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Possible to get sick from kitty kisses?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi everybody,

I've had cats all my life with a lot of different personalities but my new rescue kitten, Willie, is a lot more affectionate than any other cat I've had. A little bit of background info, Willie is around 13-14 weeks right now and he still has remnants of a very bad cold that nearly killed him. The vet seems to think that he will always have a runny nose because the treatment we've given him just doesn't seem to work.

Despite his runny nose, he's doing very well and has picked up over 50% of his original weight when I first got him. I know that we can't get ill from his cold, but I was wondering if we could get some other nasty illness from him licking us, ...uhh ....very intimately. Willie likes to grab hold of you by the face and then proceeds to try and lick inside your nose. If you move your head or try to avoid it, he'll reward you with a nice bite on the tip of your nose. He also likes to lick our lips(slips a tongue in ever so often) and tries to suckle our earlobes. Chin grooming is also a favorite passtime especially grooming my husbands goatee and if he moves, *bite*.

Do any of your cats like to groom you in the nose? Is his mouth a germ factory we should keep away from our faces?

post #2 of 12
Not a good idea to let this cat lick your lips- cats carry a lot of bacteria in their mouth and getting that close to you isn't wise.

cats also do not always have a runny nose for no reason. I would suggest you find another vet and get a second opinion. It can't be very pleasant for this cat to be fighting a runny nose for the rest of his life, just because one vet is stumped what is causing it.
post #3 of 12
can catch things from YOU too.

It is important when you have a little kitten, to set boundaries early
and gently. They think you are a cat, you know

Licking earlobes, is another cute thing that goes stale very quickly!!!

I train my cats to stay away from my face... at all times. Remember even a
nice cat can get sick and lose its niceness pretty fast. A bite on the face is a serious matter if kitty loses his/her manners and you will regret that if it happens.

This is just my opinion... tho.

post #4 of 12
post #5 of 12
Your cat needs to be seen again. A runny nose that doesn't clear up is a symptom something is wrong.
It is not a good idea to let animals lick you in the face, especially around the nose or mouth. Cats carry a lot of bacteria in their mouths.
post #6 of 12
You can discourage face licking by blowing in your cat's face when he licks your face. Cats dislike this but obviously it does not harm them at all.
post #7 of 12
When I worked for a cat rescue, they had a cronic Upper Respitory cat.. he was born with it and will have it for the rest of his life. Poor guy having to live with snot covering his nose 24/7. But I did call the SPCA when I left to see if they could confinscate him or do something to stop his suffering.

I let him lick me.. it was kinda gross with his boogies hanging there, if they hadn't been wiped. but I didnt' let him lick my face.. he mostly liked to lick hands anyway.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great replies everybody.

My vet is concerned that my kitten might end up having chronic upper respitory because we don't know how long he had it before I got him. When I asked the lady at the rescue, she said he was allergic to his cat clay litter and we know that's not true because we changed him over to Feline Pine and he still has the runny nose. He just finished his second antibiotic treatment last week and he'll be going in once my vet is back for a follow up and perhaps a change in treatment. His runny nose is nothing like it was when I got him, he now only has a slight moistness under his nostrills every now and again.

When I got him from the rescue his nose was crusted over and his right eye was a leaking ball of puss. By the second day he couldn't breathe and by the fourth day he was cold and limp. With the help of my vet and tons of online reading at this site and at holisticat, I managed to bring him back to life and he is doing fantastic right now.

I'll definately work on getting him out of our faces but it's going to be hard. He is a big snugglepuss and just wants to snuggle into your neck and ears with his front legs wrapped around your neck. I've also tried blowing in his face but he actually likes it. Weirdo.
post #9 of 12
Your cat sounds a lot like my Rocky!!! He has feline herpes and loves to lick. I would ask your vet about giving the kitty lysine, if it is indeed chronic URI related to herpes. You can either get the powdered pills and mix w/wet food, and there is a new product that is a gel. I got mind from the vet but I did find it online. Ask the vet if this is appropriate.
Rocky seemed to grow out of the kissing a bit as he got older. I draw the line at the cat sticking the tongue in the mouth! Keep your lips shut tight! I usually would turn my head into the pillow when he got too ummm affectionate. He would then start licking the ear and that is more tolerable. It is just too cute and flattering though!
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks I'll definately ask about Lysine.

It is flattering that he is such a love ball because when he is not smothering us with love, he's a wild cat running around with our dogs. They play very rough and he attacks them in flying leaps from his cat condo when he's not running in the backyard like a headless chicken hunting bumblebees, hitching a ride on or tortoise or rounding up our guinea pigs. He's even been into our pond 3 times trying to hunt himself some koi that are twice the size he is.
post #11 of 12
I agree with several other members about being concerned with the ongoing URI. Think about going to a different vet for a second opinion.

Your kitten sounds like a sweetie! Personally, I'd never try to discourage him from giving kitty kisses, the highest honor a feline can bestow on a human! (though I would not let him lick you on the mouth). My oldest girl, who's 17, frequently did what your kitten does now - wrap her arms around my neck and snuggle her face into my neck and lick my ear. She rarely does that anymore, so it's like a gift when I wake in the morning to her gently licking my ear. Enjoy this adorable demonstration of your kitten's love for you!
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply.

I'm taking all the snuggles I can get right now even the licking because you never know when they'll grow out of it.

My kitten is going back to the vet for a follow up after the second antibiotic course didn't completely kick his wet nose. I'm sticking with my current vet though because he is very well respected and works with all the local cat rescues and sees tons of uri cases. He's never steared me wrong with any of my animals in all the years I've been with him. What I like about him is that he will explore other avenues instead of bombing animals with prescription meds and antibiotics so I'm sure we'll get rid of the runny nose pretty soon.
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