heart. If you have any concerns about your symptoms, call your healthcare provider.
A runny or stuffed-up nose is the most common clinical sign in cats with chronic upper respiratory infections. The nasal discharge tends to be thick and often yellow. It may also be red-tinged (fresh blood) or brown (older blood). One or both nostrils may be involved.
Although most cats recover from cat flu, it may take several weeks for the signs to abate (particularly with herpesvirus infections). Th virus may stay in their system for life and reinfections are common.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Why do cats meow?
ANSWER : A. Cat parents often wish they could better understand what their favorite feline friends want or desire. A cat’s meow can be interpreted in many different ways and can indicate an array of feelings and needs. Here are some of the most common reasons for your cat’s vocalizations:

1. Greeting- Many cats will meow as a greeting when you enter your home or walk into a room. Cats will also meow at another cat or animal in the household to extend a hello and acknowledge the other animal’s presence.

2. Attention – An exuberant meow followed by leg rubbing or another attention seeking behavior may indicate your cat is looking for some quality time spent together. Some petting or rubbing behind the ears may be in order.

3. Hunger – A meowing cat is often a hungry cat. This is one of the most common reasons for a cat to vocalize to their owners. A cat will meow to get your attention at feeding times or even when they want extra food.

4. Sickness – A sick or hurt cat may begin to meow excessively, warranting a visit to the veterinarian. There are numerous reasons for a cat in distress to meow—whether it is related to an upset stomach, an injured leg or a urinary blockage. These meows should be carefully investigated.

5. Entering or leaving – Most cats will vocalize when they want to be let in or out of a room. You may notice when you are in the bathroom or behind the closed door of a room that your cat begins to meow, scratches at the door, and often reaches its paw under the door. This is a clear indication that the cat wants to be where you are.

6. Angry – An agitated cat may meow to warn their owner or another household pet that they are upset and would like to be left alone. This angry meow may increase in sound volume as the cat becomes more stressed or agitated. Often a cat will exhibit this type of meow at the veterinary office when they are unhappy with their examination or restraint.

Each feline is different and so are their vocalizations. Learn to understand the variety of meows your cat uses on a daily basis. This will help you develop a better relationship with your cat and help them live a more trusting and happier life.

Q. My cat continues to scratch on furniture and carpets. He has plenty of scratching posts around the house. Please help!
ANSWER : A. Scratching is a natural behavior in cats that can be frequently frustrating for pet owners who want to keep their furniture from being shredded on a constant basis. The texture of furniture and carpet is very appealing to cats and this why they frequently choose to spend their time on this activity as opposed to playing with their own cat toys. Here are some suggestions to help curb this unwanted behavior:

1. Purchase a cat scratching post or cat tree that is covered in carpeted or textured material. Place it in an appealing spot that your cat would be inclined to spend time (eg. in the sun). You can also place catnip on the scratching post or cat tree to make your cat even more interested in the new object.

2. You can utilize double sided tape on the ends of the furniture because you cat will not like the sticky feeling and will learn to not scratch in that region. Use the tape that has a lighter adhesive in order to prevent any permanent damage. Other materials, such as aluminum foil or bubble wrap can also be placed on the furniture to discourage the scratching.

3. Keep nails trimmed short by either learning to do this on your own at home or using a veterinary technician, or groomer. Nails can usually be trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

4. Redirect the unwanted behavior. If your cat begins scratching, use a favorite or new toy to distract the cat from the scratching. Give your cat positive praise for not scratching.

5. As a last resort you can use a spray bottle full of water to spritz your cat when he or she is scratching inappropriately at your furniture. Generally, cats do not like water and this will discourage them from continuing the behavior.

Have patience with your cat because it can takes time to understand this is an unwanted behavior and that furniture is not another toy for them to use. You can always consult your veterinary or veterinary behaviorist to help with ideas or further solutions to this problem.

Read Full Q/A … : I found Pickle on

Q. I have a cat that defecates in the litter box but always urinates outside the box. It is very annoying.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination in cats is often a behavioral problem rather than a medical problem, so the first step is to have him seen by your vet to eliminate any kind of illness or condition as a cause for his eliminating outside the box.

If medical issues are ruled out, take a look at other reasons. Has there been a lot of unusual activity? Has you cat been left at home or boarded? Is the litterbox in a busy area? Has anything happened recently in this area to make him reluctant to use it again? Is there another cat, pet or person that is preventing him from getting to the box? Have you changed it from a hooded to an open box, or vice versa? Is it big enough? Have you changed the type or brand of litter? Is there something attractive about the spot he uses? Cats dislike disturbances to their routine and may act out to express their dissatisfaction.

The general rule is one litter box per cat in the household, plus one. That way each cat can have a place of their own to go in case the box is occupied or another cat has claimed it as territory. They should be scooped daily, if not more often and changed completely weekly, washed with soap and water only. You can offer one kind of litter in one box and another kind in another to see if there is a preference. I don’t recommend the crystals, it makes a hissing sound when wet that startles some cats and make them reluctant to use it again. The litter boxes should be located in a quiet, low-traffic area so that the cat can use them in peace. Make sure any other pets or people aren’t giving them a hard time around or in the litter box. It may take some investigation and experimentation to find your cat’s preference and accommodate him so that everyone is satisfied with the situation. And, when cleaning up pet accidents, don’t use any cleaner containing ammonia. This leaves behind a scent similar to urine.

Q. My cat started to pee outside the litter box. What should I do?
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate bathroom use in cats is often a behavioral problem rather than a medical problem, so the first step is to have him seen by your vet to eliminate any kind of illness or condition as a cause for his defecating outside the box.

