Sneezing Cat Treatment with L-Lysine

A sneezing cat can be treated with lysine for infectious type sneezing. Infectious type forms of upper respiratory infections are caused by bacteria and viruses that invade the body and cause illnesses. These types of infectious are contagious. Non-infectious sneezing is caused by household products, allergies, genetic nasal problems, abscessed teeth or foreign objects in the nose.

Infectious or Non-infectious

There are different symptoms for infectious and non-infectious respiratory problems.

Symptoms of infectious:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nasal discharge
  • Runny eyes
  • Facial swelling
  • Head shaking
  • Facial rubbing
  • Lethargy
  • Sneezing

Symptoms of non-infectious:

  • Nasal discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Runny eyes

Tests Will Determine Type

Diagnostic tests such as x-rays, blood tests, rhinoscopy (nasal exam), examination of the teeth, examination of the nasal passages, examination of nasal discharge and biopsies will determine whether the sneezing is caused by a virus, bacteria or non-infectious cause, such as allergies.

Medications can treat viral and bacterial infections but cannot treat non-infectious type sneezing. Only the elimination of the cause can stop non-infectious sneezing, such as the removal of allergens, household chemicals, cigarette smoke or foreign objects or the treatment of abscessed teeth.

Most of the time, cat owners dismiss sneezing as a sign of a cold or allergy. Cat sneezing due to allergens can be “cured” by removing the allergens whereas cats sneezing due to a cold must be treated with medications. During the “sneezing” phase, cats can transmit their cold to other cats by direct contact or indirect contact. Indirect contact means that a cat is infected by touching something that an infected cat had touched.

Contagious Virus

Herpes-1 is a contagious virus that is fairly common among cats in humane societies, animal shelters or large populations of cat, such as feral colonies. Unfortunately, the virus infects other cats before the source cat displays symptoms of any illness. Symptoms mimic the flu. Even a cat that does not display any symptoms can be a carrier for this disease, infecting other cats as he comes into contact with them. The virus can lie dormant for years inside a cat’s body.

Vaccinations for this virus are available with recommended 3-year booster shots to follow. Though it is not 100% effective in preventing the disease, it can reduce the severity of the symptoms and make it less likely to be transferred to other cats that a vaccinated cat may come into contact with. The use of antibiotics could be used to ward off any secondary bacterial infections that may be contracted due to the suppressed immune system.

L-Lysine is an amino acid that has been used to treat rhinotracheitis (herpes-1) by reducing the amount of another amino acid called arginine. Arginine is thought to be essential for the herpes virus to reproduce. By sprinkling 250 to 500 mg per day on canned cat food, lysine can keep the virus at bay. It can be purchased at health food stores. Herpes 1 can lie dormant in a cat’s body, undetected even by diagnostic tests, so some cat owner’s use L-Lysine indefinitely in their cat’s diet.