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My cat is sneezing, has runny eyes and is off his food and drink

My cat is sneezing, has runny eyes and is off his food and drink

by Paula
(New Jersey)

Male tuxedo cat about 6 yrs. old. We have had him for 2yrs. He was fine until about a week ago. He started to sneeze.

Then he stopped eating and drinking. I think he might be drinking and eating a little something during the night.

A few days ago he started vomiting a little about twice a day. His eyes are runny, but I think that his nose is dry?

He was making himself very scarce, but is more visible the last couple of days. Nothing else has improved.

He has an unwell look about him. Usual diet is a combination of dry and wet food. Very fussy about his food. I have only been able to get him to eat supermarket brands since I have had him.


Hi Paula… there may be a number of underlying causes but the obvious illness causing these symptoms is an upper respiratory infection (URI).

This is probably a viral infection but it can lead to a secondary bacterial infection.

Some URI viruses are mild and some severe. The cat’s sense of smell is impaired causing food to be less palatable and it is therefore not eaten. Loss of appetite is also due to feeling unwell as evidenced by the fact that he is disappearing to a quiet place.

Not eating and drinking properly can lead to dehydration and more serious illness.

As this has been going on a little while and he is not eating and drinking properly, he should be taken to a vet as soon as possible.

It may be a simple URI but there may be an underlying cause too.

Good luck.

See also cat sneezing.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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