Why Is My Cat Sneezing?

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Why Is My Cat Sneezing?

Are you worried that your cat is sneezing an unhealthy amount of times? Read on to know why.

Before you jump on to a conclusion, acknowledge that sneezing is a normal reflex in humans and animals. It is a volatile release of air through the mouth and nose and can be deemed as the body’s response to certain irritations caused in the nasal passageway. In cats, on the other hand, a sneeze can be caused due to excitement or excessive movement.

However, if you notice an immoderate amount of sneezes being released in your cat, you might want to consult a vet or be concerned because it’s not a good sign.

Possible Causes of Sneezing

Excessive sneezing can indicate harm in your cats; one of the major causes of sneezing can be an infection. In this case, a vet takes swab samples to test in the lab from your cat’s mouth, nose, and eyes. In other cases, infections may not be the vital cause of sneezing; but other irritants and allergens like virals, bacteria, fungi may encourage the uneasy and itchy feeling.

In young cats, colds are also common, similar to humans. A cold can be described as an upper respiratory infection that early vaccinations can prevent, and this is more likely to affect felines adopted from a shelter.

Kitten in garden with open mouth

Primary infections having the potential to cause sneezing are:

Herpes Virus

This is a virus that a cat catches from fellow felines. Although they are not contagious to humans, they can be harmful to cats; therefore, these symptoms should be controlled.


Oral ulcers are common in this infection and target the respiratory tract to cause pneumonia. This is also highly contagious in felines.

The viruses mentioned above can cause multiple secondary issues within the respiratory system of cats; while a wide range can source sneezing, other infections include:

Feline Leukemia

A type of cancer caused in cats that can be fatal and oblivious.

FIV – Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Targets a cat’s immune system but builds in gradually. A cat battling with FIV can also have a hard time healing wounds.

FIP – Feline Infectious Peritonitis

Comes in different forms of symptoms; sometimes mild, there can be severe or no symptoms. Depends on the criticality.

Some other infections that can cause sneezing include Chlamydial Conjunctivitis, Bordetella, and Mycoplasma.

Cat sitting on chair with open mouth

These are just potential viruses and infections that your cats might hold. On the contrary, if your cat only sneezes occasionally, that’s a sign that something is bothering its nasal passage; in simple words, Allergy. Watch out for possible causes that could include;

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Molds in the house
  • Candles
  • Perfume scents
  • Cigarette’s smoke or any other kind of smoke
  • Cleaning agents
  • Pest sprays
  • Cat litter

Other prospective causes include intranasal vaccinations, or in rare cases, cancer. Overall, allergies cannot be deemed as significant as a cause compared to humans.


Now, we’ve learned in depth some possible causes of excessive sneezing, but the following are the symptoms that a cat might have that could lead to serious harm. The symptoms you should look out for are:

  • Fever
  • Sneezing blood
  • Drooling
  • Loss of weight and appetite
  • Breathing issues
  • Depression
  • Nasal and eye discharges of yellow and green colors
  • Swelling of lymph nodes
  • Ulcers
  • Excessive coughing and wheezing
  • Diarrhea
  • Damaged coat condition

All these symptoms can prove to be extremely dangerous for the well-being of your cat, as all these symptoms howl the severity. Therefore the safest option would be to take them to a professional vet.

Tabby cat walking outdoors

So How To Treat It?

If your cat’s symptoms are critical, they may need antiviral treatment as soon as possible; you will need to discuss this with your cat’s doctor.

Additionally, you can place a humidifier near their sleeping spot to control their breathing problems, as it could help immensely.

In extreme cases, your vet may recommend surgery to remove or treat whatever is instilling problems in their lungs; but sometimes a prescribed steroid treatment would do.

Preventive Measures You Can Take

If your cat sneezes periodically, then the root of the problem is in your house. Start by keeping your cat’s signature surroundings clean.

You can also put on hold activities like smoking using perfumes and detergents within the area to check if it changes something.

Moreover, avoid spraying disinfectants on areas where your cat moves around because there is a high chance they will lick their paws, and chemicals from the disinfectant will be ingested into their bodies, causing harm.

Domestic cat with open mouth

You can also make an effort to clean your cat’s litter regularly and maintain it because it can be a major cause of spreading bacteria not only to them but you and your house too. This litter can be the origin of some allergens that affect your kitten’s health.

Ideally, when the sneezing starts, wait for about 3-4 days and try to prevent the potential causes that might be contributing to it. However, if the sneezing doesn’t stop, then a sensible idea would be to get them checked by a vet immediately.

When Is It Necessary To See a Vet?

Seeing a vet is an essential option you should go for rather than taking chances with a pet who cannot speak. But if your cat has mild to no symptoms, then you can monitor them for a while until things get better or profound. In cases where it gets severe, where your cat is sneezing blood or holding some concerning symptoms, it is evident that your cat needs medical care, which can be performed best by a vet.

Generally, treatment is based on the root cause of sneezing. Even in mild cases, your vet could advise some preventive measures or steps to take to avoid future sneezing; and that is extremely helpful. Similarly, they could also provide antibiotics, steroids, or other fluids necessary for treatment, although cats usually don’t respond to medicines and instead require surgery.

Wrapping Up

Cats are a species that humans can get very close to in minimal time. They are the most common pets besides dogs that people keep. Therefore we must care about their well-being and health as much as we do for ourselves and our families. Anything unusual could lead to serious harm in their lives, so make sure you are always present and report to your doctors as soon as you notice something is off. Honestly, this world would not be the same without cats, so we should prioritize their existence equally.

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