What’s Causing My Cat to Sneeze and How Do I Stop It?

Most cat owners have occasionally seen their kitties sneeze. An occasional sneeze is normal and not cause for alarm, just like with people. Only when the sneezing intensifies or is accompanied by other symptoms should you seek further medical attention.

Why Sneeze Do Cats?

Whenever something irritates their nasal passages, cats reflexively sneeze. Every now and then, a slight irritation will be inhaled and produce cleaning of the airways, but occasionally, a sneeze has a less benign reason, and this needs to be looked into. Let’s examine some typical reasons why cats sneeze frequently or severely.

Virulent Upper Respiratory Infections

Your cat may have a feline “cold” or an upper respiratory infection if it sneezes constantly. The feline herpes virus and the feline calicivirus, both of which are exceedingly contagious to other cats, are the pathogens most frequently associated with upper respiratory infections in cats.

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If you suspect a cold, be on the lookout for these additional symptoms:

nasal or ocular discharge that is very tired
inadequate appetite
The third eyelid elevated when drooling
exceptional swallowing
Often, all that is required for veterinarians to diagnose an upper respiratory disease is a physical examination. Sometimes additional testing, including x-rays or blood work, is needed. With just some good nursing care, your cat might be able to recover from a small viral infection. However, pneumonia can result from serious bacterial infections, so consult your veterinarian if you are concerned. Antibiotics could be necessary for bacterial infections.

It’s important to prevent dehydration and weight loss, so a cat who refuses food and water for more than a day or so may need fluid therapy and/or nutritional care. You might be able to coax your cat into eating by warming up some delicious canned cat food.

Placing the cat in a humid environment, such as next to a vaporizing humidifier or in a steamy bathroom, can help reduce congestion. Use a damp paper towel or pet wipe to clear the eyes and nose of mucous. Because a cat’s sense of smell regulates its hunger, doing this may encourage them to eat.

To help avoid illness, immunize your pet against common pathogenic viruses in accordance with an appropriate schedule. When you bring a new cat home, establish a quarantine period and keep a watch out for illness. If you work in a shelter or deal with at-risk cats in any other way, wash your hands first to prevent unwittingly spreading disease. Many shelters provide protective robes and gloves for volunteers.


Many people mistakenly believe that allergies are the cause of cat sneezing, however, this is a comparatively infrequent reason. You may also notice additional signs like itching, hair loss, and skin sores if your cat has allergies to things like pollen or dust mites. Your veterinarian can assess whether allergies are involved and whether the condition is serious enough to require treatment. Keeping your cat inside will frequently be beneficial if they do have environmental allergies.

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Other Reasons for Sneeze:

Dusty or strongly scented litter can make sensitive cats sneeze, in particular. You might try one manufactured expressly for respiratory comfort, or you can choose a litter made from paper pellets, which is frequently an excellent alternative.
Cigarette smoke: Cats are extremely sensitive to secondhand smoke and can have a range of health difficulties, including sneezing, various respiratory disorders, and even some types of cancer, when exposed to it.
Sneezing can also be a symptom of fungus infections, such as cryptococcosis, which commonly affects cats’ nasal passages and causes nasal discharge and swelling around the bridge of the nose.
Inhaled irritants: Cats frequently respond negatively to strong aromas, whether they come from perfume, air freshener, cleaning solution, or another chemical. Observe when your cat sneezes to learn more about what causes your pet to respond in that way.
Dental issues – Nasal abscesses that have developed from tooth roots can make you sneeze. If an abscess or infection is present, x-rays and a veterinary examination will show whether dental work is necessary.
Foreign objects: Recurrent sneezing is brought on by foreign objects that enter the nasal passage through the nostrils and become lodged there. Additionally, when cats cough or vomit, they may inhale or eat anything that becomes lodged in the back of their nose.
Nasal tumors may be the cause of sneezing. While malignant malignancies become more frequent as cats age, benign polyps are rather common in young cats.

Worry About Sneezing

While responsible cat owners should be aware of common ailments that make cats sneeze, they shouldn’t freak out at every “achoo.” Your veterinarian can assist you in identifying the reason and suggesting the most appropriate course of therapy if sneezing repeats itself or is accompanied by other symptoms.

You can also read: How-can-i-care-for-my-dogs-infected-ears

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