Once medical issues are ruled out, it’s time to take a look at other explanations. Has there been a lot of activity that wasn’t normal? Were you away and your cat was left at home or boarded? Is the litterbox located in a busy area? Has anything happened recently in this area to make him reluctant to use it again? Is there another cat, pet, or person that is preventing him from getting to the box? Have you changed it from a hooded to an open box, or vice versa? Have you changed the brand of litter or kind? Or is there something about the spot he has chosen to use that is attracting him in some way? Cats dislike disturbances to their routine and may act out as a way of expressing their dissatisfaction.

The general rule of thumb is one litter box per cat in the household, plus one. That way each cat can have a place of their own to go in case the box is occupied or another cat has claimed it as territory. They should be scooped at least daily, if not more often and changed completely on a weekly basis, and washed with soap and water.

You can also offer one kind of litter in one box and another kind in another to see if there is a preference. I don’t recommend the crystal kind, since it makes a hissing sound when wet that can startle some cats and make them reluctant to use it again.

The litter boxes should be located in a quiet, low-traffic area so that the cat can use them in peace. Make sure other pets or people aren’t giving them a hard time around or in the litterbox. It may take some investigation and experimentation to find your cat’s preference and accommodate him so that everyone is satisfied with the situation.

Q. Our cat of six years has on two separate occasions has defecated on the living room rug and recently pee’d on the skirt of the Christmas tree.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination in cats is often a behavioral problem rather than a medical problem, so the first step is to have him seen by your vet to eliminate any kind of illness or condition as a cause for his eliminating outside the box.

If medical issues are ruled out, take a look at other reasons. Has there been a lot of unusual activity? Has you cat been left at home or boarded? Is the litterbox in a busy area? Has anything happened recently in this area to make him reluctant to use it again? Is there another cat, pet or person that is preventing him from getting to the box? Have you changed it from a hooded to an open box, or vice versa? Is it big enough? Have you changed the type or brand of litter? Is there something attractive about the spot he uses? Cats dislike disturbances to their routine and may act out to express their dissatisfaction.

The general rule is one litter box per cat in the household, plus one. That way each cat can have a place of their own to go in case the box is occupied or another cat has claimed it as territory. They should be scooped daily, if not more often and changed completely weekly, washed with soap and water only. You can offer one kind of litter in one box and another kind in another to see if there is a preference. I don’t recommend the crystals, it makes a hissing sound when wet that startles some cats and make them reluctant to use it again. The litter boxes should be located in a quiet, low-traffic area so that the cat can use them in peace. Make sure any other pets or people aren’t giving them a hard time around or in the litter box. It may take some investigation and experimentation to find your cat’s preference and accommodate him so that everyone is satisfied with the situation. And, when cleaning up pet accidents, don’t use any cleaner containing ammonia. This leaves behind a scent similar to urine.

Q. My cat will not stop going to the toilet on my carpet, bed, washing pile etc.. Also uses its litter box occasionally? I don’t understand why this is?
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination in cats is often a behavioral problem rather than a medical problem, so the first step is to have him seen by your vet to eliminate any kind of illness or condition as a cause for his eliminating outside the box.
If medical issues are ruled out, take a look at other reasons. Has there been a lot of unusual activity? Has you cat been left at home or boarded? Is the litterbox in a busy area? Has anything happened recently in this area to make him reluctant to use it again? Is there another cat, pet or person that is preventing him from getting to the box? Have you changed it from a hooded to an open box, or vice versa? Is it big enough? Have you changed the type or brand of litter? Is there something attractive about the spot he uses? Cats dislike disturbances to their routine and may act out to express their dissatisfaction.
The general rule is one litter box per cat in the household, plus one. That way each cat can have a place of their own to go in case the box is occupied or another cat has claimed it as territory. They should be scooped daily, if not more often and changed completely weekly, washed with soap and water only. You can offer one kind of litter in one box and another kind in another to see if there is a preference. I don’t recommend the crystals, it makes a hissing sound when wet that startles some cats and make them reluctant to use it again. The litter boxes should be located in a quiet, low-traffic area so that the cat can use them in peace. Make sure any other pets or people aren’t giving them a hard time around or in the litter box. It may take some investigation and experimentation to find your cat’s preference and accommodate him so that everyone is satisfied with the situation. And, when cleaning up pet accidents, don’t use any cleaner containing ammonia. This leaves behind a scent similar to urine.

Q. My cat has dicharge in both of her eyes and is sneezing as well, what could be the case of this and is there anything I can do without taking her in
ANSWER : A. It sounds like your cat has cat flu. It is normally a viral condition and it shoukd resolve with symptomatic treatment. Encourage feeding by warming up small amount of food, especially tasty food like tuna or fish. Keep him indoors, clean nasal discharge with a bit of cotton wool and lukewarm water. If not eating, take him to see the vet. If eating, your cat should recover completely in 7-10 days. It could reoccurr in the future though and therefore vaccination is recommended.

Q. I just adopted my cat, about 7 months old, and he has discharged, a greenish color, coming from his eyes. Was told it was stress but what else?
ANSWER : A. I would call the rescue and explain your concerns. I wouldn’t think green mucus coming from eyes means stress and maybe whoever told you that was trying to just brush off the symptoms has nothing to worry about. Rescues normally guarantee the health of their animals and should cover the cost of medical bills if you need to take the cat into the vet. Green color can mean infection. Is the cat sneezing? Could it be an upper respiratory infection? Try to explain to the rescue they need to take the animal into the vet. If they aren’t interested in helping please take the cat to the vet as soon as you can. Make sure to bring all records you have on the cat incase the doctor’s office see’s any mistakes or missing fecal tests/vaccinations they would like to do at a later date with the cat (If the cat is sick they would never give vaccinations the same day).

Read Full Q/A … : Eye Problems in Cats