Cat Sneezing and Vomiting

I have a double problem... My long haired Calico, 4-year-old rescue, has always had a sneeze. She goes into fits where I think she might pass out from lack of breath.

The other problem is that she vomits especially when I feed her canned food. She will eat whatever I give her and then compulsive groom and puke, in around an hours time, and there are piles of dry regurgitated food throughout the house.

Any advice?

Thank you for writing in with your concern for your cat.

Considering that your cat has had a sneezing problem for 4 years, it seems most likely that your cat has herpes virus. This is one of the most common causes of chronic sneezing in cats. She most likely contracted the virus as a kitten. Similar to herpes in people, this virus can have occasional flare-ups. Fortunately, it is not contagious to people and will not cause her any great harm.

There is also a possibility that your cat is sneezing in reaction to an environmental trigger such as dust. Again, this will not cause her any great harm.

If, however, the sneezing causes any kind of discharge from her nose, she may have an upper respiratory infection and should be seen by a veterinarian. Also, if the sneezing causes congestion that affects her appetite, since cats eat primarily in response to the smell of their food, a treatment regime may need to be established by a vet.

As for the vomiting, you may want to try avoiding canned food altogether, as she is likely eating it too quickly causing the regurgitation. The other option would be to offer smaller amounts of canned food at a time and/or spread it out widely across a flat plate to slow her down. You could also elevate her food bowl using an elevated cat feeder to allow her to eat while holding her head in a more natural position.

Kindest regards,
Dr. Neely

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