Wednesday, February 28, 2024

What Does It Mean When Your Cat Sneezes

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When Is It Time To See A Vet

Sneezing Cat? 5 Effective Home Remedies

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

Why Does My Cat Meow When I Sneeze 4 Reasons For This Behavior

If youve ever sneezed around a cat, you probably noticed that it responded pretty weird. Some hiss while others run away whenever they hear their owner sneeze. More commonly, cast meow whenever their owners sneeze, especially if the cat is super comfortable around the owner.

So, why does your cat meow when you sneeze? Though its impossible to say precisely why cats respond the way they do without speaking cat, experts have made some pretty convincing guesses as to why your cat responds this way. Lets check out 4 reasons for why your cat meows when you sneeze and more.

What Causes A Cat To Sneeze Blood

There are many things that can cause your cat to sneeze blood. Below you will find the most common issues that can result in blood in the nose, which would be expelled with a sneeze. Also listed are some basic treatment options that you or your vet may use.

For more serious problems, read through the section on at the bottom of this page.

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What Causes Cats To Sneeze Blood

Like people, cats have noses that are lined with many tiny blood vessels. A break in one of those can lead to a bloody nose. The feeling of liquid in a cats nose can stimulate a sneeze reaction, Erick Mears, DVM, DACVIM, medical director of BluePearl Pet Hospital in Tampa Bay, Fla., says. Cats tend to just sneeze and sneeze and sneeze sometimes.

How To Prevent Sneezing

What Does It Mean When Your Cat Sneezes A Lot

If your kitten is sneezing intermittently and there are no other symptoms, you can start by cleaning up your kitten’s environment.;There are a few easy changes you can make:

  • Stop using air fresheners, scented laundry detergents, perfumes and smoking inside to see if that makes a difference.
  • Be careful with any disinfectants you do use, particularly if the cat walks on the surface you spray and then licks its paw pads. Many disinfectants contain chemicals that can be harmful to cats. About 3/4 cup of plain bleach mixed with a gallon of water makes a safe disinfectant for cleaning a litter box and works well for other surfaces too, such as kitchen counters and sinks. It leaves a nice, clean scent, so you shouldn’t need additional air fresheners.
  • Thoroughly rinseyour kitty’s litter box and other kitty-frequented surfaces with plain water following the use of bleach solutions or other cleaning products.
  • Check your kitty’s litter as well. Some litters throw up a lot of dust when the kitty scratches in the box and can exacerbate allergy problems in both cats and humans.

Keep an eye on your kitten for a few days. If it shows any other symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, such as watery eyes, sniffling or coughing, or if it continues sneezing after you’ve eliminated environmental problems, you should take it to the vet sooner rather than later.

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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.

My Cats Sneezing Is Not Going Away What Could Be The Cause

There are a range of possibilities

Post-viral or idiopathic rhinitis.

Some cats suffer permanent damage of the lining of the nasal cavity, or even the bone, after viral infection, leaving the nasal cavity susceptible to recurring bacterial infection. This post-viral rhinitis , is the most common cause of chronic nasal disease and sneezing. It can happen without viral involvement but is less common and poorly understood.

As the damage is permanent, the aim is management not cure. This can be frustrating, with frequent vet visits and poor long-term quality of life. Antibiotics for bacterial infections are used but these infections can recur very frequently. Nebulisation can help to loosen secretions and allow more effective sneezing. In non-viral cases corticosteroid medication may help. Regular bathing of the face and nose, and warming food to make it more appealing, are basic considerations but important.

Nasal tumours

Tumours are the second most common cause of long term nasal disease. There are several types of tumours, but 50% are lymphoma. Adenocarcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas and fibrosarcomas make up most of the rest. More research is needed to explain how cats get nasal lymphoma. Exposure to tobacco smoke is implicated but evidence is lacking.

Cats may sneeze, have noisy breathing, a snotty nasal discharge that can be bloody, and have nasal swelling.

Nasal foreign body

Fungal infections


Dental disease


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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.

Chronic Upper Respiratory Conditions

Why is My Cat Sneezing with a Runny, Snotty Nose and Eyes? (cat flu) – Cat Health Vet Advice

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:

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How Do Indoor Cats Get Colds

Cats can also contract URIs without contact from other cats, a fact that often surprises indoor cat owners. Most of the viruses that cause these infections are airborne, and some are transmitted through water. Filtering all outside air and water would be the only way to prevent these viruses from entering a home.

Talk To A Veterinarian About Your Cats Sneezing

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.

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What Exactly Is A Feline Upper Respiratory Infection Aka Uri

Feline;upper respiratory infections; are a;common cause;of;sneezing, runny eyes, discharge from the nose, and even pink eye in cats. Some cases of cat colds can be mild . Others may be more severe and manifest as;decreased appetite;, lethargy, fever, and acting aloof or hiding.

A feline;URI;is similar to a common cold in a human . In humans, common colds are typically due to;viral infections and typically seen more in the winter. Thats different from cat colds, which can be seen all year-long. As a veterinarian, I usually see more;sneezing;cats;in the spring and summer, which likely coincides with kitten season, when shelters are overwhelmed by pet overpopulation.

Common Causes Of Cat Sneezes

Why Is My Cat Sneezing A Lot I Causes And Remedies in 2020 ...

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

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What Is A Sneeze

Everyone knows what a sneeze is, but a definition can help to explain what, precisely, is happening.

