Cat Sneezing A Lot: Why, Should I Worry?

Picture this scenario: you’re lying in your bed, reading your book. As usual, your adorable kitty is there with you lying by your side. She unexpectedly started sneezing, one after another.

It could be funny to watch her if it’s simply a one-time event. The majority of the time, there’s no need to be concerned because it’s natural for people to sneeze twice or thrice sometimes. However, if this incident occurs multiple times, it is no longer a humorous thing. You’ve got a big problem to deal with.

The explanation of your feline sneezing numerous times in one go might be as mild as a minute object being trapped in their frontal canal to as serious as tumors in certain circumstances.

Here’s everything you need to understand about feline sneezing, from the symptoms and reasons to how to treat them.

cat sneezing
Image credit: Sergio Huainigg from Pixabay

What are the causes of sneezing in cats?

1. Upper Respiratory Infections

In felines, sneezing is a typical sign of upper respiratory infections (URIs). Upper respiratory infections, sometimes known as the “common flu” or “cat flu,” could be viral, microbial, or even parasitic, even though it is rare. These infestations can persist from around 7 to 21 days and with the normal being 7 to 10 days in mild situations.


The following are some of the most frequent signs of an upper respiratory infection in felines:

  • Sneezing that lasts for many hours or even days
  • The abnormal nasal or retinal secretion might be white, yellow, green, or blood-like.
  • Coughing or swallowing regularly
  • Fever or drowsiness
  • Dehydration and/or a loss of appetite

Kittens and senior felines, and also non-vaccinated and immunodeficient felines, are at an increased risk of getting URIs. Although most of the pathogens that trigger these illnesses are very communicable, cats that are raised in groups, like in shelters or families having more than 2 cats, are always at risk, particularly if they aren’t vaccinated.


The remedy for upper respiratory infections is determined by the intensity of the condition. URIs sometimes go away naturally after a few weeks in conditions with mild signs. Further, medication could be needed in other circumstances, like:

  • Antimicrobial or antifungal drugs
  • Drops for the eyes and/or nostrils
  • Steroids
  • Fluids in the subcutaneous tissue (in situations where a cat suffers from dehydration)

In extreme circumstances, hospitalization could be required for more thorough therapy, like IV fluids and dietary care. Upper respiratory infections, if remained unaddressed, can cause asthma, severe breathing problems, and even paralysis.

If you believe your feline is experiencing an upper respiratory infection, there are a few things you could do right away to help:

  • Wipeout any secretion from your pet’s nostrils and eyes using lukewarm water or damp cloth on a daily basis.
  • Heat up the canned food to encourage your feline to eat.
  • Ensure that your feline has access to lots of fresh water.
  • Use a humidifier to maintain your pet’s nose airways wet.

2. Nasal and Sinus Issues

Inflammatory disorders such as rhinitis and sinusitis could also affect felines. Sinusitis is an infection of the nasal walls, whereas rhinitis is an infection of the epithelial tissues of the nostril, something that you call a “blocked nose.” These two disorders, referred to as “rhinosinusitis” in felines, are typical side effects of upper respiratory infections.


The following are symptoms of rhinitis and sinusitis in felines, along with excessive sneezing:

  • In mild instances, nasal secretion is transparent. In extreme situations, it may be yellow, green, or crimson.
  • Snoring, heavy breathing, and/or inhaling via the mouth
  • Scrubbing face against the floor
  • Tears and leakage from the eyes are common.
  • Reversed sneezing by cleaning the nostrils with a short breathing
  • Swelling on the tip of the nose (if there is a sign of fungal infection)


The diagnosis of rhinitis and sinusitis needs a complete clinical examination as well as a review of your pet’s health records. A rhinoscopy, usually includes putting a tiny lens into the nasal passage or mouth to help visualize the nasal anatomy, as well as a nasal quick rinse to take an extract could be required.

Treatment typically involves a nose cleanse, broad-spectrum medications to cure or avoid infectious diseases, and a shot of corticosteroids to reopen the sinonasal canals. In extreme situations, IV fluids and dietary care could be required.

3. Chronic Upper Respiratory Conditions

Chronic respiratory disorders in felines could also cause regular and repeated sneezing. Chronic rhinitis is perhaps the most prevalent and is generally the outcome of severe injury to the immunological mechanism and nasal cavity.


Chronic upper respiratory problems in felines have signs that are identical to upper respiratory infections and swelling but may last for weeks or even months. Chronic rhinitis, for example, may result in repeated infectious diseases, which can exacerbate the discomfort.

These common symptoms might include:

  • Episodes of sneezing
  • Runny nose and stuffiness
  • The nasal secretion is thick and yellow
  • Appetite loss
  • Salivating and swallowing problems
  • Eye leakage (one or both eyes)

Felines that have healed from serious complicated viral inflammation, like cat calicivirus and cat herpesvirus, seem to be more prone to chronic upper respiratory infections, having signs that last for weeks or months. They’re also far more prone to infection recurrence as a result of anxiety, sickness, or immunodeficiency.


In the case of chronic diseases, more research is required to identify the underlying reasons, which may include:

  • Blood and urine samples are used to diagnose viruses and other contagious disorders
  • X-rays or detailed scanning of the nose, throat, and lungs (CT or MRI)
  • Rhinoscopy provides an improved vision of the tissues inside the nose
  • Tissue samples of the nose are taken to see whether any bacteria are found

Because there are no treatments for chronic upper respiratory diseases in felines, therapy mainly consists of treating the signs through regular veterinarian visits and drugs.

