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Effective Home Remedies for Sneezing Cats

By Dr. Andrew Jones

Is your cat incessantly sneezing and you don’t know what to do? Keep reading! I’ll list down five home remedies you can use that can quickly and easily help your precious furball.

If your cat is constantly sneezing, then she likely has an upper respiratory tract infection. This disease may be caused by one or more viruses such as Feline Herpes Virus and Feline Calicivirus. Cat flu, as it is generally called, has similar symptoms to a common cold in humans. To find out if your cat has cat flu, here are the tell-tale signs:

1.    Sneezing

2.    Mucus discharge in the end of their nose or plugged up nostrils

3.    Weeping eyes with discharge in the corner of both of their eyes

4.    The conjunctiva (the red tissue around the eye) is swollen or a little red

Cat Flu Symptoms

One of the first things you have to consider when dealing with a cat that is sneezing is to try to decrease the congestion and inflammation by adding humidity. You can do this by steaming up your bathroom and bring in your cat. Another option is by using a humidifier would provide additional moisture. You can use warm water or add a couple different essential oils. The one I prefer is lavender oil because of its decongestant properties. I usually add 5 to 10 drops of lavender essential oil and let that diffuse throughout the day in a mid-sized room.

Second remedy is probably the most common and you may have probably already used it. Just 1 to 2 drops of topical cold and allergy decongestant, given 3 to 4 times a day would be enough. Topical decongestant is not meant to be used long-term and maximum use should only be for three to five days. I prefer to use pediatric Otrivin but you may also opt for a generic brand.

The third remedy deals with the virus itself. Elderberry juice concentrate is a natural anti-viral product safe for your cat. Elderberry decreases the severity and shortens the duration of the flu. You can make your own elderberry juice concentrate at home but make sure to get rid of the seeds as they contain arsenic. Another option is you can also purchase a product called Sambu Guard. You may give your cat 1 teaspoon of elderberry juice concentrate, 3-4 times a day for 3 to 5 days. If you need to give it long-term, twice a day – that would also be fine since it’s a great source of vitamin C.

Fourth option is a staple kitchen item. Honey is primarily anti-bacterial but it has anti-viral properties. I usually give half a teaspoon of honey twice a day. For best results, combine the 1 teaspoon elderberry juice along with half a teaspoon of honey.

Lastly, for cats having recurrent upper respiratory tract infection, L-Lysine is proven to be very helpful. L-Lysine is an amino acid and shown to be a potent anti-viral. Just 100mg per cat, twice a day is the ideal dose. L-Lysine usually comes in tablet form, so you’ll have to crush it and put it in the cat food. Another option is NSL, which is a lysine paste and easier to feed to your cat. Our cat supplement, Dr. Jones’ Ultimate Feline Health Formula, is also a great source of L-Lysine. This remedy does not necessarily give an instant relief – like your cat’s going to stop sneezing the next day after taking it. These viruses may live within a nerve called the trigeminal nerve and can stay dormant then come out in times of stress. If your poor cat has recurring episodes of cat flu, you may want to give L-Lysine 8-12 weeks to ultimately eliminate the virus from your cat.


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Topics: Pet health | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Effective Home Remedies for Sneezing Cats”

  1. Avatar Catherine Humphrey Says:
    November 3rd, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Hi Dr. Jones,
    I have a cat that sneezes a lot but has none of the other symptoms. She is semi feral and I can not hold her at this time so do you think it could be allergies and would a humidifier help? Any help would be appreciated! Thank you for all of the information I have gotten from you!

  2. Avatar ME Jones Says:
    January 6th, 2021 at 11:56 am

    Hi Dr Jones,
    Our cat has daily sneezing episodes with discharge from the nose which plugs up the nostrils a bit. None of the other symptoms. She is 12 years old and has been having these episodes for a few years, otherwise healthy.
    Thank You

  3. Avatar Connie Says:
    February 2nd, 2021 at 10:08 am

    That could be a mild URI. You may try using any of the remedies in the article.

  4. Avatar Steve Parry Says:
    January 24th, 2021 at 7:17 am

    It would have been very helpful if you would have included dosing instructions. Example, “1-2 drops of topical cold and allergy decongestant, given 3 to 4 times a day would be enough.” Where are these drops to be placed? Also, exactly how do you recommend getting a teaspoon or a half teaspoon of something like elderberry juice concentrate or honey into a cat’s mouth? My one cat who is sneezing a lot is a picky eater even when it comes to his species-appropriate raw food diet. I think I would have to sedate him to get either of these remedies into his mouth! I question the feasibility of using some of these on at least my cats.


Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM