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.
Why Is My Cat Sneezing A Lot
Everyone loves to hear a cute cat sneeze the sound can bring an instant smile to your face. But if your cats sneezing is suddenly constant, it could be a sign of a larger problem with your feline friend.
If youre wondering, Why do cats sneeze?, there are a number of reasons why cats get the sniffles. Some are less problematic than others. But if you are worried about a rise in sneezing, it is important to monitor your pets condition and overall health and determine if the sneezing issues are serious enough to bring the cat in to your local veterinary provider.
Use this informational guide to help you determine if your cats sneezing fits are normal or worth examining further.
Top Reasons Why Cats Sneeze
Cats sneeze for a variety of reasons: some are as innocent as a tickle in their nasal passage, while others are as serious as an upper respiratory infection or even pneumonia. As long as you keep an eye on your pet, you should be able to better determine the underlying cause of their sneezes. Here are the most common answers to why is my cat sneezing?
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What Does A Cat Cough Sound Like
A cat that coughs usually stops what activity they are doing and sticks out their head, extending their neck. You may hear one cough, or severaland if your cat coughs several times in a row, he will stand or sit in one place during this.
When coughing, a cats chest and belly movements are dramatic since a cough is a forceful push of air out. Cats will not pant or hold their mouth open wide when coughing, and coughing is not really fasteach cough will likely have at least a second or two in between.
There are two types of cat coughs: a dry cough or a productive cough. The lining of the whole respiratory system contains cells that secrete mucus, or the thick gooey material you see when blowing your nose. Some causes of coughing will increase mucus production and produce a wet cough, while others will not and produce a dry cough.
A dry cough sounds like a honk or wheeze and your cat does not swallow afterward.
A wet cough sounds like water or something is caught in the back of your cats throatperhaps like cracklesand he will swallow afterward
It is very challenging for pet parents to know if their cat is actually coughing or producing a different sound. Some other things that could be happening instead of coughing include:
Other Causes Of Your Cat Sneezing
Continuous sneezing of cats could be associated with various reasons. One such factor of your cats continuous sneezing could be receiving a dose of intranasal vaccine. This type of sneezing will only last for several days.
Sneezing in cats could also be a sign of cancer. However, this is only applicable in extremely extraordinary cases.
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When To Worry About A Coughing Cat
If your cat is heard coughing one day and you had not heard it before, monitor him closely. A cat that is coughing, even occasionally, for two weeks or more likely has a chronic medical issue that needs attention, even if he is not experiencing other symptoms of illness. Realizing your cat is coughing and bringing him to the veterinarian early is the best way to keep your cat healthy.
If your cat is coughing a lot one day or appears to be in distress, he should be seen by the veterinarian right away. Specific symptoms that would indicate your cat needs to be seen immediately include:
- Limited to no appetite
- Hiding or other change in behavior
- Breath rate is more than once per second
Breathing appears exaggerated, such as the chest and/or belly are moving in and out quickly or dramatically or your cat is open mouth panting/breathing
Is It Bad If My Cat Sneezes A Lot
Virus: The most common reason a cat will sneeze is a respiratory infection, typically caused by feline herpes virus or feline calicivirus. Other causes of sneezing: While the reason for your cats sneezing is most likely inhaled irritants or a virus, there are some more serious causes to consider.
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Why Do People Sneeze Multiple Times In A Row
Scientists attribute the cause of multiple sneezes in a row to each person’s specific neurological and immunological makeup, according to an article in Science Line. People who tend to have various allergies are the most likely to sneeze several times in a row.
According to Health.com, sneezing fits are a possible clue that a person is allergic to something in his environment or that he is suffering from a viral infection. A doctor may refer someone who experiences frequent sneezing attacks to an allergist to determine exactly what is causing the reaction. Pollen, dust and animal dander are the most common allergens. On the other hand, some people have extremely sensitive nasal and sinus linings, in which case allergies may not be part of the equation.
WebMD indicates that sneezes occur when irritants infiltrate the lining of the nose and sinuses. At that point, the brain emits a signal for the body to flush the irritants. This triggers the body to inhale deeply and the tongue to press against the roof of the mouth so that all air must be expelled in the form of a sneeze through the nose. The website reports that the longest sneezing fit on record lasted 978 days.
