Why is my Cat Sneezing?

Most cat owners have heard their cat sneeze at least a handful of times. However, excessive amounts of sneezing or sneezing fits in cats are definitely not normal. Here we will be explaining how cat owners can tell the difference between normal and abnormal sneezing in cats.


Although the occasional sneeze from your cat is nothing to worry about, excessive sneezing can be a sign of a medical issue. Most of the time frequent sneezing in cats is just a sign that they have allergies or a mild upper respiratory infection. However, excessive sneezing can sometimes also be a sign that a cat has a more serious condition such as a foreign body.


In this article we will be going over all of the six most common possible causes for sneezing in cats. In addition to this, we will also be explaining when sneezing in cats warrants a vet visit. Let’s just get right into it.

Cat sneezing

6 Possible Causes For Sneezing In Cats

There are six main possible causes for sneezing in cats. Among the most common include nose irritation, allergies, and upper respiratory infections. However, excessive sneezing in cats can also sometimes be a sign of dental disease or a foreign body in the nose. Here are the six possible causes for sneezing in cats.

Something Tickled Your Cat’s Nose

Nose irritation can cause a cat to sneeze, and the source of this irritation could be anything from a bit of dust to the tickle of a feather. Most of the time this is the cause for the occasional sneeze in cats, and usually this is nothing that cat owners need to worry too much about.

Your Cat Has Allergies

Allergies are another very common cause for sneezing in cats. This is especially true if your cat is prone to frequent sneezing. Oftentimes a cat with allergies will exhibit some other symptoms in addition to sneezing. Some other signs of allergies in cats for cat owners to look out for include but may not be limited to:


  • Coughing
  • Itchy skin, especially around the ears, eyes, and nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Nasal discharge
  • Red and inflamed looking skin
  • Excessive scratching
  • Excessive grooming


If you suspect that your cat may have allergies do not worry! Allergies are usually fairly easy to manage with things like cat allergy medication. As a result, taking your cat to the vet for allergies can really help.

Your Cat Just Got An Intranasal Vaccine

Intranasal vaccines, or vaccines that are administered through the nose, commonly cause sneezing in cats. This is because the liquid from the intranasal vaccine is causing irritation or discomfort inside of the cat’s nose. As a result, a bit of sneezing from your cat right after they have gotten an intranasal vaccine is usually nothing that you need to worry about, and it should go away on its own after a little while.

Your Cat Has An Upper Respiratory Disease

Unfortunately, upper respiratory infections are fairly common in cats, and they commonly cause sneezing. Here are some other symptoms that are commonly seen when a cat has an upper respiratory infection.


  • Coughing (may or may not have the presence of phlegm)
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Discharge coming from the eyes
  • Nasal discharge
  • A reduced appetite


Most of the time upper respiratory infections in cats are not extremely serious, and usually vets can effectively treat them. In addition to this, a vet may prescribe your cat some medication that will make them feel more comfortable while the illness runs its course.


It is important to note that most upper respiratory diseases in cats are caused by a viral or bacterial infection. This means that they are often contagious to other cats. As a result, you may also want to quarantine your sick cat and clean areas that they frequent in order to prevent the spread of illness. Of course, this only really applies if you have multiple cats in the home.

Your Cat Has Dental Disease

Although this may be surprising, excessive sneezing in cats can also potentially be a sign that they have dental disease. This occurs because the nasal cavity lies in very close proximity to the roots of a cat’s teeth. This means that when this part of a cat’s mouth becomes infected, then their nasal cavity will often become irritated as well.


Like most other medical conditions, there are more symptoms to dental disease in cats than just excessive sneezing. Here are some other signs of dental disease in cats that cat owners should be aware of.


  • The presence of plaque or tartar
  • Foul smelling breath
  • Red and bleeding gums
  • Missing teeth
  • Difficulties with chewing and eating


Although dental disease in cats can be difficult to reverse once it has set in, it is fairly manageable when addressed by a vet. In addition to this, it is also fairly easy to prevent dental disease in cats by brushing their teeth or by giving them dental treats on a regular basis.

Your Cat Has A Foreign Body Or A Blockage In Their Nose

Sometimes excessive sneezing can also be caused by a foreign body or a blockage in a cat’s nose. In addition to excessive sneezing, many cats will also paw at their nose when they have a foreign body or blockage. In severe cases a cat with this problem may start to bleed from the nose as well.


If you suspect that your cat may have an object stuck in their nose then you should take them to the vet immediately, and you should never attempt to remove the object yourself. This is because you could accidentally push the object in further, and a vet will be able to remove the object safely.

When To Take Your Cat To The Vet For Sneezing

You should take your cat to the vet any time that their sneezing is causing you concern, especially if this sneezing is paired with other symptoms. In the case of nasal foreign bodies, you should always take your cat to the vet right away.

Call us at (847) 394-1128 to schedule an appointment for your cat today.

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About Buffalo Grove Animal Hospital

Buffalo Grove Animal Hospital has been a part of the Buffalo Grove community since 1969. Our veterinarians serve Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights, Palatine, and the surrounding areas with the best veterinary medicine year after year. Our commitment to pet health runs deep, and we’ve proven our skill and compassion by becoming an AAHA-accredited Animal Hospital, the highest accreditation veterinary practices can receive.