Is Your Cat Sneezing? They Might Need Treatment. A cat sneezing is a common reaction to environmental conditions such as dust or irritants. In most cases, there is no need to alarm. However, we know you love your kitten, and concerns sometimes come along about your cat’s well-being. Therefore, one of the most critical actions you might take is regularly visiting a veterinarian for checkups. You can also use your hands while playing with your cat and feel any abnormalities.
An excellent recommendation is to feel your cat’s skin. Sadly specks that look like pepper are flea feces from your cat´s blood. So, you must constantly look for any changes by checking any odor or flakes on the hairless part of its ears, any discoloration or discharge on its eyes, red gums, and bad breath in its mouth, under your cat’s tail for parasites and swelling paws and claws growth into the paws.
However, one of the most frequent checkups relates to your cat´s nose. If you notice that your feline companion sneezes with some frequency and other symptoms appear, she might need treatment. At first, it is essential to know the reasons for cat sneezing.
Not All Cat Sneezing Is Bad?
In some cases, cat sneezing is as usual as being part of its behavior. At times, cats might even make a funny sound like a horn honking or reverse sneezing. Cats might even sneeze as a result of excitement or due to some intensity while playing. But, again, a couple of sneezes should not be a cause of concern. Also, before going into a panic, you must check if other symptoms accompany your cat sneezing.
What Are Other Causes for My Cat to Sneeze?
Several factors cause a cat to sneeze. As with humans, cats sneeze due to elements inhaled from the environment and nonaggressive or damaging causes. Here we list some of those causes in order of importance, ranging from the less invasive and that has the lesser affectation to its health and well being.
Nonaggressive or Damaging Causes:
- Tickles as well as humans;
- Dust in the air;
- Airborne particles like pollen, or small pieces of flowers, hair, feathers and;
- An irritant, chemical-like smell.
Causes for Concern:
- Respiratory Tract Infections;
- Nasal Issues, Sinus Or a Chronic Sinus;
- Dental Disease;
- Viral Feline Herpes and Calicivirus and;
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.
What Are Some Symptoms of Worrying Cat Sneezing?
Some of the symptoms that ring the bell of alert and we -the cat lovers- need to identify are:
- Frequent sneezing or sneezing blood;
- Discharge from the nose or eyes;
- Lack of energy and;
- Appetite loss.
Symptoms are signals that your cat requires immediate veterinary care. It is vital to treat appetite loss in cats, as they starve after three days. In addition, cats might develop hepatic lipidosis, which can be fatal.
This article comprises a great array of causes for cat sneezing. Notwithstanding, it is time to focus on cases requiring veterinary attention, special care, and treatment.
Cat Sneezing Caused by Allergies
Allergies in cats often appear as irritations in the skin. Such irritations are why we encourage you to check your cat skin from ears to tail while cuddling. In addition, you can observe skin lesions if your cat is scratching and, in some cases, some hair loss.
As we have already introduced in this article, you might find other symptoms that are associated and will help you determine the occurrence of an allergy. In some cases, cats also suffer symptoms that are not skin-related, like frequent sneezing and itchy and watery eyes. Proper diagnosis is crucial as these might be signals of asthma.
It is also essential to identify some seasonal symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis in cats. Airborne particles cause Allergic Rhinitis: pollen or small pieces of flowers or hay. Indoor allergens include mold and in-house dust.
Along with these agents, you might find some reactions on your cat when smoking or spraying perfume, pest sprays, and cleaning products. Also, cats can be allergic to dust produced while replacing cal litter and lighted candles.
Sneezing can also be a product of the application of an intranasal vaccine. You shouldn´t worry about it as this might last for about a week. However, it is crucial to be aware of recurrent sneezing as it might be a signal of cancer in rare cases.
Cat Respiratory Tract Infections
They are also known as Upper Respiratory Infections (URIs), common viral or bacterial cold or cat flu during ten days or less when cases are uncomplicated, and up to 21 days for more severe cases.
A URI includes frequent sneezing, coughing, and swallowing during the day and lasting several days, and clear nose discharges that can even turn yellowish and red due to traces of blood in it. Also, if you notice your cat is tired, has a fever, lacks appetite, and is dehydrated, you should immediately take your furry friend to a veterinarian.
We encourage you to take preventive action by visiting a veterinarian for constant check-ups, especially if you have a kitten or an elderly feline. However, cats can develop URIs regardless of their age if they are not vaccinated and have immunodeficiency. In some cases, URIs occur in households where unvaccinated cats share space.
