Why is My Cat Sneezing?
Ever catch your cat sneezing? No fear, the occasional sneeze is not a big deal! When a cat sneezes, he’s just releasing high-pressure air from his nose and mouth.
However, if your cat is excessively sneezing (more than just a few times a day or more than a few days in a row), a veterinary visit may be necessary. This is especially important if you notice additional clinical signs besides the sneezing such as:
- Runny eyes
- Squinting of the eyes (which may be due to ulcers of the cornea)
- Nasal discharge (typically clear colored but may progress to pus-colored)
- Difficulty chewing food (due to ulcers on the tongue and in the mouth)
- Drooling (due to ulcers on the tongue and in the mouth)
- Bloody discharge from the nose
- Pink eye signs (e.g., redness of the eyes due to secondary inflammation of the conjunctiva)
- Ulcers in the mouth
- Noisy breathing
- Increased or difficulty breathing
- Weight loss
- Swelling around the nose or a miss-shaped nose
What can cause sneezing?
Typically, sneezing may be due to:
- Allergens such as dust, pollen, and fur
- Foreign material such as grass, small pieces of plant seed, etc.
- Upper respiratory infections (e.g., calicivirus, herpesvirus)
- Inflammation of the upper respiratory infection (e.g., rhinitis)
- Infection in the lungs (e.g., pneumonia) secondary to an upper respiratory infection
- Infectious causes (e.g., upper respiratory infections, fungal infections, etc.).
- Cancer (often squamous cell carcinoma)
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Justine has more than 18 years of experience in the veterinary industry and is a board-certified emergency critical care veterinary specialist and toxicologist as well as the CEO and founder of Vetgirl. She is also a founding member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.