Why Is My Cat Sneezing

By Mariya Akhtar

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Cat sneezing is common and has many causes. Sneezing is usually harmless, but frequent or persistent sneezing may indicate a health issue. Some reasons your pet may be sneezing:

1. Allergies

Pets, like humans, can develop allergies to various environmental triggers such as pollen, dust, mold, or certain household chemicals. Allergic reactions can manifest as sneezing, along with other symptoms like watery eyes or itching.

2. Respiratory Infections

Upper respiratory infections (URIs) are common in cats and can be caused by viruses or bacteria. Sneezing is a hallmark symptom of URI in pets, often accompanied by nasal discharge, coughing, and lethargy.

3. Foreign Objects

Pets are curious creatures and may inadvertently inhale or sniff foreign objects, such as dust, grass, or small particles, which can trigger sneezing as their body attempts to expel the irritant.

4. Nasal Irritation or Inflammation

Irritation or inflammation of the nasal passages due to factors like smoke, strong odors, or chemical irritants can lead to sneezing in cats. Household cleaners or aerosol sprays are common culprits.

Why Is My Cat Sneezing

5. Dental Issues

Dental problems such as dental abscesses or gum disease can cause discomfort and lead to sneezing if the infection extends into the nasal cavity.

6. Polyps or Tumors

Nasal polyps or tumors, though less common, can cause chronic sneezing in pets. These growths may obstruct the nasal passages, leading to sneezing, nasal discharge, and difficulty breathing.

7. Feline Herpesvirus (FHV-1)

Feline herpesvirus is a common viral infection in cats that can cause upper respiratory symptoms, including sneezing, nasal discharge, and eye ulcers. Pet may experience recurrent episodes of sneezing during flare-ups.

8. Stress or Anxiety

Stressful situations or changes in the pet’s environment can trigger sneezing as a physiological response. Pet may sneeze more frequently during times of stress or when introduced to new surroundings or pets.

9. Underlying Health Conditions

In some cases, sneezing may be a symptom of underlying health conditions such as asthma, immune-mediated diseases, or nasal polyps. These conditions require veterinary evaluation and treatment.

When to Consult a Veterinarian

If your pet’s sneezing is frequent, persistent, or accompanied by nasal discharge, lethargy, loss of appetite, or difficulty breathing, see a vet. Sneezing may require blood work, imaging, or nasal swabs to diagnose and treat the cause.


Sneezing in cats is usually harmless, but frequent or persistent sneezing may indicate a health issue that needs veterinary attention. Understanding the causes of sneezing and monitoring your pet’s health and behaviour can help identify and treat any underlying conditions. Please consult your vet for personalised care and support if you have concerns about your pet’s sneezing or health.


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Is occasional sneezing normal for cats?

Is occasional sneezing normal for cats?

What are common allergens that can cause sneezing in pets?

Common allergens include pollen, dust mites, mold, cigarette smoke, and certain fragrances or cleaning products.

Could my pet have a respiratory infection if it’s sneezing frequently?

Yes, frequent sneezing, especially if accompanied by other symptoms like nasal discharge or lethargy, could indicate a respiratory infection or upper respiratory tract infection (URI).

Can dental issues cause sneezing in my pet ?

Yes, dental problems such as tooth decay or gum disease can lead to sneezing if the infection spreads to the sinuses.

Should I be concerned if my cat sneezes after being outdoors?

If your cat sneezes after outdoor exposure, it could be due to allergens or irritants encountered outside. However, if sneezing persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, consult your vet.

My name is Mariya Akhtar and I'm a Pet Care Content Writer who really cares about the health and happiness of our pet friends. I have a degree in Veterinary Science and I love animals. I also love writing, so I share useful tips on how to take care of pets. From tips on how to eat and behave, I want to help pet owners and their pets become closer. For any queries related to my article, use contact form 😊

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