When your cat sneezes, it may be a sign that something is wrong with them. Sneezing can be caused by allergies, an upper respiratory infection, or a cold.
There are many reasons why your cat may be sneezing excessively, and it is important to figure out the cause of their sneezing so that you can take the appropriate steps to help them.
Cats are very sensitive to allergens and some cats have an allergic reaction when they inhale dust or pollen. Cats that are allergic to dust mites can also develop asthma and sneeze from time to time.
Cats can also be prone to upper respiratory infections, which can cause them to sneeze as well. If your cat's nose is running and he has a fever, it could be indicative of an upper respiratory infection, which would need treatment from a veterinarian.
Here’s how to tell what may be causing your cat’s sneezing, and how you may be able to help, starting right at home.
Is It Normal For Cats To Sneeze a Lot?
If your cat only has the occasional sneeze, there is probably no reason to worry. Sneezing is a natural occurrence and can happen to any cat at any time, just like it happens to us! Oftentimes, one-off sneezes are not that big of an issue to worry about.
For minor sneezing, it could be as simple as there being something in the air causing a minor irritation for your cat’s nasal passages. This can easily be remedied with a sneeze or two and is not anything to worry about.
A sneeze once or twice a day can be normal everyday behavior for cats, especially if they sneeze and immediately go back to what they were doing.
Even if the sneeze sounds different, it might not be a sign of severe symptoms if it only happens occasionally. Some cats sneeze in a way that some refer to as a “reverse sneeze,” which can sound like your cat is honking and may have your cat in what looks like a sneezing or coughing fit. Reverse sneezes are completely normal in cats as well and are generally not a cause for concern on their own.
If it becomes more than this, though, then you may want to pay more attention to when your cat is sneezing and why. Anything more than the occasional sneeze can signal a potential problem, and a sneeze followed by more unusual behavior can signal a concern as well.
When To See a Vet for Cat Sneezing
It is important to identify the cause of the cat's sneezing because it can help you determine what course of treatment to pursue. For example, if your cat has an upper respiratory infection, they will likely need antibiotics and other medications. If your cat has allergies, they may need antihistamines or to be kept inside during high pollen counts.
A cat will sneeze for a variety of reasons, and the severity of these reasons can be diagnosed by a veterinarian. A veterinarian will be able to distinguish the cause of the cat’s sneezing and tell you a proper course of action.
There are a number of possible things a vet might find to diagnose your cat. If your cat has a frequent sneeze, you may want to consult with a veterinarian to see if your cat is suffering from any of the following.
Your Cat Inhaled Something
Your cat might be sneezing because they inhaled something that is blocking their nasal passageway and they are doing their best to try to push it out. A foreign object lodged in your cat’s nose can cause your cat distress, impairing their ability to properly breathe.
Cats can still breathe out of their mouth, so your cat seeming to be able to breathe fine does not automatically disqualify them from having something lodged in their nose. Check the inside of your cat’s nose to see if you see anything stuck in there. If you do, take your cat to the vet as soon as possible.
Your Cat Has a Respiratory Infection
Just like with humans, any kind of respiratory infection in your cat can cause them to have bouts of sneezing. Your cat may have allergies or a cold, which could be a cause for them to sneeze. Cats can even develop sinus inflammation, just like we do.
Several days of sneezing can be one of many signs that your cat is sick. Taking them to a veterinarian to be checked out will be best for your cat.
If your cat does have an infection, a veterinarian can prescribe antibiotics. Antibiotics can generally knock out bacterial infections and help them get back to regular health, while other medications can help soothe and manage symptoms of a viral infection.
Your Cat Contracted Feline Herpes
The same type of herpes that can be transmitted between humans can also affect cats. Cats and humans cannot transmit herpes between each other, so there is no risk of your cat transmitting herpes to you, or vice versa. But cats can catch feline herpes, and just like with humans, cats with herpes can catch the occasional flare-up.
Herpes flare-ups in cats can be caused by a number of factors. Stress may be one common cause. Other illnesses may also trigger flare-ups as well.
If you find that your cat has started sneezing often and a lot, they might have contracted feline herpes, and it may be flaring up.
Your Cat Has A Dental Disease
Sneezing can also be triggered by cats having dental issues. Especially if the dental issues progress into something serious, dental diseases can cause many problems for your cat, not just in their mouth. Sneezing can be just one of many symptoms.
Feline dental diseases can affect their teeth, gums, and the roof of their mouths. It can also cause respiratory problems that may lead to things like sneezing. Solutions to these dental diseases may vary. In severe cases, teeth may have to be removed. Your cat may also have to go through substantial cleanings and treatments to get their dental health back in order.
Taking preventative measures can be the best way to help your cat avoid having to go through all of this, saving both you and your cat a lot of time and energy. Regular attempts at keeping your cat healthy can do wonders for their future.
Having your cat vaccinated can keep them from contracting many different illnesses. A regular vaccination schedule can be recommended by your cat’s veterinarian, and abiding by this schedule will be great for your cat’s health.
For more articles to help guide you through the ins and outs of being a pet parent, explore the rest of the VETCBD Hemp blog here.
Cat Herpes: FVR and FHV-1 Symptoms and Treatments | WebMD
Cat Sneezing: Causes and When it's a Concern | Caring Hearts Animal Hospital