Vaginal Discharge in Cats

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  • Vaginal discharge is defined as an abnormal discharge coming from the vagina. Unlike humans, cats don’t menstruate, any discharge from the vagina needs to be seen by a veterinarian.


    • Pyometra: Infection of the uterus which occurs in unspayed females.
    • Acute metritis: Inflammation of the postpartum uterus.
    • Vaginitis: This is an inflammation of the vagina. It can descend into the uterus if left untreated, causing pyometra. So fast veterinary attention is vital.
    • Lochia: Normal postpartum discharge. This is greenish in colour, should not have an unpleasant odour and should stop within 7 – 10 days.
    • Cancer: Uterine, ovarian.
    • Spontaneous abortion (miscarriage): This is the spontaneous end of a pregnancy at a stage where the unborn kittens are too immature to survive.
    • Foreign body.


    Yes, other than a vaginal discharge, other symptoms to look out for may include;

    • Excessive licking of the genital area
    • Fever
    • Loss of appetite
    • Lethargy
    • Disinterest in kittens (if the cat is a new mother)
    • Polyuria/polydipsia (excessive thirst and urination) 

    What should I do if I notice my cat has a vaginal discharge?

    It is important you seek veterinary care immediately. Failure to find and treat the cause can be life-threatening.


    Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination of your cat and obtain a medical history from you. Some tests he may wish to perform include:


    Obviously, treatment depends on the cause. If the cause is a bacterial infection then your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics.


    • IV fluids to treat dehydration
    • Ovariohysterectomy
    • Antibiotics

    Acute Metritis:

    • IV fluids to treat dehydration
    • If necessary, evacuate the uterus
    • Antibiotics
    • It may be necessary to perform an ovariohysterectomy


    • Find and treat the underlying cause
    • If it is bacterial, prescribe antibiotics

    Spontaneous abortion:

    There is no treatment available. But do take your cat and the aborted contents to the veterinarian.


    Foreign body:

    Surgical removal of foreign body


    Lochia is a normal part of the postnatal period but the owner should keep a close eye on the discharge to ensure the amount tapers off over 7-10 days, there is no odour and that the cat is not displaying any symptoms of acute metritis such as fever, loss of appetite etc.


    • Julia Wilson, 'Cat World' Founder

      Julia Wilson is the founder of Cat-World, and has researched and written over 1,000 articles about cats. She is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. Full author bio