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Treating Cat Sneezing and Coughing

 Submitted by Michael Adams on May 27, 2010

Sometimes, you may find your cat sneezing or coughing intensely for long periods. Usually the causes are not serious and it may be only due to a cold. However, it is best to know the actual reason and take steps to provide relief to your pet.

Causes of Cat Sneezing:

Your cat may be suffering from a common cold or a slightly more severe form of sinusitis or bronchitis. This will usually clear up on its own after a few days. Another common cat sneezing causes are allergies.

Your cat could be allergic to many allergens inside and outside the house. Many household cleaning and disinfecting products, and even pet grooming products may contain chemicals which set off an allergic reaction in your cat. Food too, could be the culprit. The outdoors also has plenty of allergens in the form of pollens, dust and various grasses.  

Mold is another cause which may trigger of violent fits of sneezing in your cat. Sometimes dental disease or infection of the gums may lead to sneezing.

While these are the simple and most common causes of cat sneezing, it is better to check with your vet if the sneezing becomes chronic, because it could signal a more dangerous ailment. Some cats get infected with feline herpes which lead to nasal polyps, sinus problems and frequent sneezing. Cat leukemia virus is another deadly reason for cat sneezing.

Cat Coughing Causes:

Your cat’s coughing may be simply due to a prolonged cold. But on the other hand, it could also be caused by asthma or bordetella. Hairballs may also cause cat coughing. Another more serious reason is feline cardiomyopathy. This causes fluid and congestion in the lungs because the heart is unable to pump properly, causing your cat to cough.

Treatment and prevention:
Since both the sneezing and coughing usually start with a cold or an allergy, it is better to rule out these possibilities.

  • If you think it’s an allergy try to find out the source. Even powders, collars or flea shampoo could cause it. Keep your cat litter very clean, and free of dust and mold.
  • Very dry air can also cause sneezing and coughing, so try moisturizing the air in the room with a vaporizer.
  • Giving your cat saline nose drops can help to relieve the irritation which is causing the sneezing, and also thin down the mucus in its nasal passages.
  • Strengthen your cat’s immune system by giving your pet some fatty acid supplements.
  • Ensure that your pet has all the necessary vaccinations, for example, against the feline leukemia virus.
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