Monday, December 5, 2022

What Causes A Cat To Sneeze A Lot

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When Is It Time To See A Vet

Cat sneezing consecutively

Since many of these conditions are uncomfortable or painful, its never a bad idea to take your cat to the vet as soon as you notice a problem, even if sneezing is the only symptom.

However, these signs are more serious and require a vet visit sooner rather than later:

  • Loss of appetite

  • Persistence of symptoms beyond a few days

Home Treatments For A Cat Sneezing A Lot

If you have gotten the okay from your veterinarian to care for your sneezing cat at home, there are a few ways to help them get past their respiratory illness with ease. While some of these treatment tools were mentioned briefly above, these tips will cater more toward the actual treatment of sneezing in cats.

  • Be diligent about giving any antibiotics, supplements, or antiviral medications that your veterinarian prescribes.
  • Speak with your vet about getting a prescription for a nebulizer if your cat is struggling with congestion. This can help to break up the mucus in your cats nasal cavity and chest. 
  • Be sure to fill the room your cat is in with moisture. This can mean confining them to a small room with a humidifier, or putting a humidifier in multiple rooms of your house. 
  • Try your best to disinfect surfaces your cat frequents, and any bedding that your cat often naps in. If this is an infectious disease, you will want to rid your home of the bacteria or virus as best as you can. 
  • Try your best to clear your cats eyes and nares of any hardened discharge, as this can make it more challenging for your cat to breathe if it accumulates. 
  • Make sure your cat is still eating and drinking, as congestion often causes a cat to lose their appetite. You can do this by offering your cat wet food, heating up their wet food to make it more pungent, or even adding warm water or broth to your cats normal diet.

Allergies Toothaches And Objects

Cats can suffer from allergies, although they tend to have itchy skin more often than sneezing. If youve started using a new household cleaner, a different brand of cat litter, or made other changes that affect air quality, your cats nose might be irritated. If you cant eliminate the irritant, your cat might get used to it. If he doesnt, our CVETS staff can suggest ways to relieve your cats symptoms.

If you notice that your cat has difficulty chewing or eating, it might have a dental disease. Bacteria from the mouth can travel to the sinus cavities. An examination of your cats mouth and nose will help us diagnose and correctly treat the underlying medical issue.

Occasionally a foreign object gets lodged in a cats nose. Usually, a few sneezes will expel it. If not, one of our veterinarians can remove it. We strongly urge you to avoid trying to remove it yourself as you could injure your cat doing so.

What Causes Cat Sneezing

Cat sneezing can be surprisingly difficult to diagnose, for several reasons. First, your veterinarian will need to confirm that your cat is actually sneezing.

Coughing, gagging, reverse sneezing, hiccupping, retching, and wheezing can all be misidentified as a sneeze, and each of these symptoms come with a separate list of possible causes.

Take a video of your cat during an episode to help your vet confirm whether it really is a sneeze.

Another obstacle in diagnosing cat sneezing is the plethora of underlying causes. Infections, chronic inflammation, dental disease, cancer, and inhalation of foreign material can all cause a cat to sneeze.

Further complicating matters is the fact that in cats, more than one of these causes is usually going on at the same time.

Here are some of the possible causes for sneezing in cats.

Talk To A Veterinarian About Your Cats Sneezing

Why Does My Cat Keep Sneezing Repeatedly

Now that youve learned more about sneezing in cats, you can learn how to recognize when sneezing is a cause for concern and when its simply business as usual for your feline friend. Pay close attention to your cats health and wellbeing when she has been sneezing, and see if you notice any other symptoms that might be related as well.

Of course, if your cat is sneezing for a long time or if she shows any other signs of illness, you should take her to the veterinarian as soon as possible. She probably does not need to see an emergency vet, but her regular vet should be able to help. Its important to find the underlying cause for why your cat keeps sneezing so you can know for sure if theres anything that needs to be done to help treat it.

