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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20837
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My cat has been sneezing and is not eating her normal amount

Customer Question

My cat has been sneezing and is not eating her normal amount of food. Is there something i can give her to help her feel better?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
How long has Ella been sneezing?
Are you seeing any discharge from her eyes or nose?
If so, what color? From one or both nostrils?
Is she breathing comfortably? Any congestion or open mouth breathing?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
a little bit of clear leaky eyes
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
she usually is very talkative and hungry and now is very quiet and not eating much
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you,
Now the reason for my questions about Ella's signs is because we can sneezing for a range of reasons. Common cases include cat flu (aka upper respiratory tract infections), allergies, but we can also see this with nasal based disease (ie fungal or bacterial infection), foreign material lodging in the nose(ie grass seeds, plant material, etc), and when there are growths within the nostrils.
Now if she is just showing mild signs with clear discharge, then a viral cat flu agent will be our top suspect here. And much like when we have the flu, the viral causes often require supportive care to help them get over the flare up. But if she were to have or develop snotty/green/yellow discharge, then this can suggest secondary bacterial agents that would then require treatment with antibiotics to clear.
Now in regards ***** ***** we can help her, at this stage, supportive care measures are often our mainstay of treatment and worth starting for her here. If she is sneezing and congested you can take her in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen and clear some of the snot congesting her. You can also use a baby nebulizer, but often cats don’t like things held up to their faces. That said, you can alternatively make little ‘steam tents’ with Ella in her carrier, the nebulizer/humidifier near by and a bed sheet over both.
Further to this, if she is building up mucus that the steam isn't shifting, use a cotton ball moistened with warm water to wipe away crust and mucus. You can also use saline nasal drops (like Ocean Mist, but not anything medicated) for her. To do so, tilt the head back and drop two to three drops in one nostril. Cats hate this, but it helps. After the drops go down, you can let the head up and wipe away any discharge that gets loosened. Then repeat with the other nostril.
Making sure she is getting food and water is important, as congested cats who can’t smell their food often won’t eat as well as they should. Therefore, with her loss of normal of appetite, then keep tempting as you have. Further to warming food, do offer ones that are smelly to penetrate her congestion. As well, wet foods are always a good idea, since they are high in water. And if she will eat a bit, consider using a calorically dense diet (ie Hills AD) or wet kitten food, since they have more nutrition per bite. And if she still refuses, do be ready to syringe feed by watering down these foods if need be.
Otherwise, to rule out allergies and to help relieve some congestion, you can consider trying her on an antihistamine. Most commonly we will use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) in cases like this. Dose-wise, we typically will give 0.25 mg per pound of their body weight by mouth up to 2-3 times daily. Please note that we can see a bit of drowsiness with Benadryl administration, so we do keep the dose low. And it goes without saying that you would want to double check with her vet before using this if she has any pre-existing health issues or is on any medication already. But if we have a low grade allergy or congestion, then this should help.
Finally, if you suspect that she might have feline herpes virus as the cause (if you tested or she has a previous history of herpes flare up), then this can be a cause of the signs you are seeing. In herpes cats, we sometimes find the L-lysine (a nutritional supplement) can help them recover quicker. This is available over the counter at vets, health food stores, pet shops, and online. They come as gels, powders, and crushable tablets that can be mixed with food. An average cat dose is 500mg a day.
Overall, if her discharges are clear and her signs are mild, then an upper respiratory based infection would be our main suspect here. Therefore, you can try the above to help give her some relief. Of course, if she doesn't settle over the next few days or you do see snotty discharge, then we'd want to get her vet involved so they can rule out those other concerns and prescribe antibiotics +/- cat safe decongestants (since human ones are toxic for kitties)to settle this for her.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
actually great! i brought her for a steam in the washroom and i think it cleared her right up! and noticably less sneezing!
thanks for the advice!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome,
I am glad that I could help you to get Ella feeling better. :)
All the best for Ella,
Dr. B.
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