Cat Sneezing Treatment Options

Cat sneezing is usually a symptom of an existing condition. Although some cats sneeze due to common allergens in the environment, persistent sneezing that’s accompanied by nasal discharge may be a symptom of viral infection. In order to treat the sneezing, the vet will diagnose the cause and treat the underlying condition.

Common Causes of Cat Sneezing Include

  • Feline herpes virus or rhinotracheitis
  • Feline calcivirus
  • Allergy
  • Nasal obstructions
  • Dental problems

Rhinotracheitis and Feline Calcivirus

Cats suffering from feline herpes virus-1 (FHV-1) exhibit symptoms such as nasal and eye discharge, fever and sneezing. Most cats acquire the virus from direct contact with infected sources. In order to diagnose rhinotracheitis the vet will perform polymerase chain reaction testing and fluorescent staining of cell samples. The vet will also consider the risk of the cat’s previous exposure to infected pets. In order to treat pets suffering from calcivirus or rhinotracheitis the vet will prescribe antibiotic medication to prevent secondary bacterial infections. A vaporizer works effectively to clear nasal congestion and facilitates easy breathing. Pets that don’t consume food or water require IV fluids and oxygen. Most cases of calcivirus and rhinotracheitis are treated with lysine or alpha interferon medication.


Cats are more sensitive to environmental conditions in comparison to other pets. Cat sneezing is often a response to allergens in the environment. Dust, cigarette smoke, pollen and pollution are common allergens in their surroundings. However pets are also allergic to various household detergents, deodorants and sprays or perfumes. The vet will perform tests to rule out other causes of sneezing. After diagnosis, the pet owner will have to work with the vet to determine the type of allergen that causes the sneezing. The treatment will incorporate trial and error testing to eliminate potential allergens present in the environment. The vet will also prescribe anti-allergy medication to relieve persistent or constant sneezing.

Nasal Obstructions

Cat sneezing caused by nasal obstructions occurs when a foreign object becomes lodged in the nasal passage and causes irritation, inflammation and difficulty breathing. In order to attain a proper diagnosis the vet will conduct a physical examination and look for other signs such as nasal discharge, coughing or a swollen face. An X-ray may be necessary to determine changes in the upper respiratory tract. Foreign objects are generally removed by performing tracheoscopy or surgery. Antibiotic medication is also necessary to prevent the formation of secondary bacterial infections.

Dental Problems

Tooth problems can affect the cat’s nasal passage and cause persistent sneezing. The sneezing is usually accompanied by swelling of the gums, redness and loss of appetite or gingivitis. The treatment involves a dental check and surgery or teeth cleaning procedures that cure the infection. Pet owners should also conduct routine dental examinations and follow up with oral hygiene procedures.

Commercially Available Medication for Cat Sneezing

  • Clemastine Antihistamine
  • Homeo Pet Nose Relief
  • Chlorpheniramine
  • Ciprofloxacin

Pet owners should avoid the use of over the counter medication to treat sneezing as the vet will prescribe medication that’s suited to individual cat conditions. It’s important to read and follow package instructions before dosing pets. Cats should also be kept in a warm and comfortable environment to help them recuperate quickly.