Sneezing Cats: Causes, Treatment, and When to See a Vet

Picture this: You’re sitting on the couch watching TV, and your cat jumps up next to you. You start to pet them, and suddenly, they let out a big sneeze. At first, it’s cute, but when the sneezing becomes frequent, it’s time to take notice. Sneezing in cats can be a cause for concern, indicating an underlying condition. In this article, we’ll explore the causes of sneezing in cats, at-home remedies, when to see a vet, and more.

Causes of Sneezing in Cats

Sneezing in cats can have various causes, making it difficult to diagnose. Other ailments like coughing, retching, and gagging can be mistaken for sneezing. To ensure it’s sneezing, monitor your cat closely during episodes and capture a video for your vet if needed.

The most common cause of sneezing in cats is an upper respiratory infection, usually caused by feline calicivirus and feline herpesvirus. These infections can be transmitted through direct contact or sharing food. Symptoms include sneezing, discharge from the eyes and nose, coughing, decreased appetite, and fever. It’s crucial to properly clean your cat’s eyes and nose and ensure they are well-fed and hydrated. A humidifier can also help keep their nasal passages moist.

Nasal and sinus issues can also trigger sneezing in cats. Rhinitis and sinusitis cause inflammation in the nose and sinuses, leading to sneezing, heavy breathing, tearing, and discharge from the eyes. Treatment usually involves a physical examination, rhinoscopy, and biopsy.

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Allergies, although less common in cats, can cause sneezing. Cats may be sensitive to mold, dust, perfume, smoke, or cleaning supplies. Removing these irritants from your home can alleviate symptoms. While there is no specific cure for allergies, customized allergy immunotherapy, a special diet, or medication can help relieve symptoms.

Bacterial infections, dental disease, fungal infections, and foreign bodies stuck in the nose are other possible causes of sneezing in cats. Treatment options include antibiotics, dental treatment, antifungal medication, and removal of foreign bodies.

How to Treat Sneezing in Cats

The first step in treating sneezing in cats is identifying the underlying issue. While complete cure is not always possible, alleviating symptoms is the goal. Treatment options include antibiotics, nasal lavage, humidifiers, air purifiers, steroids, antihistamines, and surgery in serious cases. At-home remedies like removing scented products, avoiding toxic disinfectants, using a vaporizer, and feeding potent-smelling food can also help.

Consider allergy medication if your cat suffers from allergies. Discuss with your vet to determine the right choice. is an online telehealth service that can connect you with licensed veterinarians for prescribed allergy medication.

When to See Your Vet

If at-home remedies and common allergy medicines don’t improve your cat’s sneezing symptoms, it’s crucial to visit a vet. A vet can diagnose the issue through tests such as blood or urine tests, X-rays, rhinoscopies, or biopsies. Sneezing could indicate an inflamed nasal passage caused by foreign material, which can only be diagnosed through a rhinoscopy.

Vaccinating your cat is essential for disease prevention. Vaccines protect against viral diseases and strengthen the immune system. Consult your vet to determine the necessary vaccinations for your cat.

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Sneezing Cats: Frequently Asked Questions

If your cat frequently sneezes, you likely have many questions regarding diagnosis and treatment. Here are some frequently asked questions answered for your convenience:

  1. When should I worry about my cat sneezing?

    • Occasional sneezes are usually harmless, but persistent sneezing or accompanying symptoms require attention. If your cat stops eating or develops a cough, wheezing, or other serious symptoms, visit the vet as soon as possible.
  2. What should I do if my cat keeps sneezing?

    • Persistent sneezing should be taken seriously. Visit a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment, as it could indicate an upper respiratory condition or bacterial infection.
  3. Is sneezing a symptom of COVID-19 in cats?

    • Sneezing is unlikely to be a symptom of COVID-19. COVID-19 primarily spreads from human to human. However, cats can contract their own variations of coronavirus, with respiratory illness and diarrhea as common symptoms.
  4. How much sneezing is too much for a cat?

    • One or two sneezes are harmless, but persistent episodes continuing for several weeks or months require a vet visit for diagnosis and treatment.

Final Notes: How to Treat Your Cat’s Sneezing

Dealing with a sneezing cat can be frustrating and worrisome. While occasional sneezing is normal, persistent sneezing should not be ignored. It could be a sign of a serious health condition, warranting a visit to the vet. Various causes, such as upper respiratory infections, allergies, or dental issues, require specific treatment approaches.

Treating your cat’s sneezing may involve antibiotics, allergy medication, simple household adjustments, or professional veterinary care. offers an online telehealth service, connecting you with licensed veterinarians to receive prescribed medication conveniently.

Remember to prioritize your cat’s health and seek proper diagnosis and treatment if their sneezing persists. By taking the necessary precautions, you can ensure your cat’s well-being and prevent future health issues.