Why Is My Cat Sneezing a Lot?
Everyone loves to hear a cute cat sneeze - the sound can bring an instant smile to your face. But if your cat's sneezing is suddenly constant, it could be a sign of a larger problem with your feline friend.
If you're wondering, "Why do cats sneeze?", there are a number of reasons why cats get the sniffles. Some are less problematic than others. But if you are worried about a rise in sneezing, it is important to monitor your pet's condition and overall health and determine if the sneezing issues are serious enough to bring the cat in to your local veterinary provider.
Use this informational guide to help you determine if your cat's sneezing fits are normal or worth examining further.
Why is my cat sneezing?
On one end, it could be as simple as your feline friend has something irritating in their nose - just like humans. Cats can be struck with the sudden urge to sneeze by dust or other irritants. Sometimes, cats will sneeze due to excitement or rapid movement. None of these issues should be cause for major concern.
What if my cat is sneezing a lot?
Recurring sneezes in cats can be explained in several ways. The first one may be environmental. Does it seem like your cat only sneezes in one particular room or only when you perform certain activities? Your cat may be allergic to dust in one room or a perfume scent found in a bathroom, for example.
But consistent sneezing may also be a sign of upper respiratory infections in cats. If you suspect that your cat is dealing with an upper respiratory infection, you should take it to the vet to discuss treatment options.
Can cats get colds?
Yes, just like their human owners, cats can catch colds. The "cat flu" is generally a viral or bacterial infection that leads to cold-like symptoms in cats, especially in younger cats or those who came from animal shelters. For the most part, cat colds will pass after a week or so, but some can last longer.
What are some other reasons why my cat is sneezing?
If your cat won't stop sneezing, check out these potential reasons why:
- Nasal and Sinus Issues: Some cats do suffer from rhinitis and sinusitis, two common respiratory issues. Rhinitis is the equivalent of a stuffy nose, while sinusitis is an inflammation in the lining of the sinuses.
- Foreign Objects: Sometimes lint or grass can get stuck in the nasal cavity, which is a very uncomfortable experience for the cat.
- Allergies/Asthma: Allergies rarely present themselves in the form of sneezing in cats, but it is possible, especially in felines with asthma. Your pet's allergies could be caused by outdoor irritants like pollen or indoor ones like mold.
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV): This serious virus takes a long time to fully develop but can severely compromise the cat's immune system, leaving it exposed to many illnesses.
- Feline Leukemia: In extremely rare cases, sneezing and easy infection is an early sign of this potentially fatal disease.
What about a cat sneezing blood?
Seeing blood coming out of your cat's nose can be a shocking experience. If your pet has been consistently sneezing before you saw the blood, take that and any other discharges from your cat's eyes or mouth as a very serious sign of a health problem. It can also be something as simple as a foreign object or infection, but it may also be the sign of accidentally ingesting poison, tumors or high blood pressure. Immediately schedule an appointment with your veterinary clinic to have your pet examined.
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 cat's nasal passages.
All cat owners want to make sure their special friend stays in good health. So, while you don't 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.