why is my cat sneezing

Why is My Cat Sneezing 2023

Ever noticed your feline friend sneezing a bit too frequently? Unraveling the reasons behind why is my cat sneezing might lead you to insights on cat health and environment. Let’s dive in.


What’s up with my cat sneezing all the time?

If you’re a cat parent, it’s no surprise to see your furry friend sneeze from time to time. Most of the time, it’s just a harmless reflex caused by something stuck in their nose – like dust or hair. However, did you know that excessive sneezing could be a sign of an underlying health issue?

As much as we love our cats and hate to see them sick, we can’t always tell when they have a health condition. Sneezing is one such subtle indicator that something might not be right with your cat.

It could mean that your feline friend has allergies or is suffering from an infection. So, let’s delve deeper into why cats sneeze and what it could indicate about their health.

Sneezing – A Common Occurrence in Cats

Sneezing is entirely natural for cats. These adorable creatures have highly sensitive noses, which they use to explore the world around them through smells.

They also use their noses to clear away any irritants such as dust and debris that may enter their nasal cavities. Cats typically sneeze once or twice per day without any noticeable associated symptoms; however, if you notice that your pet is constantly sneezing throughout the day or has other signs of discomfort like watery eyes or nasal discharge, it could be indicative of something more severe.

An Underlying Health Issue

As much as we’d like to believe our cats are invincible beings who never get sick, they are susceptible to various ailments just like any other living creature on this planet. While minor sneezes are common among healthy felines and nothing to worry about – it is crucial always to monitor how much your cat is sneezing.

In some cases, excessive sneezing could signify a more severe underlying health issue that needs immediate attention. It’s essential to take note of any other symptoms your cat may be experiencing alongside the sneezing and consult your veterinarian.

Common Causes of Cat Sneezing

Cats can sneeze for many reasons, and it’s important to understand what might be causing your cat to sneeze in order to help them feel better. The three most common reasons why cats sneeze are allergies, irritants, and infections.


Allergies are a common cause of sneezing in cats. Just like humans, cats can be allergic to many different things, including pollen, dust mites, mold spores, and certain foods.

When a cat is exposed to an allergen they’re allergic to, their body reacts by producing histamines which can lead to inflammation and irritation of the nasal passages. This can cause them to sneeze.

Other symptoms associated with allergies in cats include runny nose, watery eyes, and itchy skin or ears. If you suspect your cat has allergies that are causing their sneezing or other symptoms, talk with your veterinarian about allergy testing or medication options.


Irritants like smoke or perfume can also cause your cat to sneeze. These types of irritants can irritate the sensitive tissues inside their nose which results in a reflexive response like sneezing.

If you smoke inside your home or use strong fragrances around your cat from things like candles or air fresheners it may be best to avoid these things altogether. Additionally cleaning products with strong chemicals such as bleach could also be contributing factors so always make sure that the air is well ventilated when using these products around pets.


Infections such as bacterial and viral infections are another potential reason why your cat may be experiencing frequent bouts of sneezing (although other symptoms usually accompany this). Feline herpesvirus is one common infection that may cause both respiratory symptoms and ocular (eye) symptoms. Additional signs of this infection in cats include eye or nose discharge, coughing, and fever.

Another potential cause of infections in cats is Bordetella. This is an infectious disease that can cause respiratory symptoms including sneezing, dry coughs, inflammation of the nasal passages and airways.


If your cat is sneezing frequently or if their sneezes are accompanied by other symptoms like runny eyes or nose discharge it’s important to have them evaluated by a veterinarian. Not only will they be able to help you determine what might be causing your cat’s sneezing but they will also be able to suggest a course of treatment to help your kitty feel better. The most common reasons for cat sneezing are allergies, irritants, and infections.

Allergies are caused by a reaction to something in the environment such as pollen or dust mites; irritants can include things like smoke from cigarettes or strong fragrances; and infections can be bacterial or viral. Understanding the underlying cause behind your cat’s sneeze can help you provide appropriate care for them.

The Allergy Factor: Why Cats Sneeze

How Allergies can cause sneezing in cats

Just like humans, cats can also suffer from different types of allergies. When a cat comes into contact with an allergen, it triggers an immune response in the body which releases histamines into the bloodstream.

These histamines cause inflammation and irritation in the nasal passages, leading to sneezing, itchiness and other symptoms associated with allergies. Even though sneezing is a common symptom of cat allergies, it’s not always easy to recognize them because they manifest in various ways.

