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Cat Boogers (Black Crust Discharge From Your Cat’s Nose – Explained!)

Posted in: Cat Health - Last Updated: April 30, 2022 - Author: Dexter Jones
Posted in Cat Health 
Last Updated: April 30, 2022  
Author:  Dexter Jones
Cat boogers

Boogers and nasal discharge are common occurrences in cats. You should not worry if you wipe away one or two boogers from your cat per day. 

It's a cause for concern, though, if the boogers occur multiple times a day. If you notice your cat getting nasal fluids discharging more often than usual and its color has changed, it's a valid reason to visit a veterinarian

This post covers everything you need to know about cat boogers.

What are Cat Boogers? (in short)

The black stuff on your cat’s nose and eyes is generally caused by harmless boogers, mucous nasal discharge from dust, or scabs.

However, they can be signs of cat illness too. Tiny pieces of dried blood are signs of a bacterial infection.

Feline herpes or Lentigo may also be a consideration and a sign of an infection.

Cat Nasal Discharge

Like in humans, a cat's nasal discharge is a natural process aimed at protecting the respiratory system.

When the discharge dries out, it turns into boogers and can build up around the nostrils and cat's eyes.

A steady and slow production of nasal discharge is an indicator of good health and a properly working respiratory system. 

However, when the mucus coming out of your cat's throat and nasal passages gets too much, it hints at a health problem. 

There are a few possible causes for it. 

It's important to know the reason for excessive nasal discharge to choose a suitable treatment.

Causes of Cat Nose Black Crust

1. Cat Nasal and Respiratory Issues

Excessive nasal discharge can be a result of an irritated airway which led to the exaggerated secretion of mucus. 

Also, the immune system may produce excess mucus to remove a secretion contaminated with germs. 

If the boogers get reddish or dark brown, it may hint at a blood condition. However, there should be other symptoms to confirm it. 

Symptoms That Cause Nasal Discharge in Cats:

  • Eye inflammation
  • Face pain and swelling
  • Breathing problems
  • Fever
  • Polyps

Underlying health issues that cause nasal discharge:

  • Viruses
  • Bacterial infection
  • Fungal infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Ear inflammation
  • Dental disease
  • Tumors
  • Cancer

2. Foreign Object

A reason for excessive nasal discharge may be some material or dust that got trapped in your cat's nose. 

After spotting  the foreign object, the immune system produces more mucus to force it out and impede it from reaching the lungs. 

If you think it's the reason, vacuum the carpet often so that the loose lint can't get into your cat's nose. Also, keep your feline away from things that may shed lint, like carpets and clothes. 

Cleaning your pet's nose regularly will also do the trick. It will help remove the lint fiber before it manages to reach far inside the nasal passage.

3. Scar scab

Sometimes the booger isn't made of dried mucus but it's rather a scab. Your cat might have scratched inside its nose which caused an open scar. 

The scar scabbed and formed a booger made of dry blood. If your cat got the scar accidentally and it's a one-time thing, you don't need to worry. 

It's worse when scab-boogers come out of your kitty's nose on regular basis. It means that your cat is obsessed with scratching its nose. 

This behavior may be caused by stress, high irritability, and nervousness. You may want to take your cat to a vet to be advised on how to get it calmer.

4. Herpes

Some viral infections such as Herpes (Feline Calicivirus and Feline Herpesvirus) may also be the cause of nasal discharge. It's likely so when the booger is dry and has a red tinge. 

Secondary bacterial infection is very common in viral diseases. These result in the production of a green mucoid nasal discharge. 

 The good news is herpes doesn't cause discomfort to your cat. If the booger got stuck, eliminate it with a warm compress.

5. Lentigo

Lentigo is black spots that appeared around the cat's mouth and nose. 

Since they resemble a booger, some people may confuse lentigo spots for nasal discharge. 

Although their cause it's still unknown, it's certain that they aren't dangerous for your cat.

Cat nose black crust

How do I Clean Cat Boogers?

It is recommended that you clean your cat's nose with a damp cotton ball. Make sure you soak the cotton ball in warm water so that the cat feels comfortable when you wipe it. 

Clean only outside your kitty's nose.

Do not insert cotton swabs inside it as it can push the booger further into the nasal passage. 

It will block the circulation of air, causing difficulty breathing. Some cats are not happy with people touching their faces. So start cleaning your feline's nose only if it allows you to do it. 

If it swipes at you, growls, and shows its teeth to you, better leave it alone. 

These behaviors tell you that it's worried about its security and is ready to attack.

Reward your cat with a yummy treat or a new toy after cleaning its nose. It will reduce its stress and make it more willing to let you touch its nose next time. 

