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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22584
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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my cat keeps sneezing he seems fine in himself,it started around

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my cat keeps sneezing he seems fine in himself,it started around 36hours ago around the same time i have sprayed the house for with flea spray (the one you can only get for the vets i used a whole can over the whole house) he was not in the room when i was spraying
the fumes were strong i did have to open the windows after awhile.
may I also add he does go outside his breed is persian. Other than that he is eating well his eyes and nose are not running he seems to be alert. please can you give some advice
thank you
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Oilily's sneezing arising after you used the flea spray, it does make this the fumes the most likely suspect here. And it isn't uncommon to see cat's sensitive noses become irritated by strong chemical odors (even when they are at a low level that doesn't bother us). When this happens, we can see mild inflammation of the internal nasal tissue and even allergic type responses, both of which will lead to self-limiting sneezing.

In this situation, as long as he has no eye or nasal discharge (since we'd have to then consider that the spray is a red herring and he could have a brewing cat flu), you can address the allergy side of the exposure while trying to open up and flush his nasal passages to lower the irritation and thus sneezing.

To start, since he is sneezing, you can try taking him
in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen any material within the nose, help flush out any residual irritant and can help open up the nasal passages. Alternatively, 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.

Since we suspect an nasal mucosal irritant, he may benefit from the use of saline nasal drops (like Ocean Mist but not anything medicated). Cats don't particularly like having nasal drops but this can again flush out any irritant that is contining to cause his sneeze. To administer, you just need to tilt his 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 then repeat with the other nostril.

Finally in case his sneezing is being triggered by an allergic response to this irritating spray, you
can try him with an antihistamine. Typically in these cases we will use Piriton (which is available OTC). When we give this, we do use a small dose (ie 1-2 mg or a quarter to a half tablet of a 4mg Piriton tablet) up to twice daily. Do note that while anti-histamines will break the allergy cycle, it can make kitties drowsy. Therefore, we always keep the dose low and if he were to be drowsy on this, then we'd reduce the dose to once daily for him. And of course, this medication shouldn't be used if your kitty has any pre-existing conditions or are on any other medication you haven't noted without speaking to your vet.

Overall, Oilily's sneezing does seem to be linked to the use of this spray. Therefore, I would suggest continuing to clear the airspace (even if you cannot smell it anymore) to reduce any remaining chemical in the air. As well, you can try the above to flush out his nasal passages and reduce any allergy component here. If you do so and he doesn't settle in the next 24-48 hours or you start to see other signs (ie runny nose or eyes, snoring, etc), then we'd want to follow up with his vet for a check-up. If they confirm these suspicions, then a strong anti-inflammatory can be administered by injection to stop the allergic/inflammatory response. They can also rule out other causes (in case the spray is a coincidence) and address those if need be.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your advice Dr. B I have a small bathroom which gets very steamy when the extractor fan is off Oilily often sits in the bath room with me while I am taking a bath. So i will draw a bath now leave the fan off so it gets really steamy I hope it will help as at the back of my mind i was also thinking of the dreaded cat flu. I will keep an eye on him if he does not improve i will take him to the vets

thank you

You are very welcome Sharon.

That sounds like the perfect set-up and a good plan for Oilily. Hopefully, we will just see this settle with our supportive care and not see an appearance from any of the nasty flu viruses.

All the best,
Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

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