A discharge through both nostrils, often accompanied by fever, loss of appetite, eye discharge, drooling, cough or sores in the mouth suggests a feline viral respiratory disease. When both nostrils are blocked by swollen membranes, the cat sniffles, exhibits noisy breathing and may breath through the mouth. As cats avoid mouth breathing whenever possible, you may see this only when the cat exercises. Tumors, fungal infections and chronic bacterial infections erode the nasal membranes producing a blood-tinged or bloody discharge. One or both nostrils may be involved. Veterinary examination is indicated when there is blood in the discharge.
Human cold viruses do not affect the cat. However, cats are affected by a number of viruses that produce symptoms much like those of human cold. If your cats develops runny nose along with a discharge from the eyes, and if the cat coughs, sneezes and runs a slight fever, consult your veterinarian.
Sneezing is one of the chief signs of nasal irritation in cats. It is a reflex that results from stimulation of the lining of the nose. If the cat sneezes off and on for a few hours but shows no other signs of illness, it is most likely a minor nasal irritation allergy. Sneezing that persists all day long could be a first sign of feline viral respiratory disease. A sudden bout of violent sneezing along with head shaking and pawing at the nose suggest a foreign body in the nose. Bacterial infection also produces bouts of sneezing and sniffling. These tend to become chronic. Reverse sneezing may be a cause of alarm because it sounds as though the cat has something caught in an air passage. During an attack the cat violently pools in air through the nose. This produces a loud snorting noise. Reverse sneezing is caused by temporary spasm of the muscle of the larynx due to an accumulation of mucus at the back of the throat. The cat is perfectly normal before and after the attacks.
Feline viral respiratory diseases are highly contagious, often serious illnesses of cats that s scopread rapidly through a cattery. They are one of the most common infectious disease problems a cat owner is likely to encounter. Although few adult cats die of FVR, the death among young kittens approaches 50%. Recently, it has been recognized that two major viral groups are responsible for the majority of clinical upper respiratory infections in cats (80% to 90%). The first is herpes virus group, which produces feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR). The second is the Calicivirus group, which produces feline calici viral disease (FCV).