Why Does My Cat Keep Sneezing?

As a cat owner, you may have noticed your furry friend sneezing every now and then. However, if the sneezing becomes frequent, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue. As a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial to understand why your cat keeps sneezing and take appropriate action.

Do you find yourself wondering why your feline friend is constantly sneezing? There are several reasons behind this behavior, including allergies, viral or bacterial infections, dental problems, foreign objects in their nasal passages, and even serious conditions such as tumors or chronic respiratory issues.

Ignoring your cat’s repeated sneezing can lead to severe health problems such as nasal discharge, coughing fits, and difficulty breathing.

In this blog post, we will delve into the various reasons why your cat may keep sneezing. We’ll explore common symptoms and causes while providing simple tips on how to help alleviate their discomfort and avoid further complications. So let’s dive in and learn how to keep your feline friend healthy and happy.

Common Causes of Sneezing in Cats

While sneezing is a natural reflex action that helps cats clear their nasal passages from dust, allergens, and other foreign particles, excessive sneezing can be a sign of an underlying health issue. In this article, we delve into the common causes of sneezing in cats and provide helpful tips to assist you in taking care of your furry companion.


Sneezing could be a sign of an underlying health problem such as allergies. In this article, let’s delve into what allergies are and how they can affect cats.

Allergies occur when a cat’s immune system overreacts to environmental factors such as dust, pollen, mold, or certain types of food. Just like humans, not all cats will display the same allergy symptoms. Some may experience occasional sneezing, while others may suffer severe reactions.

It’s essential to note that the severity of the allergy depends on the cat’s immune system and the type of allergen they’re exposed to. Therefore, identifying the specific allergen causing the reaction is crucial. Work with your veterinarian to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

If you suspect that your cat’s sneezing is due to allergies, seek advice from your veterinarian. They may recommend allergy testing or suggest removing potential allergens from your cat’s environment. In some cases, antihistamines or other medications may be prescribed to help manage allergy symptoms.

Respiratory Infections

One thing to keep an eye out for is respiratory infections, which can cause sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, and fever. These infections can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi, and they affect the upper respiratory tract, including the nose, throat, and sinuses.

Feline herpesvirus (FHV) is one of the most common viral infections that can lead to sneezing in cats. It’s highly contagious and can spread through direct contact with an infected cat or contaminated objects. FHV is notorious for causing inflammation of the membranes around the eyes, sneezing, and nasal discharge.

Another viral infection that can cause respiratory infections in cats is feline calicivirus (FCV). Like FHV, FCV is highly contagious and can cause mouth ulcers, sneezing, nasal discharge, and pneumonia.

Bacterial infections such as Bordetella bronchiseptica and Mycoplasma felis can also cause respiratory infections in cats. They may not be as severe as viral infections but can still cause symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and nasal discharge.

If you suspect that your cat has a respiratory infection, it’s crucial to take them to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. Depending on the underlying cause of the infection, treatment may include antibiotics or antiviral medications. Your vet may also recommend supportive care like fluids and humidification to help ease your cat’s symptoms.

Foreign Objects Stuck in the Nasal Passage

Cats are naturally curious creatures and love to explore their surroundings. Unfortunately, this curiosity can lead to inhaling small objects like dust, dirt, grass, hair or even small toys, which can irritate their nasal passage and cause sneezing. If left untreated, foreign objects can become lodged in the nasal cavity, leading to severe irritation, inflammation and difficulty breathing.

To spot the signs of foreign objects stuck in your cat’s nasal passage, look out for frequent sneezing, pawing at the nose and discharge from one nostril. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is essential to seek veterinary care immediately.

Your vet will use special tools to examine your cat’s nasal cavity and remove any foreign objects causing irritation. In some cases, sedation or anesthesia may be necessary for the procedure.

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to your cat’s health. Keep your home environment safe by ensuring that small objects that could be a choking hazard for your cat are out of reach. Regular cleaning of your cat’s living area can also help prevent the buildup of dust and other irritants that can cause sneezing.

Dental Problems

Although not the most common cause, dental issues can lead to sneezing in cats. So, let’s dive into how dental problems can cause sneezing and what you can do to prevent and treat them.

Dental problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, and abscesses can irritate your cat’s nasal passages, causing them to sneeze. In some cases, an infected tooth root can even lead to a sinus infection that causes persistent sneezing. Thus, if your cat is frequently sneezing, it may be time for a dental check-up.

Thankfully, preventing dental problems in cats is easy by providing them with proper dental care. Regular brushing of their teeth, using dental chews or toys, and scheduling regular dental cleanings with your veterinarian are vital in keeping your cat’s mouth healthy.

If your cat is already suffering from dental issues, treatment may involve tooth extractions or antibiotics to clear up infections. It’s important to note that while sneezing may be a symptom of dental problems, other signs like bad breath, difficulty eating, and drooling may also be present. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care promptly if you suspect any dental issues in your cat.

Signs and Symptoms of Cat Sneezing

While it may seem like a minor inconvenience, sneezing could signal an underlying issue. As an expert in cat health, I’m here to help you understand the signs and symptoms of cat sneezing and when it’s time to seek veterinary care.

The most obvious sign of cat sneezing is, of course, the sneeze itself. If your cat is frequently sneezing or struggling to breathe, it’s essential to seek veterinary care right away. Additionally, keep an eye out for discharge from your cat’s nose or eyes. The color and consistency of the discharge can help your veterinarian determine the underlying cause of your cat’s sneezing.

But wait, there’s more. Cats with sneezing issues may also experience a loss of appetite or lethargy. These symptoms are concerning as they could indicate that your cat’s immune system is being overwhelmed by an infection or other illness.

