Purina Hydra Care Helps Cats Drink More Water

What is Hydra Care Hydration Supplement for Cats?

Purina Hydra Care at VetRxDirect

Hydra Care is now available at VetRxDirect!

Purina Hydra Care is a nutrient-enriched water supplement that promotes healthy hydration in cats. It contains nutritional osmolytes to help cells absorb water and combat dehydration. Hydra Care has a tempting liver flavor and helps encourage cats to consume more liquid. Hydra Care was shown to increase total liquid intake and decrease urine specific gravity when compared to cats consuming only water and dry food. This makes it ideal for cats that don’t consume enough water on their own. And, it may support cats with urinary and kidney problems. Purina Hydra Care is easy to feed, simply offer it in a third bowl, alongside your cat’s food and water.

Why is Hydration Important?

Water is vital to all living things. It affects every process in the body from organ function to circulation and digestion. There are many articles describing the health benefits of humans maintaining water consumption and the same goes for our furry friends. At the bottom line, keeping your cat hydrated is important to keeping them healthy. It also helps decrease the likelihood of urinary stones and helps the kidneys flush out toxins.

What Causes Dehydration in Cats?

As it turns out, cats may not be the most efficient drinkers. Deborah Greco, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Purina senior research scientist, said when cats drink, they bring up the water from the bowl with their tongue and they form a column of water which they bite off. They’re not getting a lot of water all at once — only about three one-hundredths of a teaspoon per lap.

Dehydration in cats can be caused by multiple things. When a cat has reduced water intake or increased fluid loss, they are prone to dehydration. Overheating in hot weather, a lack of clean drinking water or a period of vomiting or diarrhea can cause fluid loss in cats. It can also be caused by another underlying health issue.

Cats can be prone to kidney disease which can progress to kidney failure. In these cases, the kidneys no longer function properly. In order to prevent dehydration, cats may require injectable fluids. Jessica Quimby, DVM, PhD, DACVIM stated that “Hydration is particularly important because when you have chronic kidney disease you can no longer hydrate or rehydrate yourself once you become dehydrated.”

Signs of Dehydration in Cats

The signs of dehydration are not always obvious. Only a veterinarian can provide proper diagnosis and treatment. Here’s what to look for:

  • Dry gums or dry mouth
  • Lethargy or depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • A decrease in skin elasticity
  • Elevated heart rate

You may be able to detect dehydration at home by gently pinching and lifting the skin over your cat’s shoulder blades. Normally, the skin should quickly return back to its regular position. If the skin stays gathered when you release it, you may have a dehydrated cat on your hands. This is known as “skin tenting” and is a common sign of dehydration. However, this technique does not work as well in cats that are very overweight or very thin.

Keep a good eye on your cat’s drinking habits. If your pet has any sudden changes including a decrease or increase in drinking water, you should contact your veterinarian.

How Can I Get My Cat to Drink More Water?

The first step is: Make fresh water available at all times. Giving your cat good quality water can turn to an effort-wasted if it isn’t replenished daily. Refreshing their water daily encourages them to drink it. Many owners find their cats are finicky drinkers and prefer certain types of bowls, and even prefer to drink in certain locations. Some cats prefer to drink moving water from a pet water fountain bowl or a dripping kitchen faucet. Offering wet food in your cat’s diet can help provide a source of hydration. More Creative ways to encourage your cat to drink more water. Sometimes, despite effort and creativity, cats still don’t drink enough water on their own.

How does Hydra Care Work?

Purina reported that cats offered Hydra Care during testing consumed on average 28% more liquid each day than cats consuming water only in addition to dry feeding. And it was shown to decrease urine specific gravity and osmolality when compared to cats consuming only water alone. Watch their video below to learn more about the science behind Hydra Care.

Is Hydra Care the new answer for cats that don’t drink enough water? Leave us a comment below!

 

Mirataz Appetite Stimulant for Cats

Just like we watch our own diets, it is important to keep an eye on your cat’s eating habits and food intake. Noticing changes in your cat’s appetite and eating behavior can indicate something more serious taking place. If your cat has a lack or loss of appetite, also called anorexia, that persists you should consult with your veterinarian. Poor appetite, especially weight loss, is often the first indication of an underlying illness or chronic condition in cats.

