Cats can suffer from bacterial infections and viral infections or allergic reactions that cause congestion in the sinuses. This can lead to pain and discomfort for cats because they cannot simply blow their nose. To give your cat some relief, she may need a decongestant. There are a few different decongestant options from which to choose, with certain cats responding better to some than others. Many are even available over the counter, but your veterinarian will instruct you on how to use them.
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Chlortrimeton for cat allergies
Chlortrimeton, also known as chlorpheniramine maleate, is an over-the-counter decongestant tablet that is sold for human consumption but can be used safely by cats. This medication is primarily used for allergic reactions in cats, including congestion, runny nose, and skin conditions.
Prior to giving any medication to your cat, check with the vet for a recommended dosage based on your cat's size, age, and condition. Note that using this medication for cats is considered an "off label" use of this drug, and the directions for humans won't apply to your cat. After taking this medicine, your cat may get a little sleepy.
Benadryl decongestant for cats
Benadryl, also known as diphenhydramine, is another decongestant safe for use by cats that helps control allergies. Children's Benadryl in liquid form is typically recommended for cats because it's less potent than the adult formula, and it's easier to get a more accurate dose for a cat's small size. Typically, cats don't like taking Benadryl, and chlortrimeton may be recommended by your vet to treat your cat's stuffy nose.
If you want to attempt to treat your cat with children's Benadryl, you can buy it over the counter, and it should not be combined with any other medications in capsule or pill form. Cats who are around 12 pounds can take 3/4 teaspoon every eight to 12 hours.
Feline decongestant nasal spray
For cats suffering from a variety of nasal issues that cause congestion, a nasal spray may help them breathe easier and is another decongestant option for your cat. Buy plain saline nasal spray and place a few drops of the spray in each of your cat's nostrils. You can do this up to two times daily.
The saline solution helps to loosen and thin the mucus trapped in your cat's airways. It also makes your cat sneeze, which helps to get this mucus out of his nasal passages.
Saline spray will help to naturally open up the sinuses and can be used in conjunction with other cat congestion medicine, such as chlortrimeton or Benadryl. Nasal spray is often very effective in treating congestion in cats, and most cats will not fight the nasal spray as hard as they will fight the tablet going down their throat.
Natural decongestant for cats
Steam or moist air can help to relieve congestion naturally. You can provide steam to your cat in a couple of different ways. The most convenient method is to plug in a vaporizer or nebulizer and ensure that they are breathing in that moist air.
If you don't have a vaporizer or nebulizer, you can bring the cat in the bathroom with you while you take a hot shower. You can enjoy a relaxing shower, and the cat will benefit from the steam in the room. Allow your cat to sit in the steam-filled room for at least 15 minutes per session and do this at least one to two times per day.
Cat decongestant cautions
While some human medications are safe for use in cats, many are not. Decongestants to avoid with cats include phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine, both of which are common ingredients in human over-the-counter medications. You'll typically find them in cold or allergy medications followed by a "D" in the name, including Allegra-D and Claritin-D. These ingredients can make your cat very sick and may even be fatal in some cases.