You should clean your cat's nose not only when it experiences excessive nasal discharges. Clean it often to prevent many boggles from gathering around its nose.

Cat Boogers Prevention

You can prevent cat boogers by installing an air purifier in the room. The device will remove dust and other contaminants from the air. 

This will make the cat's body produce less mucus and hence bring down the nasal discharge. Cleaning your feline's nose on regular basis should also help. 

Boogers are the dried version of nasal discharge. So if you remove the discharge while it's still liquid, boogers will never occur.

Also, has your kitty been tested for FIV or FeLV

Those both compromise the immune system, which can also cause feline upper respiratory infections.

Why Does My Cat Have Eye Boogers?

I bet some of you are also thinking why does my cat get eye boogers?

Wee aside, from nasal boogers, cats have eye boogers. 

t's a small amount of gunk that builds upon the inner corner of the cat's eyes while it sleeps. 

Also, a cat may develop eye black boogers around the tear duct when it is exposed to polluted air. Keep an eye out (excuse the terrible pun) for your cat squinting 

So are cat's eye boogers dangerous for your feline's eyes? No, in small amounts the gunk is totally inoffensive to your cat. 

However, just like nasal boogers, the larger the booger gets, the more discomfort it causes to your cat. Nose-wise, it's trouble breathing. Eye-wise, it's the inability to easily open the eyes.

You should regularly wipe away your cat's eye booger once it wakes up. This will prevent the boogers from accumulating into a pile and irritating the cat.

If you notice a frequent discharge from your kitty's eyes, it may suggest an illness developing therefore an eye appointment at the vet, a swift diagnosis and some medicated eye ointment will be in order.

Here are some health issues that may cause exaggerated discharge from your cat's eyes. 

Why Does My Cat Have Eye Boogers

Read this next: Cancer in Cats

1. Allergy

This is one of the most common reasons for a cat's excessive eye discharge. When an allergen gets in your feline's eyes, they start to water to reduce irritation. Later, the discharge dries out causing boogers. If your cat is sensitive, don't let it interact with allergens. For example, if it's pollen season, try to avoid places with a high concentration of pollen or keep your cat at home.

2. Infection

An infection may also cause gunk to accumulate in the cat's eye. You will know it's an infection if the eyes get red, swollen and the gunk is green or yellow. An infection will certainly need a trip to the vet and some antibacterial medications.

3. Sinusitis

Sinusitis is the inflammation of a cat's sinuses as a result of an infection. 

There are some signs that your feline suffers from this condition. The most telltale one is visible swelling at the bottom of its eyes. Sinusitis is often accompanied by frequent eye discharge.

Also, it comes with severe pain which makes the cat lethargic, upset, and weak. That's why get it to a vet as soon as possible to put an end to its suffering.

4. Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is an eye condition characterized by itchiness and gritty sensation in the eye. 

During sleep, the cat's eyes water abundantly to soothe the scratch which causes boogers to form. The boogers and the scratch sensation create a huge discomfort to the kitty which negatively affects its quality of sleep. 

It explains why it's lethargic in the times when it should normally be full of energy and playful.

Once you notice the conjunctivitis symptoms in your pet, ask for emergency veterinary help. 

cat eye boogers

If not treated timely, this disease may lead to blindness so you have to act promptly.

5. Foreign Objects

Abundant tearing is also possible if a foreign object, like dust, dirt, or a tiny insect, gets trapped in the cat's eye. 

The secretion of tears will increase to wash the object away. You can try to remove the object yourself by cleaning the cat's troubling eye. 

Dampen a cotton ball with warm water and start wiping without touching the eyeball. The eyeball is very sensitive so touching it will cause great pain. 

Nto to mention rubbing which involves friction and is even more irritating.

Cat Eye Boogers: What To Do?

If your cat develops multiple boogers over a short period of time, it's a sign that it might experience an illness.

Even if you don't notice any other disease symptoms, exaggerated nasal or eye discharge is enough to make an appointment with the vet. 

Whether it's an infection, eye damage or a foreign object stuck in the nose or eye, you should take action immediately.

It will help avoid complications and ensure a full recovery.

Cat Boogers: The Verdict

All cats tend to develop cat boogers. Generally, they are not dangerous, but they can be so when mucus secretion gets out of control. 

Frequent nasal discharge is a result of an illness, an injury, or a foreign object that gets stuck in the cat's nose. 

That's why, if you notice too much nasal discharge and too many boogers, take your feline to a vet for a thorough respiratory and medical check-up.

About the author

Dexter Jones has been a solid member of the ‘Mad Cat Dad’ club since time began! Dexter has been a keen cat writer for many years and lives in Croatia. He lives with his two tabby cats, Milly & Marly, who also flew in from the UK to start their new Adriatic island life together.

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