Cat Sneezing
When Should It Be Taken Seriously?

Is your cat sneezing a lot? If so, how do you know when it is nothing to be worried about or when you should get them to the vet? 

Of course, if the sneezing is short lived and only happens occasionally, it is usually nothing to worry about.

They probably just had a cold or something got up their nose (poor thing!)

But if your cat keeps sneezing, then it could be a sign of one of a number of more serious cat illnesses or other cat health problems!

On This Page :

  • What Can Cause Cat Sneezing?

  • When Should You Take Your Kitty To The Vet?

  • What Treatments Are Available?

What Causes A Sneezing Cat?


These can be bacterial (for example from an upper respiratory tract infection), viral (including serious cat illnesses such as Cat Flu), or fungal infections.

These will cause ongoing and prolonged sneezing, often with a nasal discharge of yellowish mucous.

Other cat symptoms may be present as well, depending on the severity of the infection (see more below).

Foreign Object

It is quite common for cats to get objects such as grass seeds stuck up their noses, which as you can imagine would be very unpleasant and cause intense irritation, pain and sneezing.

Usually the sneezing will dislodge the grass seed or other foreign object, and the problem will be solved.

But occasionally (especially with a sharp pointed grass seed) the object can get stuck and set up an infection. This will definitely need a trip to the vets to sort out!

Nettle-Eyebright Gold

allergies in cats


Your cat might have an allergic reaction to things such as pollen or even household cleaners.

The sneezing might be intense and in quick succession.

If your cat is allergic to pollen you might notice that they are prone to sneezing during the spring or summer, just like us humans having Hay Fever.

Other signs of an allergy might include watery eyes and a runny nose.

Other allergies can also cause skin problems.


Cats love to sniff things because their sense of smell is so highly developed and scent is how they understand much of the world.

But doing so means they will sniff things which cause irritation and set off a sneezing fit.

This could be anything from flour or dust to things like household cleaners.

Other things that can cause irritation (without being an actual allergy) can be things like cigarette smoke.

The sneezing will usually be short term and will be easily resolved once the thing causing the irritation is removed.

Other Causes

Other possible causes of cat sneezing can include dental abscesses or growths within the nasal passages including polyps and cancers.

Here's a great little video as an introduction to caring for cats with sneezing problems

When To See The Vet?

TOP TIP: "Don't forget to take out some good cat health insurance to help protect you from expensive vet bills!"

Take your kitty to see the vet if the sneezing is prolonged and does not resolve by itself, or...

  • If your cat appears particularly distressed in any way
  • If there is yellow or bloodstained mucus discharge
  • If the cats eyes are weeping or inflamed as well
  • If your cat is off their food
  • Losing weight
  • Lethargic (unusually tired)
  • Not drinking (at risk of dehydration)
  • Or if there are other cat symptoms indicating that your kitty is feeling unwell

What Is The Treatment For A Sneezing Cat?

Your vet will want to do a full examination and may do some tests as well if any serious cat illnesses are suspected.

The appropriate treatment will depend upon the cause of the cat sneezing, for example:

  • Antibiotics for a bacterial infection

  • Antifungal medications for a fungal infection

  • An operation or procedure to remove a foreign object such as a grass seed

  • An operation on nasal polyps

  • Dental treatment for any tooth abscesses

  • Chemotherapy / radiotherapy / surgery for cancers

  • Removal of the cause of any irritation or allergic reactions

For cat lung infections and easy breathing

There may be additional care and support required depending upon the severity of the underlying cat health condition such as:

  • Bathing of eyes to clear any discharge
  • Rehydration
  • Nutritional support

There are so many possible causes of cat sneezing that it really needs a professional vet to diagnose the exact cause and prescribe the correct treatment.

If your cat does start sneezing, then remember that it is usually nothing to worry about as long as the problem resolves by itself.

But as you have read, there are some serious cat illnesses that may be the cause and appropriate treatment would need to be started as soon as possible.

So if the cat sneezing continues (especially if there are other symptoms as well and if your cat appears unwell) then you really should get them checked out by the vet.

Also, prevention is better than cure, so having your kitty vaccinated every year is a great way to help ensure good and long lasting cat health!

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