  • Some causes of weight loss may include medication side effects, bacterial or viral infections, gastrointestinal obstructions or ulcers, dental diseases, bowel disease, and cancer.
  • Chronic diseases of the kidneys, liver, pancreas, gastrointestinal system and heart may also cause weight loss in cats.

Signs of Weight Loss

It is important to keep an eye on your cat’s eating habits and observe any changes in their body condition while holding or petting them. Report these changes to your veterinarian.

  •  Reduced interest in food
  • Changes in the amount eaten
  • An increased amount of time taken to eat
  • Bony protrusions or ribs
  • Tender spots
  • Lumps or bumps

If your veterinarian makes a diagnosis or treatment plan, they may prescribe a special diet or appetite stimulant medication for your cat to help control weight loss until the disease is managed or cured.

Mirataz Controls Undesired Weight Loss in Cats

Mirataz at VetRxDirectMirataz is a new FDA approved transdermal ointment which manages undesired weight loss in cats. Mirataz, mirtazapine, is a prescription appetite stimulant for cats. Mirtazapine is an antidepressant type medication that works to increase appetite, support weight gain, and may reduce vomiting. Mirataz is a transdermal gel that absorbs through the skin into the bloodstream. Unlike traditional medication, Mirataz is not a pill or liquid medication and does not rely on your cat’s desire to eat. Mirataz is given by applying a ribbon of ointment on the inner surface of your cat’s ear tip using a gloved finger or finger cots. Because the medication is administered transdermally, gloves should be worn when handling Mirataz to prevent accidental topical exposure. For cats that are difficult to give oral medications to, applying Mirataz may take some frustration and time out of “med time”.

Does your cat take other medications? Learn more about other transdermal gels and flavored medications available through the VetRxDirect compounding pharmacy.

Leave us a comment below!

Subcutaneous Fluids for Cats

Feline Kidney Failure and Injectable Fluids

Cats can be prone to kidney (renal) disease which can eventually turn to renal failure, where the kidneys no longer function properly. In many instances, this diagnosis requires giving your cat injectable fluids to prevent dehydration and to help the kidneys. Luckily, the fluids are often only needed a few times a week. The process of injecting your cat can seem frightening, and we completely understand any fears. This article from VetRxDirect aims to help you get through those tough treatments.

Subcutaneous Fluids for Cats Supplies and terminology:

  • Needle: The needle is a metal device used to pierce through the skin to inject the fluid. It has a base, called the hub, which is screwed or pushed onto a syringe containing the fluids. The bevel of the needle is the opening at the very tip of it, which pierces the skin. Needles vary by their length and gauge, which is the measurement of the thickness of the needle and it’s opening. The gauge measurement can seem backwards because the lower the number of gauge, the larger the opening of the needle is.
  • Syringe: The syringe is a plastic device used to draw up and push the fluid into the cat. The base of the syringe is called the barrel and the plunger is the part that moves inside the barrel to draw up fluids and push them out. The tip is the very top of the syringe, where the needle will attach.
  • Fluid Bag: The fluids with which you will be injecting your cat will likely come in plastic liter bags. There are several types of fluids such as plasma lyte, normal saline, and lactated ringers solution. There are two ports on the fluid bags: One is an outlet port, where you can place lines in to administer fluids, and the other is an injection point where you can draw fluids from using a needle and syringe.
  • Solution Set: Some veterinarians may want you to use a line from the bag to the cat to administer fluids, called a solution set. At VetRxDirect, we carry the IV Venoset (intravenous) line, which also works for giving fluids subcutaneously. The line allows the fluids to be administered slowly and can be helpful for large volumes.

The parts of the solution set are as follows, working from top to bottom: the plastic, white spike at the top is used to enter into the fluid bag. The dropper chamber is where the drops are formed before they get to the roller clamp which is the plastic piece with a roller that can go up and down to either stop or start the fluid flow. This also controls how fast the fluids will enter your cat. Then, after all of the tubing, you will find an injection port, where the needle will be placed to administer the fluids into your cat.