Causes Of Cat Sneezing

Ever see a little kitten wrinkle its nose and let out with a cute sneeze?  It sounds sort of like Pfft! and may or may not be accompanied by a few droplets. We all sneeze on occasion for what is seemingly no reason. As you might imagine, If your cat sneezes once in a while, and is otherwise active and normal, it is probably nothing to worry about. However, if your cats sneezes are more than occasional or are accompanied by blood or mucus, or if your cat has a concurrent discharge from his eyes or also has a cough, the sneeze may be a sign of more significant problems. Whether youre concerned, or just curious, read on for some possible reasons why your kitty might sneeze:

1. A simple, benign tickleThis may be the most obvious cause for sneezing. A simple tickle in the cats nose, such as a bit of dust or a mild chemical irritant, can cause a reflexive sneeze. Think of the animated cat that sneezes when he inhales a bit of pepper. This kind of sneezing is not unlike scratching a tickle or an itch.2. Respiratory infectionsAnother common cause of sneezing is associated with a respiratory infection, most often a viral infection. Thats right, our feline friends can get colds too! Likely infectious diseases include:

  • Herpes virus
  • Chlamydia infections
  • Bacterial infections such as Mycoplasma

What If My Cat Is Sneezing A Lot

Recurring sneezes in cats can be explained in several ways. The first one may be environmental. Does it seem like your cat only sneezes in one particular room or only when you perform certain activities? Your cat may be allergic to dust in one room or a perfume scent found in a bathroom, for example.

But consistent sneezing may also be a sign of upper respiratory infections in cats. If you suspect that your cat is dealing with an upper respiratory infection, you should take it to the vet to discuss treatment options.

Home Remedies For Sneezing Cat Treatment

A sneezing cat treatment may vary according to the underlying causes triggering this symptom. Allergies, a sinus infection or a cold may cause sneezing in your pet. There are antibiotics, antihistamines oranti inflammatory drugs that can be used, but there are also a few homeremedies that can be applied to reduce the frequency of the sneezing episodes or to eliminate the sneezing altogether.

Why Your Cat Keeps Sneezing

How to Get a Cat to Stop Sneezing

If your cat has allergies, she may continue to sneeze until you reduce or eliminate the allergens causing her reaction. You can try using HEPA filters, which help capture small dust particles and more. 

Take note of when the sneezing occurs and work to eliminate suspected irritants from your home. For example, if your cat sneezes after youve cleaned your bathroom, try switching cleaning products.

If she seems to sneeze after  using her litter box, Dr. Cross suggests switching to a low-dust litteror litter alternative.

Anytime persistent sneezing is accompanied by other symptoms, work with your veterinarian to rule out underlying causes.

Cat sneezing is common and not always cause for alarm. Feel free to ooh and ahh over the occasional adorable sneeze all you want. Always watch for other symptoms, though, and contact your veterinarian with questions about your cats health.

Visit our pet expertise page for more pet care tips from our experts.

What To Do If Your Cat Is Sneezing Blood

It may just be a simple infection, but could be something more serious. Learn when to head straight to the vet.

Cats occasionally sneeze. Thats no biggie. But what if your cat starts sneezing blood? Dont freak out: There are many causes of bloody noses in cats, some simple to remedy. Read on to learn about the most common reasons cats sneeze blood and when its truly an emergency.

What To Do If Your Cat Is Sneezing

If your cat has other signs besides sneezing such as runny nose, red irritated eyes, fever, breathing trouble, loss of appetite, weight loss, and malaise, you need to see your veterinary health provider right away. Upper respiratory infections usually need to be treated with antibiotics due to the probability of a bacterial infection. A fungal infection will be treated with fungal medication, allergies can be treated with antihistamines such as Benadryl , and nasal polyps may be removed if they continue to grow or do not go away on their own. Herpes and leukemia do not have cures, but they can be treated with supportive care until it is gone.