If your cat presents symptoms of a URI, you can take some immediate steps to provide some relief.
- Use moist cotton to clean any nose discharge;
- Turn a humidifier to moist your cat´s nasal canals;
- Give your cat smelly warm canned food and lots of fresh water and;
- If not resolved after a couple of weeks, and your cat has not been eating, take her to a vet.
Non-severe URIs might resolve on their own after a couple of weeks. However, in some cases, depending on the cause, antiviral or antibiotics should be administered, along with subcutaneous fluids and other complementary medicine like steroids and eye drops.
Nasal Issues, Sinus or a Chronic Sinus
In the first place, it is essential to differentiate between conditions. Besides, even though they may come together, they are all somewhat different from each other. Firstly, cats can suffer from rhinitis, an inflammatory disease of membranes that produces mucous. Secondly, and not necessarily in the same order, cats can also suffer from sinusitis, an inflammation in the sinuses lining. As said, these conditions might occur independently and can also occur together. In short, rhinosinusitis is an inflammation due to an upper respiratory tract infection.
In most cases, infections and other respiratory conditions are perceivable when your cat constantly sneezes. In addition, other signs you need to be aware of include:
- Nasal discharge with colors varying on its intensity, from clear, yellow, green, to bloody in the most severe cases;
- Eye discharge and tearing;
- Difficulty breathing, noisy breathing, either snoring or breathing through the mouth;
- Face pawing and;
- A quick inhalation known as reverse sneezing to clear the nose.
Rhinitis and sinusitis diagnosis require a proper veterinary examination which involves a rhinoscopy and a sample collection for evaluation. After an evaluation, a preventive or treating antibiotic might be applied, along with complimentary steroids, to help your cat breathe better.
Cats can be affected in large sections of their mouths. Dental disease can comprise teeth, gums, and in some instances, the upper part of their mouth. The dental disease produces frequent sneezing and might induce respiratory symptoms. Unfortunately, teeth might need to be removed and a comprehensive cleaning treatment when severe cases occur.
Viral Feline Herpes and Calicivirus
Feline herpes is a viral condition that affects cats throughout their life span. Flare-ups might come and go depending on factors like stress and other conditions. Feline herpes is not transmissible to humans. However, it might be triggered spontaneously. Therefore, proper diagnosis will help you better understand flare-ups that make your cat sneeze quite often and how to help your cat when they appear.
Although Calicivirus produces mouth ulcers, its complications in cats and that comes with it might cause your furry friend to develop pneumonia. Calicivirus is highly contagious among cats, and aside from the formation of ulcers, respiratory tract affections bring an alert that your cat needs special treatment.
In general, cats in some circumstances that involve being brought from shelters and lacking vaccinations can catch viruses. In addition, in some cases, neglected cats are prone to bacterial infections like Infectious Peritonitis, showing no symptoms, Chlamydia primarily affecting their eyes, Bordetella, and Mycoplasma and Bacterial Feline Leukemia that might cause death.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Viral Feline Herpes are viral affections that are not transmissible to humans, despite their similarities in their labels. Consequently, there is no reason to be concerned when deciding to have a cat. However, in cats, the Immunodeficiency Virus severely attacks the immune system, lowering a cat´s defenses prone to catching infections in different parts of their body, including the respiratory tract. Therefore, you might find your cat constantly sneezing and having other bacterial source symptoms.
When Should a Vet See Your Pet for Cat Sneezing?
In some cases, your kitten or adult cat will sneeze just as a human does: for no apparent reason. For example, a little bit of dust or an invisible particle of pollen in the air can produce an immediate reaction in the form of sneezing.
However, you can identify some patterns when observing that your cat sneezes and other symptoms appear with it. A stuffy nose, appetite loss, dehydration, and weariness are signals that you need to take action. You can do a sensorial check-up by feeling and watching abnormalities in your cat´s body, mouth, and nose.
Along with a check-up, you should consider some extra measures, including clearing the nasal passages and ensuring your cat is eating. If symptoms persist for over a week, and especially if your cat stopped eating in a day or two, you must immediately take your pet to a veterinarian despite the adoption of measures.
After a check-up, your veterinarian will determine the severity and cause of illness and evacuate any concerns that arise with your furry friend´s overall health and well-being condition. However, do not hesitate to visit Central Orange County Emergency Animal Hospital in case of emergency.
We are open almost every day of the year all night long to care for your cat emergencies. We are the premier emergency veterinary center serving pet owners and primary-care veterinarians in Newport Beach.