3 Potential Reasons Why Your Cat Is Sneezing

14 May 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Cats are very good at hiding any sign of illness or injury, but even for a cat, it's nearly impossible to hold in a sneeze. If your cat is repeatedly sneezing, you could have a serious problem on your hands. However, a sneeze could indicate many different problems, so this guide will help you to narrow down what's causing your cat's sneezing.


While it's fairly common for people to be allergic to cats, cats can be allergic to many things themselves. If your cat seems to regularly start sneezing during a certain time of year, during certain weather patterns (like dry heat, or after it's rained), there's a very strong likelihood that your cat has allergies to something growing near your home.

While cats are generally more accustomed to living outdoors than humans, they can still have allergic reactions to plants, dander, pollen, and mold. If your cat has suddenly started sneezing and doesn't have a seasonal history of sneezing, they might be reacting to something new in your home, like a cleaning solution or a scent or cologne you've recently started wearing.

If you think your cat may have allergies, you should take them to a vet. Your vet can not only test them for reactions to common allergens, but they can prescribe medications to reduce reactions to said allergens.

Viral Infection

Viral infections, like sinusitis or feline upper respiratory virus can make your kitty sneeze quite a bit. It's their natural immune system response trying to fight the virus the best way they know how.

Thankfully, these viruses are usually accompanied by other symptoms, so you won't accidentally mistake them for allergies. Your cat may exhibit a variety of other symptoms from a virus, including wheezing, lethargy, a lack of interest in food, and discharge from the eyes. If your cat shows any of these symptoms, get them to a vet right away. Viruses are usually easy to treat, but they can potentially be deadly if you don't get medical treatment for your cat.


It's also possible that a foxtail is irritating your cat's nasal passageways and that's causing the sneezing. Like viruses, this common weed can actually be fatal to a cat if it manages to get into a cat's sinuses or esophagus. It can stick to the walls of the sinuses or esophagus, causing an infection, or even migrate into the lungs.

Cats who have come into contact with foxtails may paw at their faces or shake their heads in addition to the sneezing. If you think there's any chance that your cat may have a foxtail lodged in their sinuses, get them to a veterinarian immediately. Stopping the foxtail before it migrates can save your cat's life. 

When your cat repeatedly sneezes, it may be a sign of something minor or something severe. The best way to know for sure is to get your cat a checkup with an emergency veterinarian, especially if you think it may be one of the more serious conditions.