Yes It’s Cute, But Why Is My Cat Sneezing?

Post Sneeze Sparrow - Cat Sneezing Frequently

I say “bless you” when someone sneezes. Every time, I can’t help myself. But lately it’s been “bless you…wait, why is my cat sneezing?” Seriously though, it is one of the cutest things in the world. If you’ve got 3 minutes to spare for a cuteness overload, check out this hilarious compilation of sneezy cats:



The occasional sneeze is nothing to worry about, but if your cat is sneezing constantly or other symptoms have cropped up, it could be a sign of something more serious.

Like coughing, sneezing is not necessarily a symptom of feline asthma, but it could be…or it could be something else. Because cats aren’t difficult enough already. It’s ridiculously cute and probably nothing to worry about, but I do admit to being the overprotective mother type, so naturally I want to get to the bottom of this.


What is a Sneeze?

In short, a sneeze is a facial explosion usually caused by an irritant in the nasal passages. It’s the body’s natural way of expelling the mucous containing these foreign, irritating particles. In these cases it’s normal and good – the body is just doing what it does to keep things clean and functioning properly.

Germy Sneeze - Why is my Cat Sneezing?

Apart from irritants entering the nasal passages, sneezes can also be caused by internal difficulties such as infections, but the response is the same. The nerve endings in the nose recognise something that shouldn’t be there and send their messages to the brain, which in turn sends messages to all the parts of the body required to facilitate a sneeze.


Common Cat Sneezing Causes

A cat sneeze is no different to a human sneeze, except that the cuteness factor is multiplied by about 15,000. If your cat is sneezing a lot it could be a sign of infection so a trip to the vet is in order. Your vet may take a swab from kitty’s nose, mouth, throat or eyes and send it to the lab for testing. Common causes of sneezing in cats include:

  • Respiratory infections – yep, cats get colds too. Respiratory infections can be caused by viruses such as herpes, calicivirus, chlamydia infections and bacterial infections such as mycoplasma.
  • Dental disease – particularly if it involves root infections. Tooth infections sometimes allow bacteria to enter the sinus, which causes inflammation that the body tries to sneeze out.Cat Walking - My Cat Keeps Sneezing
  • Allergies – asthma cats already have dodgy airways, so allergies to pollens are more common with these special beasts. Even non-asthmatic cats can be irritated by seasonal pollens and the like.
  • Foreign bodies – bits of grass and general dust, for example, can find their way into the nasal passage. Most of the time these are sneezed out, but if something gets stuck it could lead to a nasal infection.
  • Chemical irritants – perfumes, smoke and heavily scented anything can lead to inflammation of the nasal passages, which is then sneezed out.
  • Intranasal vaccines – while these are great for preventing respiratory infections, sometimes they can cause sneezing for a few days after. Usually it just runs its course and no treatment is required.


Other Symptoms to Watch Out For

Kitty sneezing on its own could be a symptom of literally dozens of difficulties. Some of these conditions are cause for concern, particularly if you notice any of the of the following symptoms as well:

  • Nasal discharge – usually points to an infection, particularly if the discharge is yellow or green.
  • Blood in the sneeze
  • Eye discharge or swellingSick Cat - Cat Sneezing Causes
  • Fatigue, lethargy or depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Trouble breathing
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Dirrhea
  • Fever


When to See Your Vet

If your cat sneezes occasionally, there’s probably nothing you need to do except keep the camera handy and try your best to get a video of the cutest thing in world. However, if the kitty sneezing happens frequently and is accompanied by blood or any of the symptoms above you need to get that checked out.

Even if it’s just sneezing with no other symptoms it’s a good idea to keep your cat indoors for a few days and monitor the situation to see if anything else develops. Your vet will need to know how long the sneezing has been going on and will be able to recommend a treatment based on the information you provide as well as the results of their examination.


What You Can do to Help Your Sneezy Kitty

There are heaps of things you can do to reduce the risk of sinus and nasal infections in your kitty. Here are some simple steps you can take to support your cat’s immune system and reduce environmental hazards:

  • Don’t smoke around your cat – especially the delicate little asthma cat types.Post Sneeze Sparrow - Cat Sneezing Frequently
  • Eliminate synthetic sprays such as room sprays, those automatic plug in toxin spreading fragrance things (can you tell I’m not a fan?), carpet deodorisers and artificially scented candles.
  • Keep your kitty stress free – products such as Rescue Remedy or Feliway can be used to keep your cat chill during stressful events such as as house full of guests or a visit to the vet.



Bless You

Some kitty sneezes are harmless and just plain fun to watch, but chronic sneezing could be a sign of something more serious such as an infection. Knowing what to watch out for and when to visit the vet will make for a happy, healthy and sneeze free kitty.

