Cats don’t tend to sneeze all that often. While sneezing could be caused by dust or other debris that tickled their noses, sneezing could be caused by a cat cold or upper respiratory infection (URI). Because URIs are caused by a virus, like human colds, it should generally be allowed to run its course. However, to relieve symptoms such as sneezing and a runny nose, there are a several herbal remedies you can provide to your cat.
If after sneezing, the discharge from your cat’s nose is clear and watery, it most likely has a common cat cold. While waiting to let the virus run its course, you can give the cat some homeopathic and/or herbal remedies to relieve its sneezing and generally make it more comfortable. Herbal supplements also have the added benefit of boosting the cat’s immune systems so that should be less frequent. As with any medication, consult your veterinarian or herbalist before giving these to your cat.
Licorice root is an effective herbal remedy for cat colds. Licorice root acts as a natural cortisone, which helps the respiratory systems by soothing mucus membranes. Less mucus means less sneezing. This root can also soothe itchy kitties and improve the endocrine and digestive systems. Licorice roots also have anti-inflammatory properties, making it very useful in treating arthritic cats.
Elderberry is a shrubby tree that produces white flowers. These flowers contain high amounts of vitamin A, B and C, as well as other antiviral properties. It has been found to be effective in treating cold symptoms like runny noses and sneezing. Make a tea with the elderberry flowers by steeping 3 to 5 grams of dried elderberry flowers with 1 cup of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. Allow the tea to cool before feeding to your cat. Do not let your cat eat the raw leaves and stems as they are considered slightly toxic.
Rather than using fresh herbs, pet owners can buy biochemical tablets that contain calcium sulphide, mullein leaves and elder flowers. These can be safely given to cats to relieve them of cold symptoms. These come in tablet form such as Respo-K (see Resources).
Another Cold Remedy
Also useful remedy for relieving cold symptoms, like sneezing, are vitamin C tablets. Give the cat a quarter of a vitamin C tablet once a day for four days. You can either have the cat eat the tablet solid or you can dilute it with a half a teaspoon of water. Place the solution in a syringe (without a needle) and administer as close to the back of the mouth as possible for easy swallowing. The same goes for the dry pill method. Make sure to have fresh water nearby as vitamin C can leave a bad taste in the cat’s mouth.