Just like people, your cat can sometimes sneeze due to allergies, dust, or even just because they have breathed in some of their own hair when grooming. These kinds of sneezes are nothing to worry about in most cases, but it can be hard to know when cats are sneezing for more serious reasons. Cats can be quite stoical and might not tell you when they are not feeling very well. This can make it tough to know that your cat’s sneezing is something to worry about.
Cats can sneeze related to colds, a flu, fungal infections, and more. You should be aware of these possible reasons for your cat’s sneezing behavior so that you do not assume that your cat is feeling fine when they are actually quite sick. The more that you know about the reasons that your cat might be sneezing, the better you will be at getting them vet care when they need it.
Cats can have allergies seasonally, or they might be allergic to another animal in the home. They can also be allergic to their own food or to a laundry detergent or other product that they are coming into contact with. You will have to plan to remove as many possible factors for allergies as possible and then add these things back into your routine until you see a return of your cat’s sneezing behavior. Your cat might also need to visit the veterinarian to get some allergy medicine to help them to get over the hump.
If your cat’s allergies are seasonal, you might just need to plan to treat them during the season that they usually display symptoms. Food allergies can typically be remedied through a food change. Just be aware that if your cat is not responding to treatment, you will need to go back to the vet for further diagnosis.
2. Foreign Body
Cats can sometimes inhale small objects and things like blades of grass. This can lead to an item that is stuck in the nasal passages or the back of the throat. Your cat might start sneezing as they try to remove this item, but some things cannot be dislodged with sneezing alone. Your pet might have a snotty nose or a cough as well when they have an object lodged in their nasal passage.
Your vet will have to examine your pet and extract the item that is stuck. This can usually be done quite easily in the office, but if your cat has something sharp stuck in their nose, they might need surgery to remove the item.
3. Flu or Cold
Cats can get flus and colds just like people. This can lead to the same kinds of symptoms as you probably experience when you have a cold. Sneezing, coughing, a snotty nose, and a fever are common to cat flus and colds. If your pet seems to be a bit lethargic and snotty, along with their sneezing, they might have an illness.
You can choose to wait a couple of days before heading to the vet if your cat is eating and drinking despite sneezing and coughing. You should head to the vet right away if your cat stops eating and drinking, however. Cats can get pneumonia and other secondary infections when they are sick, and you do not want to ignore this more serious condition.
4. Fungal Infection
While much less common in indoor-only pets, cats can sometimes get fungal infections in their nasal passages or their throat that can lead to sneezing and coughing. Your vet will have to diagnose the kind of fungal infection to be able to provide treatment that is effective. You cannot usually treat these kinds of fungal infections with a basic fungal medication, as a targeted treatment works far better.
Due to the toughness of fungal infections, active and aggressive treatment is often required. If your cat is sneezing due to a fungal infection, expect weeks or even months of treatment to get rid of this infection.
5. Nasal or Sinus Issues
If your cat has malformed nasal passages or sinuses, they might also sneeze and have a runny nose without being sick. This can be hard to treat without just treating the inflammation that is caused by the malformation. Your cat will probably just have clear discharge coming from their nose all the time when they have a physical issue like this, but you could also have to deal with chronic infections in its sinuses due to the malformation.
Nasal or sinus issues can be readily treated in most cases if you are careful about staying on top of your cat’s well-being. You might need to clean their nose and eyes on a daily basis, and you could also need to help them out by feeding them allergy-free food and keeping dust down in the litterbox.
Cat Sneezing Can be Caused by Many Things
There are many things that can cause your cat to sneeze. You will find that your cat’s sneezing could be from something as simple as some dust in the air, or it could be related to a sinus infection or a cold. Always pay attention to your cat’s drinking and eating behaviors to be sure that they are not getting severely sick. Cats that have stopped eating and drinking might be at risk for more serious health complications due to dehydration or kidney issues.
Your cat might be hard to read sometimes, but if they are dull or lethargic or have stopped eating and drinking, you can assume that something more serious is going on. Your Country Club Animal Hospital vet can help you to get your cat on the right treatment protocol for the issues that are making your cat sneeze so that your cat can get back to feeling better again. Never assume that sneezing all the time is normal in cats and keep an eye on your cat’s overall behavior if they have been sneezing a lot. Book an appointment at Country Club Animal Hospital by calling (305) 663-3300 or use the online form!