When Cats Sneeze?

Have you ever heard your furry feline friend sneeze?

It’s a sound that’s both adorable and concerning. As an expert in the world of cats, I can tell you that sneezing is a natural reflex that helps clear their nasal passages of irritants like dust or pollen.

But, did you know that frequent sneezing could be a sign of something more serious? It’s important to understand the difference between a normal sneeze and one that could indicate an issue with your cat’s health.

If your cat sneezes occasionally without any other symptoms, it’s often nothing to worry about. However, if they frequently sneeze, have discharge from their nose or eyes, or show signs of respiratory distress, it may be time to schedule a visit with your veterinarian.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about when cats sneeze. We’ll cover the common causes of sneezing and potential health concerns associated with frequent sneezing.

Whether you’re a devoted cat lover or simply curious about feline health, this post will provide fascinating insights to keep your furry friend healthy and happy. So why do cats sneeze?

Keep reading to discover all there is to know about when cats let out an adorable “achoo”.

Causes of Cat Sneezing

In this blog post, we’ll explore the various causes of cat sneezing and what you can do to help your feline friend feel better.

When Cats Sneeze-2

Upper Respiratory Infection The most common cause of cat sneezing is an upper respiratory infection (URI).

URIs can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi and may also cause other symptoms like coughing, runny nose, and watery eyes. If your cat is experiencing these symptoms, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Allergies Like humans, cats can be allergic to various things such as pollen, dust mites, certain foods or medications, and even cigarette smoke.

Allergies can cause itching, skin irritation, and sneezing in cats. If your cat’s sneezing is due to allergies, your vet may recommend antihistamines or other medications to manage the symptoms.

Foreign Objects Foreign objects that get stuck in the nose or throat can cause irritation and trigger sneezing in cats.

For example, a blade of grass stuck in the nose can cause discomfort and lead to sneezing. Similarly, swallowing a foreign object like a piece of string or toy can get lodged in the throat and cause discomfort and sneezing.

Dental Problems or Nasal Tumors Dental problems like gum disease or tooth decay can lead to bacterial infections that spread to the nasal cavity and cause sneezing.

While nasal tumors are rare in cats, they can cause chronic sneezing and nasal discharge. If you suspect that your cat’s sneezing is due to dental problems or tumors, consult with your vet immediately.

In conclusion, while occasional cat sneezing is normal, persistent or frequent sneezing accompanied by other symptoms could indicate an underlying health issue. As a cat owner, it’s crucial to observe your pet closely and seek medical attention if you notice any unusual symptoms or prolonged sneezing episodes.

Your vet will provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend the appropriate treatment for your feline friend.

Irritants in the Air

While occasional sneezing is normal, persistent bouts of sneezing could indicate an underlying health issue.

One of the most common reasons for cats to sneeze is due to irritants in the air. Cats have an incredibly sensitive respiratory system, and any irritant in the air can trigger sneezing.

So, what are some common irritants that can cause your cat to sneeze? First and foremost, dust is one of the most prevalent irritants that can cause a cat to sneeze.

Cats are curious creatures and love to explore their surroundings, often leading them to dusty areas like under furniture or in corners. This can cause them to inhale dust particles, leading to sneezing fits.

Pollen is another notorious irritant that can cause cats to sneeze. During spring and summer months, pollen levels are high, and outdoor cats may be exposed to it.

This can cause them to sneeze repeatedly as their body tries to expel the allergen. Smoke is also a notorious irritant that can cause cats to sneeze.

Secondhand smoke from cigarettes or other sources can be harmful to cats, causing them to cough and sneeze. It’s crucial to keep cats away from smoke as much as possible and ensure they have access to clean air.

Cleaning products like air fresheners, sprays, and candles can also be irritating for cats. These products contain chemicals that can be harmful when inhaled by cats, leading to sneezing and other respiratory problems.

If your cat is frequently sneezing, it’s vital to identify potential irritants in their environment and remove them if possible. Keeping your home clean and free of dust and other irritants can go a long way in preventing sneezing fits.

If the problem persists or your cat shows other signs of illness, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian for further evaluation and treatment. In conclusion, understanding the common irritants in the air that can cause cats to sneeze is crucial for any cat owner.


Just like humans, cats can suffer from allergies triggered by various factors such as dust, pollen, mold, and certain foods.

If your cat is sneezing constantly, don’t ignore it. Make an appointment with your vet to determine if allergies are the root cause.

The vet may perform a series of tests to identify the exact allergen causing the issue. Once identified, you can take steps to remove it from your cat’s environment or adjust their diet accordingly.

Allergies can cause other symptoms in cats such as watery eyes, coughing, and skin irritation. Keep an eye out for these symptoms and take prompt action by visiting the vet if you notice any of them.

