If your cat has been sneezing a lot lately, but your vet has ruled out infectious illnesses like feline distemper and upper respiratory infections, then chances are good that something in your cat's environment is causing the symptoms. Here's a look at three likely suspects, and how to eliminate each one, so that your cat can be more comfortable.
Chemicals from cleaning products
Many pets are sensitive to chemicals in cleaning products. If the sneezing started recently, ask yourself if you started using a new cleaning product recently. This could be anything from a laundry detergent to a bathroom cleaner. Ingredients like formaldehyde, phenols, alcohol, and ammonia are often to blame. If you can identify a new cleaner that you think could be a culprit, stop using that cleaner and see if the symptoms disappear.
In some cases, the symptoms may be caused by multiple cleaners, so eliminating one will do little good. A strategy to try in this case is to switch entirely to natural, pet-friendly cleaners. Baking soda and vinegar can be used for many household cleaning projects, such as scrubbing sinks, wiping down counters and floors, and cleaning windows. Castile soap is another all-purpose cleaner to try; it's made with olive oil and other natural ingredients, so it should not bother sensitive cats.
Dust and dust mites
It's not just humans that can have dust allergies – some cats are allergic to dust or dust mites, too! Close your cat in one room, so he or she is not exposed to the dust during the process, and then dust your entire home from top to bottom. Vacuum well, too, so you remove the dust from the carpet. When you let your cat out of the room, dust that room, too. Wash your cat's bed and any items he or she tends to sleep on, in case these are dust-laden and causing issues.
To keep dust levels down going forward, make sure you change the air filter on your furnace often; it traps dust. Also, vacuum and dust regularly, using pet-safe cleaners. Hopefully, you'll notice your cat's sneezing start to subside.
Perhaps pollen is making its way into your home and causing your cat to sneeze. Try eliminating pollen from your home by following these tips:
- Take your shoes off outside to avoid tracking in pollen.
- Keep the windows closed, especially when pollen counts are high.
- Leave any clothes that you wear when cutting the lawn or gardening outside.
- Change your furnace filter regularly to ensure it's catching as much pollen as possible.
If in spite of following these tips, your cat continues to sneeze, it may be time for a second visit to the vet. Often, antihistamine medications can be prescribed to keep allergy symptoms like sneezing at bay. To learn more, contact a business like Canine Center.