Cats are Gross
October 28, 2008 6:20 AM   Subscribe

My kitten is snotty. Some sort of permanent virus he picked up in the shelter. I've talked to the vet about his health, but she had no tips for keeping my house mucus-free. Help?

The cat is generally healthy, if a bit wheezy, and I've checked with his vet several times about how to detect actual respiratory distress and what to do about it, &c, so that is not my concern here. My concern here is the projectile snot I find stuck to the walls or--my very favorite ever--got in the face this morning while I was still sleeping. Clearly, I cannot teach the cat to use a tissue (for all his fondness for unrolling the toilet paper roll), so I'm looking for alternatives. Do you know any cat homeopathic remedy that will cut down on the goo in his nose? Or any way to keep him from sneezing globs of it all over me & my house? Tips for cleaning it up?

He's a great little guy, but I am so not excited about a lifetime of cleaning cat snot off me and everything else.
posted by crush-onastick to Pets & Animals (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
"Permanent virus"? Maybe. But it sounds to me like he has chlamydia. Very common in animal shelters and goes straight to feline sinuses. Mucus production, especially of the opaque sort, tends to indicate bacterial infection, and this is a good candidate. My girlfriend's new kitten was incredibly sneezy for a week, but a round of antibiotics perked her right up.
posted by valkyryn at 6:42 AM on October 28, 2008

I once had this happen with a roommate's cat. The poor thing was getting snottier and snottier (with projectile action) and I was bitching at her to take the cat to the vet. Then one day I noticed something strange sticking out of the cat's nose. I grabbed it, and pulled out 5 inch blade of grass. I don't know how that happened, but she was cured. So maybe you or the vet should look up his nose?
posted by kimdog at 6:49 AM on October 28, 2008 [2 favorites]

We have a snotty cat - also a shelter adoptee. He had a bad upper respiratory infection a few months ago, and although that cleared, he began sneezing and had bad eye goop a few days ago, so I took him back to the vet.

The vet said it's a type of cat herpes virus, which is fairly common. He told me to get some fake tears from the drugstore, and put the drops in his eyes a couple of times a day. Left over from his UR infection, we also have a tube of antiviral gel called Viralys, and the vet said to give him two doses a day until the sneezing etc. cleared up. Which it did in a couple of days. He's fine now.

So, ask your vet about antiviral gel. You may also want to pick up a small humidifier, and perhaps confine him to the bathroom or other small room for a few hours with the humidifier, and see if that helps. Good luck.

(Because askmes like this are useless without pictures *hint hint*, here is a picture of the cat in question, and here is another.)
posted by rtha at 7:12 AM on October 28, 2008

I came in to echo what rtha's already said. My kitties get "blinky" (one eye gets cruddy and half-shut) from time to time, and sneezy occasionally. My vet said it's likely feline herpes, and that if it gets bad to get them on antivirals (kitty zovirax!).
posted by TheNewWazoo at 8:01 AM on October 28, 2008

Find another vet for a second opinion from someone who gives a shit. The problem isn't the snot, the problem is WHY the cat has snot.
posted by biscotti at 8:11 AM on October 28, 2008 [2 favorites]

Best answer: My little guy sometimes gets snotty. I don't know if it's the same thing, but my vet recommended I buy Lysine (it's available in the drugstore in the supplements aisle) and crush up a tablet or a tablet and a half (depending on severity) in his food each day. Seems to clear things right up after a few days.
posted by MeetMegan at 8:48 AM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

We had a cat, Binky, who spent much of his early life sneezing and projecting snot onto the walls of the laundry room, in which his litter box sat. He eventually got over it and lived a full life, but I feel your pain.
posted by johngoren at 9:10 AM on October 28, 2008

Find another vet for a second opinion from someone who gives a shit. The problem isn't the snot, the problem is WHY the cat has snot.


My mom had a cat with a snot problem. Her vet treated it some how.
posted by at 9:15 AM on October 28, 2008

Response by poster: That's what the vet said! it's the feline herpes virus. we've had him since May and he's been to the vet for three post-adoption check-ups and been checked for a million respiratory infections.

And biscotti I know you are excellent with the animals, but you are fucking out of line about my vet and her office.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:55 AM on October 28, 2008

And biscotti I know you are excellent with the animals, but you are fucking out of line about my vet and her office.

Whoa, you left out a crucial bit of information from your question (namely, that your vet had diagnosed your cat). biscotti's reaction, given the information we were given, wasn't out of line at all--much less fucking out of line.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:02 AM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

I have to agree with PhoBWanKenobi. Additionally, while your vet may give a shit, you may still want a 2nd opinion. Cats should not be snotty forever and ever, amen.
posted by Medieval Maven at 11:15 AM on October 28, 2008

Response by poster: megan: my partner tells me that our vet *did* recommend the lysene for the snottiness. Apparently, she also gave us the name of a pharmacist that mixes it into cat-friendly-flavors of paste. I guess I wasn't paying attention to that part of the visit.

FWIW: in the several post-adoption trips he took to the vet, he was treated twice with antibiotics--that cleared up his eye infection but did nothing for the snot & wheezing. Vet ruled out asthma, allergies and several other bacterial infections. She concluded that it is probably what she referred to as a common virus in shelter cats (which I am informed is the cat herpes virus) and talked to us at length about what to look for, if he seemed to be having any sort of respiratory distress. He sometimes sneezes and wheezes but does not exhibit the signs of distress she has told us to look out for. Oh, and when I first brought him in, she asked after my sister and her husband who had recently lost their 14 year old cat to old age and infirmity. We don't have the same last name, so she sure as shit pays attention to her patients and their families.

I apologize for snapping, but I do not take lightly the suggestion that I chose shitty health care providers for the small things in my life, who--as pets in an American household--receive better care than children in this and other countries. I see that my initial question did not include all the things we've done to address the cause and am now looking simply to address the symptoms and consequence, so the fault is mine.

posted by crush-onastick at 10:31 AM on October 30, 2008

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