A sneeze is a reflex , in response to an irritation of the lining of the nasal passages. The reflex starts with a slow inhalation of air into the lungs, followed by sudden, forceful expulsion of the air at speed, through the nose.

Any small, loose, particles in the nasal chamber are likely to be expelled at speed into the surrounding environment during a sneeze.

What To Do If Your Cat Is Sneezing

If the sneezing is persistent it is important to see a veterinarian to ensure there is no underlying health problem such as an infection or allergy. If you are unsure and concerned about your cat please call one of our friendly healthcare team members and they can discuss your cat’s current health and wellness and provide further advice.;

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What Can You Do About It

If your cat meows or responds in any way to your sneeze, there is likely not much you can do about it. That is simply because the cats response to your sneeze is more instinctual than intentional. Theres not much you can do about instinct responses.

If you suspect your cat is genuinely scared at your sneezes, you can try to acclimate them slowly to the sound. You can do this by play-sneezing in their presence and giving them treats after. This will teach them that the sneeze is not that scary of an experience.

Overall, you really shouldnt worry if your cat meows to your sneeze. Since they are not running away or being aggressive in any way, they likely are just responding to you, just like another person would. Theres no need to worry about acclimating your cat to your sneeze in most cases.

Cat Sneezing: Causes And When Its A Concern

Sneezy Cats : Cat Behavior & Health

Have you noticed your cat sneezing often? If so, you might be concerned that theres a serious underlying problem causing this symptom. The good news is that most cat sneezing causes are not fatal ones, and that they can mostly be treated or managed with proper vet care.

Read through the article below to find out more about some of the most common causes of sneezing in cats and when these causes might require a visit to the vet.

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How Do You Treat A Sneezing Cat

Treatment for cat sneezing is typically targeted at the underlying cause where possible.

While a wide variety of treatments are available, owners should be aware that the goal in most cases, especially chronic cases, is to reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms, not to cure them.

More research is needed to fully understand the role that infections play in cat sneezing, but repeated or prolonged courses of antibiotics have proved to be effective in controlling clinical signs.

Foreign Body In The Nose Or Nasal Cavity

Cats are often very playful and curious animals, which is one of the reasons we love them. If your cat is playing with a toy, a stick, or even a mouse, it can expose them to some risk of a foreign object entering their nose.

If a sliver of a stick, a mouse claw, or even a blade of grass gets lodged in their nose, it can result in significant irritation. Your cat may try to get it out with their claws, which could result in bleeding. The irritation itself could also result in bleeding. If your cat is bleeding in their nose or nasal cavity, it will trigger the sneezing reaction to get the blood out.

Your cat may eventually be able to get the foreign body out on their own, but if the bleeding continues for more than a day or so, or it becomes heavy, they definitely need to visit the vet. Your vet will be able to look in your cats nose and remove whatever is causing the problem.

Ideally though, the cat should be taken the vet as soon as possible; an object stuck in your cats nose, even if its not especially dangerous, can cause significant pain and discomfort.

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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.

What Does It Mean When A Cat Sneezes Constantly

Why is my cat sneezing?

If your cat is coughing or sneezing in addition to having a runny nose, it could mean that your cat has an upper respiratory infection or another type of infection in its upper respiratory tract. One of the more common medical conditions we are presented with in feline medicine is a cat with upper respiratory symptoms, including sneezing, feline eye and nose discharge, as well as cats having difficulty breathing because of obstruction of the airways, and in some cases lower appetite.

Why Is My Cat Sneezing A Lot I Causes And Remedies in 2020

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When Should You Be Concerned About Your Cat Sneezing

Cats, like many animals, will sneeze from time to time. An occasional sneeze, as with humans, is rarely of concern. If you notice that this sneezing becomes frequent, or there are other signs, then you may need to go to your vets for a pet check.

Cat flu .

Viral infections are the most common cause of excessive, but temporary, sneezing in cats. 90% of infections are due to feline calicivirus or feline herpesvirus with exposure to infected saliva, tears or snot causing it to spread. Although sneezing is a common sign, most have other signs such as coughing, runny eyes, conjunctivitis, a snotty nose and mouth or eye ulcers. Many cats lose their appetite and become lethargic and febrile. Bacteria such as Bordetella bronchiseptica can cause similar signs including sneezing but is a less common culprit.

Older cats, kittens, and cats with reduced immune system function, can become very ill and develop secondary infections like pneumonia. In these cats, flu can be life-threatening. A vaccine is available and used routinely in the UK to protect against these viruses.

Most cats infected with herpesvirus remain carriers. Some dont shed significant amounts of virus, some shed intermittently when stressed and may or may not show signs themselves. Stress may include having kittens or going to a cattery, for example. Many kittens are infected by apparently well mums in this way. Cats with FCV remain carriers for a few weeks but usually eliminate it.

About Amanda Jondle Dvm

Dr. Amanda Jondle is a veterinarian who practices small animal medicine and surgery and integrative medicine such as acupuncture in all sizes of animals. Growing up on a small farm, she knew from a very young age that she wanted to work with animals and started spending time at a local vet clinic at 11 years old. In addition to working full time at an animal hospital, she now enjoys helping pets and educating clients through writing and editing articles to inform pet owners on how to best care for their pets. She and her husband currently have 4 rescue dogs and 3 cats of their own and are often fostering pets with health issues until they find their forever homes.

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