what does it mean if your cat is sneezing

The most common cause of persistent sneezing in cats is an upper respiratory tract infection, usually due to viruses such as feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus. Both these viruses are contagious between cats but cannot be caught by humans.


STEP 1: Study your cat’s environment and consider potential causes. Finding patterns in your cat’s sneezing can help you diagnose whether it’s an infection or another underlying condition, or whether it’s an irritant like dust or perfume.

  • Does sneezing occur around the same time each day?
  • Does it only occur during household activities or in a particular room?
  • Dusty and/or scented litter may make your cats sneeze, so have you recently switched to new litter?
  • Do you use any new products in your home? Candles, cleansers, scented oils, and perfumes can all cause allergies in cats.
  • Is your home in need of a thorough cleaning? Usually, dust and pollen are the culprits.

Step 2: In the event that you believe your cat has an upper respiratory infection, follow these quick instructions to give them some relief until you can schedule a visit with the veterinarian.

  • Using warm, moistened cotton or a clean cloth, remove any discharge from your cat’s face and nose.
  • Try to get your cat to eat by heating up moist or canned food to facilitate digestion.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water.
  • To assist in keeping your cat’s nasal passages moist, keep a humidifier running.

Step 3: Make an appointment with your veterinarian if your cat’s sneezing continues after you’ve done everything to rule out environmental causes.

Causes of Sneezing in Cats

Cat sneezes can have anything from minor causes like a dust particle tickling their nose to major ones like cancer. If your cat is just sneezing and not exhibiting any other symptoms, a minor issue is probably the cause.

  • “Nose tickle”
  • Strong, chemical smell
  • Allergies
  • Infections (viral or bacterial)
  • Dental disease
  • Foreign object
  • Cancer

We’ll go over each of these reasons in the sections that follow, along with when to call your veterinarian.

It might just be a tickle if your cat only sneezes a few times and there don’t appear to be any other symptoms. This may be brought on by their own fur, pollen, or dust. There is nothing serious about a nose tickle.

Strong chemical smells or other strong smells may cause your cat to react. They might not smell bad to you, but your cat might find them unpleasant. When they smell something strong that they don’t like, cats will sneeze.

Your cat might be reacting to the smell if they haven’t shown any other symptoms and you’ve recently cleaned or used perfume or air freshener.

Sneezing is a common symptom of allergies. Your cat may have allergies if they are sneezing more than usual and exhibit any of the following signs.

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Itchy eyes
  • Runny eyes
  • Ear infections
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Snoring
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swollen paws
  • Sensitive paws
  • Excessive licking or grooming
  • Red skin
  • Dry skin
  • Excessive scratching

You can determine what type of allergy your cat has with the assistance of your veterinarian. Insect allergies, food allergies, and environmental allergies are the three primary categories.


The same particles in the air that cause humans to sneeze, such as dust, smoke, or even their own cat fur, also cause our feline friends to sneeze.

Sneezing is a normal, biological function when it occurs infrequently. Cats are known to occasionally have fits of sneezing. On the other hand, a cat rarely sneezes multiple times per day for several days in a row. You may need to consult with our veterinarians to determine whether treatment is necessary if the sneezing continues or if additional symptoms appear in addition to the sneezing.

Still, there may be more significant causes for your cat’s sneezing.


When should I worry about my cat sneezing?

Cats, like people and other animals, sneeze to clear irritating substances from their nasal passages. An occasional sneeze here or there is nothing to worry about, but sneezing that persists or is accompanied by other illness signs may indicate a problem.

How do you treat a sneeze in a cat?

They may be signs of an illness or condition that needs veterinary care. Treatment depends on the cause of the sneezing. In mild cases, the vet may suggest taking steps to simply help your cat be more comfortable — like using a humidifier. In other cases, antibiotics, antihistamines, steroids, or fluids may be needed.

Will cat sneezing resolve on its own?

If your cat is only sneezing on occasion with either no other symptoms or very mild symptoms, you may be able to wait a day or two and simply monitor her for any changes. Kittens, on the other hand, should always be seen by a veterinarian when suffering from these types of symptoms.

Do cat colds go away on their own?

Most healthy cats are able to make a full recovery from a cat cold without medical intervention in about 7-10 days. If your cat experiences more severe symptoms and medical treatment is required, the recovery period may last longer and be harder, depending on how serious it was.