Break out the tissues! Does your feline have the sniffles? Find out if your cat sneezing problem is no big deal or a big problem.
If your cat sneezes occasionally, this is totally normal and not something that you need to worry about. Just like people, cats will sneeze when something irritates the nasal passages, but they might also sneeze as a result of movement or excitement as well.
When should you worry about cat sneezing? If your kitty sneezes continually and if there are other symptoms, you should bring him to the vet for a thorough checkup.
Below are some of the reasons that your cat may be sneezing more than normal.
Bacterial, Viral, and Fungal Infections
Bacterial, viral, and fungal respiratory infections can cause cat sneezing. Some of these infections can be considered the equivalent of a cold in humans, and they’re often found in cats who are in animal shelters, as well as in young cats. Most commonly, the viral infections Feline Herpes Virus and Feline Calicivirus are to blame.
The good news is that some of the common respiratory infections that afflict cats can actually be prevented with vaccinations. But if your cat was in a shelter and got sick before he got his full round of vaccinations, or if he was exposed to another sick cat and hadn’t gotten his booster shots as an adult, he could become ill.
It’s important to have your cat examined by a veterinarian in order to determine the exact cause of your kitty’s sneezing episodes, and to receive the right medication to clear the infection, especially since these infections can lead to secondary bacterial infections.
Irritants in the Environment
Cat sneezing can be due to allergies caused by dust mites, perfume, pest spray, cat litter dust, candles, mold, pollen, cigarette smoke, household cleaners, and other irritants, he may end up sneezing more than normal. He may also experience a runny nose, runny eyes, irritated skin, and itchiness, so have him examined by your vet to determine the cause. Eliminating the allergen as best as possible and getting him treatment will bring relief. Allergies are usually a less common cause for sneezing in cats. So if your cat is sneezing as a result of allergies, there may be other symptoms.
Try to note any patterns in your cat’s sneezing episodes to determine the cause. For example, does your cat sneeze every time you spray air freshener throughout your home, or when you light a candle or use a particular cleaning product? Simply substituting these products for more natural alternatives could bring your cat relief.
If your cat is sneezing and also has bad breath, it could be a sign that he has dental problems. A tooth root that is inflamed or infected could lead to drainage into your cat’s sinuses that may result in sneezing episodes. Have your cat examined by a vet, as oral problems may lead to other ailments in other parts of the body.
Ask Your Vet If You Aren’t Sure
If you’ve noticed that your cat has been sneezing more than usual and you aren’t sure why, it really is best to speak with your veterinarian, especially if you notice that your cat is suffering from other symptoms, including irritated, red, and runny eyes, as these can lead to more serious problems.
Although cat sneezing may be caused by something as simple as an irritant in the environment, it’s important to note that there are a variety of infections that can cause sneezing, some of which are serious. These include Feline Infectious Peritonitis, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, Feline Leukemia, Chlamydia, Bordetella, and Mycoplasma. So, again, when in doubt, consult your veterinarian to get your cat the relief he needs.
Lisa Selvaggio is a writer who has volunteered in animal rescue, caring for cats of all ages and learning their many quirks. She is certified in clinical pet nutrition, and enjoys helping pet parents give their fur babies the best care possible. Read more of her work online at LSA Writing Services.