As a pet parent you’re responsible for your fur baby’s wellbeing, and “my cat keeps sneezing” is something many of us have said at one time or another. A few sneezes is common with cats, just as it is with us. However, when it becomes continuous, you’re right to be concerned.
In this article you’ll discover common reasons why cats sneeze, and when you need to see the vet. Most times it will be something minor like dust or fur she’s inhaled. On the hand it’s possible a foreign object may have become lodged in your cat’s nasal cavities. We know kids can get pencils stuck up their nostrils, but that’s highly unlikely to happen to your kitty!! It would most likely be a tiny grass clipping or pollen that’s found it’s way into your cat’s nose.
Sneezing will usually expel it, but if the offending object has become stuck, you may need the help of a vet. Wiping your cat’s nose with a tissue may help, but remember, cats can’t blow their noses!!
Just like us, cats can develop a sensitivity to certain things such as grass pollen, dust, cigarette smoke, and many others. Allergic reactions can manifest in various ways, though sneezing isn’t usually one of them. Allergies in cats are actually quite common though with food and environmental factors playing a part.
My cat keeps sneezing, could she have a cold?
The answer to this question is yes, it could be possible. Believe it or not, cats can catch colds too, and suffer in a similar way to us. Once your kitty has caught a cold virus it will never leaves the body and can recur again in the future.
Colds and flu among the cat population is spread by close contact. This is similar to how it’s spread among humans, and is seasonal as well. Don’t worry about giving your cat a cold as it can’t be passed from human to pets.
If your kitty has been vaccinated against cat flu it’s quite possible she may sneeze over the following few days. It’s nothing to worry about and may be similar to humans feeling a bit off colour after an annual flu jab. Bear in mind that even after vaccination, your kitty may still be a carrier of the virus, and it’s not guaranteed to be 100% effective.
Feline calicivirus or FCV is a an acute upper respiratory infection. It’s highly contagious and one of the causes of cat flu. If your feline friend is sneezing constantly with a runny nose and fever, she needs urgent treatment. Though unlikely to be FCV, it’s best to get her examined by a vet. You’ll be glad to hear virulent systemic FCV is very rare, though there is a 50% death rate in severe cases. It’s thought around 8% of cats are shedding the virus at any given time.
Other common causes of upper respiratory infections include feline herpes with around 80-90% of cats believed to be carriers of the virus. You’ll only know if your kitty is a carrier by getting her tested. She may never show any symptoms but could pass it on to other cats. If your cat is sneezing a lot and showing other signs of being unwell make an appointment with your vet.
Give your kitty lots of tlc. If you get a bad cold or feel unwell I’m sure your cat will make a fuss of you. I know mine does:) Doing the same for your poorly pet is only right! Give her plenty of fresh water. Tempt her with a few tasty treats. Open a can of tuna as long as it’s in spring water. Mash a little bit with a fork and see if she eats any. Boiled rice with chicken is also good and most cats would be tempted by it.
My cat keeps sneezing, could it be dental disease?
The last thing you’d imagine would make your fur baby sneeze is toothache! However, it’s surprisingly common. Even though your kitty may be eating and not showing outward signs of pain, she could have an infected tooth. The roots of your kitty’s upper canine teeth lie closely to her nasal passages. Any infection could cause result in inflamed sinuses, making her sneeze. You’d need tests including X-rays though to establish if it is an infection.
Most cats over the age of 3 years suffer some type of dental disease. Knowing how to prevent dental disease in cats not only saves you a lot of money, but will also save your cat from the pain and discomfort associated with it.
If your cat won’t stop sneezing, another cause could be a type of bacterial infection. There are several including mycoplasma. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, problems breathing, and difficulty moving. Your vet will carry out blood and urine tests to define which bacteria is making your cat ill. Treatments would normally include a course of antibiotics.
My cat keeps sneezing how can I help her feel better?
As long as you’ve ruled out any serious problems and it’s not an infection, you could do a few things to help.
- Use low dust litter to keep kitty from inhaling dust particles.
- Get the best possible pet vacuum you can afford
- Clean your home regularly
- Avoid using toxic cleaning products
- Groom your cat once or twice a week
- Apply spot on flea and tick medication monthly
- Keep your home well ventilated
Hopefully, I’ve helped you understand what could be making your feline friend sneeze. Never let it continue without seeking advice from your vet. Respiratory infections can be treated, and taking the above steps I’ve outlined will help as well.
If it turns out to be an infection and you have a multiple cat household, you’ll need to ensure you practice good hygiene. Wash food bowls regularly and make sure each kitty has their own. I know this can be hard as cats don’t understand the need to stick to their own bowls! However, you could try feeding them in different corners of the room, or even in different rooms!!
The same rule applies to litter boxes. Clean and disinfect each one daily. Also, wash your hands after petting the infected cat so you don’t pass it onto the others. This is basic hygiene that can help keep your fur family healthy.
As mentioned in a previous post, if you have several cats and one is very poorly with an infection, isolate her in a separate room so she doesn’t spread the infection. Only allow your kitty to socialise with the others when she’s fully recovered.
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Wishing you a purrfet day:)