Sneezing Cats

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By Tess Thompson



Sneezing is not a good sign in a cat. Cat colds are not similar to the common cold that humans experience. It is one of the primary conditions that cause cats to sneeze. If your pet has had a cold before, you will easily be able to recognize the symptoms. Feline colds also produce symptoms like watery eyes, nasal discharge, coughing and gagging. However, sneezing can also be caused due to other factors that cause more problems than a cat cold.

  • Sneezing is one of the symptoms of cat flu, along with other symptoms like red eyes, fever and coughing.
  • Any feline upper respiratory infection, irrespective of the fact that it is viral, bacterial or fungal, causes sneezing in cats. The most common cat respiratory infections is caused by the feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus.
  • Dyspnoea, or labored breathing, is commonly seen in cats and is normally caused due to a decrease in pulmonary ventilation. Along with sneezing, there may also be a nasal discharge, wheezing, facial deformity, snoring and difficulty in swallowing.
  • Sometimes, sneezing is caused by foreign substances that get stuck in the nasal cavity.
  • Sneezing with chronic secretion of mucus from the rear of the nasal cavity into the nasopharynx mostly indicates the prevalence of sinusitis.

Nearly all feline respiratory diseases produce sneezing as one of its symptoms. Blanket treatment with antibacterial drugs like antibiotics is not recommended unless there is sufficient evidence to support the presence of a bacterial infection. Since sneezing can be caused by a viral infection that is self-limiting in nature, sneezing caused in such cases is therefore likely to disappear on its own. Antibacterial agents can be harmful in the long run, and should be used only after the condition has been evaluated by a veterinarian. In certain cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat secondary infections.

It should also be noted that sneezing as a standalone symptom does not require treatment. It is only when sneezing is accompanied by other symptoms that there is a need to visit a specialist. The accompanying symptoms may be categorized as mild, moderate or severe. A clear nasal and ocular discharge accompanied by sneezing and oral ulcerations, for example, falls under mild symptoms. On the other side, if sneezing is concurrent with a thick, yellowish-green nasal discharge and conjunctivitis, visiting a veterinarian is a good idea. Sneezing and blood from the cat’s nose is a reason for panic, as it can be a sign of a tumor in the nasal cavity.

References:

http://www.sheltermedicine.com/portal/is_feline_upper_res.shtml

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