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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21199
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My cat started sneezing...he sneezes 5 or 6 times in a row...is

Customer Question

my cat started sneezing...he sneezes 5 or 6 times in a row...is he sick?
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.
Has he had any discharge from his eyes or nose?
What color?
From one nostril or both?
Any coughing?
How is he otherwise? Any change to his appetite, activity, or weight?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
maybe coughing...he seems alittle lazy...no discharge that I can see
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you,
First, we see cats suddenly develop severe sneezing for a range of reasons. Common causes are cat flu, allergies, foreign material lodging in the nose (ie grass seeds, plant material, etc), growths or polyps causing airway obstruction and bacterial or fungal infections.
If his signs are sudden and we are not seeing obvious snotty discharge with Izzo, then we can consider trying some supportive care to settle this for him. To start, since he is sneezing, you can take him in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen and clear some of the snot congesting him. You can also use a baby nebulizer/humidifier, but often cats don’t like things held up to their faces (but you can often make little ‘steam tents’ with the kitty in their carrier with these and a sheet).
If he sneezing quite a bit and the steam doesn't clear that, then you can use saline nasal drops like Ocean Mist (but not anything medicated) to further try to clear any irritation within the nose. To do so, just tilt his head back and drop 2-3 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.
Furthermore, if allergies are suspect for him, we can potentially trial him on an antihistamine. Most commonly we use Benadryl/Diphenhydramine for these cases (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/diphenhydramine-benadryl). A low dose (ie. 0.25mg per pound of his body weight twice daily) can just be enough to reduce any allergic irritation for him. We like to keep the dose low in cats, as they can have drowsiness with this medication (just like people). And of course, this medication shouldn't be used if your lad has any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet.
As well, making sure he 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, any decline in his normal appetite would mean that we need to consider tempting him with smelly wet foods (since they are high in water). It may help to warm it up a bit in the microwave to help him be able to smell it.
Finally, since feline herpes virus is a common lifetime infection that can cause flu flare ups in cats, you can consider trying him with L-lysine. This is a nutritional supplement that can help them recover quicker if this virus is present. This is available over the counter at pet stores, vets, online, and heath food stores. They tend to come as powders, gels, or crushable tablets that can be mixed into food. An average cat dose is 500mg a day.
Overall, we do have a few concerns for your lad's signs. Since his signs are mild and sudden in onset, I would note that the above supportive care will be the core to helping soothe his signs. Of course, if you use this and he doesn't settle over the next few days or you see any snotty discharge, then we'd want consider following up with his vet for examination +/- antibiotics to clear this for him.
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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