What is causing my cat to sneeze?
Sneezing is one of the most commonly reported feline health issues by cat-owning households.
Cat sneezing regularly could be a symptom of a more serious underlying health problem. We’ve compiled crucial information about the causes of sneezing in cats and several treatment options to assist you in understanding why your cat frequently sneezes and how you may help them. Whether you can treat your cat at home or with the assistance of a veterinarian, it’s critical to take the required steps to help your cat recover.
Cats sneeze for various reasons, from a simple tickle to the nose, to smelling a foul odor such as a chemical, to inhaling dust and other particles in the air. Sometimes, a foreign item, such as dirt, lint, grass, or fur, could get into their nose. Serious problems can also cause chronic bouts of sneezing, such as an infection of the lungs, inflammation of the nasal cavity and sinuses, or even inflammation of a tooth that causes sinus drainage.
Coughing, hiccupping, retching, and gagging are all symptoms that might be confused with a sneeze, but treating them is very different. It’s critical to closely monitor your cat anytime they have a sneezing episode to ensure that they’re sneezing and not doing something else. It may be helpful to record a video of your cat sneezing to show your vet if there is any doubt about what is going on.
When Should I Worry About My Cat Sneezing?
There’s no need to be alarmed about the occasional sneeze; it could be something in the air hurting her nasal passage. Look for trends if it’s more than just an occurrence: Is it always at the same time of day? Is it only in a specific room or during family activities? Looking for patterns can help you establish whether an irritant, such as dust or scent, an infection, or another underlying problem causes your cat’s sneezing.
If you find your cat sneezing more when you clean the bathroom or after using his own bathroom, he may react to a chemical in the cleaning products or dust in the litter. It’s always helpful to have an observant eye on your cat. Something small may be a symptom of a much larger problem. Take note of the frequency of every sneeze and the severity of each occurrence. You can relay this information to the vet once you go to your cat’s regular checkup.
If your cat has chronic sneezing and you’ve seen discharge from the nose or eyes, this could cause concern. This also tracks if there’s a lack of energy and loss of appetite. Sneezing with other symptoms could indicate that your cat has an upper respiratory infection or another underlying problem that necessitates veterinary attention.
4 Things You Need to Know About Cat Sneezing
1. Cats Can Catch Colds
Cats, like their human owners, may catch colds. The cat flu is a viral or bacterial infection that causes cold-like symptoms in cats, particularly younger cats or those from animal shelters. Cat colds usually go away after a week or so, but some can endure longer. Take note that cats cannot get colds from humans, so there’s no need to kick yourself for thinking you infected your cat.
However, even while cats can’t get human colds, they can get sick with viruses that cause similar symptoms to the common cold. When a cat has a cold, it can sneeze, have watery eyes, a runny or stuffy nose, a slight fever, and less energy than it would typically have. The duration of these symptoms can range anywhere from five to ten days. During this time, do your best to make your cat comfortable and hydrated. This will allow them to recuperate faster and return to their active selves in no time.
2. Cats May Develop Allergies From the Environment
There are various explanations for frequent sneezes in cats. The first could be environmental in nature. Is it possible that your cat exclusively sneezes in one room or when you do certain activities? It may be allergic to dust or a perfume aroma in another. Or maybe bathroom chemicals offend its nose. Skin irritation or hair loss are cats’ most common symptoms of allergies. Other symptoms, such as your cat coughing, sneezing, and wheezing, as well as itchy and watery eyes, can occur.
Allergy symptoms can develop seasonally owing to outdoor allergens such as pollen or year-round allergens such as dust or mold. Keep in mind that allowing your cat to roam outside increases its exposure to toxins in fertilizers. Indoor cats can also be exposed to houseplants, which can induce allergic reactions. Be observant and always take note of your cat’s behavior after being exposed to specific items. Create a control room where you know everything your cat is in contact with. This way, you can narrow down objects that may cause your cat’s allergies to flare up.
3. Cats Can Sneeze Blood
Seeing blood oozing out of your cat’s nose can be frightening. Unfortunately, sneezing with bloody discharge is terrible news. Make sure to observe your cat’s behavior immediately after noticing blood coming from its nose. If your cat frequently sneezed before you saw the blood, consider this, along with any additional discharges from your cat’s eyes or mouth, a significant symptom of a health condition.
It could be something commonplace like a foreign object or illness, but it could also indicate poisoning, malignancies, or excessive blood pressure. Make an appointment with your veterinarian right away to have your pet inspected.
4. Cats Can Suffer from Sinusitis and Rhinitis
Your cat may possibly have an inflammatory illness such as rhinitis or sinusitis. These two illnesses will cause your cat to exhibit similar symptoms. Rhinitis, also known as “stuffy nose,” is an inflammation of the nose’s mucous membranes. Sinusitis, on the other hand, is an inflammation of the sinus lining. These two disorders are frequently found together as rhinosinusitis.
In cats, the symptoms of rhinitis and sinusitis include frequent sneezing and clear nasal discharge in cases of moderate illness. You could also expect nasal discharge that is yellow, green, or bloody in cases of severe disease. Other symptoms include labored breathing, snoring, breathing through the mouth, tearing from the eyes, and reverse sneezing, cleaning the nose with short quick inhalations. If the cause is fungal, you may find a lump on the bridge of the nose.