Some cats may develop skin rashes or hives or experience digestive issues when exposed to allergens. It’s essential to monitor your cat for any unusual behavior or changes that might indicate an allergic reaction.

Common allergens for cats

Cats can be allergic to various substances ranging from environmental factors like pollen and dust mites to certain types of food. Pollen is one of the most common allergens for cats and can lead to sneezing fits during the spring season when flowers start blooming.

Dust mites are tiny bugs that live in house dust and bedding materials like carpets, mattresses, pillows and upholstery fabrics. They feed on dead skin cells shed by both humans and pets which makes them prevalent in households with pets.

If your cat shows signs of sneezing after being exposed to certain fabrics or dust-laden environments, dust mite allergy might be the culprit. Certain foods can also trigger allergies in some cats leading to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and skin rashes.

If you suspect food allergy as the underlying cause of your cat’s sneezing fits try changing their diet gradually until you find one that doesn’t cause any adverse reactions.

Did you know?

Cats aren’t born allergic to certain substances; they develop them over time with repeated exposure. Thus, it’s essential to keep your home environment clean and introduce new things gradually to prevent allergies from developing.

Fun facts:

– Persian cats are more susceptible to allergens than other breeds due to their long hair that traps dust and dander. – Ragdoll cats are hypoallergenic and produce fewer allergens compared to other breeds making them good pets for people who suffer from allergies. Sneezing is one of the most common symptoms of cat allergies.

Identifying the cause of your cat’s allergy is crucial in managing their condition effectively. If you suspect that your cat is suffering from an allergy, consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment options.

Irritants in Cats

The Sneezing Cat

Cats can be sensitive to a variety of irritants like smoke, perfumes, and cleaning products. These irritants can cause your cat to sneeze and exhibit other symptoms like watery eyes, coughing, and even difficulty breathing in severe cases. If your cat is a sneezer and you suspect an irritant may be the cause, here are some tips on how to reduce their exposure:

Reduce Exposure to Smoke

If you or someone in your household smokes, this could be the reason behind your cat’s sneezing fits. Secondhand smoke is harmful not just for humans but also for cats who share living spaces with smokers. Cigarette smoke contains pollutants that can irritate a cat’s respiratory system.

To reduce your cat’s exposure to smoke irritation, try smoking outside or creating designated smoking areas away from where your cat spends most of their time. If quitting smoking altogether isn’t an option yet, installing air filters in rooms where you smoke can help keep the air clean.

Avoid Overly Fragrant Household Products

Cleaning products that contain strong fragrances or chemicals like bleach can also irritate your cat’s sensitive nose. Try switching to unscented or mild cleaning products and avoid using diffusers with essential oils around cats as they may not tolerate them well. Using natural alternatives like vinegar or baking soda mixed with water for cleaning can also be effective in reducing irritation caused by household chemicals.

Minimize Exposure to Perfume and Other Scents

Minimizing exposure to perfume scents from personal care products like shampoos and lotions can also help reduce the likelihood of triggering a sneezing fit in cats. Consider switching to unscented versions of these products if possible.

As much as possible, avoid exposing your cat to irritants that may trigger sneezing or other respiratory symptoms. By doing so, you will be able to help them breathe easier and live a more comfortable life.

Infections in Cats

Feline Herpesvirus

Feline herpesvirus is a common viral infection that can cause sneezing, among other symptoms. This virus affects the respiratory system and can lead to cold-like symptoms such as runny nose, coughing, and sneezing.

It is highly contagious and can be spread easily among cats, especially in multi-cat households or shelters. Unfortunately, there is no cure for feline herpesvirus, but symptoms can be managed with medication.

Your veterinarian may prescribe antiviral medication or antibiotics to help manage your cat’s symptoms and prevent secondary bacterial infections. In some cases, supportive care such as fluids or oxygen therapy may be necessary.


Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterial infection that commonly affects dogs but can also affect cats. It causes respiratory symptoms such as sneezing, coughing and nasal discharge.

This bacterial infection is highly contagious and spreads through respiratory secretions from infected animals. Treatment often involves antibiotics like doxycycline or azithromycin to clear up the infection.

However, in severe cases where your cat is having difficulty breathing or has developed pneumonia from the infection, they may require hospitalization for supportive care. In addition to these two infections mentioned above, other viral infections like calicivirus or chlamydia psittaci could also cause sneezing in cats.