Treatment Of Mucus In Cats

If your cat is experiencing great breathing difficulties, the veterinarian may place her in an oxygenated chamber or place an oxygen mask. Your veterinarian may then administer or prescribe medications to thin and reduce the amount of mucus in the felines respiratory tract. If the veterinarian believes the cat can cough up the mucus, a cough medicine or expectorant, may be prescribed. However, if the felines airways are too narrow or obstructed for a productive cough, a bronchodilator, such as a steroid, may be prescribed. Antibiotics are prescribed to patients who have been diagnosed with a bacterial infection and diuretics are often given to patients who have accumulated fluid on the lungs. 


When To Go To The Veterinarian

Cat Sneezing: Why It Happens + When a Vet Trip Might Be ...

Its always a good idea to call the vet if:

  • Your cat sneezes often or continuously
  • The sneezing seems to be chronic
  • You see blood in the nasal discharge
  • You see any additional symptoms such as the ones listed above

The vet will do the tests and get the right diagnosis for the cause of your kittys sneezing fits. Depending on the diagnosis, the vet will be able to prescribe antibiotics, nasal decongestants and antihistamines, fluids or steroids if needed, as well as make great suggestions on how to help your cat feel more comfortable, provide nutritional support, and enhance her immune system to prevent recurrences in the future.

We hope you found this article helpful and if your cat ever gets any cuts, abrasions, ear infections or ringworm, we hope you keep Banixx Pet Care in mind. For more information on how to keep your cat happy and healthy, visit our cat page.

Common Causes Of Cat Sneezes

1. Environmental Factors 

Cats may have tiny button noses but its easy for their nasal passages to become irritated by their environment. The occasional sneeze may be due to an irritant or allergen like:

  • Household Dust
  • Mold
  • Cleaning Products

After a sneeze, check your cats surrounding area. Could incense or candles be the culprit? Or maybe youve switched to a new litter that creates excess dust? Also check for other symptoms that might be present. Fetch by WebMD notes that sneezing because of allergy-related reasons will likely be accompanied by itchy skin.

2. Dental Disease

What do dental disease and sneezing have in common? A cats dental roots are located right next to their nasal passages, so if their teeth become infected or if inflammation develops, their nose can become irritated. If you suspect your cat may have dental disease, PetMD advises bringing them to the vet, as this can be a painful condition.

3. Infections

Frequent sneezing that is accompanied by other symptoms may be a sign of one of the following infections:

Feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus are very common. In fact, VCA Hospitals says that these two conditions are responsible for 90% of all feline upper respiratory tract infections. 

4. Inflammatory Issues

5. Vaccines

If sneezing is the result of an infection, your veterinarian may give your cat a nasal vaccine. While this can help ease their symptoms, it can also cause sneezing for a few days after it is administered.

6. Nasal Blockage

Chronic Upper Respiratory Conditions

Frequent and recurring sneezing in cats can also be due to chronic respiratory conditions. Chronic rhinitis is the most common and is usually the result of permanent damage to the immune system and nasal passages. 


The symptoms of chronic upper respiratory conditions in cats are similar to upper respiratory infections and inflammation, but persist over weeks or months or in intervals of a few weeks. Conditions like chronic rhinitis  can also lead to recurring bacterial infections, which can worsen the symptoms.

These symptoms may include:

What Makes A Cat Sneeze

If you notice that your cat is sneezing frequently over a period of a few days, theres a chance theres something more serious than just a seasonal allergy going on.

This is especially so if you notice that your cat also has a watery discharge coming from their eyes, or your cat is starting to act more reserved than usual.

A cat who sneezes often could be suffering from a bacterial or viral infection that affects their upper respiratory system.

Some common infections in cats include:

  • Feline calicivirus

Why Does My Cat Sneeze

Veterinarian in Cambridge Discusses Cat Sneezing

See files for Cats

It’s common to see our cat sneeze here and there. Just like us, cats will sneeze when their nasal passages are irritated. However, what does it mean if your cat has started to sneeze a lot? There are a number of reasons why your cat may have begun to sneeze a lot. It’s usually a symptom indicating an underlying health issue.

In this AnimalWised article we’re going to explain why your cat sneezes, the different causes and solutions.

