There are several reasons why your cat coughs and sneezes. Pollen, cigarette smoke, strong household chemicals, pesticides and dust can all cause coughing and sneezing in your animal, as can certain medical conditions, such as upper respiratory disease, asthma and heartworm. Fortunately, there are several effective home remedies that you can administer to your cat to ease her discomfort.
Upper Respiratory Disease
The rhinotraceitis virus is the most common cause of upper respiratory disease in cats and kittens. If your cat is infected, she may develop a fever, cough, sneeze and grow listless; fluid intake is crucial to prevent dehydration. Believe it or not, lots of rest in a quiet location and simple chicken soup are excellent treatments for this condition. The soup can be administered by eye dropper if your cat will not take food on her own, and its flavour may stimulate her appetite. Vaporisers and steam will ease her congestion.
Allergies also cause coughing and sneezing in cats. They are just as sensitive as humans to air pollutants and pollen. Some simple steps you can take to ease your cat's discomfort are to eliminate the sources of indoor air pollution, such as cigarette smoke, strong household chemicals and dust. If you must smoke, do so outdoors, use all-natural cleaning products and clean your house regularly. Airborne pollens are not so easy to remove from the air we breathe. Keep your windows closed during times when pollen is high and administer a simple saline spray three times a day to cleanse your cat's nostrils of any embedded irritants.
Feline asthma is a chronic condition that unfortunately cannot be cured completely, but lifestyle changes can go a long way in easing the associated coughing and sneezing. As with allergy sufferers, eliminating cigarette smoke and even fireplace smoke helps tremendously. Keep windows closed during pollen season, clean your home with all-natural products, and run a humidifier during the winter heating and summer air conditioning seasons. Keep strongly scented litter and personal care products such as perfumes and hair sprays well out of your cat's way. These, too, can trigger a respiratory reaction. Some veterinarians have been recommending that parents of asthmatic cats keep a human inhaler on hand in case of an attack, as inhalers have been found to be extremely effective in cats. Holding your cat in a steam-filled bathroom for several minutes to open up bronchial passageways or setting up a vaporiser can help as well.
Although cats are less likely than dogs to develop heartworm, infection does occur, particularly in areas with a high mosquito infestation. The heartworm parasite is transmitted through mosquito bite and generally lives in the right side of the heart and arteries of the lungs, causing heart failure, blocked arteries and breathing difficulties. To prevent your cat from contracting heartworm, help her maintain a strong immune system with a natural, well-balanced diet free from additives and preservatives and include fresh, raw foods and yeast and garlic to repel mosquitoes. Keep her indoors during late afternoons and evenings, which are the times of greatest mosquito activity and use natural insect repellents such as citronella oil and water. Herbs such as wormwood and cloves help to promote cleansing and to repel parasites. However, it is best to consult with a veterinarian before beginning any type of treatment.
Lifestyle changes can do a lot to relieve or even eliminate the cause of your cat's respiratory difficulties. However, it is vitally important to consult your veterinarian to confirm the cause of her chronic cough or sneeze.