Should You Be Worried
When your cat starts sneezes continually, its only natural to wonder if there is something to be concerned about. By and large, if your cat sneezes once or twice over the course of a few days, its nothing to be worried about. If you see them sneeze three or four times in a row in an isolated occurrence, thats probably fine, too. If your cat continues to sneeze repeatedly over the course of a few days, you should start paying closer attention to the duration and intensity of the episodes. If the sneezing fits persist longer than two or three days, its time to schedule a vet appointment.
Although inflammation and foreign materials are the most common reasons your cat may be sneezing consistently, theyre not the only culprits. Serious viral infections and even dental disease can cause sneezing, as well. Youll want to have these diagnosed as early as possible for your cats health and comfort.
If your cat doesnt appear to be in any pain or discomfort as a result of their sneezing, it might be tempting to let a vet appointment slide. However, if you notice that your cat is overly lethargic, that theyre exhibiting strange litter box habits or that theyre eating less, you could have a larger problem on your hands. You should immediately contact the vet if you spot any of the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Increase in frequency of sneezes
- Weight loss
- Vomiting or diarrhea
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Should You Be Worried If Your Cat Is Sneezing A Lot
If your cat is sneezing continuously and it has lasted for more than 3 days, then you should book an appointment with your veterinary as soon as possible.
Seeing your cat sneezing continuously it is only logical to have some concerns for their health. However, if the sneezing occurs only once or twice a day, then there is nothing you should be worried about.
Although inhalation of unwanted materials and inflammation are the universal reasons for cats sneezing, they are not the only ones.
Causes can range from viral infections to dental diseases. So, consult your vet to get to the bottom of the problem and help your little friend.
Is Viral Infection Causing My Cat To Sneeze
Your cat may be sneezing due to a viral infection. The most prevalent ones are known as Feline Herpes Virus and Feline Calicivirus.
- Feline Herpes Virus: Your cat can catch herpes when they are exposed to other cats infected by it. This virus will last for 10-20 days in most cases.
- Feline Calicivirus: This virus is recognized to be highly communicative. The most common symptom is Mouth ulcers but it can also affect your cats respiratory tract or cause pneumonia.
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What About A Cat Sneezing Blood
Seeing blood coming out of your cats nose can be a shocking experience. If your pet has been consistently sneezing before you saw the blood, take that and any other discharges from your cats eyes or mouth as a very serious sign of a health problem. It can also be something as simple as a foreign object or infection, but it may also be the sign of accidentally ingesting poison, tumors or high blood pressure. Immediately schedule an appointment with your veterinary clinic to have your pet examined.
What Home Remedy Can I Give My Cat For Sneezing
Holding your cat close to you, lean close to the steam and throw a big towel over both of your heads. Let the steam do its work for your cat. Five minutes is good if your cat will cooperate. Doing this several times a day, as you can, will loosen some of the mucus in her head so she can sneeze it out.
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Do Older Cats Lose The Ability To Retract Their Claws
Like humans, senior cats can develop arthritic issues. Senior cats often lose the ability to fully retract their claws in their senior years. It is important to keep their nails trimmed so that they do not get snagged on the carpet, bedding, or furniture, which can cause injury to the toe and nail bed.
What Causes A Cat To Sneeze Continuously
A cat can sneeze due to excitement, or a sudden movement, but constant sneezing is related to an illness or a nasal irritation. If your cat sneezes multiple times in succession, acknowledge that there is a reason for this happening. The most common explanations are: Respiratory infection. Irritation to the nose.
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What Are Some Other Reasons Why My Cat Is Sneezing
If your cat wont stop sneezing, check out these potential reasons why:
- Nasal and Sinus Issues: Some cats do suffer from rhinitis and sinusitis, two common respiratory issues. Rhinitis is the equivalent of a stuffy nose, while sinusitis is an inflammation in the lining of the sinuses.
- Foreign Objects: Sometimes lint or grass can get stuck in the nasal cavity, which is a very uncomfortable experience for the cat.
- Allergies/Asthma: Allergies rarely present themselves in the form of sneezing in cats, but it is possible, especially in felines with asthma. Your pets allergies could be caused by outdoor irritants like pollen or indoor ones like mold.
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus : This serious virus takes a long time to fully develop but can severely compromise the cats immune system, leaving it exposed to many illnesses.
- Feline Leukemia: In extremely rare cases, sneezing and easy infection is an early sign of this potentially fatal disease.
