Cat Sneezing: Raleigh Veterinarians On Why Your Cat May Be Sneezing

Cat sneezing can be the result of any number of things, but as a cat parent, knowing that your cat could be feeling under the weather is worrisome. Recently we talked a little bit about cat coughing and possible causes, today we’re going to talk about sneezing and it’s possible causes.

Cat Sneezing: Raleigh Veterinarians On Why Your Cat May Be Sneezing

When your cat begins showing any signs of feeling under the weather, it’s important to get to your veterinarian right away. But, as a pet parent, it’s also important to be familiar with some of the common reasons why your cat might be sneezing. Although you may not be a veterinarian, knowing what may be causing your cat’s sneeze can be helpful in letting your vet know what is going on ahead of time. So, why might your cat be sneezing?

Occasional Sneezing

Occasional sneezing in any pet is usually due to nothing more than an irritation. Just like we might sneeze when dust gets into our nose, our pets sneeze for the same reason. You may notice this as a seasonal occurrence when it may be due to high levels of pollen in the air or you may notice it when you’re cleaning your home and kicking up some dust in the process. This type of sneezing is normal and nothing to worry about, but you should check in with your vet if your pet sneezes more often than usual or if you’re concerned at all about your cat’s sneezing.


Respiratory infection is not uncommon in cats. Infection can be the result of bacteria, fungus or a virus. Cats with an upper respiratory infection tend to present with a full range of symptoms that accompany their sneezing. These symptoms include congestion, cough, runny nose, drooling, gagging, nasal discharge, lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, squinting, and nasal or oral ulceration.

Chemical Irritants

Chemical irritants are another possible cause of sneezing in animals and in people! For example, if you wear a new perfume and your cat begins to sneeze, it’s very likely that their sneezing is the result of irritation from the perfume chemicals. It’s not just perfume that can cause problems, though, our pets can become irritated by hairsprays, household cleaners, air fresheners, and just about anything that has a scent.

Some of our pets are more sensitive to these chemical irritants and if you notice that your cat is one of them, try to make adjustments in your household to reduce the number of chemicals in your home. For example, use chemical-free cleaners.

Dental Problems

Dental problems can also cause sneezing. When our pets have dental difficulties such as abscesses, broken or chipped teeth, toothache, or even things stuck in their gums, it can cause swelling and/or pain in the sinuses, on the roof of the mouth, and along and under the jaw. This can cause irritation and sneezing.

To avoid dental infections that can cause sneezing, it’s important to take good care of your cat’s teeth. Do this by regularly cleaning your cat’s teeth at home (yes, you can and should be regularly cleaning your cat’s teeth!) and by booking your cat in for a professional dental cleaning with their vet once a year. It’s also important to visually inspect your cat’s teeth once a week or so for any signs of trouble like redness, cuts or sores, broken or chipped teeth, etc. If you notice anything unusual, make an appointment with your cat’s vet right away before the existing situation gets worse.

Nasal Vaccinations or Medications

If your cat has just had an intranasal vaccination or if they are on a medication that you have to administer intranasally, this can cause sneezing or simply cause the body to sneeze to blow out what it perceives as a foreign object trying to enter the body. This is a normal process that the body utilizes to clear nasal passages of potential viruses or bacteria that can cause illness.

While some intranasal medications may cause sneezing upon initial administration if sneezing continues long after you have given your cat their medication, you should check in with your vet. It could be that your cat’s medication is causing irritation or dryness and another medication may be a better choice.

Other Causes

Sometimes our cats may sneeze and we just can’t figure out why. When this happens, it’s important to drop in and pay your cat’s vet a visit. It is most likely that your cat’s sneezing is nothing to worry about, but sometimes, your cat may develop secondary symptoms that are related to another illness which is why you’re having a difficult time determining why they are sneezing. Your vet will be able to do a physical exam and run any necessary tests to determine what is causing your cat’s symptoms.

Are You Dealing With Cat Sneezing?

If you’re dealing with cat sneezing, it’s important to get your cat to their veterinarian right away. If you are new to Raleigh and don’t have a veterinarian yet or if you’re searching for a new veterinarian in North Raleigh, we’d love to help! Just give us a call today at (919)870-7000 and we’ll arrange for you and your cat to visit one of our three expert veterinarians.


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                 Raleigh, N.C. 27613


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