Below are diagrams I created to help you navigate through the different parts of the sterile products:

Needle and Syringe

Needle and Syringe Diagram for Giving Subcutaneous Fluids for Cats

Fluid Bag and Solution Set

Fluid Bag Diagram for Giving Subcutaneous Fluids for Cats

Sterility is a must when giving subcutaneous fluids for cats:

The fluids given to the cat will be injected using a needle into the cat’s body, usually under the skin (subcutaneously). This means anything on the needle or skin around the injection site now has the chance to enter the body. By injecting your cat, you are breaking the skin’s barrier function which normally serves to keep bad things out of the cat’s body. This is why using sterile products and using antiseptic (or clean) technique is important.

The needles, lines, fluid bags, and syringes are all sterile when you receive them. The sterility is broken, however, when you remove the plastic wrapping, caps, or protective covers. This is when your proper handling is needed most to keep your pet safe from infection. The following tips may help you with this part.

Tips to help reduce contamination while giving subcutaneous fluids for cats:

  • Always wash your hands before handling the sterile products and equipment.
  • Nitrile or latex gloves can protect you and your pet.
  • Do not open the packaging on the products until you are ready to use them.
  • Sanitize your work surface, such as a counter, with isopropyl alcohol or any other sanitizer.
  • Use alcohol swabs to wipe off all surfaces the needle will enter through. Examples are vials, the ports on fluid bags, and possibly even your cat’s injection site depending on your veterinarian’s recommendations.
  • When using a syringe, try to keep your fingers away from the needle attachment site and away from the sides of the plunger. Touching both of these areas can cause contamination of the fluids you’ll be injecting into your cat.
  • Never reuse needles that have been introduced to blood. You should never reuse the same needle placed into your cat to draw up fluids or to re-inject the cat. This takes bacteria and/or blood into the new site. However you may use the same needle to draw fluid from a bag and to then inject the cat as it never touched any blood and should remain somewhat clean. Needles are sharpened when manufactured, designed with the right precision to enter surfaces easily. Every time they are used, the bevel opening is damaged and becomes duller, making it harder and more painful to reuse. This is yet another reason why needles should not be reused.
  • It also not recommended to reuse the alcohol swabs because they can transfer bacteria around.
  • It is sometimes not recommended to recap the needles as doing so can lead to you sticking yourself.
  • Ask your cat’s veterinarian about their specific recommendations.

Getting the fluids into your cat:

Your pet’s veterinarian will probably demonstrate how to give the fluids to your pet, and it is best to follow their guidelines. These are just a few simple tips that may help with giving the fluids to your cat.

  • Your pet’s veterinarian may want you to simply draw fluid out of a bag using a syringe and then inject it into your cat.
  • You can also use a tube between the syringe and needle in the cat and push the fluid through the syringe.
  • The last way is to use a line between the bag itself and the needle, which is placed into the cat.
  • When drawing up fluid from a vial, it is important to pressurize it. To do this, you simply inject the amount of air equivalent to the fluid needed into the vial before drawing up the fluid. This helps ensure the pressure on the inside and outside of the vial are equal.
  • To make sure you don’t hit any other tissues, you can pull your cat’s skin straight up and make a tent-like shape. Then with your other hand you can insert the needle right into the tent structure you made and slowly release it.
  • Most cats need the fluid injected into their backs, but follow the recommendations of your cat’s veterinarian.
  • The injection will likely form a pocket of fluid under the skin that may migrate downward as the day progresses.
  • Always check for existing fluid pockets before making a new one because they should be completely gone before the next injection.

Please share your experiences and tips and suggestion when giving subcutaneous fluids for cats by leaving a reply below. Also, please feel free to leave any product ratings and reviews on the product pages featured in this article. Thank you.

Urine Marking in Cats

In the never-ending battle of dogs vs. cats, pet owners have taken a strong stand for their favorites. Dog lovers claim that canines are far more affectionate and loyal, while cat lovers stress that felines are more independent and better behaved. There is, of course, no clear victor of which species is better, since all animals are different and, let’s face it, absolutely adorable.

