Although the occasional sneeze from a cat is nothing to worry about, frequent sneezing fits are definitely concerning. Unfortunately, there are many different possible causes for excessive sneezing in cats.
Possibly the most common cause for sneezing in cats is irritation and inflammation. However, infections, foreign bodies, dental disease, and other medical conditions can cause sneezing in cats as well.
In this article we will be explaining everything that cat owners need to know about sneezing in cats. This includes the five most common causes for sneezing in cats and when you should see a vet about your cat’s sneezing. Let’s jump into it.
5 Possible Causes for Sneezing In Cats
Here we will be getting into the five most common causes for sneezing in cats. Possibly the most common causes on our list include nose irritation or inflammation and upper respiratory infections. However, dental disease, foreign bodies in the nose, and a variety of other medical conditions can cause sneezing in cats as well. Here are the five possible causes for sneezing in cats.
Upper respiratory infections in cats commonly cause sneezing. If your cat is sick, then they will likely exhibit some other symptoms in addition to sneezing. Here are some other signs of upper respiratory infections in cats that cat owners should look out for.
- Discharge coming from the nose and eyes (may be clear or white, yellow, or green in color)
- A reduced appetite
- Foul smelling breath
- Signs of an eye infection (may be red or pink in color or swollen. In severe cases eyes may be swollen shut.)
It is important to note that your cat may only exhibit a few symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, and symptoms can vary depending on the exact illness that your cat has. Of course, if you suspect that your cat is sick then you should take them to the vet for treatment. In addition to this, you should also quarantine your cat to prevent the spread of the illness to other cats if they are in the home.
The good news is that most upper respiratory infections are easily diagnosed and treated by a vet. Bacterial infections in cats are usually treated with antibacterial medications. Meanwhile, viral infections in cats are usually treated with antiviral medication and/or medications that reduce the severity of a cat’s symptoms.
Irritation And Inflammation
Nose irritation and inflammation are possibly the most common causes for sneezing in cats. In fact, nose irritation is not really something that cat owners need to worry about, and this is usually responsible for the occasional sneeze from your cat. However, frequent nose irritation or inflammation is a different story.
Frequent nose inflammation and irritation can be the result of many different things. Allergies and living in an unclean environment are possibly the most common reasons for this problem in cats when there are no diseases or other types of medical conditions present that are causing the sneezing.
It may surprise some cat owners to find out that dental disease can actually cause excessive sneezing in cats. This is because a cat’s nasal cavity lies in very close proximity to the roots of their teeth. This results in inflammation of the nasal cavity when the gums and roots of a cat’s teeth become infected.
Cats with dental disease will usually exhibit other signs and symptoms of this problem along with sneezing. Some other common signs of dental disease in cats include:
- The presence of a lot of tartar or plaque
- Red and swollen gums
- Foul smelling breath
- A reduced appetite and weight loss
- Difficulty chewing and eating
- Pain in the mouth
Unfortunately, dental disease in cats is easier to prevent than treat once it has set in. This is especially true of dental disease in cats that is very severe. Taking measures to clean your cat’s teeth on a regular basis can help prevent them from developing dental disease.
If you suspect that your cat already has dental disease then taking them to the vet can help. Depending on your cat’s situation a vet may try to reduce the severity of your cat’s dental disease. Additionally, a vet will be able to treat your cat’s pain to make them feel more comfortable as well.
Foreign bodies in the nose can cause excessive sneezing fits in cats as well. A foreign body is an object that is not supposed to be inhaled or ingested. When these objects get lodged in a cat’s nose it causes a lot of discomfort or even pain. A cat with a foreign body will likely paw at their nose and show other signs of discomfort in addition to sneezing.
If you suspect that your cat may have something stuck in their nose then you should take them to the vet immediately. Here they will be able to take the object out of your cat’s nose safely. You should never try to remove an object from your cat’s nose yourself. This is because doing this poses the risk of pushing the object further back.
Other Medical Conditions
Of course, there are many other conditions that could potentially cause abnormal sneezing in cats. If you suspect that your cat is suffering from any medical condition then you should take them to the vet as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment.
When To See a Vet About Your Cat’s Sneezing
You should see a vet about your cat’s sneezing any time that it is concerning you, especially if your cat is having sneezing fits. However, there are also some severe instances where you should take your cat to the emergency vet immediately for their sneezing. Here are some signs that you should take a cat to the vet for their sneezing right away.
- If they seem to have an object stuck in their nose
- If they are having breathing difficulties
- If there is blood present in nasal discharge
- If they are exhibiting other symptoms that are concerning
Of course, if you suspect that your cat is having a medical emergency or a serious medical problem then you should take them to the vet right away. This is even if the cause for their vet visit is not included in the list above.