Sneezing and Watery Eyes in Cats

Sneezing and watery eyes are 2 symptoms that are frequently met in cats suffering from allergic reactions. However, these symptoms may also be caused by other medical conditions. A thorough diagnosis procedure pinpointing the exact cause will help establishing the exact type of treatment the cat requires.

Causes of Sneezing and Watery Eyes

The most common cause of sneezing and watery eyes in felines is an allergic reaction, which can be due to a number of irritants that are present in the environment. Dust mites, pollens, grasses or chemicals are just a few possible allergens. It’s important to know that food allergies won’t cause sneezing and watery eyes. Only contact allergies and inhalant allergies will give these symptoms.

Other possible causes of sneezing and watery eyes may include:

  • Infections of the upper respiratory tract, which may be caused by a number of viruses, including the Parainfluenza, the adenovirus or Bordetella. Fungal and bacterial infections may also cause these symptoms
  • An eye infection
  • Advanced dental abscesses, which typically cause sneezing and in rare cases ocular discharges
  • The ingestion of an object that remains stuck in the nasal passages

Additional Symptoms with Watery Eyes

There may be additional symptoms in your cat, depending on what causes the sneezing and the watery eyes. Watch out for symptoms such as:

  • Nasal discharges, may point to allergies or respiratory infections
  • Wheezing and difficult breathing, which may be caused by infections or even allergic reactions
  • Coughing, specific for a respiratory infection
  • Dermatitis, indicative of contact allergies
  • Red eyes, if the cat has an eye infection
  • An abscessed tooth or puss accumulation under the gum line
  • Bad breath, indicative of a dental problem

The cat may not have other symptoms, but he will need to be diagnosed in order to be able to receive suitable treatment.

Diagnosing the Watery Cat Eyes

The diagnosis of the cat will consist of a full examination and some tests:

  • Blood tests, which can indicate if there is an infection in the cat’s body
  • Radiographs can help identify any foreign objects stuck in the cat’s system and may also be needed if the cat has an infection, to determine if the lungs are affected in any way

Watery Eyes Treatment Options

The treatment will be established once the vet has a clear diagnosis. The treatment may consist of:

  • Antibiotics, for respiratory tract infections; the cat will have to be kept in a warm and comfortable environment.
  • Antihistamines, steroids or topical treatment for allergic reactions; if possible the cat should receive allergy shots, which will diminish his allergic reactions in time. Shampoos and alternative treatment options are also available.
  • Removal of a foreign object
  • Extraction of the abscessed tooth, but prior to this, an antibiotic treatment is needed
  • Eye drops and ointments, if the vet finds that the cat has an ocular infection.

The length of treatment will depend and you should check back with your vet for a follow up examination.