Preventing allergies in cats involves taking proactive measures such as keeping their living area clean and free of dust and mold, using hypoallergenic litter, and feeding them a high-quality diet that’s free of common allergens. It’s also important to keep your cat away from potential allergens such as certain types of plants or chemicals.

So, allergies are a common cause of sneezing in cats and should be taken seriously. Working with your vet and taking steps to prevent allergies can help keep your cat happy and healthy.

Upper Respiratory Infections (URIs)

However, one of the most common causes of sneezing in cats is upper respiratory infections (URIs).

These infections can be caused by viruses or bacteria, and they can affect the nose, throat, and sinuses of your cat. If you notice any symptoms of URIs in your cat, such as sneezing, coughing, runny nose, or watery eyes, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible.

The most common viral cause of URIs in cats is the feline herpesvirus (FHV-1). This virus is highly contagious and can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected cat or through contaminated surfaces.

FHV-1 can cause severe respiratory symptoms in cats and even lead to blindness in some cases. Another viral cause of URIs in cats is calicivirus, which is less severe than FHV-1 but can cause ulcers on a cat’s tongue and gums, making it difficult for them to eat.

Bacterial infections can also cause URIs in cats. The most common bacterial infection that causes URIs is Bordetella bronchiseptica, which is highly contagious and can spread through direct contact or contaminated surfaces.

Symptoms of Bordetella infection include sneezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing. While there is no cure for viral infections in cats, supportive care can help manage symptoms.

When Cats Sneeze-3

Treatment may include antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections and medications to reduce inflammation and improve breathing. Prevention is key when it comes to URIs in cats.

Keep your cat’s living area clean and free from contaminants to reduce their risk of infection. Vaccinations are also available for some causes of URIs like FHV-1 and calicivirus, which can prevent your cat from getting sick.

More Severe Health Issues

One of the most common causes of frequent sneezing in cats is an upper respiratory infection. This type of infection can affect your cat’s nose, throat, and sinuses, leading to symptoms such as coughing, nasal discharge, and fever.

If your cat lives in a crowded or stressful environment like a shelter or boarding facility, they may be more prone to developing this kind of infection. Another potential cause of frequent sneezing in cats is allergies.

Like humans, cats can be allergic to a variety of things such as pollen, dust, and certain foods. Allergies can cause inflammation in the nasal passages and lead to excessive sneezing.

While upper respiratory infections and allergies are common causes of sneezing in cats, persistent sneezing accompanied by other symptoms such as wheezing, difficulty breathing, or bloody discharge from the nose or mouth could indicate a more serious condition such as feline herpesvirus or feline calicivirus.

These viruses can cause respiratory issues in cats and require immediate medical attention.

It’s crucial to keep a close eye on your cat’s sneezing habits and take note of any accompanying symptoms. If you suspect that your cat may have an underlying health issue, don’t hesitate to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Symptoms of Cat Sneezing

Sneezing is one of the most common symptoms of respiratory issues in cats. But it’s not just sneezing that you need to watch out for.

Your cat may also experience nasal discharge, coughing, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms can be caused by allergies, upper respiratory infections, pneumonia, or bronchitis.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, it’s crucial to take them to the vet as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment. Cats with more severe respiratory issues may also have a fever or loss of appetite.

However, some cats may sneeze occasionally without any serious underlying issues. If your cat is sneezing frequently or has additional symptoms, it’s best to seek veterinary care.

If you have multiple cats in your household and one is sneezing, it’s vital to isolate them from the others until they can be examined by a veterinarian. This will help prevent the potential spread of any illnesses.

So, while sneezing may seem like a minor issue, it can be a symptom of more serious respiratory problems in cats. Monitoring your cat’s symptoms and seeking veterinary care if necessary will ensure their health and well-being.

When to See a Vet for Cat Sneezing

However, if your cat is sneezing persistently or severely, it may be time to take them to the vet.

Sneezing can be a sign of an underlying health problem that requires prompt attention from a veterinarian. One of the main reasons to see a vet for cat sneezing is if it’s accompanied by other symptoms like discharge from the nose or eyes, coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing.

These symptoms may indicate a respiratory infection or illness that requires medical attention. Your vet can help determine the root cause and provide appropriate treatment to help your furry friend feel better.

Moreover, if your cat has been sneezing for more than a week or two, or if the frequency and intensity of their sneezing increase over time, it could be a sign of a more serious issue. If your cat has recently been exposed to other cats who are sick or has been in an environment where infectious diseases are present, it’s crucial to take them to the vet for evaluation.

Certain respiratory illnesses such as feline herpesvirus and calicivirus can be highly contagious and require prompt treatment. Therefore, it’s imperative to take your beloved feline friend to the vet if they’re experiencing persistent or severe sneezing.

