Why Do Cats Sneeze?

What Causes Cat Sneezing

Cat sneezing can be caused by allergies, dander, excitement, irritation, or other factors. Why do cats sneeze? Just like humans, cats too sneeze to clear their airways. Cat sneeze also called feline upper respiratory tract illness or infection (URTI), rather than a cold, can make a cat miserable.

Cat Suffering from Feline URTI

Although, a normal sneeze is no cause of alarm. Importantly, if the sneeze doesn’t stop or is followed with other symptoms it can be a sign of other health problems. I would recommend consulting your vet to eliminate any underlying problem.

Without a doubt, this checkup will enable the vet to do tests, diagnosis and administer treatment to the cat if the problem is serious.

It is easy to known when your cat is suffering from URTI.

To start with, check on changes in body language, drops in energy level and changes in your cat; physically. Just inspect the eyes, mouth, food intake, nasal areas.

Causes of Cat Sneeze?

To give a proper cause one needs to check on several factors and symptoms, for instance, the environment, the cats’ diet to know if it is an allergy or a disease.

Unquestionably, it’s important to understand the signs and symptoms of feline URTI. Subsequently, knowing will make the cat owner assess whether you need to seek a veterinary diagnosis and treatment.

Cat Sneeze Can be Caused by:

  • Infections

Cats also get infections. In addition, it can be fungal, viral, or bacterial infections. To get a clear picture of what your cat is suffering from, a vet can carry out tests. The tests can range from mouth swabs, throat, eyes, or nose checkup and send it to a lab to confirm for an infection.

Repeated and excessive sneezing and coughing can be a sign of an upper respiratory tract infection, which shouldn’t be ignored.

Nonetheless, a cat can suffer from common infections listed below:

  • Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), feline calicivirus, or a feline retrovirus, such as feline leukemia-these are viruses.
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica, Chlamydophila felis, and Mycoplasmas are bacteria

Indeed, the cat can suffer from both infections (viral and bacterial) but to ascertain the cause a vet needs to diagnose and after that give the proper treatment.

The vet will check the symptoms, the cat’s medical history, do a blood test, check the temperature for proper diagnosis.

  • Allergens

Additionally, a cat that suffers from sneezing can be caused by dust and other airborne particles.

These allergies can irritate the nasal airways causing the frequent sneezing the cat experiences. It is common for a cat to sneeze but if it becomes frequent it is good to take immediate action, visit a vet.

Also, household cleaning products, for example, bleach and vinegar might irritate your kitten nasal airways leading to sneezing.

  • Vaccination/Medication

You should also see a vet if your cat is dehydrated, not eating, or having difficulty breathing. Not only, can the cat react to nasal vaccination but also medication.

Cats are at a higher risk of developing URIs include kittens and elderly cats, as well as unvaccinated and immunosuppressed cats.

Your feline pet may be affected by outdoor allergens like pollen, or indoor allergens such as dust and mold.

The cat can be given allergy medicine to reduce the effects of the allergy. Once you discover what is causing the allergy to ensure it is not anywhere in the cats’ environment.

Fence the flower garden, if you have, to prevent the cat from going there and start to sneeze due to pollens.

Common Symptoms of Feline URTI

Nasal Discharge

This will be very uncomfortable with your cat as the discharge keeps coming out of the nose. Moreover, the cat might try to wipe the discharge with his paws making him messy and wet. Ensure to keep wiping the discharge coming out of the nose to avoid it drying there with a clean wipe.

Keep the cat bed and blanket dry during this period to avoid making the situation worse. Remember the cat is sneezing and all the droplets could be landing on her beddings if she is mostly there. Clean the area and beddings.

Watery Eyes

The immune system may try to fight the infection and noticeably your cat will have swollen eyes or watery eyes.

Talk to your vet as this can be controlled with eye drops if not severe. Watery eyes are a common symptom of feline Upper respiratory tract illness.

Sore Mouth

Just like humans, the feline will experience soreness in the mouth, redness in the mouth, and sometimes the throat. Inspect your cats’ mouth, you might find lesions and red rashes. The infection can be severe causing the bursting of the lesions. It is good to seek treatment from your vet to keep it under control.

The infection can go deep into the throat making your cat unable to eat, due to pain while swallowing. If the throat area is swollen get medication from the vet to facilitate faster healing.

The lesions on the tongue and inside the mouth and throat could be causing the soreness.

Low Energy Levels

Cats love relaxing but during exercises and playtime are very active. When the cat is sick it might have low energy levels, low appetite, and lethargy. Observe your cat during this time, the cold could be causing these changes.

Lack of appetite can be due to painful lesions in the mouth. Particularly, if your cat never misses a meal and does this when having the sneeze check into her throat for any redness.

The pain while swallowing the food could be causing the lack of appetite even when hungry. You can also try adding some water to the food to make it easier for the cat to eat.


Cats can catch colds and suffer from upper respiratory and sinus infections.

However, there are other conditions that can also lead to those small sneezes.

When the cats’ symptoms are severe it is important to go for a veterinary diagnosis. The symptoms can clear in a week or two but if severe need a vet diagnosis and treatment.

Particularly, your veterinarian may prescribe an oral antibiotic to eliminate the infection. Alongside this, isolate your cat from other cats or pets to avoid spreading of the infection.

Finally, keep your cat hydrated, and give enough water when eating.