How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 22616
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now

Our cat (a rescue cat about 7 yrs old bought from the RSPCA)

This answer was rated:

Our cat (a rescue cat about 7 yrs old bought from the RSPCA) has constant non-stop sneezing fits that can go on for minutes at a time. The other day a string of mucus came from his nose as he sneezed and there was some blood with it. Today he started another sneezing fit and this time he kept batting at his nose and
finally let out a cry. He seemed his usual self afterwards and ate
his evening meal so I don't think he can be ill. Even so I am very
concerned about him and would value your opinion please.
Rosemary Cross

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has he had these signs?

What color was the mucus?

Was it from one or both nostrils?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Zellie has been with me for about four years and these sneezing fits began last winter. They were not very severe at first and I thought he had simply caught a cold. The sneezing continued at long intervals over about three days and then finally stopped. They resumed again about a month later. Apart from the blood mixed with it the mucus appeared to be a normal colour. Yes, it seemed to come from both nostrils.

Thank you, Rosemary.

Now I have to say that I am concerned to hear that Zellie's sneezing has been ongoing for such a length of time. To see it so protracted and now worsening does raise concerns of possible worsening of a primary issue but also the risk of a secondary infection on top of an underlying issue. Specifically, considering his age and the time frame he has had sneezing, we could have a low grade allergy but also a nasal polyp, fungal infection or even tumor of the nasal passage.

With all this in mind, if his nasal discharge is clear (the blood will just be from the sneezing irritating the lining of the nasal passage), then we can try supportive care to ease his signs. But if he doesn't settle or does develop any snotty nasal discharge (a sign of bacterial infection), then that would be our cue to have him checked by his vet.

Now in regards ***** ***** care options for your lad, there are a few steps you can take at home to relieve the sneezing and associated congestion (the reason we sneeze). To do so, you can take him in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen and clear some of the snot congesting him. You can also use a baby nebulizer, but often cats don’t like things held up to their faces. Therefore, we can often make little ‘steam tents’ with the kitty in their carrier, a humidifier, and a light bed sheet over both to make a little steam room for him.

If he sounds congested and is potentially building up mucus within his nostrils that the steam isn't shifting, use a cotton ball moistened with warm water to wipe away crust and mucus. You can also use saline nasal drops (like Ocean Mist or Little Noses) but not anything medicated. Tilt the head back and drop 2-3 drops in one nostril. Cats hate this, but it helps. After the drops go down, you can let the head up and wipe away any discharge that gets loosened. Then repeat with the other nostril.
As well, if you suspect that he could have an allergy to something in the environment, then you can consider a trial for a few days on an anti-histamine like Benadryl (Diphenhydramine). A low dose (ie. 0.25mg per pound of his body weight twice daily) can just be enough to resolve sneezing due to allergies for cats. We do like to keep the dose low in kitties, as they can have drowsiness with this medication (just like people). And of course, this medication shouldn't be used if your kitty has any pre-existing conditions or are on any other medication without speaking to your vet.

Overall, we need to tread with care here if Zellie's sneezing is worsening. The time frame makes colds less likely, so the above would be our concerns here. So, we can use the above as we monitor him. Though we'd want to consider moving his next booster appointment up if we can, so his vet can check him to rule out those more serious concerns or address any they may find present.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Dr. B. and 3 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dr B was very clear in her answer and I found it very helpful and reassuring. I shall now take Zellie to our vet and tell him what Dr B's opinion was, and which of the alternative causes she gave he thinks it is.With thanks, *****