Prevention of Infections

Preventing infections in cats requires good hygiene practices such as regular cleaning of litter boxes and disinfecting surfaces regularly if you have multiple pets living with you. It’s also important not to introduce new pets into a household with sick animals until they have fully recovered from their illness.

If you notice your cat exhibiting any signs of illness like sneezing repeatedly or having difficulty breathing, it’s important to take them to a veterinarian right away. Early intervention can mean the difference between a quick recovery and a prolonged illness.


Infections can be a common cause of cat sneezing. Feline herpesvirus and bordetella are two examples of infections that can affect cats and cause respiratory symptoms such as sneezing.

Prevention is key in keeping your cat healthy, so practicing good hygiene and taking your cat to the vet as soon as you notice any signs of illness is essential. With proper treatment and care, most cats can recover from these infections with minimal complications.

Other Possible Causes of Cat Sneezing

The Underlying Health Issues You Didn’t Think of

While allergies, irritants, and infections are the most common causes of cat sneezing, there are a few other possible reasons why your feline friend is sneezing. These can include issues like nasal polyps or foreign objects stuck in their nose.

It may seem like something out of a cartoon, but cats can actually get things lodged in their nostrils just like humans can. Nasal polyps are growths that develop inside the nasal passages of cats and can cause breathing difficulties, snoring sounds when they sleep, and persistent sneezing.

While this condition may be rare in cats, it’s important to be aware of the possibility if you notice any unusual symptoms in your pet. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the polyps and alleviate your cat’s symptoms.

Foreign objects stuck in a cat’s nostrils typically occur when they stick their noses where they don’t belong. These objects could be anything from grass blades to small toys or even insects.

If you suspect that your cat has an object lodged in its nose, you should take them to see a veterinarian right away. Attempting to remove the object on your own could cause more harm than good.

When To Take Your Cat To The Vet

It’s important to know when a case of cat sneezing warrants a trip to the vet’s office. While occasional sneezes are usually nothing to worry about – especially if there are no other accompanying symptoms – frequent or prolonged bouts of sneezing could signal something more serious. If your cat is experiencing excessive sneezing that lasts for several days at a time or if it is accompanied by discharge from their nose or eyes, impaired appetite or lethargy then it might indicate an underlying health problem.

Additionally, if your cat is having difficulty breathing or if they seem to be in pain, you should seek medical attention immediately. It’s always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to your pet’s health.

Taking them to see a vet at the first sign of trouble can help identify any underlying issues and ensure proper treatment is initiated right away. Remember, catching a potential health issue early can end up saving you time and money in the long run.


While frequent sneezing in cats may be common, it’s important not to dismiss it as a simple inconvenience. There are several possible causes for sneezing that could have serious implications for your cat’s health.

It’s crucial to monitor your cat carefully and take them to see a veterinarian if they display any unusual symptoms or behavior. By doing so, you can ensure that your beloved feline companion receives all the necessary care and attention they need to remain healthy and happy.

Conclusion: Keeping Your Feline Friend Healthy

After reading the different causes of why your cat is sneezing, it becomes clear that there are a variety of reasons why cats sneeze. Whether it’s allergies, irritants or infections, it’s important to pay attention to your cat’s overall health and behavior.

Sneezing alone may not indicate a serious problem but combined with other symptoms, it could be an indicator of something more severe. One of the most important takeaways is that if you suspect something more serious than just what is mentioned here in this article, do not hesitate to take your feline friend to see a veterinarian.

A veterinarian can help diagnose any underlying health issues and provide appropriate treatment. Another key point made throughout this article was the importance of avoiding exposure to allergens and irritants as much as possible.

This can be achieved by keeping your home clean and free from dust or smoke, ensuring proper ventilation and using pet-friendly cleaning products. Monitoring your cat’s health regularly is essential in maintaining their well-being.

As pet owners, we should always be aware of any changes in our pets’ behavior or physical appearance. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help identify any potential problems before they become too severe.

While sneezing alone might not be a cause for concern for most cats, paying attention to their overall behavior and watching for additional symptoms can ensure we catch any potential health issues early on. By taking preventative measures such as reducing exposure to irritants and allergens and seeking veterinary care when necessary will ensure our feline friends live happy healthy lives for many years down the road!

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