What Treatments Are Available
When you bring your pet into the vet and ask them, Why does my cat keep sneezing? the doctor will do a series of tests to help answer the question. They will give your cat a swab from the mouth, nose, throat or eyes and set it to the lab to determine if there is an infection.
For mild respiratory infections, the doctor may provide some antibiotic medicine or eye/nose drops to aid with recovery. For sinus issues, steroids may be used to help open up your cats nasal passages.
All cat owners want to make sure their special friend stays in good health. So, while you dont have to watch over every single sneeze, if your cat begins exhibiting signs of illness, act quickly and consult with your vet. Also, making sure your cat stays on its vaccination schedule is a great preventative measure to keep your animal healthy and happy.
Cat Sneezing After Vaccinations
Dont worry if your cat starts sneezing frequently for a few days after receiving a vaccination against the respiratory tract infections.
These vaccinations can be both injected under the skin or sprayed up in the cats nose.
Frequent sneezing for the following 3-4 days is quite normal. You dont need to do anything. It will clear up on its own.
To relieve myself from the weight of the question When I hear the little lion have a sneezing attack over the corridor, should I be worried about my cats sneezing?, I start a close observation right away.
First, I check up on her overall condition, check her eyes and nose, look inside her mouth and teeth without disturbing her too much.
But more importantly, I carefully think whether there could be a problem with her food or with any changes in the house. Most of the time, it turns out to be a nasal irritation or an allergen that I can easily remove from the environment.
But sometimes, a simple act that we dont care about might evolve from an easily solvable problem if noticed early to a life-threatening health condition. Therefore, it is vital to observe every change closely.
I dont think you should immediately panic because your cat occasionally sneezes. But if you are an attentive cat owner, it is impossible not to realize an unusual routine, watery eyes, runny nose, and discomfort.
A long, healthy and happy life we will have with our cat, to some extent, depends on our attention and care.
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.
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Use A Vaporizer Or Humidifier
For minor sneezing and breathing problems, a humidifier will also help, especially when the air is dry. Avoid diffusing oils with repulsive scents as it may cause further irritations on your cats respiratory system.
You can place the humidifier beside your cats bed, but make sure that its secured and will not cause electrocution.
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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Why Are The Kitties Sneezing
Many cats and kittens catch a respiratory infection while they are in a shelter. Cold viruses are extremely common in cats adopted from shelters, easily passing them around.
The good news is that just like you and me, when a cat has a respiratory infection, they will usually get over it in a few days with no treatment. Some cats sneeze a little, while others develop more severe symptoms and become depressed, run a fever and even stop eating before they get well. Occasionally, cats develop bacterial infections , which can be a little gross, but can usually be taken care of with antibiotics.
We make every effort to keep our cats healthy and free from disease, but we do currently have a high incident rate. We test all cats for feline leukemia and deworm and vaccinate them. We keep their environment as clean and stress-free as possible. Despite our best efforts, however, most cats develop colds in the shelter. This problem in not unique to our shelter in fact, colds represent the single largest infectious disease in shelters nationwide.
We do not believe a cat should be euthanized just because of this. Instead, we try to nurse the cats through their sickness. We hope that you understand and will help us care for these cats and kittens. It would be a shame not to offer them up for adoption simply because they are ill. Just as in people, respiratory illnesses are not usually life-threatening.
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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Can You Treat Cat Flu At Home
We always recommend consulting a vet before trying any home remedies as it will give your feline the best chance of recovery. A URI can often be dealt with by your cats immune system eventually, but a more serious infection may require treatment via antibiotics. Again, this is down to the vet to prescribe.
Much like when we humans take something to alleviate the symptoms and make a cold or virus more bearable, there are ailments such as eyedrops and medication for pain, as prescribed by the vet.
There are some home remedies that can help such as keeping a humidifier in the places your cat likes to roam and rest, as this will alleviate some of the symptoms. A soft and gentle face wash can also help, especially if she has a nasal discharge or runny eyes.
