Cats can sneeze excessively when their nose is blocked by excess mucus or irritated. The sneezing fits are an attempt to clear the irritation or blockage. This is an instinctive reaction. For example, dirt, hair, fibers, or pollen particles can trigger a sneezing attack. Usually, this is a harmless reaction, but if the cat sneezes constantly, it may have a more serious reason.
Cats may sneeze repeatedly if they have an allergic reaction or an upper respiratory infection. Excess mucus can also cause your cat to sneeze. Cat flu, temperature changes, or changes in humidity can cause this. Dry air, in particular, can harm your cat’s nose by irritating the mucous membrane and making it sensitive. Constant sneezing may seem unusual, but isolated cases are rarely a cause for concern.
However, you should be cautious if there are other symptoms besides sneezing. This is true even if the sneezing episodes continue for several days.
These symptoms include bloody or colored mucus, loss of appetite, and excessive scratching.
If your cat has sores in its mouth and is coughing, it could be sick.
What Does It Mean When a Cat Sneezes Constantly?
In most cases, cats sneeze for the same reason humans do. Lint, pollen, or dirt tickle their noses.
Sneezing is an instinctive reaction to expel foreign objects from the nostrils. The body attempts to keep the nasal passages clear and clean.
Almost every living creature with a nose similar to ours has some sneezing reflex.
Typically, a sneeze is enough, but when a cat gets a sneezing fit, it just means that a foreign object has caught in its mucous membrane.
This membrane is located in the nose to keep particles out. To get rid of it properly, your cat must sneeze several times to expel the intruder.
If the cat sneezes constantly but seems fine, it may mean he is constantly breathing in an irritant. There may also be excessive mucus production that is clogging the airways.
Your cat will sneeze out the problem, move away from the constant irritant, and feel better. However, you don’t need to worry unless in the following cases:
- You notice the cat sneezing and swallowing a lot.
- Your senior cat sneezes and coughs constantly.
- The cat routinely sneezes most days.
- Your cat shows other symptoms besides sneezing.
Multiple sneezes or frequent sneezing are usually a sign that something is wrong. You should look closer to determine if it is a harmless or more severe problem.
Why Does My Cat Sneeze All the Time?
Cats don’t sneeze for no reason. If it’s normal for your cat to sneeze and have watery eyes, you must find out why.
It could be something harmless, like a change in the weather. But it could also be a serious illness or an allergic reaction.
Below, we present some of the most common causes of sneezing and explain how you can respond.
Does My Cat Sneeze When It’s Cold?
Cats don’t automatically sneeze in cold weather. But this could still be the reason for a sneeze.
It depends on the cat, how cold it is, and how much mucus it naturally produces.
This is because cold weather, or rather cold air, triggers two things in the noses of cats and humans alike:
- Excessive production of mucus.
- The detour of blood into the nose.
These two issues can make a cat more prone to sneezing fits. Their nose is more sensitive, so mucus might build up and need to be cleared away. A sneeze is a natural, harmless result.
Watch your cat closely when the weather changes. Does she seem to sneeze more in the winter or fall? Does she sneeze when the air conditioner is set at a specific temperature?
If so, temperature fluctuations could be the reason your cat is sneezing.
Does My Cat Sneeze When She Has a Cold?
Cats don’t catch colds, but they can still get sick. Repeated sneezing is one of cats’ most recognizable signs of upper respiratory infection. Cats even have their own kind of flu.
A small family of viruses causes feline flu. Feline calicivirus and feline herpes virus are the main causative agents of feline flu.
With this in mind, there are three main categories of upper respiratory infections:
Most feline influenza pathogens are contagious and can be transmitted through eye contact, mouth contact, or nasal discharge.
Even indirect contact is sufficient when the infected cat shares food or water with others or sneezes and leaves mucus on surfaces.
Aside from sneezing, feline influenza causes the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Inflammation of the tongue or mouth.
- Watery eyes
- Nasal discharge (clear, yellow, green, or bloody).
A cat with a cat cold will sneeze and cough, spreading contaminated mucus everywhere.
It is best to isolate an infected cat in a room that can be disinfected after recovery.
Of course, the cat must also be treated. The details of treatment depend on the cause of the flu. However, supportive therapies and antibiotics are generally prescribed.
If your cat sneezes and swallows a lot, he may be trying to clear his throat of fluid.
If you have an old cat that sneezes constantly, take him to the vet. Cat flu is most dangerous in young and senior cats.
Cats that are treated usually recover quickly. Unless a secondary illness is triggered.
Is My Cat Sneezing When Stressed?
Stress causes cats to engage in some strange behaviors. However, sneezing is not known to be one of them.
However, cats that live under constant stress are more susceptible to viruses and infections. These in themselves can lead to sneezing as a symptom.