  • Effective home remedies for sneezing cats
  • Avoid Using Overpowering Air Fresheners

    Air fresheners are made for humans, but not for pets. Remember that cats have a stronger sense of smell than humans, so a spray of your favorite air freshener will be overpowering for them. It may also cause sneezing in the long run.

    If you can, look for pet-friendly air fresheners or, better yet, use natural deodorizers at home like activated charcoal, lemon, and cat-friendly essential oils.

    Audience: Executive Leadership Foster Caregivers Public Shelter/rescue Staff & Volunteers Veterinary Team

    If your cat’s sneezing and/or nasal discharge is mild and he/she has a normal appetite and energy level, it is okay to monitor him/her for the first couple of days. Keeping your cat separate from other cats is recommended until a veterinarian gives the okay, since he/she may have a contagious upper respiratory infection.

    How Does My Veterinarian Diagnose My Cat With A Uri

    Most of the time, when we veterinarians diagnose a cat with a URI, its based on history, clinical signs, physical examination findings, and response to treatment. In other words, if you just adopted a cat, theyre sneezing with discharge coming from their nose and eyes, and the signs go away in 7-10 days we are pretty sure its a URI. We typically dont run blood tests for a feline URI, as theres no one specific or reasonably priced test for a URI.

    That said, blood work should be done in really sick cats to rule out low blood sugar, dehydration, anemia, evidence of infection , feline leukemia/FIV status, or general health screening. While there are tests that can look for specific URI viruses , these are less commonly done .

    Wash The Cat Bed Regularly

    Why Do Cats Sneeze?

    Regardless if you have an indoor or outdoor cat, you should make it a habit to wash its bed weekly. Over time, allergens and dirt will accumulate on the bed, which may trigger sneezing and allergic reactions. Also, if your cat has nasal discharge, it would usually wipe its nose on the beds surface.

    Aside from the cat bed, you should also wash the padding of cat condos and cat trees. This will lessen your pets exposure to irritants.

    Symptoms Of Mucus In Cats

    Mucus is clear in a healthy cat, but a cat with respiratory disease may have brown, reddish, green, or yellow mucus coming from the nose. The excessive mucus can stuff up the nasal passageway in one or both nostrils, making it difficult for the cat to breathe or smell. As the sense of smell is depleted, a cat may lose its appetite and refuse to eat, eventually losing weight. Mucus in cats may also cause other signs, including:

    • Noisy breathing 
    • Wet or dry cough
    • Nasal discharge

    The cat might increase the rate of breathing, may struggle to breathe in an attempt to restore its core oxygen levels. 


    When Should I Worry About My Sneezing Cat

    If your cat is suddenly sneezing, you may wonder when it is time to worry. While any new changes in your cats behavior should always catch your eye, sneezing is not always an immediate cause of concern.

    For example, if your cat sneezes occasionally when you are doing your spring cleaning, its safe to assume that your cat may have a sensitivity to dust or cleaning supplies. Occasional sneezing can also be normal in a cat, as this can be a result of allergies or other environmental irritants.

    However, if your cat is experiencing frequent sneezing fits, or is sneezing multiple times a day, it may be time to speak with your vet.

    Sneezing in your cat should be an immediate concern if your cat is also experiencing anorexia, lethargy, fever, or any other signs of developing illness.

    Treating upper respiratory complications from the start can prevent further complications, and get your cat back to their normal selves in no time.

    Why Does My Cat Cough

    Coughing can occur because of the overproduction of mucous, which drains down the throat. However, just because your cat coughs, does not mean they have an upper respiratory infection.

    Like people, cats can cough for other reasons besides an infection, such as allergies or clearing something from the throat. If youre concerned about your cats cough, see your veterinarian who can help diagnose the problem and recommend appropriate treatment.

    On a side note, you should know that cats dont cough because of hairballs. Hairballs develop in the digestive tract, not the respiratory system, and are vomited up. Both vomiting and coughing can cause cats to heave and make similar sounds, so it can be hard for cat parents to tell the difference.