One thing we can say for certain, however, is that cats are easier to house train than dogs.  Puppies generally have to be confined to a small space with newspapers on the floor in order to learn that it’s not okay to go indoors. But most kittens urinate and defecate in their litter boxes from the outset but, of course, there are the exceptions. 10% of felines relieve themselves outside of their litter boxes, which can be quite frustrating and baffling for owners. Take comfort in knowing that this is not a signal of stupidity; in fact, you can argue it means quite the opposite!

If your furry friend is refusing to use its litter box, it may be because the contraption simply does not live up to your cat’s standards. Perhaps it is too large or small, or simply smells quite right. Experiment with size by giving your cat diverse options and seeing which one he or she is drawn to. Stiff joints might be preventing from your cat comfortably climbing into or using the designated space, so make sure to provide selections with varying heights as well. If this does not work, freshen the scent with products like Litter Magnet and you might be pleasantly surprised by how swiftly your genteel feline responds.

Urine Marking BlogWe think of felines as graceful and sly, and yet a shrewd hunter rests beneath your companion’s lustrous coat. Unlike their canine counterparts, many house cats will even pursue their own food! Feral or wild cats mark their territory with urine so, when your domesticated pet sprays about the house, he or she is simply trying to communicate and feel at home. Want to lessen this nuisance?  You can diminish your cat’s territorial instincts by having your pet spayed or neutered. However, if surgery is an option you don’t want to consider, lessen your friend’s exposure to other animals by simply closing the window blinds. Additionally, Feliway is a synthetic cat pheromone that has been proven to relieve stress in cats, making them far less likely to mark their territory.  It must be applied directly to the areas that your cat has marked soon after the incident occurs. Urine-Away Stain and Odor Eliminator will help diminish the smell and, therefore, lessen your cat’s desire to return to the same spot.

If the urination outside the litter box persists, it is important to inform your vet, especially if it comes in the form of puddles on the ground rather than elevated sprays. This could be a symptom of a plethora of possible medical conditions, including bacterial infections, hyperthyroidism, arthritis and cognitive difficulties. A full physical examination will help rule out many of these ailments so you can breathe easy knowing that your feline friend is plenty healthy, if not a wee bit mischievous.

Renal Failure and Hydration in Cats

Most cats experience symptoms of renal deficiency later in their lives. The chronic or sudden condition occurs when the kidneys can no longer remove waste products from the blood. When these toxins accrete, the buildup can cause uremic poisoning, which is a leading cause of death in domesticated cats.

Causes of Renal Failure in Cats

Sudden renal failure is often the result of a blockage in the lower urinary tract or a bladder defect, most of which are congenital. An injury such as a pelvic fracture or trauma to the abdomen can also cause kidney problems. Rapid dehydration due to shock is another common explanation. And when blood flow to the kidneys is reduced due to heart failure, your feline friend may experience signs of renal failure. Lastly, poisoning, especially from imbibing antifreeze, can result in kidney problems.

There are three main differences between the chronic and sudden forms of the disease: the former takes several years to develop, almost always involves older cats, and can be managed with the right prescription medications. The most common cause of chronic renal problems in cats is nephritis, which is a failure of the renal tubules. Infectious diseases such as feline peritonitis and leukemia are also culprits.

Symptoms of Renal Failure in Cats

Feline renal failure could accurately be described as a silent killer, since cats do not begin to show signs of the disease until irreparable damage has been done. Symptoms of uremic poisoning, for example, are not normally reported until about seventy percent of the cat’s nephrons (the filtering units in their kidneys) have been destroyed.

One of the first and most common symptoms of feline renal failure is an increase in micturition. Even cats that have been be housebroken for decades may urinate on the rug if they have kidney problems. It is not their fault, of course, since the malfunctioning organs rob them of control. Because they are no longer able to conserve water, your feline friend may visit his litter box several times each day. And when the box begins to stink, he may be forced to relieve himself outside of it.

The increase in urination is a result of increased fluid intake, which is caused by the inability of the kidneys to literally hold their water. Bacterial infections are also far more common in cats with renal failure because the vital organs are not doing their job, i.e., removing waste from the bloodstream.

As the disease inevitably advances and renal function deteriorates, your cat will retain dangerous amounts of waste products, such as nitrogen, acids, and ammonia. This may lead to uremic poisoning, which can be fatal. Other symptoms of the disease include sluggishness, loss of appetite and consequently weight, oral ulcers, a dry and/or dull coat, and malodorous breath.  At the last stages, the patient may experience anemia, diarrhea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal bleeding.

