Nasal Allergies in Cats

Cats often fall prey to nasal allergies that cause periodic bouts of sneezing along with nasal discharge. Felines are more sensitive than dogs and they often develop adverse reactions to allergens that are present in the environment. This type of allergy is known as inhalant allergy. Since nasal allergy can cause your pet a lot of discomfort, it’s important to find out the cause of the allergy.

Common Allergens

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Deodorants
  • Household chemicals
  • Sprays 

Nasal Allergies in Cats

Nasal allergies can cause conditions like rhinitis. Although rhinitis can occur when cats suffer from nasal tumors, fungal and bacterial infections, allergens are also known to trigger rhinitis in cats.

Pet suffering from rhinitis associated with allergens show signs of:

  • sneezing
  • nasal and eye discharge
  • lack of appetite
  • bad breath

The pet has to be diagnosed and treated in time because chronic inflammation of the pet’s nasal passage can lead to lymphoplasmacytic rhinitis.

Diagnosis of Nasal Allergies in Cats

The vet will make note of the cat’s medical history and perform a thorough physical examination. Few tests such as a complete blood count test, urine analysis and a bio chemical profile test will have to be conducted. This will reveal if the pet is suffering from any underlying condition. The vet will also perform an X-ray of the cat’s nasal passage, and the cat's head, to determine the severity of the condition.

Rhinoscopy and biopsy are only performed when rhinitis is suspected. Pet owners will have to work with the vet to find out the cause of the allergy if all other tests are normal. Although this is a trial and error method you will have to eliminate potential allergens from the pet’s environment, to identify the actual cause. Cats in particular are sensitive to cigarette smoke, so make sure that the pet is kept in a smoke free atmosphere.

Treatment of Cat Nasal Allergies

If the nasal allergy is severe, the vet will prescribe certain steroids that should be administered exactly according to vet instructions. Steroids are used as a short-term cure since they’re known to have several side effects. The pet will also be given certain anti-histamine drugs to lower the amount of histamine present in the body.

Apart from this, the main treatment option is to remove known allergens from the cat’s environment. If you’re taking your cat out on a walk, check the pollen levels in your area and preferably walk the pet when there isn’t too much traffic outdoors. The smoke and exhaust emitted by vehicles is also known to trigger allergic reactions in pets. If the cat experiences nasal and ocular discharge, wipe the nose and the eyes periodically with a soft and clean towel. Discard used towels after each use and preferably wear gloves when caring for your pet.

If the vet prescribes any nasal sprays or drops, read and follow instructions on the package and administer all other medication on time.

Nasal allergies can irritate the nasal passage and cause other conditions. It’s thus important to seek vet help at the earliest and do all you can to treat the condition when it’s still in the advanced stage.