Cat sneezing

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from sunflo6179. Show sunflo6179's posts

    Cat sneezing

    I adopted a 2 1/2 year old female cat from a shelter in November who has recently started sneezing a lot.  I have not brought any new cleaning products into the house but there was a gas leak in my street this week.  Her sneezing started on Wednesday when there were National Grid employees in and out my cellar for two days but she wasn't around them.  She is still sneezing, should I be worried? 

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

     I think you should get her checked out, if you have other cats it could be contagious, she may need some antibiotics for a few days to get over it. 

    Hopefully it's just some irritation from the dust in the basement or something (although it should clear up by now) but cats can get some weird infections.    

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

    Why Cats Sneeze   

    An occasional sneeze in a cat is normal and no real cause for alarm. Just as in humans, sneezing in cats is an explosive release of air through the nose and mouth - often the body’s response to irritants in the nasal passages. Sometimes excitement or movement can bring on sneezing in cats. But if your cat’s sneezing won’t go away or if other symptoms have cropped up along with sneezing, you may need to check in with your veterinarian to see if treatment is needed.

    Causes of Sneezing

    If your cat is sneezing a lot, your veterinarian may initially suspect a cause based on a review of your cat’s symptoms. In some cases, the vet may take a culture from the mouth, throat, eyes, or nose and send it to a lab to confirm an infection, one of the main causes of sneezing. Inhaled irritants or allergens are two other common causes of sneezing in cats.

    Viral, bacterial, or fungal infections. If you’ve got a sneezing cat, chances are good the cat has an upper respiratory infection. Similar to colds in humans, these infections are more common in young cats, especially in those coming from animal shelters. Many of these infections can be prevented with early vaccinations.

    Viral infections that most commonly cause sneezing in cats are:

    • Feline herpesvirus. Cats catch herpes from exposure to other cats who are infected. Stress can also cause a flare-up as well as transmission to other cats. However, treatment usually can help a cat recover.
    • Feline calcivirus. Thisvirus tends to attackthe mouth and deep tissues of the lungs. Although it usually causes mild symptoms; it can causepneumonia.

    These infections may make your cat more likely to develop other respiratory problems that can exacerbate sneezing. For example, a cat with herpes may also develop a secondary bacterial infection. These are often treatable withantibiotics.

    A wide range of other infections may also lead to sneezing. They include:

    • Feline infectious peritonitis, which may cause no symptoms, mild symptoms, or more severe symptoms over time
    • Feline Immunodeficiency virus (FIV), which develops slowly but severely impacts a cat’s immune system, making them susceptible to other infections
    • Feline leukemia, a serious and often fatal infection
    • Chlamydia, which produces an eye infection (conjunctivitis)
    • Bordetella
    • Mycoplasma

    Inhaled irritants or allergens. If your cat only sneezes once in a while, something may simply be irritating the nasal passages. Look for patterns in your cat’s sneezing. Does it occur after you’ve lit the candles at the dinner table? After your cat leaves the litter box? After you’ve cleaned the house?

    These are all examples of potential irritants or allergens (substances that cause allergic reactions) in cats:

    • Cigarette smoke
    • Perfume
    • Pest sprays
    • Cat litter, especially types that create dust
    • Cleaning agents
    • Candles
    • Dust
    • Pollen
    • Mold
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

    Causes of Sneezing continued...

    In cats, allergies are a less common cause of sneezing than in humans. If sneezing is related to allergies, sometimes itchy skin is also present.

    Other potential causes of sneezing. A variety of other factors may contribute to sneezing in cats. For example, it’s common for cats to experience sneezing within four to seven days of receiving an intranasal vaccine. This sneezing lasts for no more than several days. Cats may also sneeze to try to dislodge a blockage in their nasal passages. An infection or inflammation of a tooth root may cause drainage into the sinuses; this may also cause sneezing. In very rare cases, sneezing in cats can be a sign of cancer.

