Allergic Rhinitis (Nasal Allergies) In Cats

Nasal allergies are characterized when a cat displays periodic bouts of sneezing that last for a short period of time and tend to recur from day to day. The cat will usually have a clear watery discharge from her nose. Most cases of nasal allergies are caused by the cat coming in contact with environmental allergens and irritants, so it makes sense to look for causes of the irritation. Common causes are dust, pollen, and cigarette smoke. Nasal irritation could also be caused by the use of a new laundry detergent, a new carpet cleaner, deodorant or spray. Most veterinary experts believe true nasal allergies to be uncommon and feel that most cases that are thought to be allergies are actually a reaction to an irritant.

Nasal Allergies Treatment: If at all possible, remove the source of irritation. If removing the source of irritation simply is not possible, medications that contain steroids and antihistamines work well for this type of rhinitis. Medications that contain a steroid should never be given to your cat without first consulting with your veterinarian. Antihistamines which may be helpful are cyproheptadine or chlorpheniramine. Your veterinarian may also suggest anti-inflammatory eyedrops which can be applied intranasally.

A fairly common condition in cats, lymphoplasmacytic rhinitis (an influx of lymphocytes into the nasal tissues) is caused by chronic inflammation. To control this condition, systemic anti-inflammatory medications, such as corticosteroids or meloxicam may be needed. These chronic inflammatory conditions may contribute to nasal lymphoma, the most common form of nasal cancer seen in cats.

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