    What Is The Upper Respiratory Tract

    Why is your cat sneezing? Symptoms, diagnosing, and treating upper respiratory infections

    The upper respiratory tract includes the nose, the throat , and the trachea . The surface of the respiratory tract is lined with a mucous membrane, which is a layer containing specialized cells that secrete a protective mucus coating onto the tissue surface. The eyes and inner surfaces of the eyelids are covered by conjunctiva, a membranous tissue that has a similar structure to the respiratory mucous membranes . Tears drain from the eyes through a tube called the lacrimal duct, which drains into the back of the nose. Because of this anatomical connection, the conjunctivae are often grouped in as part of the upper respiratory tract and may be affected with upper respiratory disease.

    What To Do About Cat Sneezing

    If your cat sneezes occasionally and otherwise seems healthy, then you probably have nothing to worry about. Make sure you bring your cat to the vet for a yearly physical, or as recommended by your vet. Your vet may be able to determine if there is an underlying health issue before it gets out of control. In between vet visits, you can check your cat’s head and face at home to look for abnormalities.

    If your sneezing cat is also experiencing nasal congestion, eye discharge, or other cold-like signs, then it might be an upper respiratory infection or similar issue. URIs often cause a cat to sneeze out mucus that could be yellow or greenish in color. The eyes might be glassy, teary, or even excreting a yellow or green mucus. You may notice loud breathing and trouble passing air through the nostrils. It may seem just like the common cold we humans get, except that healthy cats don’t often “catch colds.” URIs in cats are often caused byfeline herpesvirus orcalicivirus. Be sure to bring your cat to the vet soon for treatment.

    When You Should See A Vet

    Kittens are vulnerable to illnesses because their immune systems are not fully developed. If your kitten only sneezes occasionally and otherwise appears happy and healthy, you can monitor him at home, but persistent sneezing and any additional symptoms warrants a trip to the vet to treat any underlying problems before they progress to something more serious.

    Schedule a vet visit if your kitten:

    • Sneezes frequently
    • Coughs
    • Has enlarged lymph nodes

    Your kitten may just have a straightforward upper respiratory infection, but could also have a secondary infection taking advantage of his already weakened immune system.

    Things You Can Do To Help Your Cat

    If your cat starts sneezing more than usual, you need to check their cat litter is not too dusty which many of the cheaper brands are. With this said, a cat may suddenly develop an allergy even though you’ve always used the same brand of cat litter which means it’s a question of trial and error to find one that won’t set them off sneezing every time they use their litter tray. Some owners started to use corn-based cat litters because they are dust-free, however it’s now known there is a risk of aflatoxin poisoning to cats because corn and moisture are not good bed fellows making it the perfect environment for the bacteria to flourish.

    You can also start using pet friendly cleaning products if you think any that you are currently using might be triggering your cat’s sneezing bouts. Other things you should avoid using around the house include the following:

    • Scented candles
    • Air fresheners

    If you have a wood burning stove or open fireplace in your home, you need to make sure it’s not smoking which could be another reason why your cat might be sneezing a lot which happens more during the colder months when fires are lit to keep the home warm. It’s also really important to vacuum your home frequently so that dust is kept to a minimum on carpets, soft furnishings and other areas of the house. The more often you vacuum, the less cat hair and dander will be floating around too which can not only make your pussy cat sneeze, but it can trigger an allergic reaction in people too!

    Recovery Of Mucus In Cats

    Why Does My Cat Keep Sneezing? × Hill

    Recovery and management of mucus in cats depends on the underlying condition. You can aid your cats recovery by listening to your veterinarian and administering all medications as directed. In most cases, your cat should have access to fluids 24/7 and her area for recovery should be clean, including the air she breathes.


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    Mucus Average Cost

    What You Can Do In The Meantime

    • Keep the living area clean and free of dust particles and foreign matter that can be inhaled. This will protect your cat’s nasal and throat passages from further aggravation.
    • The use of a humidifier, a vaporizer, or the steam from a hot shower may help your cat breathe more easily.
    • Gently wipe nasal discharge from your cat’s nostrils with a soft damp towel.
    • Your cat may not be able to smell his/her food as well as before. Feed a strong smelling canned food , and warm it slightly.

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