When Do I Have To Worry About My Cat Sneezing
Your cats occasional sneezing is usually not a cause for concern it may just be something that is irritating their nasal passage. If it happens more than occasionally, be sure to look for patterns. Try to notice if it happens at the same time of day or just in a specific room. This can help you determine if your cats sneezing was due to an irritant, or if it was caused by an infection or an underlying medical condition. Be sure to monitor your cat for other symptoms along with frequent sneezing. But first, lets identify the reasons your cat might sneeze.
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Respiratory Infection Or Cat Flu
One of the most common infections you will find is a respiratory infection, also known as the cat flu. The lungs and alveoli become irritated and swollen by the infection and will cause your cat to sneeze. It is a way to disrupt the mucus build-up in their lungs.
My Cat Is Sneezing: When To Be Concerned
Your cat hops up beside you on the couch, nuzzling your hand in an attempt to get pet. Once he takes a seat, he sneezes three times in a row. After saying bless you to your little feline friend, you cant help but wonder what caused the sneezing. Although sneezing in cats isnt always a cause for alarm, it is important to monitor it and pay attention to any other symptoms that may be present.
At Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic, we know it can be stressful not knowing the cause of your cats discomfort. This is why we strive to educate the Colorado Springs community about the causes that may be behind your cats sneezing. Even though sneezing is not always tied to a serious health concern, you should be sure to understand what causes it and when you need to take your cat to the vet.
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What Causes Cats To Cough
In cats, coughing is most often a sign of an inflammatory problem affecting the lower respiratory tract, especially some form of bronchitis. This inflammation is often due to an infection, particularly with viruses such as feline viral rhinotracheitis, or bacteria such as Bordetella.
Parasitic worms, especially heartworms, may be responsible for coughing and respiratory problems in some cases. Allergies of various origins may also cause coughing. Cats can cough for a variety of other reasons, including the presence of foreign material within the airway, or irritation from inhaled liquids or gases.
“In cats, coughing is most often a sign of an inflammatory problem affecting the lower respiratory tract, especially some form of bronchitis.”
Chest tumors can occasionally cause coughing. Coughing is not commonly associated with heart disease.
Coughing may accompany upper respiratory tract disease when irritation or inflammation affects the larynx or trachea, or a disease in the nose that results in excessive secretions draining into the larynx and trachea, causing irritation and coughing.
What Does It Mean If I Sneeze 3 Times
These multiple sneezes may be seem excessive, but theyre actually helping people clear irritants out of their airways, said Dr. For people who sneeze three times in quick succession, one sneeze probably loosens it up, the second sneeze gets it to the front of the nose and the third sneeze gets it out, he said.
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What To Do When Your Cat Is Sneezing
Yes, sneezing in cats is pretty common. But, as mentioned, some types of sneezes shouldnt be brushed aside.
If your cat is sneezing, one thing you can do is to look for patterns. Check if your cat sneezes whenever you clean up her litter box or light up some incense or candles in the room. By observing those little details, youll soon discover whats causing your cats sniffles.
On the other hand, if your cats sneezing happens frequently or if other symptoms accompany it, contacting your vet is your best course of action.
Most likely, your vet will conduct urine and blood tests to detect viruses. Your vet may also prescribe antibiotics or antiviral medications.
How Do You Treat Chronic Congestion In Cats
Treatment of rhinitis. Cats with acute or chronic rhinitis are usually treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics in an attempt to control secondary bacterial proliferation in the nasal cavity. Cats with acute disease generally improve rapidly, sometimes even before antibiotic therapy has time to be effective.
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When Should You Take Your Cat To See A Vet
Sometimes your cat will sneeze multiple times in a row. If they seem fine and dont have any other symptoms like drooling, mucus in the eyes, and wheezing, it may just be a one-time thing.
If you see that your cat has these sneezing fits quite often, you may take notice. Any other symptoms you see, along with sneezing, should be recorded. This combination could be cause for concern as it means there is an underlying cause of these fits.
You will want to contact your veterinarian right away when you see this and schedule an immediate appointment. Although it may just be a virus or an infection, you dont want it to go untreated as it could harm your pet.
Contact your veterinarian right away if you have brought home a new kitten and see these signs. It may just be an upper respiratory infection, but it could infect your other cats. You dont want to have all your pets infected. Isolate the kitten and get that appointment so it can be taken care of right away.