Diagnosis of Renal Failure in Cats

Veterinarians utilize a number of effective techniques and tests to determine whether or not your cat’s kidneys are failing, including X-rays, ultrasound, bloodwork, and urinalysis. Although there is no cure for either the chronic or sudden form of the disease, early detection and treatment can slow the progression of renal failure and extend your pet’s life by several years. Let us take a moment to discuss two of the most popular prescription medications for feline kidney failure.

fluid bagsLactated Ringer’s Solution: Also known as subcutaneous fluids or sub-Qs, Lactated Ringer’s solution are fluids administered under the cat’s skin, i.e., with a needle and IV line. As unpleasant as the process is for most pet owners, it is absolutely necessary, since it helps provide hydration after blood flow through the kidneys is reduced. Without it, your pet may vomit frequently, suffer from diarrhea, and even stop drinking. It is important to note that sub-Qs won’t cure damaged kidneys, but they can help your pet get the most out of the remaining healthy kidney tissue.

Most cats respond positively to the treatment and experience few side effects.  More often than not, they feel better after hydration and can survive for several additional years, which is why it is the most popular treatment for both forms of the disease. The only cats that cannot safely take sub-Qs are those with serious or chronic heart problems. Extra fluids can put additional pressure on their already compromised systems and may lead to sudden expiration.

Rebound OESRebound OES: No matter how much your cat drinks, he/she may still experience symptoms of dehydration if the kidneys are failing. Rebound is an effective and easy-to-use electrolyte and fluid replacer administered in liquid form. Formulated by veterinarians and feline nutritionists, it helps combat the symptoms of dehydration that are associated with renal failure, abdominal trauma, surgery, and gastrointestinal disorders.

Can my cat get the flu?

Cats Get the Flu, Too

Congestion. Coughing. Fever. We’ve all felt it – the dreaded flu. Cats get the flu, too. Only, when cats get the flu some chicken soup and a few days in bed don’t help them overcome this pervasive, long-term infection. Every cat owner ought know about this illness and recognize the symptoms. Read on…

What is the “cat flu?”

The “cat flu” is a group of feline upper respiratory infections, most caused by one of two viruses: feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) or feline calicivirus (FCV).  You might also hear these infections referred to as cat herpes or feline herpes.

Symptoms of feline respiratory infection include:

  • Congestion
  • Chronic nasal discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Fever
  • Excess saliva
  • Lethargy

How do cats get upper respiratory infections?

Feline respiratory infection is spread through cat-to-cat contact in multi-cat households, shelters, and boarding situations. When cats share food and water bowls, groom themselves, cough, and sneeze they shed the virus, which other cats can pick up. Once a cat is infected with the feline herpes virus she carries it for life and may experience flare-ups of the illness throughout her lifetime. Even when the infected cat isn’t experiencing symptoms, she can transmit the virus to other cats throughout her life.

What do I do if my cat gets a feline respiratory infection?

If you think your cat has the cat flu, visit your veterinarian right away for an exam and treatment recommendations.  Because this virus is so contagious, it’s important to confirm the diagnosis – don’t just rely on your own judgment of the symptoms! Then take action including isolating your cat from any other cats so the disease does not spread. If your cat doesn’t get treatment, this virus can lead to more serious medical conditions.

How can I prevent my cat from getting a feline respiratory infection?

Unfortunately, you can’t completely protect your cat from feline respiratory infection, but there are some things you can do:

  • Make sure your cat has all his vaccinations and is good physical shape
  • Try to limit the amount of time your cat spends in boarding situations
  • Reduce stress on your cat because stress can cause flare-ups of feline respiratory infection
  • Keep your cat’s bowls and bedding clean

Many veterinarians also suggest L-Lysine nutritional supplements. This amino acid doesn’t treat the illness, but it does ease symptoms and slows viral shedding which means it reduces the amount of the virus that your cat spreads.  If your veterinarian suggests you try Lysine supplements, we offer several varieties of Lysine for cats including gels, powders, treats, and chews. The many formulations make it easy for you to help protect your cat with the power of Lysine.