Your cat’s health and well-being should always be a top priority, so if you notice any concerning symptoms or changes in behavior, don’t hesitate to seek veterinary care.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Cat Sneezing

Diagnosis The first step in diagnosing the cause of your cat’s sneezing is to take them to the vet for a thorough examination.

Your vet will perform a physical exam on your cat, checking for any signs of nasal discharge, congestion, or swelling. They may also take a sample of any discharge to test for bacteria or viruses.

In some cases, additional tests such as blood work, x-rays, or CT scans may be necessary to identify the underlying cause of the sneezing. Treatment

Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment will depend on the underlying cause. If your cat’s sneezing is caused by an infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.

If allergies are the culprit, antihistamines or steroids may be recommended. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove any foreign objects in the nasal cavity.

It is crucial to follow your vet’s instructions closely when administering any medication to your cat. Giving too much or too little medication can result in ineffective treatment or even adverse reactions.

Additionally, keeping your cat’s environment clean and free of irritants that could exacerbate their sneezing will help them recover faster. Prevention

Prevention is key when it comes to cat sneezing. Keeping your cat’s environment clean and free of irritants can help prevent sneezing caused by allergies or environmental factors.

Regular dental checkups can also prevent dental problems that could lead to sneezing. Overall, timely diagnosis and treatment of cat sneezing is crucial for your pet’s health and quality of life.

Prevention of Cat Sneezing

Frequent sneezing in cats can be a sign of an underlying health problem, so it’s essential to take steps to prevent it.

In this article, we’ll explore some simple yet effective tips to prevent cat sneezing and ensure your cat stays healthy. Firstly, it’s crucial to keep your cat’s environment clean.

A dirty living space can trigger sneezing in cats. Ensure that your cat’s litter box, bedding, and toys are cleaned regularly.

It’s also important to keep the air in your home free from dust and other allergens. By keeping your cat’s environment clean, you can reduce the risk of respiratory infections and prevent cat sneezing.

Secondly, vaccination is crucial in preventing respiratory infections in cats. Make sure that your cat receives all the necessary vaccinations from a licensed veterinarian.

This will help protect your cat from common respiratory infections that can cause sneezing. Thirdly, feeding your cat a healthy diet can boost its immune system, making it less susceptible to respiratory infections.

Ensure that your cat’s food is rich in vitamins and minerals to prevent cat sneezing and other health problems. Fourthly, cigarette smoke can irritate your cat’s respiratory system, causing sneezing and other health problems.

Avoid smoking around your cat or exposing it to secondhand smoke. If you’re a smoker, consider quitting for the sake of your cat’s health.

Lastly, maintaining proper hygiene is essential for preventing cat sneezing and keeping your cat healthy. Regular grooming can help remove excess hair, dust, and other allergens from their coats.

Ensure that you brush your cat’s coat regularly and trim its nails to prevent any infections. In conclusion, preventing cat sneezing is essential for your furry friend’s health and happiness.

Common Misconceptions About Cat Sneezing

In fact, there are several common misconceptions about cat sneezing that every pet owner should know.

Firstly, many people believe that a cat sneezing is always a sign of illness. While it can be a symptom of an underlying health issue like allergies or a respiratory infection, it’s not always the case.

Sometimes, cats simply sneeze because they have dust or other irritants in their nose. So, don’t immediately panic if you hear your fur baby let out a sneeze.

Another common misconception is that cats only sneeze when they have a cold or flu. However, this is far from the truth.

Cats can sneeze for all sorts of reasons. For instance, some felines may sneeze when they’re excited or playing, while others may do so in response to certain smells or odors.

Lastly, some pet owners believe that cats only sneeze once or twice if they’re healthy. But in reality, cats can sneeze multiple times in a row, even if there’s nothing wrong with them.

This is especially true if they’ve been exposed to something that’s irritating their nasal passages like smoke or dust. So what can you do to help prevent cat sneezing?

While you can’t control everything in your cat’s environment, there are several things you can do to promote their health and wellbeing. For example, make sure to clean their living space regularly and keep it free of dust and debris.

Additionally, feed them a healthy diet and avoid exposing them to cigarette smoke. In conclusion, understanding the common misconceptions about cat sneezing can help you better care for your furry friend.

Also Read: Why Is Cat Sneezing After Vet Visit?


Cats sneezing can be a common occurrence and is usually nothing to worry about.

However, if your cat is sneezing excessively or showing other signs of illness, it’s important to take them to the vet. Sneezing can be a sign of respiratory infections, allergies, or even foreign objects stuck in their nose.

By paying attention to your cat’s behavior and seeking medical help when necessary, you can help ensure that they stay healthy and happy.