why is my cat sneezing so much

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It is not strange for your cat to sneeze once in a while, especially kitties. Just like humans, when your Kitty friend sneezes, it signifies a response to irritation in the nasal passage.

This should be a matter of concern when the sneezing becomes frequent and too much and it is at this point that you should ask yourself ‘why is my cat sneezing so much?

You can manage a mild sneezing condition for your cat. However, if it persists, the best way to handle the situation is by seeking the services of a veterinary officer.

Many people often confuse sneezing and coughing. While sneezing is mostly a mild condition, coughing is a deeper problem because it denotes irritation in the respiratory tract.

Most of the time, coughing in cats is associated with other diseases and it only appears as a symptom.

It is very important to monitor the health condition of our cats because similar to many other things, cats are hesitant to reveal conditions of sickness openly until it becomes severe.

A single sneeze from your feline friend should be a wake-up call for you to check out the causes and possible treatment.

Different reasons might cause sneezing in cats, I will go through the most common of them that might apply to your cat.

Six Reasons Why Cats Sneeze


Most of the spices we use in the kitchen, detergents for laundry, lotions, and perfumes for our bodies are classified as irritants to cats and other pets.

Kitchen Spices

When you are cooking with spices, for example, cinnamon, and your cat is observing you most of the time you will notice that he will shake off his head, sneeze, and walk away at some point.

If these spices can be irritating to us as humans, then imagine what they do to cats even in the smallest portion.

The same goes for body lotions and perfumes, in your quest to look and feel elegant, be mindful of your cat’s health and what it can do to him long term.

This does not mean that you should stop using the products categorized as irritants; it only calls for being keen whenever you are handling the product, and make sure your cat is not around you. 

Foreign Matter

Cats have a high sense of smell and they use their noses to interact with the environment in different ways.

In these interactions, foreign materials might get stuck in the cat’s nose and he may sneeze in an effort to dislodge the debris.

Genius Dog 300 x 600 - Animated

These materials may include grass and pollen grains from your houseplants. You may need to learn how to keep cats away from plants to prevent them from frequent interactions with small foreign materials.

Pollen Grains

If your cat is not successful in removing the foreign material from his nose by sneezing, take hold of him to prevent him from using his forelimbs and nails.

If he does that, he may end up injuring his nose severely. Seek the services of a veterinarian immediately to prevent suffocation.

Viral Infections

The number one fear that runs through many people’s minds when their cat is sneezing repeatedly is associated with viruses and flu.


There are two widely-known viruses namely; Feline herpes and feline calicivirus that are responsible for causing diseases in cats which may be the reasons for your cat sneezing repeatedly.

You do not need to worry much about contracting these viruses because they cannot survive on humans.

Your cat can contact the Feline herpes virus which causes herpes when it is exposed to other cats that are infected with it. 

Feline Calicivirus is another viral infection that is very contagious within cats. A common symptom of this infection is the development of mouth ulcers in an infected cat.

This virus has also been linked to pneumonia due to the effect it has on the respiratory tract.

These two viral infections may make your cat more likely to develop other respiratory conditions that can intensify sneezing. For instance, a cat with herpes may also develop a secondary bacterial infection which is commonly treated by administering antibiotics.

Other conditions that will show that your cat has caught the flu include the following:

  • Mucus on the nose.
Cat's Nose
  • Weeping and watery eyes.
Cat's Eyes
  • Discharge in the corner of both eyes.
  • The red tissue around the eye becomes swollen and has an intense red color.

Your cat needs to be checked regularly by a vet and by that, you will be able to know the health condition of your cat regularly.

In this case, the vet will prescribe cat sneezing treatment that will deal with the viral infection.

In case of infection from a bacterium, antibiotics will help out your feline friend.

Respiratory tract infections

Most cats sneeze because of an upper respiratory infection which is caused mostly by viruses. The most likely disease to cause sneezing in cats is the Herpes virus and calicivirus.

Dental Disease

Your cat will often sneeze regularly when he is suffering from dental disease. Another symptom to denote a dental disease is nasal discharge.

Cat Teeth

It has been established that an infected cat tooth will give rise to a bacterium that lodges in the nasal cavity of the cat.

This infection should be checked on as quickly as possible to prevent it from transferring to other parts of the body.


Your cat might be sneezing because you recently administered an intranasal vaccine to him.

This is a side effect of vaccinations that prevent cats from respiratory infections, and you do not need to worry about this since it will go away in a few days.


As we have established above, it is a good idea to monitor your cat’s health progress and conditions. It is, therefore, necessary to know the common cat sneezing causes to prevent panic.

What to Do if the Cat is Sneezing Repeatedly

If your cat is sneezing repeatedly and you have established that it is not due to an allergic reaction, you can check out for the following health symptoms that normally occur together:

  • Nasal discharge. This is the common infection symptom that occurs together with sneezing and most probably will indicate disease in your kitty.
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss.
  • Fatigue and lethargy.
  • Coughing
  • When the cat sleeps more frequently and for an extended period than the normal

When you see the indicators above, be sure to reach out to your cat’s vet before severe cases.

As a preliminary treatment, there are things you can do in your house that will diminish cat sneezes, especially the ones caused by allergies and foreign materials.

Six Tips to Prevent Cats from Sneezing

You can adopt the following methods to help keep your cat out of an environment that will cause mild sneezing to him.

1. Always clean your house thoroughly to ensure that there are minimized dust particles and foreign materials sifting around the atmosphere of your house.


2. You can use a humidifier to make the atmosphere in your house moist. This will coalesce and eliminate the dust particles and potential pollen grains from your houseplants.


3. When cooking, you can give your cat treats to eat and toys to play with. This will help to keep him out of the kitchen when the air is filled with spices and irritating steam.

4.  Make sure your cat is not within your washroom when showering, and when applying body deodorants that have a strong smell. You can keep him busy with toys during this time.

5. Ensure that the dustbin in your house is regularly emptied and that it is placed in an area your kitty cannot access with ease. This will ensure your cat does not interact with the waste disposed of in the bin which may be contagious.

6. If you have a cat that is exhibiting signs of viral infections, ensure you isolate him from other cats and pets in your house. The viral infection might be highly contagious hence causing more harm to other pets in the house. Also, to ensure good recovery, you need to isolate your cat that is undergoing treatment from other healthy pets in the house.

If you implement these measures in your house, it is a good step that ensures your cat gets a good and safe place to live with you.


Your furry friend needs good health just like you. If He is sick then as a pet owner you need to make all necessary arrangements to see a vet for diagnosis and treatment.

If your cat is not responding to medication positively, then the vet will recommend surgery on your cat.

It is a great relief to move from asking the question ‘why is my cat sneezing so much’ to having your playful feline friend healthy again.

Have a look at the video below by Dr. Jena Questen where she explains about sneezy cats.

Has your cat ever sneezed repeatedly at any time? How did you respond? Please let me know in the comments below.

Written By

Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a pet expert with more than 20 years of experience working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals since a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.

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