Why Is My Cat Sneezing?

Jane MillerCat HealthLeave a Comment

Why Is My Cat Sneezing - SweetieKitty

Last updated: June 26, 2017

My sisters got their very first cat when a good family friend of ours gifted them a beautiful white Persian cat named, Zany. Unlike other Persian cats, Zany rarely meows. In fact, whenever she does meow it would be the biggest event of the day for all of us at home. Aside from meowing, the only other sound we would hear coming from Zany would be from her occasional sneezes.

As most cat owners would agree to, a cat sneezing is probably one of the cutest things that they do. Unlike the sneeze of a human, which can be loud and sometimes even alarming, the sneeze of a cat is a soft “achoo” and the face they make makes it an even more adorable sight to see.


Just like with humans, cats also begin to sneeze whenever there is something irritating the lining of their nasal passages. It’s perfectly normal to hear a cat achoo once or twice, even humans react to the tickles on their nostrils with a sneeze or two, but a recurring sneeze can be a signal for something more serious than the occasional sniffles.

Sneezing can be a good thing for cats since they can’t really blow their nose like humans do. It is the best way to remove any irritant from their nasal passage.  Yes, it is all well and good when they just sneeze now and then. Cats are natural explorers and their slinky bodies can easily inch through hard to reach places for humans. Some would say it’s practically unavoidable when cats are the last pet humans can control. They aren’t exactly like dogs that humans can easily command.

Causes of Sneezing

The sneeze of a cat is usually triggered by elements in their environment. As much as many cat owners would like to protect their precious feline from any harmful allergens around the house, most of the time it is really in nobody’s control. The only thing that cat owners can do is to lessen triggers as much as they can. Allergens can be found everywhere around the house or even outside it and this includes pollen, mold, dust and even the dust from cat litter.

In this case, the constant sneezing could also be from a new perfume or cleaning agent. For households whose members smoke cigarettes, the cigarette smoke and cigarette butts can also be a contributing allergen. Other than this, cats can also be exposed to vermin lying around the house, such as from mice and cockroaches. These vermin are often carriers of various elements from outside and are riddled with diseases and infections.

Why Is My Cat Sneezing - Two Cats Sleeping - SweetieKittyHealth Concerns

It is very easy for cat owners to go with their instinct and have their cats consume over-the-counter allergy medications such as antihistamines, but this is not recommended. The best thing that an owner can do once they have noticed their cat sneezing more than usual is to monitor their cat’s behavior and health and look out for other tell-tale signs.

If a cat’s constant sneezing is accompanied by symptoms such as nasal discharge, lethargy, breathing difficulties or a decrease in their appetite, it may be time to go to the local veterinarian to have their cat checked. There are times when an innocent barrage of cat sneezing can actually be a signal for a more serious health concern.

Cat owners should be aware that young cats are quite susceptible to having upper respiratory infections, as well as developing nasopharyngeal polyps, which is a benign growth in a cat’s nasal passage. While older cats are the ones most prone to various infections, they are more likely to acquire dental diseases and have a higher risk of falling to cancer.


As much as cat owners would like to have their cat as healthy as possible, getting the sniffles is a natural part of their cat’s lives as well. Although, there are a number of things that cat owners can do in order to help their cat breathe better around the house.

Just like when humans get sick, people would often clean out their houses in the hopes of lessening the dirt and the dust that may have contributed to their illness. The same can also aid a cat’s recovery. Owners should regularly clean their houses, giving particular attention to spots where their cats would usually hang around and get into those hard to reach places where most mold and dust fester.

One of the most frequent things that a cat comes into contact with is their cat litter. Maybe changing their current cat litter to a low-dust cat litter will help alleviate the cat’s sneezing. Even going as far as bringing moisture into the air, can go a long way, a vaporizer or the steam from a hot shower should help.

Observation and Attention

In today’s fast-paced day-to-day life most cat owners would easily shrug off a simple sneeze from their cat, and would most likely not think of it as a big deal.  However, a keen and constant observation of their behavior and their well-being can make the biggest difference. An ailment detected at the earliest possible moment can mean the difference between life and death in the end.

Just like with babies that cannot yet talk and express how they are feeling and what is wrong with them, cats must be given the utmost attention since they are also unable to directly communicate whenever they are not feeling well. In fact, animals like cats would often reach out to humans only when they can no longer bear it, but would hold off any sign of pain or weakness until then.

Why Is My Cat Sneezing - Cat with Flower on Sofa - SweetieKittyAnimal Instinct

Remember that although, most cats are already domesticated, their animal instinct for survival is still in their blood. A cat would always act tough in case any other pet or animal around notice that they are vulnerable. In any case, when in doubt, a cat owner can always turn to their local veterinarian for advice.

It is quite handy to have a trusted vet’s contact details that cat owners can reach out to in case of any emergency. Otherwise, the advances in technology have made it possible today to go to the World Wide Web; wherein, millions and millions of articles regarding cats are at everybody’s fingertips.

A cat owner should always trust their own instinct as well. The bond between an owner and a cat is one of the strongest connections between a human and an animal. No other person would know their own cat better, but a cat owner who truly loves and cares for their cat.

Jane Miller

Hi! I’m a certified cat lover and an unapologetic writer! That’s why I created SweetieKitty! Born in Connecticut, one sunny day of April, during the most interesting decade of past century! Nowadays I live in South Carolina, with my three tomcats! I’d love to read your comments on my article!