    Sneezing and Other Symptoms

    Symptoms that may accompany sneezing in cats may be the result of a wide range of infections and other problems. These symptoms may include:

    • Eye discharge, swelling, or ulcers
    • Excessive nasal discharge, sometimes yellow or green in color (a sign of a bacterial infection)
    • Fatigue or depression
    • Fever
    • Drooling
    • Decreased appetite or weight loss
    • Enlarged lymph nodes
    • Wheezing or coughing
    • Poor coat condition
    • Trouble breathing
    • Diarrhea

    When to See the Vet

    If your cat sneezes only once in a while, has no other symptoms, or has only mild symptoms, you may want to simply monitor your cat for a few days. Keep your cat indoors and watch for changes. But be sure to call the vet if your cat sneezes continuously or often, sneezes blood, or has other signs such as those listed above. They may be signs of an illness or condition that needs veterinary care.

    Treatment depends on the cause of the sneezing. In mild cases, the vet may suggest taking steps to simply help your cat be more comfortable such as using a humidifier. In other cases, antibiotics, nasal decongestants, or fluids may also be needed. Rarely, cats that don’t respond to medical therapy may require surgery.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from sunflo6179. Show sunflo6179's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

    Thank you for the information.  I will take her to the vet.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

    Did they leave the door open while they were going in and out allowing cellar air into the house?   Is the cellar damp/musty?  If so, she might be sensitive to the temporary increase in mold in the house.

    I think shelter cats are vaccinated against most illnesses that cause sneezing, and it's a significant conincidence, I think, that it started when the NG guys were going in and out of the cellar.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

     That would explain one day but not a few days, sneezing (cat) should always be taken seriously.

    Some shelters put cats that are sneezing down immediately due to the highly contagious nature of these infections.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

    Well, I know a lot more about dogs than cats, for sure.  But, once tissues are inflamed from an allergy they can stay that way for a few days especially if the mold is still in the air.  It's winter so we don't air out our homes as often as we should.  I'm not saying it's nothing to worry about, but I'd give the house a good airing out and see what happens in the next day or so.
     
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    Re: Cat sneezing

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  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

    That's really sad.  Shelters can't take risks like that.  It's like the daycares that have the "if your kid vomits they go home" rule to protect the other kids from stomach viruses.  I had a friend who spent all her vacation on that rule when her kid was teething and making herself gag and throw up.  Just because they knew she wasn't sick or contagious didn't mean the daycare could bend the rules.

    It's up the OP; presumably she came here for different viewpoints.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

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  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

    There's no guarantee AV's will pick this one.  In the meantime she can collect opinions and do what she feels is best with them.
     
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    Re: Cat sneezing

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  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from miscricket. Show miscricket's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

    To the OP..how is your cat behaving otherwise? Besides the sneezing..any discharge? If your cat is otherwise healthy and acting fine and showing no other sypmtoms,  I would give it a little more time..and follow Kar's suggestion of airing out the house.
    It could also be a cleaning product irritating her as well. A few years ago, I accidentally left the bathroom door open while I was cleaning the tub/shower( with Tylex at the time). My younger cat came in and started sniffing before I noticed her. She sneezed for days after that..no doubt the fumes irritated her nasal passages.

    Also I would just like to add that I volunteered for years at a local animal shelter and a friend of mine is the director at one. In neither of those shelters would a cat, absent any others symptoms, have been put down for the sole reason it was sneezing! I would love to know the name of the shelter that Doglady is referring to.
     
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    Re: Cat sneezing

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  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from toytrumpet. Show toytrumpet's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

    Having had cats all my life, I'll throw in my 2 cents worth.  Anything can irritate a cat's nose, even inadvertantly sniffing up some of their own fur.  Sometimes it's just a tickle that gets up in there and they sneeze trying to get it out.  I wouldn't be concerned and run to the vet just yet, especially if there is no discharge from her nose or eyes.  Shelter cats do sometimes come with a respiratory infection, but it would have been apparent from the beginning, not waited 2 months to make its appearance.

    As for the gas guys fixing a leak, they use a salve like solution around joints on pipes, and that might have temporarily irritated her membrances.  How is she doing this morning?  If you are really worried about it, which I guess you are or you wouldn't be asking for opinions, call your vet and tell him what you told us.  He probably will tell you to bring her in, that's why I'd adopt a wait and see attitude.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

    In Response to Re: Cat sneezing:

    Thank you for the information.  I will take her to the vet.
    Posted by sunflo6179



    You're welcome!  Hope it's something minor and we were able to help.  Again best wishes to you and your pet.
     