Inhalation Of Foreign Objects
Some cats may be prone to inhaling or trying to swallow foreign objects, such as pieces of toys or small objects they find around the home. This is incredibly dangerous for several reasons, but one of these reasons is that the cats airways could become partially or fully obstructed. A cat with a partially obstructed airway may sneeze frequently.
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Respiratory Infections In Cats
One of the common reasons for sneezing is an upper respiratory infection in your cat. Respiratory infections are similar to your cat having a common cold. Upper respiratory infections can be viral, bacterial, and fungal. These types of infections can last anywhere from 7 to 21 days, but on average last 7 to 10 days.
If you have multiple cats, you may be wondering why are all my cats sneezing? Keep in mind that just like the common cold, upper respiratory infections in cats are contagious and can easily spread to other cats in the home.
How To Treat Cat Sneezing
If your cat has more than a mild sneeze, you should seek treatment from the vet. Depending on what your vet determines to be the cause of the sneezing will dictate the treatment. Possible treatments include:
- Eye and/or nose drops
- Blood and urine tests to detect viruses and other infectious diseases
- Small biopsies from the nose
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Cat Sneezing With Other Symptoms
Cat sneezing in conjunction with other signs is common but doesnt always help us narrow down the cause.
Cat sneezing along with wheezing can suggest concurrent lower respiratory disease.
If a cat is coughing and sneezing, it typically means that its primarily an upper respiratory process with postnasal drip irritating the throat.
If you see nasal discharge, especially with blood or pus-colored mucus, make a note or take a picture before cleaning your cats face, as this can help narrow down the causes. Be sure to clean your cats face, as it causes discomfort for your cat.
Chronic nosebleeds raise the concern for cancer, especially in older cats, but this association is not definitive.
Why Is My Cat Gagging And Coughing
Some medical disorders that often produce gagging and coughing symptoms are asthma, allergies, feline heartworm disease and upper respiratory infection. Remember, your cats health and happiness are worth your time and your efforts. For yet another clue as to what is going on with your cats gagging sounds, take a quick look at her coat.
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Why Is My Cat Suddenly Sneezing So Much
When your cat sneezes, she is releasing high-pressure air from her nose and mouth.
A few sneezes a day is fairly normal, but when kitty sneezes consistently over a period of days, you may want to bring her to visit us, as she could have an upper respiratory infection.
While most sneezing is caused by a viral infection, other causes of sneezing could be bacterial, fungal, a foreign body , or a tumor.
Why Is My Cat Sneezing
Cats can sneeze for a variety of reasons, such as:
- A simple nose tickle. Weve all had that!
- A noxious smell, such as chemicals
- Dust and other airborne particles
- A foreign object like a piece of lint, grass or a hair
- A respiratory infection
- Inflammation of nasal cavity and/or sinuses
- Inflammation or infection of a tooth causing drainage into sinuses
Why do Cats Sneeze? Is There a Pattern?
Theres probably no reason to worry about the occasional sneeze here and there it may just be something in the air irritating her nasal passage. If its more than just occasional, look for patterns: Does it happen around the same time of day? Does it only happen in a certain room or during family activities? Looking for patterns can help determine if your cat is sneezing due to an irritant, such as dust or perfume, or if its caused by an infection or other underlying condition.
If you notice your cat sneezes more when you clean the bathroom, or after doing his business in his own bathroom, he could be having a reaction to a chemical in the cleaning products or dust in litter.
On the other hand, if your cat is sneezing a lot and youve noticed discharge from the nose or eyes along with a lack of energy and loss of appetite, then it may be something to worry about. Sneezing accompanied by other symptoms could be a sign your cat is suffering from an upper respiratory infection or other underlying condition that may require veterinary care.
When to See a Veterinarian
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When To Contact Your Vet
Sneezing from time to time is nothing to worry about, but you should contact your vet if your cat starts sneezing often.
Contact your vet for an urgent appointment if your cat cant stop sneezing, sneezes blood or seems painful.
Consider insuring your cat as soon as you get them, before any signs of illness start. This will ensure you have all the support you need to care for them.
Cat Sneezing As A Symptom Of A Disease
- Watery eyes.
