Cat Nose Problems

The cat nose serves as a sensory organ that picks up scents in the environment. It enables them to locate food, prey or sense danger in their surroundings. Although the nose appears moist in most healthy pets, nasal conditions alone cannot determine illness or disease. Signs of nasal conditions are usually seen when an underlying disease is present.

Common Cat Nose Problems Include

  • Nose Bleeding or epistaxis
  • Nasal discharge
  • Nasal growths
  • Sneezing
  • Viral Infections

Nose Bleeding

Nose bleeding is a symptom of varying conditions such as leukemia, coagulopathy or injury. In order to determine the underlying cause, the vet will perform a complete blood count test along with a urine analysis. Several pets suffer from coagulopathy, a condition that occurs when the blood doesn’t coagulate normally. To diagnose coagulopathy the vet will perform a coagulopathy profile test. Pet owners should avoid the use of over the counter nasal products to treat a bleeding nose as the vet will prescribe medication after careful evaluation of the test results and the condition that the cat is suffering from.

Nasal Discharge

The nasal discharge in cats could be either clear or mixed with blood. The most common cause of clear discharge is a cold or an allergy. Bloody discharge may occur when the pet has an internal nasal tumor or inflammation. Objects that become lodged in the nasal passage may also cause bloody nasal discharge. The vet will conduct a physical examination and perform pathological tests to rule out diseases.

Nasal Growths

Cats that develop nasal growth in the form of bumps or small lumps around the nose are tested for allergy dermatitis and cancer. The vet will perform a biopsy to detect squamous cell carcinoma. This condition commonly occurs in light colored pets that become exposed to damaging sun rays.


Although cats occasionally sneeze when exposed to smoke, dust or allergens, pet that’s sneeze constantly, require medical attention to determine the cause. Most pets that suffer from nasal congestion, sneeze in an attempt to clear the nasal passage to promote regular breathing. Cats that exhibit symptoms of sneezing along with nasal discharge should be checked promptly by a vet, in order to diagnose nasal disease.

Viral Infections

Viral infections are contagious and treatment should begin promptly. The most common viral infections that involve the upper respiratory tract are feline rhinotracheitis, cat flu and feline calcivirus. The symptoms of viral infections include sneezing, nasal and eye discharge, loss of appetite, conjunctivitis and depression. Viral infections require prompt medication to prevent total immune system damage and death. The vet will perform a physical examination along with a swab test to determine the type of infection present. Conditions like cat flu can sometimes causes chronic nasal discharge or eye disease in pets. The treatment includes antibiotic medication to reduce further infection and inflammation. Pet owners should follow vet instructions and administer medications on time.

Cats suffering from viral infections require proper home care and rest. Pet owners should also determine the cause of various nasal conditions and take measures to prevent further re-infection or illness.