5 Things You Should Do If Your Cat Sneezes
1. Examine Your Cat’s Face for Abnormalities
You can also examine your cat’s head and face between vet visits for abnormalities such as discharge from the eyes or nose. If you see your cat sneezing, coughing, being lethargic, experiencing breathing issues, having a decreased appetite, and being dehydrated, take them to the vet immediately to rule out any major medical emergencies.
Look for bright, clear, and evenly focused eyes. If you have the following symptoms in your cat, contact your veterinarian immediately: redness, discoloration, discharge, squinting, or the appearance of the third eyelid.
It’s critical to keep a cat’s nose clean. Depending on your cat’s degree of activity and the temperature of its surroundings, its nose may be cold or warm. Contact your local veterinarian if you detect mucus or other discharge coming from your cat’s nose or sneezes or paws at its nose frequently.
2. Clean Your Cat’s Eyes and Nose
The most basic cause of sneezing in cats is an upper respiratory illness. Over 80% of upper respiratory infections in cats are caused by feline calicivirus and herpesvirus. You can do a few things to alleviate the symptoms of upper respiratory infections. Clean the discharge from their eyes and nose regularly with a warm, moist cloth, ensuring they are well-fed and hydrated. You can also try using a humidifier to help keep their nasal passages wet.
When it comes to the nose, you can discover some mucus or dirt that has dried up close to your cat’s nose. Using some lukewarm water and a cotton pad, you can make it more pliable and soft will allow you to wipe it clean. Tap the area until it is clean with a dry tissue or a dry cotton pad once the dirt has become more pliable.
Be careful to perform routine checks on your cat’s eyes to look for signs of inflammation. This will help ensure the health of your cat’s eyes. Do you find that there is an excessive amount of moisture or discharge? Remove any debris from their eyes. All you really need is a cue tip, a cotton pad, and some water that has been heated and let cool down. Use the pointed end of the cue stick to clean the inner corners of the eyes gently, and then gently touch them with a dry cotton pad or a tissue.
3. Examine Your Cat’s Teeth
You might not believe it, but your cat’s persistent sneezing could be caused by dental problems. Dental disease occurs when a cat’s teeth become infected or inflamed. In some cases, dental illness can cause sneezing in cats, mainly when it affects more significant areas of the mouth. Sneezing and other respiratory symptoms can be caused by a dental disease that affects the teeth, gums, and the roof of your cat’s mouth.
As a result, the barrier that separates the tooth socket from the nose opens when the teeth become infected or inflamed. As a result, food may enter the cat’s nose and cause it to sneeze as it eats. The vet must seal the hole in its teeth to fix this issue.
Cats suffering from severe dental disease may also require tooth extraction. They will also require considerable cleaning and therapy to restore their oral health. As always, consult a professional concerning your cat’s dental health.
4. Take Preventative Measures
Prevention is the best treatment, so ask the vet for advice on the healthiest diet, vaccines, types of food, do’s and don’ts, and any other healthy options for your cat while we’re there. And, as usual, let us shower our furry little bundles of joy with affection. Protect them against feline herpesvirus and calicivirus by getting your cat vaccinated. These viruses can cause upper respiratory infections in cats.
The vaccines will not entirely prevent children from contracting it but reduce their chances. Being able to avoid and take a few extra precautions will be able to keep your cat healthy and spare you a lifetime of runny noses.
Your family veterinarian may suggest a vaccination schedule for your cat, which is the best way to defend your pet from various infectious diseases. Call your regular vet if you’re unsure about your cat’s health, especially if it’s an emergency.
5. Keep Your Veterinarian’s Phone Number Handy
When the sneeze persists or is followed by other symptoms like coughing, lack of appetite, or discharge from the eyes and nose, visit the veterinarian. A visit is most likely required to obtain an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
This is particularly critical if your cat has stopped eating. Because of the loss of smell and taste and the inability to breathe out of the nose, loss of appetite is a reasonably typical symptom of upper respiratory illnesses in cats. Some medical issues might also make swallowing difficult.
The cause of the sneezing determines the treatment. In moderate cases, your veterinarian may advise you to use a humidifier to make your cat more comfortable. Antibiotics, antihistamines, steroids, or fluids may be required in other circumstances. Cats who do not respond to medical therapy may require surgery in rare cases.
Your cat sneezing is quite a natural occurrence. If it’s just once or twice, then there’s no need to worry at all! As a cat owner, it’s good that you want to know why your cat is sneezing a lot. Understanding why your cat is sneezing and when you should worry about your cat’s constant sneezing is very useful in learning how to care for them. You can help your cat stop sneezing with the few tips discussed.
Overall, If your cat sneezes sometimes, does not exhibit any other symptoms, or exhibits only mild symptoms, you may want to monitor them over the next several days to be safe. Maintain your cat’s indoor status and be on the lookout for any alterations. However, you should get in touch with your vet immediately if your cat sneezes repeatedly or regularly, if it sneezes blood, or exhibits any of the other symptoms discussed above. They can be indications of a disease or condition that requires medical attention from a veterinarian.
You must take your cat to the veterinarian if it has stopped eating. If you cure the bulk of the conditions that are causing your cat to sneeze, you should notice that it starts to feel much better in a short amount of time.