Immune System Compromise Due to FeLV or FIV May be at Fault
About a year ago I started feeding a stray cat and lately he’s been coming in the house to eat. He seems to have a perpetual cold or allergy condition. He snuffles and sneezes all the time. Whatever it is isn’t contagious, because none of our regular house cats are affected. He even has a snub-nose look from wiping his paw across his nose all the time! Otherwise, he’s very healthy–great appetite, shiny coat, pleasant disposition.
You’re a true pet lover to help this great, shiny, and pleasant fellow, but I am concerned about your other cats. Despite the appearance of good health in this group, you must beware.
If the new guy were truly as healthy as he appears, his immune system would have whipped that nasty infection a long time ago. His real problem may be an immune system that’s not up to the job. Feline leukemia (FeLV) or feline AIDS (FIV) infection could be the culprit. With time and continued exposure, both viruses can infect your other cats.
Take this boy to your veterinarian ASAP for a physical exam and FeLV and FIV tests. If you’re all very lucky he’ll test negative and a good strong course of antibiotics will put him right. Go straight to the doctor. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.