If your cat has responded to Lysine supplements, share your story in our comments below where members of our online community learn from each other.

To your cat’s health!

Wes

New Pain Medicine for Cats

Wouldn’t it be great if when your cat was in pain, it could just say “Mee — ooooowwwww”?  But, seriously, it’s tough to know when your cat is hurting and what to do about the pain. Felines are especially adept at hiding pain; it’s an instinctive survival strategy. In the wild, weak or injured cats are likely to get less food and lose their status in the pride or colony.  So hiding weakness or pain helps protect the cat’s survival.

House cats experience pain for a variety of reasons whether it’s from an injury, surgery, or from internal issues like disease. While signs of pain in cats vary widely, here are some behaviors to look for:

  •  being withdrawn and less playful
  •  acting anxious and seeking more attention than usual
  •  eating and drinking less
  •  changed posture which can indicate pain in a certain area of the body
  •  repeated grooming – especially in one specific area
  •  changing sleeping patterns
  •  avoiding physical contact

The reasons for feline pain can be complex, so if you suspect your cat is experiencing pain, the first step is always to talk to your veterinarian. He’ll examine your cat, help determine the cause of pain and provide treatment suggestions.

Onsior Pain Reliever for Cats

Onsior is Available at VetRxDirect

The good news is there’s a new, pain relief medication on the market for cats. Onsior (robenacoxib) is the first non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for cats. NSAIDs like Onsior are very effective at relieving pain and inflammation and have few side effects. Onsior is usually prescribed for cats recovering from surgeries. And because the medicine comes in small, flavored tablets, it’s not a pain to dose your cat with. Learn more about Onsior on VetRxDirect’s product page and then talk with your veterinarian.

 

To your cat’s health!

 

Wes

Help Asthma in Cats with the AeroKat

Heard the buzz about how humans and animals share many common diseases? In a recent book, “Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing,” UCLA cardiologist, Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz writes about the diseases we share with animals — including heart disease and skin cancer — and how doctors and veterinarians can learn from each other to save more lives on both sides.

One disease that humans and cats share is asthma. Studies show that about 1% of adult domestic cats in America have feline asthma, also known as allergic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, or chronic bronchitis.

What are the symptoms of asthma in cats?

Symptoms of feline asthma can be infrequent or chronic and can vary in intensity. Look for:

  • wheezing
  • labored breathing
  • dry, hacking cough
  • panting
  • open mouth breathing

Can we cure asthma in cats?

Asthma is a chronic, progressive disease without a cure. The good news is that there are remedies for asthma in cats that help manage the disease and let many cats live long, happy lives. There are many oral and inhaled prescription medications that ease the symptoms of feline asthma. Talk with your veterinarian about the best option for your cat.

How can a cat use an inhaler?

Some of the most effective feline asthma medications, like Flovent and Proventil, get right into the lungs because they are inhaled. But how can a cat use an inhaler?!  Many of our customers think that’s impossible…. until they hear about the AeroKat.

The AeroKat Feline Aerosol Chamber makes it easy to deliver inhaled medication to your cat. This amazing invention combines a mask and respiration counter into a convenient device that works with a standard Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI) (many people call it a “puffer”) of your cat’s prescription medicine.

The AeroKat comes with two sizes of masks that are designed to fit any breed or size of cat. Place the mask over you cat’s mouth, make sure you have a good seal, activate the puffer, then use the convenient Flow-Vu Indicator to count your cat’s inhalations of the medication.

The AeroKat:

  • Effectively delivers the right amount of inhaled medication to your cat
  • Makes it easy to count respiration with the Flow-Vu Indicator
  • Is easy to clean 

There are plenty of online videos that can help you train your cat to use – and even like – the AeroKat

Has the AeroKat worked for your feline friend? We’d like to hear what you think about this product. Please share your experience using the AeorKat in the comments section below.

In good health,

Wes

What Causes Nasal Discharge in Cats and what Treatments are Available?

Chronic Nasal Discharge in Cats

The average housecat is a fairly independent creature normally not needing much looking after. That may be why the average cat owner has more than two feline friends, while dog owners only have one. Of course, this does not mean they are worry-free pets. Just like their canine counterparts, cats can and do occasionally get sick. It is up to their owners to determine whether the problem requires professional attention.