- Blood discharge from the nose and mouth when sneezing.
One or more of these symptoms may be signs of mild to severe serious diseases.
If your cat sneezes but seems healthy, it is probably related to a chemical or foreign substance that causes allergies or irritation.
However, if your cats sneezing is accompanied by any of the abovementioned symptoms, it may indicate a serious problem.
Lets have a look at when cat sneezing is a warning sign of a serious health condition.
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Signs That Your Cat Needs To See A Veterinarian
- Sneezing and nasal discharge that persists for more than just a few days
- Amount of sneezing and nasal discharge increases
- Color and/or consistency of the nasal discharge changes
- Rubbing the nose or pawing at the face
- Noisy or raspy breathing
- Sneezing and nasal discharge accompanied by other signs of illness
Irritants And Foreign Bodies
The occasional cat sneeze could be brought on by an inhaled allergen, or a nearby irritant thats attacking their sensitive nasal passages. Like with humans, irritants can trigger a sneezing fit in a cat from out of nowhere.
The list of potential nose tormentors is long, and includes dust particles, smoke, cleaning products, perfume, even pieces of grass. Once you have isolated the irritant and removed it from your cats nose, or their surroundings, the sneezing should subside.
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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 To Look For
In addition to monitoring any excessive sneezing, you should also pay attention to your kitty’s nasal discharge. “Sneezing and nasal discharge can appear together or can occur as separate problems. They are associated with disorders of the nasal cavity, nasal sinuses, or both,” explains VCA Animal Hospital. “While an occasional sneeze is perfectly normal, repeated bouts of vigorous sneezing suggests irritation of the nasal cavity.” In addition to sneezing and nasal discharge, symptoms including eye discharge, loss of appetite, lethargy and coughing may indicate your kitty is suffering from an infection.
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When Should You See The Vet
Cats that sneeze only sporadically or experience no other symptoms dont need to visit the vet. If they have only mild symptoms, you can monitor their condition for a few days before deciding. Schedule an appointment with the vet if your cat sneezes often or nonstop, sneezes blood, or experiences other symptoms. This could be a sign of a serious condition or illness that requires medical care to remedy.Underlying conditions that cause sneezing can be uncomfortable or painful for your cat. Other symptoms to look out for include nasal discharge, weight loss, loss of appetite, worsening symptoms, and symptoms lasting more than a few days. Your vet can determine the cause of your cats sneezing and provide a treatment plan to relieve her pain.
Why Do Kittens Sneeze
If you notice your kitten sneezing now and then, there’s a good chance that it’s just reacting to some dust or fur that’s tickled its nose. Remember that kittens’ noses are just inches from the floor, so if your floor is dusty, you may notice a fair amount of sneezing. There’s a simple cure for this issue: Just dust and vacuum your floors a bit more frequently.
If your kitten has more than just a mild sneeze, possibilities include allergies, foreign objects stuck in nose or upper respiratory diseases. Foreign objects can be stuck in your pet’s nose without you knowing. A vet can check for and safely remove foreign objects. This may require sedation, nasal flushing and/or endoscopy to do this.
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Tips For Reducing Allergens In Your Home
- It may be time to get your air ducts cleaned. It’s appalling how much dirt and dust can be recirculating through your house. It’s not good for you, either! Check how well your fireplace is venting, too. It may be time for chimney maintenance.
- Consider getting a HEPA vacuum. Having a vacuum with a HEPA filter can greatly reduce the number of allergens being pumped out each time you vacuum. A cyclone-type vacuum is another great choice as they literally spin the dirt out of the air.
- Be very careful when you’re dusting, you can unwittingly deposit an enormous amount of dust into your air unless you take certain precautions. Use a damp cloth or one that’s treated to attract dust for the job instead of feather dusters or dry cloths.
- Use green cleaning products. They aren’t filled with artificial fragrances and chemicals that can irritate your cat.
- Consider running a humidifier for your kitty. Bring him or her into your bedroom and run it for a while. Or bring the cat into the bathroom with you when you shower. The hot steam can help open up the nasal passages.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the authorâs knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.