Cat Sneezing: When & Why a Vet Trip Might Be Necessary

Why is my cat sneezing, and do I need to do something about it?

Achoo! That familiar sound might be something common in humans, but did you know that cats can also sneeze? Yes, like humans, your feline friend can also have the occasional sneeze. But if it's a frequent thing, you might want to think about taking Fluffy to the vet.

Cat sneezes might be the result of a common cause, like allergens or irritants, but at what point should you seek out veterinary care? Here is the 411 on everything cat sneezes.

Eek! Why Is My Cat Sneezing?

While your feline friend sneezing might seem odd (or dare I say, amusing?) at first, the occasional sneeze is normal and nothing to be too alarmed about. According to Blue Pearl Pet Hospital and Fetch by WebMD, here are the common causes as to why your cat's sneezing, i.e. these are pretty low-level and there's no need for veterinary care.

Cats can sneeze due to simple reasons such as:

  • Chemicals smells, such as cleaning products.
  • Dust or allergens or irritants in your cat's nasal passages. Tip: check Fluffy's litter box, it could just be the dust from the cat litter!
  • Cigarette smoke or other strong scents your cat's nose got a whiff of.
  • It also could be any small particles causing your kitty to sneeze, like a piece of lint, grass, or even, hair.

Just like humans, your cat could be sneezing because of simply something trapped in their nasal passages. However, if you think your cat's immune system has been compromised due to viral infections, it might be a more severe case.

When Do I Need to Consider Taking My Cat to The Vet?

A vet trip might be necessary when your cat's sneezing becomes more frequent or doesn't stop, or if other symptoms also start to pop up - like if Fluffy starts sneezing blood or has eye discharge, along with a loss of appetite, then it might be time for your cat to get some much-needed veterinary care. When it comes to viral infections, the most common cause for feline sneezes is an upper respiratory infection (URI): nasal congestion, eye discharge, and nasal discharge - these are just some of the cold-like symptoms that most likely points to an upper respiratory infection being the culprit.

Much like the common cold us humans get, URIs in cats are pretty common, especially if they came from a shelter or rescue that causes them to be stressed. (But that shouldn't deter you from rescuing!) Like catching a cold, URIs are contagious so be careful if you have other cats around. So, what can cause upper respiratory infections? This is often part of a bigger problem, like feline herpes virus, feline calicivirus, Chlamydia, or bacterial infections such as Mycoplasma. Less common fungal infections can also lead to a sinus disease that causes excessive sneezing.

So next time your cat starts sneezing, be sure to take a second look - it could be something simple like allergens bothering your feline friend's nasal passages or a bigger problem like an upper respiratory infection. Your cat's sneezes might be a bigger deal than you think, make sure to get the proper pet care!

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