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

    Remember that shelters do not have vets on staff 24/7 - I volunteered at one that had a twice weekly visit from a vet who also did weekly spay/neuters.  If there was an emergency or a really sick cat the shelter called the vet in, but that vet also worked in private practice.  And while everyone who worked there, both employees and volunteers, loved animals, not all of them knew everything and sometimes I guess they could make a decision based on bad information, or 'assuming' something.... like 'if a cat sneezes we must put it down' because it is contagious.  But in my experience that didn't happen.

    YES, we'd have colds go through the shelter, and that was a HUGE problem in the cat room because when a cat can't smell its food because it has a cold, it won't eat and a cat who doesn't eat gets a really dangerous condition called 'fatty liver disease' (feline hepatic lipidosis).  And that's worse than the cold... the not eating. 

    And sometimes we had to euthanize a cat because it was too sick, but it was never done lightly or without lots of thought. 

    But just because a cat sneezes once or twice?  Not necessarily a cold... but if a cat has runny eyes, runny nose, looks like it feels sick, is hiding or sleeping somewhere that isn't normal (like under the bed or hiding in a closet) then the cat probably doesn't feel well and has a cold or something else.  And then you go to the vet.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from sunflo6179. Show sunflo6179's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

    Thank you for your responses, she stopped sneezing Sunday.  She didn't have runny eyes or nose and was her usual self.  If she starts again I will definately call the vet.  I think it might have been something with the gas leak, tonight a National Grid guy came in to check and she ran away, I think she is also tired of seeing them come in and out of the house.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from toytrumpet. Show toytrumpet's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

    Glad to hear the kitty's sneezing has stopped.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

    Great news!  Thanks for remembering our concern and updating us.  Welcome to the Pets community. :) 
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from AngellVet. Show AngellVet's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

    Hi Everyone,

    Wonderful information that you've shared about dog sneezing.  As you may know now after reading through some of the other posts, It is not uncommon for shelter cats to have recurrent upper respiratory infections. The vast majorities of these are viral and can resurface in stressful times.

    Fortunately upper respiratory infections can be treated with antiobotics and most of these cats do perfectly well once they're out of the shelter environment.  It's one of the top reasons why we try to have our cats in the MSPCA Adoption Center for the least amount of time -- and the team there works overtime to find them loving permanent homes. 

    Thanks for the wonderful discussion.

    Joel Kaye, DVM, Angell Animal Medical Center

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Cat sneezing

    Concerns about cat nothing to sneeze at
    By Dr. John De Jong / Ask the Vet | Sunday, April 1, 2012 | http://www.bostonherald.com | Lifestyle
    Photo

    Dear Dr. John,

    Can you help me solve a mystery with my cat before I take him in to be seen?

    He is 14 years old and has recently started to sneeze a lot. There has not been any discharge from either nostril and the problem has worsened in the last two weeks: The sneezes now have blood coming out and sometimes being sprayed around.

    Otherwise, he is acting normally, eating well and showing no signs of advancing age. I’m pretty sure that nothing has changed at home and there is not a lot of dust in the house or his litter box. Any thoughts? Could this be a serious issue? He never goes outside, so I don’t think any contagious issue could be at hand, but I am trying to avoid the expense of having him scoped.

    Thanks.

    — T.W.

    Dear T.W.,

    You need to take your cat to your veterinarian to have him evaluated and probably have his nose endoscoped or X-rayed.

    There are several possibilities for the nosebleeds, also known as epistaxis. Perhaps some foreign body like a splinter or plant material has become lodged in the nose. The fact that your cat is 14 also gives me reason to think that either a polyp is growing inside his nasal cavity or a tumor might be located farther up inside the nose. When a tumor is present, one often finds facial swelling between the eyes but only when things build up and get larger.

    Sneezing, in and of itself, is usually caused when something is irritating the nasal cavity and the body is trying to expel it. It is a natural defense mechanism. The longer you delay might make things harder to correct if they can be fixed.

    Have it checked out soon, and good luck.

    John de Jong, D.V.M., is the owner/operator of Boston Mobile Veterinary Clinic and CEO/director at Boston Animal Hospital.

     
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