Sneezing cats – what does it mean?
Sneezing cats – what does it mean?
A sneezing cat is not unusual. Just like humans, they can get something stuck in their nose or their membranes can become inflamed or irritated, and sneezing is the quickest and most efficient way to clear it. Some breeds just sneeze more often than others. No one knows why, but breeds with short nasal passages and flat faces, such as Persians, end up sneezing more than other cat breeds.
In many cases, an allergen is the culprit. Approximately 15% of all cats have some form of allergy. They are most likely due to:
- Insects – Fleas are the most, as the saliva from the mouths of fleas can cause an allergy. Even when the fleas are killed, the itching may continue for some time.
- Airborne Allergens – The same allergens that give us hay fever can also cause allergies in cats, including pollen, grass, and mold.
- Food and drugs – cats can be allergic to certain foods and drugs, including some vaccinations.
If your cat is sneezing because of an allergy, you may also notice other symptoms, including your cat constantly licking its paws, rubbing its face, or coughing. They are not always present, but they may be. Your cat may also develop hives, which appear approximately half an hour after exposure to an allergen. Hives can appear anywhere on your cat and disappear after a day. The cause of hives may include insect bites, new foods, medicine or vaccination, or insecticides used to treat your lawn.
If you suspect that the sneezing is caused by an allergy, first try to determine the cause. If you have changed anything in the home – the litter box or food, used insecticide in the house, etc. – remove them and see if your cat feels better. If the cause is food, your vet may recommend some milk of magnesia to help clear the stomach more quickly. Benadryl and cortisone treatments may also be used. A veterinarian should administer them. Don’t try to do it yourself.
If your cat is suspected of having an infection, isolate it from all other animals, as the infection can be contagious. You’ll also probably want to keep children away, as some bacteria and even viruses can be spread through human contact.
An abscess of the upper jaw can also cause sneezing. It can spread to the nasal passages, causing them to swell and close.
Another reason could be dust and mites. When they get mixed up in the litter box, they can be inhaled by your cat or get into the fur. Keeping the litter box clean is the best way to solve this problem, and don’t use the litter at the bottom of the bag – it’s usually mostly dust. The cat likes a clean box, and this may even eliminate some behavioral problems, such as spraying or going to the toilet elsewhere in the home.
Finally, you’ll want to check your cat’s nose to see if anything is stuck in it. This is especially true if your cat sneezes constantly. They may be trying to expel the object. If you can’t get the object out, or if it seems to be too high up in the nostrils, you’ll want to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible, especially if it’s stressing your cat out or they’re having trouble breathing.
As usual, observing your cat’s personality and knowing her behavior is a good way to tell if something is wrong. If your cat sneezes every now and then, it’s no big deal. But if he suddenly starts sneezing when they never did, or the sneezing just gets worse, it could be a symptom rather than just sneezing.