Sneezing in cats
Causes of sneezing in cats
So why do cats sneeze? The most common causes of sneezing are listed below:
Mycoplasma or Bordetella bacterial infection, which usually cause sneezing, very smelly snot or snot containing blood.
Fungal infections are very rare but can form in the nose and cause sneezing. Usually a cat with a fungal infection will have a sticky white nasal discharge.
Breathing in something irritating e.g. perfume, dusty cat litter, cigarette smoke.
Dental (tooth) problems
Tooth problems such as a tooth root abscess can cause pus build up in the nose and cause sneezing.
Something in the nose
Something stuck in the nose (e.g. a blade of grass).
Tumours inside the nose will often cause a discharge and sneezing.
Chronic rhinitis is long term inflammation of the inside of the nose. It’s can be due to damage to the inside of the nose (i.e. from a cat flu infection).
When to contact your vet
Contact your vet for an appointment if your cat is sneezing more than usual and it doesn’t go away within a day or two.
Contact your vet immediately if your cat has severe bouts of sneezing, sneezes blood, seems to be in discomfort or is unwell,
You know your cat best. If you are concerned it’s always best to contact your vet.
The most common cause of sneezing is cat flu. Make sure your cat receives regular vaccinations to prevent it.
If your cat only sneezes occasionally and episodes last less than a day, it’s likely that something is irritating the inside of their nose. Make a note of when the sneezing happens to see if there’s a pattern and try to think about what could be causing it. For example, it could be a certain type of perfume, cleaning products, lit candles or cigarette smoke.
Published: October 2018
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Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only.
Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst