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Types of Decongestant for Felines

Updated November 21, 2016

Cats can suffer from bacterial infections and viral infections that cause congestion in the sinuses. This can cause pain and discomfort for the cat and because they cannot simply blow their nose, cats may need some help in the form of a decongestant. There are a few different decongestant options to choose from, with some cats responding better to some than others.

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Chlortrimeton is an over-the-counter decongestant tablet that is sold for human consumption but can be used safely in cats. Before you give the medication to your cat, be sure it is not mixed with other medications. Before treating your cat, check with the vet for a recommended dosage, although kittens can take ¼ tablet twice a day. Kittens who are 9 weeks old to 4 months old can take 1/3 tablet, and the average adult cat can take up to ½ a pill twice a day. The treatment should not exceed three to four days.


Benadryl is another decongestant safe for use in cats, although it is usually not as effective as chlortrimeton in treating congestion. Benadryl is generally more beneficial with treating snake bites, reactions to vaccinations, itching, and insect bites. If you want to attempt to treat with benadryl you can buy it over the counter and it should not be combined with any other medications in capsule or pill form. Cats can take 10mg every eight hours.

Nasal Spray

Nasal spray is another decongestant option for your cat. Buy plain saline nasal spray and treat your cat every six to eight hours. This will help to naturally open up the sinuses and can be used on conjunction with other decongestants such as chlortrimeton or benadryl. Nasal spray is often very effective in treating congestion in cats and most will not fight the nasal spray as hard as they will fight the tablet going down their throat.


Steam or moist air can help to relieve congestion naturally. You can provide steam to your cat in a couple of different ways. The most convenient method is to plug a vaporiser in and ensure that they are breathing in that moist air. If you don't have a vaporiser, you can bring the cat in the bathroom with you while you take a shower. You can shower and the cat will benefit from the steam in the room.

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