Why Cats Sneeze



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Is your cat sneezing nonstop? Then, you must learn about why cats sneeze and what you can do to help.

Cats can seem like mysterious creatures, many of their habits seeming unfathomable, including why they sneeze. For example, have you ever wondered why your furry feline suddenly emits an “achoo!”? It may appear peculiar, but there is likely an explanation.

Why Cats Sneeze. A fluffy grey and black cat sneezing with a white/grey background.

The truth is that the occasional sneeze is a pretty typical behavior. While it might not be as noticeable as a human sneeze, cats will often have a few sneezes throughout the day.

They sneeze for the same reasons humans do: allergies, foreign objects in their noses, or a cold virus. Some say cats sneeze when they’re happy, while others believe it’s a way to eliminate pesky irritants. Sneezing is also a way for them to communicate with other cats. When one cat sees another sneeze, it gets ready to start playing.

While most of us understand that cats sneeze, it’s less common to know why they do it and what causes it.

Causes of Cats Sneezing

Just like humans, cats can sneeze for a variety of reasons.


Cats can be allergic to many things, like dust, pollen, and certain foods. Inhaling these particles can irritate their nasal passages and cause them to sneeze.


Sometimes, our feline friends will come into contact with something that irritates their immune system, such as smoke or perfumes. This can trigger sneezing.

Fungal Infections

Various upper respiratory infections, like colds or the flu, can cause a cat to sneeze.

Upper Respiratory Infection

Our friendly felines are sensitive to upper respiratory infections, which can cause sneezing. This is the most dangerous and severe type of sneezing in cats. If your cat suffers from chronic upper respiratory disease (sneezing lasting more than a week), don’t hesitate to take it to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.

Foreign Objects

Cats are curious creatures and sometimes end up with something that can be stuck in a cat’s nose. This foreign object can cause them to sneeze as their bodies naturally try to expel it.


Cats groom themselves often, and sometimes hair can get stuck in their throat or nose. This can lead to sneezing as the body tries to expel the hairball. In addition, this irritation can make them sneeze as they try to eliminate the blockage.

Viral Infections

Feline herpesvirus (FHV), and feline calicivirus, are other viruses that could be causing your cat’s sneezing. FHV is highly contagious and can lead to inflammation of the eyes, mouth, and respiratory system. In addition, cat diseases, like feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), can adversely impact your furry friend’s immune system.

Is Sneezing Normal in Cats?

For the most part, sneezing in cats is normal. This is because they are naturally sensitive to irritants and allergens that can trigger their sneezing reflex.

While it may be a bit concerning when your cat suddenly starts sneezing, usually, this is nothing to worry about as long as they’re not having any other symptoms like discharge from their nasal passage or eyes.

If it has multiple sneezing fits throughout the day and seems uncomfortable, it’s best to take it to the vet to ensure it doesn’t have a bacterial infection.

Should I Be Concerned if My Cat Is Sneezing?

Generally, it is not a cause for concern if your cat occasionally sneezes. However, if it seems more than just an occasional sneeze, such as having multiple sneezing fits in a single day or looking uncomfortable, you should take it to the vet. If left untreated, certain conditions can lead to serious viral or bacterial infections and are potentially fatal.

It’s best to err on the side of caution and have your cat examined by a professional to ensure everything is alright.

What Do I Do When My Cat Suddenly Starts Sneezing?

When your cat suddenly starts frequent sneezing, observe it for any other signs of distress. For example, if it seems uncomfortable or has any discharge from the nose or eyes, this could be a sign of bacterial infection or another more serious health issue.

If it seems alright and is just sneezing occasionally, it’s best to watch it for a few days and watch for any changes in its activity or health.

If a cat sneezes continuously without any other symptoms, you can try to remove potential allergens from your home, such as dust, pollen, perfumes, etc., to see if that helps.

If the sneezing persists and your cat seems unwell, it’s the best time for a vet visit.

Is My Cat Sneezing Too Much

Regarding sneezing, it can be challenging to determine what is “normal” for cats. However, occasional sneezing is usually nothing to worry about.

It is essential to consult your veterinarian, as this may indicate an underlying health issue. If you are ever concerned about persistent sneezing in your cat, it’s best to get it checked by the vet to receive the care it needs.

What Is the Best Time To Seek Medical Intervention For My Cat Sneezing?

  • If your cat is suffering from sinus infections and seems to be in discomfort
  • If it has yellow or green discharge coming from its nose
  • In case of excessive sneezing or any other signs of distress
  • If the sneezing doesn’t get better over time despite removing potential allergens
  • If you notice any changes in its activity or health due to sneezing

Does My Cat Have A COVID-19 Symptom?

No, sneezing is not a symptom of COVID-19 in cats. While your cat can catch the virus, its symptoms are usually milder than humans, including fever, coughing, difficulty breathing, and loss of appetite.

Sneezing alone is not enough to diagnose a COVID-19 infection in cats, as other common illnesses, such as allergies and conditions, can also cause it. If your pet may have contracted COVID-19, contact your veterinarian immediately for further advice and testing.

Treatments for Cat Sneezing

Your veterinarian can advise on the best treatment for your cat’s sneezing, depending on the underlying cause. Treatment may include antibiotics or other medications and dietary changes.

Removing potential allergens from your home will reduce sneezing episodes if allergies are the culprit. Your vet may also suggest using humidifiers, performing nasal washes, or other treatments to help relieve symptoms.

Final Thoughts on Cats Sneezing

Sneezing in cats is usually nothing to worry about. But if it sneezes multiple times a day or seems uncomfortable, take it to the vet for further examination. Your veterinarian can help diagnose the underlying cause of the sneezing and provide treatment options to help reduce symptoms, such as antibiotics, dietary changes, and allergen removal.

Ultimately, your vet can provide the best advice on ensuring your cat is healthy and happy.

Before you go, you might find these articles helpful:

20 Flowers That Are Safe For Cats

Ways To Lengthen Your Cat’s Lifespan

What Causes Kidney Failure In Cats

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