Chronic nasal discharge in cats occurs when your pet’s nose runs for several hours without interruption. Because it is a common symptom of viral and bacterial infections, it should be taken seriously. More often than not, however, it is caused by seasonal allergies. Let us take a moment to discuss the three types of the discharges and their possible causes.

Allergic Rhinitis in Cats

When there is a clear, watery discharge accompanied by sneezing, it typically means your cat has inhaled an environmental allergen. Also known as atopy, the condition is most likely inherited and causes increased sensitivity to common allergens, such as certain grasses, trees, weeds, molds, insect bites, and dust mites.

Viral Respiratory Disease in Cats

When the discharge is thick and mucilaginous, it is often an early warning sign of a much more serious condition or complex. Your cat may be suffering from a respiratory disease and should receive professional treatment as soon as possible. For example, Feline Herpes Virus can cause recurrent and chronic nasal discharges in cats.

Bacterial Infection Causing Chronic Nasal Discharge in Cats

If the discharge is thick, yellow, and malodorous, it may mean your pet has a bacterial infection. Once again, these are serious issues to be addressed by professional veterinarians.

Progression of Chronic Nasal Discharge in Cats

Whether the infection is viral or bacterial, the discharge generally starts out as a watery fluid and then gets thicker and thicker as the infection spreads. The final stage produces a flavescent, purulent discharge, which means your pet is one sick kitty.

Causes and Secondary Symptoms of Chronic Nasal Discharge in Cats

The common housecat is the result of millions of years of evolution and adaptation. For most of their history, cats survived by catching and eating small prey. Eating these animals whole actually helped keep their teeth clean. But when the feline was domesticated, it had to adapt to a new diet. As nutritious as most of these foods may be, they can increase the risk of plaque and tartar buildup. And carious teeth can result in infections.  Dental problems are, in fact, a common cause of chronic nasal discharge in cats, which is why you should inspect your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. If there is any dental damage or a fetid smell, take your cat to see his or her doctor as soon as possible.

In extreme cases of this unpleasant ailment, your feline friend will experience a whole host of secondary symptoms. These include drooling, eye discharge, coughing, loss of appetite, fever, coughing, and mouth sores. If your pet exhibits one or more of these symptoms, it may mean your cat has feline viral respiratory disease.

Another surefire sign something is wrong is when a cat breathes noisily or through his or her mouth. Felines are simply not designed to be mouth breathers and they generally avoid it at all costs. If you cat is breathing orally, it may mean the nostrils are blocked by swollen membranes. Any cat having problems breathing should be examined immediately.

When a nasal infection occurs, your pet’s olfactory sense may also be affected, which can and often does result in a loss of appetite.  Whether viral or bacterial, these infections can cause sneezing, stertorous breathing, and nasal discharge. On occasion, the nasal infection may spread from the frontal sinus and may result in infected teeth. They may also become carries of herpesvirus, which is a chronic condition reactivated during periods of extreme stress.

Treatment of Chronic Nasal Discharge in Cats

Restoring breathing and preventing infection are always the main objectives when chronic nasal discharge is the issue.  The sick cat should be isolated from other animals, since the disease is contagious. If the discharge is watery, gently wipe the nostrils with a cotton ball to prevent irritation and blockage. Baby oil or pure moisturizing lotions can also guard against cracking and drying of the outside of the nose. If you have a humidifier or a vaporizer, the device can be used to help loosen up the discharge and help restore normal function to the mucus membranes.

If, however, your cat has a thick, yellowish discharge that also smells, your cat will require professional attention. Your veterinarian will almost certainly put your cat on a battery of antibiotics to fight the infection and restore balance to the system. These serious medical issues should never be handled at home with rumored remedies.

Long-term administration of a supplemental lysine may help reduce the symptoms of chronic nasal discharge when caused by Feline Herpes Virus. If your pet’s veterinarian has recommended a product containing L-lysine, please consider these products available at VetRxDirect:

Has your cat suffered from chronic nasal discharge? What was the cause? Let us know in the comments section below so we all know when it’s time to get our feline friend to the doctor.

Keep your nose clean,

Wes