Don’t ignore these signs and symptoms. Seeking veterinary care promptly can prevent more serious health issues down the road. Your veterinarian can help determine the underlying cause of your cat’s sneezing and recommend appropriate treatment options. And remember, prevention is crucial – regular brushing and dental cleanings can help prevent dental problems that may lead to sneezing.

Diagnosing the Cause of Cat Sneezing

One common cause of cat sneezing is a respiratory infection. This can be caused by a virus or bacteria and may lead to other symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and runny nose. If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, it’s essential to take them to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Another potential cause of cat sneezing is allergies. Just like humans, cats can develop allergies to things like pollen, dust, or even certain types of food. If your cat’s sneezing is accompanied by other allergy symptoms like itching or skin irritation, it’s worth discussing with your vet to identify the allergen and find ways to manage the symptoms.

In some cases, sneezing could be due to a foreign object stuck in the nasal cavity. This is more common in outdoor cats who may come into contact with grass or debris that could get lodged in their nose. If you notice your cat pawing at their nose or having difficulty breathing, it’s crucial to take them to the vet immediately.

It’s also worth noting that stress or changes in their environment may cause some cats to experience sneezing. While this is generally not a cause for concern, it’s important to monitor your cat’s behavior and speak with a vet if you notice any other concerning symptoms.

Treatment Options for Cat Sneezing

But don’t worry – there are various treatment options available to help your cat feel better. The course of treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the sneezing.

If a viral infection like feline herpesvirus or calicivirus is causing the sneezing, antiviral medication may be prescribed to manage symptoms. Antibiotics may also be recommended if there is a secondary bacterial infection.

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In case of allergies, identifying and avoiding the allergen may be necessary. Antihistamines or steroids may also be prescribed to manage allergy symptoms effectively.

For cats with nasal inflammation or congestion, decongestants may be prescribed to alleviate their symptoms. Using humidifiers or steam therapy can also be helpful in relieving nasal congestion.

It is crucial to remember that you should never give over-the-counter medications to your cat without consulting a veterinarian first. Many human medications can be toxic to cats and could potentially make their condition worse.

Along with medication, supportive care can also help manage cat sneezing. Provide your kitty with plenty of fluids and keep the environment clean and free of irritants. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can also help monitor your cat’s condition and adjust treatment plans as needed.

Preventive Measures to Reduce Cat Sneezing

Sneezing is a common problem for cats that can indicate an underlying health issue or environmental irritant. Fortunately, there are preventive measures that you can take to keep your cat’s sneezing to a minimum and keep them feeling their best.

First and foremost, keeping your cat up to date on all necessary vaccinations is crucial in preventing cat sneezing. Feline herpesvirus and calicivirus are two respiratory viruses that are known to cause sneezing in cats. By ensuring that your cat is vaccinated against these viruses, you can significantly reduce the risk of respiratory infections and subsequent sneezing.

Another important step in preventing cat sneezing is keeping your cat’s immune system strong through a balanced diet and regular exercise. A healthy immune system is better equipped to fight off respiratory infections that may trigger sneezing. Regular grooming is also essential in reducing allergens and irritants in your cat’s environment. Brushing your cat’s fur regularly can remove loose hair, dander, and other debris that might trigger sneezing.

To further reduce the likelihood of sneezing, it’s essential to keep your home clean and free of dust and other allergens. If your cat is prone to allergies, it may be necessary to remove certain allergenic substances from their environment. This could involve switching to a different type of litter or avoiding scented cleaning products. Air purifiers or humidifiers can also help improve air quality in the home and reduce irritation in the respiratory system.

If your cat’s sneezing is caused by a specific health condition, it’s important to address the underlying issue through appropriate treatment. Your veterinarian may prescribe medication or recommend dental care or other interventions.

When to See a Vet for Cat Sneezing

While sneezing is not uncommon in cats, it’s important to know when it’s time to seek professional help from your veterinarian.

If your cat is experiencing respiratory symptoms like coughing, wheezing or difficulty breathing along with sneezing, it’s vital to take them to the vet right away. These symptoms could indicate a more serious respiratory issue like asthma or pneumonia.

Another warning sign is if your cat’s sneezing persists for more than a week. This could be a signal of an underlying infection or allergy that requires medical attention. Don’t ignore it, as untreated infections can lead to more serious complications.

If you notice discharge from your cat’s nose or eyes along with their sneezing, it may be an indication of a more severe problem such as an upper respiratory infection or feline herpesvirus. In this case, taking your cat to the vet promptly is crucial.

When in doubt, always seek professional advice. Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose and treat any underlying issues and provide you with peace of mind knowing that your furry friend is in good hands. Remember, preventive measures such as vaccinations, a balanced diet, regular exercise, grooming and maintaining a clean home can help minimize sneezing and keep your cat feeling their best.


In conclusion, while occasional sneezing in cats is normal, persistent or frequent sneezing could be a sign of an underlying health issue. As a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial to understand the common causes of cat sneezing and take appropriate action.

Allergies, respiratory infections, foreign objects in the nasal passages, and dental problems are among the most common causes of cat sneezing. If you notice any symptoms such as discharge from your cat’s nose or eyes or loss of appetite, seek veterinary care promptly.

To prevent cat sneezing, ensure that your feline friend receives regular vaccinations, eats a balanced diet with adequate exercise and grooming, and lives in a clean environment. If your cat does experience sneezing due to an underlying condition like allergies or respiratory infection, there are various treatment options available that your veterinarian can recommend.

It’s essential to never give over-the-counter medications to your cat without consulting a veterinarian first. Regular check-ups with your vet can help monitor your cat’s condition and adjust treatment plans as needed.

When in doubt about whether to seek veterinary care for your cat’s sneezing symptoms, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and seek professional advice.