So, if you suspect your cat is stressed, it is advisable to solve the problem quickly and calmly.
Is My Cat Sneezing to Get Attention?
Some cats fake a particular behavior to get your attention. Parrots, for example, have been known to imitate sneezing to get their owners’ attention.
If your cat sneezes several times and then approaches you, can you assume she has used the same trick? She’s trying it again because you’ve seen a reaction before?
This is not so. Cats do not sneeze to attract attention. This is because it is an involuntary reaction.
A cat does not fake or mimic a sneeze to get your reaction. She cannot do that even if she notices a positive response from you.
Do Hairballs Make My Cat Sneeze?
Hairballs can cause your cat to cough and rattle at irregular intervals. Sneezing could be a natural addition to this. However, you can be sure that there is no connection.
A hairball is a compact, sticky mass of swallowed fur covered with digestive fluids and mucus. No part of a hairball would cause a cat to sneeze.
Unless the cat has a physical problem and the fluid gets into its nose. However, the likelihood of this happening is minimal.
If your cat exhibits strange behavior or has difficulty expelling a hairball, you should have it examined by a veterinarian. Inhalation of fluids can cause more problems than just sneezing.
Is My Cat Sneezing if She Has Allergies?
Some cats, just like people, struggle with allergies. This can manifest itself in a variety of symptoms. These symptoms usually include:
- Wheezing or snorting
Chronic itching is also a common accompaniment to allergies. So you can narrow down the cause of your cat’s sneezing if the cat is scratching excessively, has rashes, or is dealing with irritated skin.
It is essential to determine the cause of the reaction. This will relieve your cat’s discomfort and prevent a worse allergic reaction.
The assistance of a veterinarian in diagnosing the allergen is beneficial.
However, you can also start doing this yourself by observing when your cat has sneezing fits.
Does it occur after she has been in a specific room or eaten a particular food? Is it after you’ve cleaned, used an air freshener, or brought in clean laundry?
Can Cats Sneeze Because of Pollen?
Just like humans, cats can be allergic to pollen, which can lead to uncomfortable sneezing fits.
This undoubtedly makes spring a bit of a challenge. However, there are medications for these allergies that you can get from your veterinarian.
It can also be helpful to keep your cat indoors during pollen season. It also can’t hurt to purchase air filters if their reactions are severe.
Can Cats Sneeze Because of Dust?
Dust allergies, while not expected, do occur in cats.
Do you notice your cat sneezing more often under the bed or behind the couch? Does she get a sneezing fit after playing outside in the dirt?
Considering that dust is prevalent in the home, even with persistent cleaning efforts, medication is usually the only way to help control severe reactions. Air filters can also be helpful here.
Although not directly, dust, ash, and smoke can also trigger cat respiratory problems, including sneezing.
Breathing ashy air can cause a cat to sneeze as it tries to get the dirt out of its nose. If you run a fireplace, clean it and dispose of ashes properly.
Do Chemicals Cause Cats to Sneeze?
If inhaled, airborne chemicals such as cleaning product fumes or air fresheners are very harmful to cats.
The sneezing may be due to an allergic reaction or more severe toxicity issues. Fumes can also irritate the nose, throat, and lungs.
Always use caution when using air fresheners. Not all are safe for pets.
The same goes for cleaning chemicals. Keep cats away from rooms cleaned with aggressive agents, and ensure those rooms are well-ventilated.
Does My Cat Sneeze When the Air is Dry?
Extended exposure to dry air can irritate a cat’s nose, mouth, throat, and lungs. The lack of moisture in the air causes the skin exposed to the air to dry out.
Constant breathing forces dry air through the nose and throat, making them dry.
Mucus production may increase to counteract the dryness. However, this is only possible to a limited extent.
When the nose dries out, the mucous membrane becomes more open and more easily irritated. This makes them prone to sneezing fits.
Cats usually don’t drink more water to solve this problem. To keep them hydrated in dry weather, offer them food with extra fluids.
This can be wet cat food mixes, gravy, or liquid treats. You can also buy a humidifier to increase the moisture content in the air.
When Should I Be Concerned About My Cat Sneezing?
Cats don’t necessarily tell us when they are uncomfortable and need help. It is our responsibility to be on the lookout for symptoms that indicate an impending problem.
Constant sneezing is not always a sign of an underlying problem, but it can be.
It’s time to see a veterinarian if the sneezing occurs with other symptoms, the cat seems to have difficulty breathing, or the mucus is not clear and colorless.
Why is My Cat Suddenly Sneezing So Much?
Sneezing in cats is a natural reaction to clear the nose of foreign bodies or excess mucus. In most cases, such sneezing is a one-time event.
Excessive sneezing may be a symptom of an underlying problem.
Observe your cat for unusual behavior or other symptoms. If these occur, contact a veterinarian.