Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Runny noses

Friday, January 09, 2015

Macey doesn't like sneezing one little bit!


Snuffles, sneezing, noisy breathing, snoring and nasal discharge are signs of nasal and sinus disease.

In young cats the flu viruses – feline herpesvirus and calicivirus – are the most common cause. These viruses damage the nasal mucosa and then bacteria infect the nasal passages causing a pussy discharge and a loss of appetite.  In some cats this leads to chronic or lifetime infection of the fine bones within the nose and sinuses.  

Young to middle age cats sometimes acquire fungal infections like cryptococcosis and aspergillosis if they spend a lot of time outdoors.

Inflammatory polyps at the back of the nose in the nasal part of the throat cause snuffles and snoring in some cats.  

Physical damage from foreign objects in the nose like grass seeds, cat bites or car accidents, or associated with severe dental disease will cause snuffles and nasal discharge in any age cat.  

More seriously, some cats develop tumours in the nasal passages or extending from other areas into the nose.   

 What tests can be done to find the cause of the disease?  We first do non-invasive tests, such as a blood test for cryptococcosis, a blood count, biochemistry or tests for feline Leukaemia virus and FIV. Then we consider a general anaesthetic to X-ray the nose and examine the nose, throat and mouth.  We take samples and look for bacteria, fungi, evidence of inflammation or cancer cells. If the teeth and gums are diseased a dental treatment often resolves the problem.

We can control but not cure chronic bacterial rhinitis because the chronically damaged bones cannot be repaired.   Antibiotics reduce secondary bacterial infection and steam inhalation in a steamy bathroom or from a vaporiser helps clear the passages.  The most essential aspect of treatment is good nursing care: keeping the cat’s face clean and clear of discharge, and stimulating the appetite with warm, strong smelling foods.  

Other diseases require specific treatments. We remove polyps surgically, treat fungal diseases with antifungal drugs and control some cancers with chemotherapy.      

Search Blog

Recent Posts


birthday kibble flea prevention diet feliway thiamine deficiency stress return home blue dental treatment chlamydia bite mental health of cats weight introduction advantage feline AIDS hole jumping ulcers wobbles client night poisons lilly kitten deaths bump snot fear kitten aggression free bladder photo competition urinating thyroid sore eyes hiding eye ulcer stiff bladder stones diuretics plaque urination when to go to vet catoberfest sun hunched over painful allergy, polish health check desex vocal hypertension sick cat grooming dental massage activity slow cat enclosures vomit cat vet holiday body language cryptococcosis skinny paralysis tick holes in teeth pica cat skin mince outdoor cat yowling strange behaviour crytococcosus Canberra Cat Vet teeth tapeworm mouth breathing tick sore ears New Year's Eve introduce snakebite senior salivation meows a lot kittens comfortis blindness heart disease poisonous plants check-up dry food poisonous blood pressure eyes diarrhoea pet meat euthanasia cat flu mycoplasma checkup best vet new cat litter box lymphoma cystitis aggressive snuffles depomedrol best cat clinic IBD opening hours face rub permethrin paracetamol panadol rough play microchip marking heavy breathing drinking more insulin urine roundworm cat containment sneeze litter sucking wool fabric worming pred new year pet home visit touch tartar senses ACT petting cat indoor cats fleas radioactive iodine furball open night mass nails cough drinking a lot worms vaccine sudden blindness moving new kitten attack food puzzles string breathing difficult blood gasping lump allergy arthritis desexing pet insurance foreign body love old cat friendly wet litter rolls panamax prey lily cat behaviour breeder hairball FIV training eye infection hard faeces scratching urinating outside litter award cortisone corneal ulcer heaing hospital enteritis twitching paralysis introductions best veterinarian information night constipation hearing panleukopenia brown snake snake rub spey aspirin stare into space paralysed runny eyes weight control cta fight carrier runny nose spray AIDS ribbon best clinic antiviral tumour aerokat sensitive stomach unwell cat history poison seizures vomiting echocardiography whiskers collapse plants physical activity competition obesity Hill's Metabolic herpesvirus introducing head inflammatory bowel disease overweight cat worms hunters skin cancer appointment urinating on curtains or carpet renal disease furballs in season vet visit fever annual check cognitive dysfunction goodbye socialisation cancer fireworks off food snake bite biopsy unsociable hyperthyroidism flu diabetes kitten play revolution cat fight fat sick intestine joints scale snakes ulcer fluid pills anxiety nose scabs dymadon high blood pressure cage headache FORLS pheromone feline herpesvirus lilies prednisolone vision fight house call Canberra not eating blocked cat itchy cranky antibiotics toxins learning examination home blockage abscess change hungry wool toxic calicivirus behaviour change grass feline enteritis weight loss noisy breathing hunting restless ulcerated nose gifts signs of pain lick urine spraying kidneys on heat conflict dilated pupils eye behaviour kidney disease panleukopaenia enclosure scratching post blood in urine dental check odour African wild cat adipokines old cat rash vaccination virus pancreatitis appetite tooth sore enemies obese fits decision to euthanase tradesmen groom open day pain relief castration kidney christmas blind straining liver tablet visit pain snuffle asthma train poisoning pain killer scratch spraying hunter thirsty flea treatment sense of smell bed holidays pill holes xylitol computer anaemia lame cat enclosure bad breath hyperactive panadeine blood test changed abscess,cat fight hypertrophic cardiomyopathy rigid head sensitive dementia exercise


A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

Get Directions