DEAR TABBY (VOL. 1) : BARKING CATS, KNEADY KITTENS, FINICKY FELINES & MORE
In Volume One of our Dear Tabby series, cat expert, Kristin Levine, answers your most pressing questions about cats, from hair chewing, to unexpected bites and barking noises.
Why Do Cats Sneeze?
Achoo. God bless you. Meow.
Sound familiar? If you’re here, chances are your cat either sneezes a lot, or you’re just genuinely curious about what makes your cat go ACHOO!
Just like for humans – there could be multiple things making your cat sneeze. Though most of the time a single cat sneeze isn’t a cause for worry, it could be a sign of a more serious issue should the sneezing persist.
Common reasons your cat is Sneezing
JUST A TICKLE
The most common reason why your cat is sneezing is the same as it is for humans. Cats get a tickle in their throat or nose and need to sneeze to get rid of it.
If you notice your cat sneezing occasionally, there should be no cause for concern. Sneezing is a normal reflex, both in cats and humans.
If your cat experiences any nasal blockage, they may sneeze to dislodge it and clear their airway.
If you notice your cat is repeatedly sneezing, it may be due to a medical condition. Upper respiratory infections are common in cats that have spent time in a shelter and impact your cat similarly to how we get colds.
These infections often cause sneezing or wheezing and are more common in kittens and young cats.
A number of other infections may also cause your cat to repeatedly sneeze, though are less common:
- Feline herpes virus
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
- Feline leukemia
- Feline calicivirus
If your cat experiences any additional symptoms such as eye inflammation, nasal discharge, fatigue, trouble breathing, or changes in appetite, they may be dealing with an infection. If you notice your cat repeatedly sneezing or wheezing, you should contact your veterinarian to help diagnose and treat the cause.
It’s also possible that your cat is sneezing because they have allergies. Cats can be allergic to pollen, dust, mold, or other environmental and chemical irritants, just like humans often are.
If your cat experiences allergies, they may also be prone to getting itchy skin, ear infections, or wheezing.
If your cat was recently given an intranasal vaccination, it might cause them to sneeze for up to a week afterward.
Chemical or scented irritants may also be what is making your cat sneeze. Common irritants include:
- Chemical sprays
- Cigarette smoke
- Diffused oils
- Clay dust
If you notice your cat sneezing after exposure to these irritants you should discontinue use immediately.
Most often, the cause of your cat’s sneezing is their natural reflex and is nothing to worry about.
If you notice your cat repeatedly sneezing, contact your veterinarian for help with further treatment.
And if your cat is prone to allergies or sneezing from chemical irritants, try switching to a natural, corn-based litter such as World’s Best Cat Litter™.