Sneezing Kitten

by Worried MOM

I adopted my kitten five days ago from a local animal shelter. He is about 3 and 1/2 months old. For the first three days I kept him in my room and kept him pretty calm because he had been neutered the day before I got him. I didn't want to give him any shock of a whole new house considering he was cooped up in a 3 foot cage. I figured my room was big enough and scary enough alone.

However, Tuesday we let him out to the main part of the house, I had told my family to keep him in only 3-4 rooms (as I said i didn't want to shock his body). However, even after the simple cares of being overprotected, he sneezes probably 20 times a day (all of which either have no discharge or a clear discharge (light spray)).

He does not have a hard time breathing but he does look like he's trying to hack up a hair ball. Whenever, I am around he sleeps on me. So to me he seems lethargic but my mother and little sister says he plays and sleeps.

He is eating a lot and going to the bathroom regularly. I recently started giving him a little home made chicken broth (no onions and less sodium). But I am a little worried it could get worse. Even though I keep reading he should get better in a few weeks. I hope you can help doctor.

Hi, Worried Mom,

You are being a good Mom to observe your new kitten so closely and to question the sneezing and actions.

It is not at all uncommon for a kitten or cat that has just come from a shelter to be sneezing. It can be caused by exposure to other cats in the shelter who may have had an upper respiratory infection which he picked up. It could also be from a type of vaccination they may give at the shelter which is called an intranasal vaccine - it is administered directly into the nose and can result in the kitty sneezing for a few days or weeks after the vaccine.

As long as there is no discharge or the discharge is completely clear and he is eating and playing and using the litter box fine, you probably have no worries. If any of those things change, I would have him seen by a veterinarian right away.

Thank you for writing. Congratulations on being a "new Mommy". You're off to a good start!

Dr. Neely

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