4. Allergies

Allergies are never a prevalent reason for sneezing in felines, as they are in people. Rather, skin inflammations like rashes, itching, and hair loss are the most common side effects. However, many felines, especially those who have asthma, may have additional problems like irritated and blurry vision, as well as coughing, sneezing, and gasping.

In people, this illness is described as “seasonal allergies,” and signs may occasionally develop if triggered by external pollutants such as pollen or out of season if induced by internal allergies like smoke and dust.


Sadly, there seem to be no remedies for feline allergies. On the other hand, the signs can be controlled with a specific medication regimen prepared by your family vet or an animal dermatologist. This may include specialized vaccinations, many other drugs, and a unique diet.

What to do about cat sneezing?

If your feline catches a cold once in a while and overall appears normal, you shouldn’t be concerned. Make an appointment with your veterinarian for an annual checkup or as advised by your veterinarian. Your veterinarian could be able to detect an existing health problem before it becomes intolerable. You may inspect your pet’s body and face yourself between those vet appointments to look for abnormalities.

When your sneezing feline also has a nasal blockage, retinal leakage, and perhaps other cold-like symptoms, it could be an upper respiratory infection or another disease. Cats with URIs frequently sneeze fluid that is yellowish or green in appearance. Their eyes may be blurry, watery, or secretive yellow or green fluid.

Image credit: Анастасия Белоусова from Pixabay

Your pet might experience heavy breathing and difficulty passing oxygen through their nose. It may appear to be the same as a regular cold in people, but healthy felines never “get cold.” URIs in felines are generally triggered by cat herpes simplex virus or zoonotic disease. Take your feline to the vet as soon as possible for proper medication.

When to see a veterinarian?

If your feline just sneezes sometimes and has no other signs or very minor signs, you can even wait for a day or two and observe her if she develops any signs later. Kittens; however, must always be checked by a veterinarian if they are experiencing these signs.

If their sneezing continues or is followed by other signs, a trip to the veterinarian clinic is urgently required for thorough evaluation and treatment. This is highly essential if your feline has stopped consuming. Lack of appetite is a typical sign of upper respiratory disorders in felines, leading to a lack of smell or taste sensations and difficulty in breathing from the nose. Swallowing problems can be caused by a variety of diseases.

As you might know, that human body can survive for several days (7-20 days) without eating anything, a feline’s body will survive for 2-3 days without any food. It can lead to a life-threatening and highly dangerous illness known as hepatic lipidosis (also known as fatty liver disease). Intravenous liquids and increased nutrient assistance are frequently required in these situations, supported by any essential treatments like antibacterial, anti-nausea drugs, and hunger boosters.


Antibiotics might be prescribed by your veterinarian if a microbial illness is detected. Other drugs might not be necessary. Some veterinarians advise using salty nose drops. Always keep your feline in the bathroom with you while you bathing. Your feline may benefit from the steam since it might help relieve nasal blockages.

If your pet does not recover after receiving basic URI therapy, your veterinarian will examine underlying disorders that damage the immune function in felines, such as feline leukemia viruses (FeLV) or feline immunodeficiency viruses (FIV).

cat sneezing
Image credit: Jozsef Hocza on Unsplash

Although many disorders cannot be treated, they may generally be controlled, allowing felines to have pretty healthy years. Several dangerous disorders can also trigger URIs in felines. Lab testing will certainly be required by your veterinarian to identify whether there is a hidden condition.

If your pet has been sniffing a lot for several days but hasn’t shown any other symptoms of sickness, it’s advisable to seek help from your veterinarian. Also, if you have a look around your pet’s habitat to see what could be triggering the allergies. Consider the following scenario:

Have you switched to a different litter?

Sneezing can be caused by dirty and/or perfumed litter. Consider switching to a low-dust kitty litter that is odorless.

Are you experimenting with any different items at home?

Some felines are allergic to the scents of cleaning supplies, soaps, and cosmetics. Opt for odorless or mild-scented items. Cleaning using simple materials such as diluted vinegar or baking soda is a good idea.

Does your home require deep cleaning?

It’s possible that your feline is allergic to dirt or allergens in your house. Keep in mind that felines stay up all day on the floor. Clean and sanitize your house completely. Try to use unscented and non-toxic cleaning supplies.

If you’ve explored all other possibilities and your feline is still sneezing, then it’s best to take her to the veterinarian. To rule out a root problem, your veterinarian will be doing a checkup and perhaps some lab testing.

If all other processes are completed, your veterinarian may suggest a rhinoscopy. When the feline is anesthetized, a small lens is inserted into the nasal cavity to examine for problems.

Cats often breathe a minute, unwanted bodies, such as grass particles, down their lungs. It is usually detected and treated through a rhinoscopy. Other problems that may be discovered in a rhinoscopy involve nasal lesions, cancers, inflammation in the central airways, and structural malformations. During the treatment, lesions and cancers may or may not be removed. An additional surgical operation may be required in some circumstances.

Final Thought

There can be a variety of factors why your feline may be sneezing, starting from mild and non-hazardous issues to those that are dangerous and may cause discomfort to your pet. However, thankfully, your pet’s constant sneezing is usually curable. So don’t be worried if you notice your kitty sneezing suddenly.

Unfortunately, if your feline sneezes frequently or repeatedly, excrete blood, or exhibits any of the other symptoms described above, please contact your veterinarian. They might be symptoms of a disease or disorder that requires veterinarian attention.

Leave a Comment