My Cat Is Sneezing! What Can I Do?

Most cat owners know that sneezing is a normal phenomenon. Cats do it all the time just like humans do and it’s never a sign of anything other than the fact that your cat needs to get rid of an irritant in its nasal pathway. Cats can also sneeze due to excitement so it’s almost never a big deal.

But, if the sneezing simply won’t go away, then it might be a sign that something is amiss and you might want to consult with a vet to find out what’s the cause. This is especially the case if the sneezing is accompanied by other symptoms. Read on for more.

5 Reasons Why Cats Sneeze

One of the main reasons why cats sneeze is because they need to expel a dust particle or a piece of debris that’s floated into their nose. It could even be something as simple as a piece of lint or cigarette smoke.


But like we said, if the sneezing won’t go away, then it might be a sign of a more serious problem, such as the following:

  • Foreign materials in the nasal
  • Irritants around your home
  • Dental issues
  • Respiratory infection
  • Viruses

Most sneezing isn’t a sign of anything too bad. We recommend taking your cat to the vet if it continues for more than a couple of days.

Foreign Materials

Sometimes, cats sneeze because they like to sniff around the yard and get all sorts of particles up to their noses.

Your cat can easily get something like pollen pieces or grass clippings in their nasal canal which in turn causes sneezing. But, sometimes sneezing doesn’t help and the items can get stuck up your cat’s nasal cavity for days.

For the best results, we recommend booking an appointment with your vet so they can safely remove it for you, instead of trying to do it yourself.

Dental Issues

Constant sneezing that’s accompanied by nasal discharge are often a sign of a cat dental disease. According to the Pet Health Network, this type of cat infection can lead to a bacterial infection that lodges itself inside your cat’s nasal sinus.

This is what causes sneezing and inflammation. Left untreated, this problem can spread to other parts of the body, so it’s best to nip it in the bud early.


There are plenty of irritants that can cause sneezing. For instance, your cat might get a whiff of the strong spices you cook with in the kitchen. Cats often enjoy being in the kitchen with their owner but sometimes they get more than they bargained for.

Cats can also be irritated by household cleaning products with strong chemical ingredients. Even simple ingredients like vinegar or bleach can trigger sneezing, not just in your pets but in you as well.

A good alternative to consider would be a cleaning agent made with gentle ingredients like essential oil, and before you purchase cleaning products, keep in mind the effects they might have on your cat.

Respiratory Infection

Respiratory infections such as allergies rarely manifest in the form of sneezing. However, an upper respiratory infection can cause sneezing and it’s quite common in kittens particularly.


Cats can also experience upper respiratory infections due to stress and/or poor immunity.

The worst part is that this type of condition is easily transferable between cats, but it cannot be passed down to humans though.

Sleeping cat


Sneezing can also be a sign of viruses like toxoplasmosis, ringworm, herpes, and rabies. The good news is that a majority of these diseases aren’t likely to spread to humans, with the exception of toxoplasmosis.

What About When the Cat Stops and Then Starts Sneezing Again?

If this happens then it could be a sign that your cat has an upper respiratory infection. That’s because this type of infection can remain latent for months on end and then flare up again all of a sudden.

So, while your cat might seem fine for a while, certain activities such as getting their hair done or moving around can trigger the infection once again.

The best way to minimize the chances of this happening is to reduce your cat’s exposure to the elements and other cats.

If your cat keeps sneezing incessantly, then you should definitely test it for allergies. They might be allergic to smoke, pollen, litter and even certain kinds of food. The best way to get rid of a sneeze that won’t go away is to take your cat to the vet for a proper checkup and treatment.

When Should You Take the Cat to a Vet?

If your cat is sneezing occasionally with no signs of other health symptoms, then you should keep an eye on it for a few days to see if the condition develops further. Make sure to keep your pet in the house during this time and limit exposure to the outdoors.

However, if you see symptoms like sneezing blood, then you should take your pet to your vet for proper tests and treatment. The sneezing could be a symptom of a much deeper problem, such as an illness that only a vet can diagnose and treat.

The type of treatment that your vet recommends will depend on the condition. If it’s a mild illness, your vet might prescribe rest and making a few changes to your environment such as the use of a humidifier. In more severe cases, the vet might recommend fluids, steroids, nasal decongestants or antibiotics to fight the problem.

Although rare, some cats may even require surgery to get rid of the underlying cause.

How to Notice a Cold in Your Cat?

The following symptoms are signs of a cold:

  • Sneezing
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing
  • Drooling
  • Eye discharge
  • Excessive nasal discharge

We highly recommend you consult with your vet if you notice any combination of the above-mentioned symptoms. Your cat will benefit from getting professional treatment as it’ll be more effective than nursing the condition from home.

Your vet will check your cat’s ears, mouth and nose in order to prescribe the right type of treatment.

Some of the most common culprits include Feline Herpes and Calicivirus. However, your cat may also be suffering from a cold or infection such as a condition from the Bordetella bacteria species, Chlamydia and Mycoplasma.

Kittens are more susceptible to Upper Respiratory Infections because they have a developing immune system. Plus, being around larger cats that carry diseases or strain of bacteria can also place your kittens at risk of developing these conditions as well.

Since their immune system isn’t strong enough yet, kittens are also prone to developing an infection just from being in a small space with other cats. That’s because the infectious bacteria can easily spread through the air and infect pretty much any and all vulnerable cats in the vicinity.

Kittens can also get infected by coming into contact with contaminated objects.

Can Cat Cold Go Away without Any Treatment?

If your cat is healthy and has a strong immune system, the condition should go away on its own. It might take a bit of coaxing on your end in the form of offering some steam therapy to your cat and cleaning its nose. You should also warm its food before service to accelerate the healing process.

Cat sneezes making funny expression. Sick cat needs treatment. Cat with white chin isolated on white background.

It’s worth noting that not all cats will respond the same way to antibiotic treatments. It’s possible that your cat’s cold will simply disappear in pretty much the same way it appeared. But if it’s stubbornly sticking around then you should visit the vet ASAP.

Do Cat Colds Last for a Long Time?

If your cat develops a cold, you can expect it to stick around for about 1 to 4 weeks. If the cold won’t go away, then you should get it professionally diagnosed in order to speed up recovery.

Can a Cat Die from Cold?

If your cat continues to experience cold symptoms after the 4-week mark then it could be a sign of something more severe. Although rare, it’s possible for cats to lose their sense of smell altogether due to the condition and this often leads to a loss of appetite and even death.

The good news is that this is very rare. Cat colds don’t normally lead to death. So long as your pet has a strong immune system, it should manage to fight off any infection.

What Can You Give Your Cat to Help with Sneezing?

Whether your cat is sneezing because of dental problems, vaccines or allergies, you should seek professional help if its symptoms continue unabated for more than a week or so. A visit to the vet will provide your pet with the diagnosis and medication it needs to treat the condition once and for all.

Treatment can be anything from fluids to steroids, nasal decongestants, and antibiotics.

However, if your pet is experiencing mild cold symptoms then it can probably shake them off with some rest in a conducive environment.

Just make sure to keep a close eye on your furry friend to make sure the condition doesn’t get worse over time. Sometimes, all it takes is to use a humidifier and keep your pet comfortable.


Like most pet parents, you probably worry at the first sign of sickness and in some cases, this could mean sneezing. However, sneezing isn’t always a sign of illness. Sometimes your pet is sneezing because it has something trapped in their nasal pathway or as a reaction to smoke or unusual scents.

Either way, be sure to seek medical attention if the sneezing continues for more than a couple of weeks, or if it’s accompanied by other symptoms.

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