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Why is my cat sneezing?

30 September 2021 — Miscellaneous

All cats sneeze, and it’s probably one of the cutest sounds ever heard. But should we worry about our cat’s sneezes? Like humans, cats sneeze occasionally, and most of the time, these sneezes are nothing to worry about. However, if they happen frequently or if there are secretions, it’s important to investigate the matter and to act, if necessary. Here is some interesting information to help you demystify your cat’s sneezes.

What can cause a cat to sneeze

Several reasons can explain why your cat sneezes, and some of them can be more serious than others. That’s why it’s important to pay close attention to them:

  • Itchy nose
  • Irritating odours, such as those emanating from chemical products
  • Airborne dust, grass, or hair in respiratory tract
  • Dusty litter, cleaning product fragrances, mould, and even burning candles can potentially be irritating
  • Respiratory condition caused by viral diseases such as feline herpesvirus and calicivirus
  • Dental root infection affecting the cat’s sinuses, rarer but possible

Possible symptoms

In most cases, sneezing is a normal physiological reaction which helps evacuate a foreign particle from the respiratory tract. However, more alarming symptoms can sometimes accompany sneezing. Here is a list of the most common symptoms with sneezing, which can be a sign of a more serious health issue:

  • Recurrent sneezing over several hours or days
  • Lethargy or fever
  • Persistent cough or constant swallowing
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration and/or loss of appetite
  • Unusual nasal or eye discharge, which can be clear, yellow, green, or red
  • Difficulty breathing

If your cat is in perfect health and suddenly starts to sneeze more frequently, make sure to monitor them for a few days to try to identify the cause of the sneezing. When cats sneeze, it is usually due to the respiratory tract cleaning itself, but if other symptoms appear or if the sneezes go on for longer than normal, make sure to get your cat checked by a vet. But don’t worry, most sneezes are easily treated, and your cat will quickly be back on its paws!

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Sources:

https://www.petmd.com/cat/emergency/common-emergencies/e_ct_excessive_sneezing_nasal_discharge

(French only) https://www.lerepaireduchat.com/mon-chat-eternue/

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