Cat Sneezing: Causes and When it’s a Concern

Have you noticed your cat sneezing often? If so, you might be concerned that there’s a serious underlying problem causing this symptom. The good news is that most cat sneezing causes are not fatal ones, and that they can mostly be treated or managed with proper vet care.

Cat sneezing

Read through the article below to find out more about some of the most common causes of sneezing in cats and when these causes might require a visit to the vet.

Normal Everyday Sneezes

Some cats simply sneeze as part of their normal everyday behavior and habits. If your cat sneezes once or twice and then goes about her routine as normal, there is likely no cause for concern. However, you should keep an eye on her just to be sure the sneezing doesn’t continue.

Some cats may also “reverse sneeze,” which sounds a bit like a honking noise and looks like a sneeze or a coughing fit. Reverse sneezing appears alarming, but it’s also actually quite normal and isn’t a cause for concern on its own.

Respiratory Infection

Just about any upper respiratory infection can cause sneezing in cats, just like these types of infection can cause sneezing in humans. A cat with allergies or a cold may start to sneeze, and cats can be infected with viruses, pathogens, and bacteria that can all cause these problems.

If your cat is sneezing a lot for several days or if she shows other signs of being sick, you should take her to the veterinarian to be examined. She may have developed a respiratory infection, which is quite common in cats. A round of antibiotics should help her get back to her usual self.

Feline Herpes

Feline herpes is similar to the type of herpes virus that affects humans. However, the two cannot be transmitted between each other, so don’t worry about catching herpes from your cat if she is diagnosed with it. Feline herpes affects a cat throughout her life and can lead to flare-ups now and then, just like it does in humans.

Stress is the most common cause of flare-ups in cats with feline herpes, but they can be caused by other illnesses as well. If your cat is sneezing often, there is a chance she may have feline herpes that is flaring up currently.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is also known as FIV. It is the feline version of HIV in humans, although the two are not contagious to each other. FIV can cause a cat’s immune system to be severely impaired, which can lead to frequent respiratory infections.

If a cat is affected by FIV, she is likely to be sick in other ways aside from simple sneezing. Only your vet can tell you for sure, however, if your cat has this condition.

Dental Disease

Dental disease can cause sneezing in cats in some instances, especially when it affects larger portions of the mouth. Dental disease that affects the teeth, gums, and even the roof of the mouth can all lead to sneezing and other respiratory symptoms.

Cats who have severe dental disease may need to have some of their teeth removed. They may also need to undergo extensive cleaning and treatment to get their mouth health back to normal. Talk to your veterinarian for more information about how to help your cat with dental disease.

Inhalation of a Foreign Object

Although it is less common in cats than in dogs, it is still possible for a cat to inhale a foreign object that could get stuck in her nose. This can block a cat’s airways and nasal passages. Even if the cat can still breathe normally through her mouth, her nose could be blocked by the object, and this could cause distress.

If this happens to your cat, she is likely to start sneezing to try to get rid of the object that is lodged in her nose. Try to look into her nose to see if you see the object. If so, take her to the vet right away.

Talk to a Veterinarian about Your Cat’s Sneezing

Now that you’ve learned more about sneezing in cats, you can learn how to recognize when sneezing is a cause for concern and when it’s simply business as usual for your feline friend. Pay close attention to your cat’s 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. It’s important to find the underlying cause for why your cat keeps sneezing so you can know for sure if there’s anything that needs to be done to help treat it.