Why Do Cats Sneeze? (Cat Sneezing Explained)

Posted in: Cat Health - Last Updated: September 26, 2022 - Author: Laraib Shah
Posted in Cat Health 
Last Updated: August 11, 2022  
Author:  Laraib Shah

"Atishoo!" Just like human beings, sneezing is quite a normal thing for cats! Of course, they sneeze often, and you may have said "bless you" as regularly as you do when some fellow human sneezes!

But really, why do cats sneeze?

A dusty area, which would have dust particles flowing around casually, may lead to your cat sneezing vigorously. 

Why do cats sneeze

Likewise, if your pet has a dust allergy, being around a place that's full of dirt particles may lead it to a sneezing frenzy.

However, if that's not the case, the causes of sneezing will need to be examined. You have to be cautious if the cat can't stop sneezing and rule out the reasons behind it.

My Cat Keeps Sneezing But Seems Fine

Sneezing a couple of times in a day is pretty standard for a cat.  

However, when you notice that your cat just won't stop sneezing, and it's a regular thing, it may be time to get cautious!

Another thing that you need to consider while noticing the sneezing pattern of your cat is its sound. 

For example, if it sounds more like a honk, it could be a severe problem, and you need to see a vet.

Why do Cats Sneeze: Reasons

Just like humans, there are many reasons your cat may sneeze. Some of them are as follows:

Dust Allergy 

A dust allergy is a common cause of sneezing and a regular cough. In scientific terms, it is called upper respiratory infection. The symptoms are pretty much the same as in humans. 

Allergic reactions or an infection caused by a virus may well lead to uncontrolled sneezing and a runny nose. These conditions may continue for several days until the vet treats them medically. 

Cat sneezing

Other symptoms to look out for include skin irritations, constant scratching, itchy skin, and hair loss.

A domesticated cat that isn't exposed to the external environment too often may get infected by a casual walk in the garden. A simple treatment plan of decongestants and antibiotics, recommended by the vet, would help it heal efficiently. 

Specific allergies may also be triggered by sprays, pollen, perfume, smoke, candles, or a cleaning device.

To avoid this, keep track of all their sneezing patterns and keep the potential allergic items away from them.

Take simple steps like keeping the home unscented, avoiding smoking within the premises of your house, choosing a low-dust cat litter option, and ensuring that the litter box is cleaned regularly.

However, if sneezing or allergies are recurring you should definitely get regular medicines for your pet and save it from consistent sneezing.

Dental Disease

Yes, you have read that right. As odd as it sounds, dental disease actually has the ability to make your cat super uncomfortable to a level that it would just keep sneezing! 

Now, what's the connection between dental inflammation and continuous sneezing? Well, the dental roots of a cat are way too close to the nasal passage. 

My cat keeps sneezing but seems fine

Hence, whenever the teeth get infected by something, the sinuses can also be irritated. Therefore, even some minor dental inflammatory conditions can affect the nasal passage. 

If you see that your cat is finding it tough to chew food lately, it's high time you should be able to connect its sneezing problem with the dental issue. 

As soon as you get the latter fixed, the sinus issues may subside.

Feline Herpes

One of the most common causes of a cat sneezing continuously and without breaks is the Feline herpes virus. 

Feline Herpes is basically a virus that leads to contiguous infections. These symptoms may include mouth discharge, swelling, or excessive nasal discharge, 

Once infected, the cat may showcase various symptoms, from continuous sneezing to drooling and loss of appetite. 

Apart from this, eye ulcers and nasal congestion are also common symptoms connected with Feline Herpes.

Feline Calicivirus

This virus is highly contagious among cats. Mouth ulcers are the most common symptom, but they can also affect the respiratory tract and even cause pneumonia. 

These infections may make your cat more likely to develop other respiratory problems that can cause sneezing. 

For example, a cat with herpes may also develop a secondary bacterial infection. Make sure you attend a veterinarian to get a full and proper diagnosis.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus 

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is also known as FIV. It is the feline version of HIV in humans, although the two are not contagious to each other. 

FIV can actually cause a cat’s immune system to be impaired, leading to frequent respiratory infections, thus sneezing!

Cat Flu

 Often referred to as the “common cat cold” or the “cat flu”, these upper respiratory infections can be bacterial viral, and, on some occasions, fungal, although that’s less common.

Cat Flu can last anywhere from 7 to 21 days, with 7 to 10 days being the average duration for uncomplicated cases. 

Symptoms include a stuffy nose and recurring sneezing over several hours or days. 

They may also experience discharge from the nose or eyes that can appear clear, yellow, green, or even bloody. Look out for coughing, swallowing, dehydration, and a decreased appetite

Cat sneeze


To keep your cat safe from varied kinds of diseases and health issues, you may have to get them vaccinated. Though this vaccination will protect it from a viral illness, if it's nasal in nature, it may make your cat sneeze uncontrollably. 

If you can see your cat sneezing after vaccination, don't worry!  It's probably the after-effects of the vaccine, which may continue for quite a few days!

Cat Sneeze Treatment

Non-stop sneezing can definitely make your cat grumpy! 

Apart from this, sneezing can potentially ruin your cat’s sleep and appetite. Hence, getting it treated is undoubtedly something you should plan on immediately. 

Try and avoid self-medication. At times, giving some types of medicines to your pet without consulting the veterinary doctor may lead to severe consequences. 

Therefore, a proper diagnosis and follow-up treatment plan are a must before giving meds to mitigate your cat’s pain!

The vet may also be able to source any underlying issues underlying medical issues.

A situation like Feline Herpes requires extensive and supervised treatment as it can adversely affect the cat's immune system. 

Why Do Cats Sneeze? The Verdict

If your cat has been with you for some time, you'll probably be well aware of the usual things that start them off sneezing! 

Obviously, it would be a very good idea to keep them away from any situations that may lead to respiratory infections!

Lastly, even though sneezing is a very common thing for a cat, if you think their sneezing fits are excessive, you should definitely head to a vet!

About the author

Laraib Shah is a freelance writer and a proud cat mom who shares her home with an exceptionally perfect cat named Simba. As an experienced cat mom, she is the trusted authority on cat care and cat breeds for the team. Apart from cats, Laraib loves cooking, travelling plus cookies, ice cream, and coffee!