Do you have a sneezy kitty…or a question? Head to the comments and let me know…

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  1. Hi there, great post, I love it when cats sneeze, to be honest but too much is too much lol, the tips you shared in this article are pure gold.

    Never thought for a solution so thank you so much and wish you a great day!

  2. I agree that cats sneezing is extremely cute. The dog that I had looked cute, too, when he did that. He used to have an expression like, what was that?? lol Then he would look almost embarrassed.
    If a cat actually does have asthma, how is it treated medication-wise? I’m assuming it isn’t possible to get them to use an inhaler??
    Would they rely more on oral medication? Or, is there something else that can be done for them?
    You have lots of great info here for us potential cat owners. (Maybe soon!)

  3. Great post! Now I know what to look for when my furry little friend goess on a sneezing frenzy. Thank you for all the great tips!

    Best wishes,

  4. It is really cute that when a cat sneezes. My friend’s cat sneezes all the time and the reason may just be allergies. Because I remember that she does not sneeze in winter but just the other day she sneezed a lot. Maybe the cause can be pollen. I will definitely tell it to my friend.

    1. Hey Furkan, nice to hear from you again. Feel free to share this with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest…and stay tuned for Sparrow on Instagram, too. Thanks for sharing!

  5. My cat sneezes quite a bit lately and I was wondering why this is happening. Glad I found your article. I don’t really think it’s anything serious as it seems seasonal but what I have realized is that it may be the Scentsy I use to keep the house smelling good!

    I never thought about the external fragrances messing with him and now that I think about it he never really was sneezing before I started using this thing…

    That and he always tries to lick the bleach after cleaning the toilet… but that’s another topic entirely.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. So, I told myself I wouldn’t watch the entire video, and I ended up watching the entire video, hoping there was more lol. I have two cats that have had their fair share of sneezing fits, especially my 2 year old, and this article helped clear things up a little. Now I can continue laughing at them. 🙂

    1. I did exactly the same! Not sure why I was kidding myself, I’m a sucker for a cute cat video. Glad you found this one useful Sean, come back and say hi again some time.

  7. They are so cute when they sneeze, (unlike us humans lol). My cat loves to find dust bunnies and roll in them which brings on the sneezes – she always looks a bit surprised which is cute.

    I do think fragrances have an effect, almost everything has synthetic smell added to it now so using natural cleaning products in the house would help.

    1. That’s the best part about cats sneezing, they always have this ‘WTF’ look on their face afterwards. I’ve used only natural cleaning products in my home for many years now and I have no doubt that this is good for Sparrow’s wheeziness. Thanks for taking the time to say hi, Jayne.

  8. Nice post! A perfect mix of both humor and seriousness. I know fragrances bother me so it’s not a surprise it can bother a cat? Does most of this apply to dogs as well?

    1. Hi Pat, thanks! I’m a bit the same, and my sense of smell is not that great. Not sure at all about dogs, but I would assume that the same things that irritate cats (and us!) would also annoy our canine friends.

  9. So cute! In true honesty I have never seen a cat sneeze before or I have not take a closer look at cats. Will share your site with my cat loving friends who have cats at home.

  10. Your cat sneezing video was hilarious. Unfortunately some of us tend to forget that our animals can get the same illnesses that we human do. The same things that make a human sneeze can and will affect our pets.

    The one cause of cat sneezing that I would never have thought of is dental disease. This is one area of pet care that is often overlooked by pet owners. I know people brush their dog’s teeth am I right in assuming that cat owners do the same for their cat?

    1. Hey thanks Maureen, to be perfectly honest I don’t clean Sparrow’s teeth as often as I should, but yes it does need to be done regularly. Thanks for the reminder..

  11. I personally do not trust a sneeze. It is commonly caused by bacteria and harmful substances and may be a sign that there is something
    terribly wrong with the person sneezing. I think there’s no room for an exception for cats. They can sneeze to and just like humans, it might be telling us of what is up with our pet. It is important that we attend to it immediately before something worse could even develop out of it.

    Thank you for stating the common causes for sneezes among cats because these made us aware of the things that we should look out for in our cats. And, thankfully, you also have included it in this article. Excellent! Thanks!

  12. Ohhh I see, I’ll stop spraying the house with synthetic air fresheners. I use the ones that you plug into the wall and they make the house smell nice. So probly that’s why my kitty had his sneezy moments. It sure sounds super cute. My dog had sneeze moments too. Compared to the cat, my dog sneezed repeatedly 3-4 times in a row. Very helpful article, thanks!

    1. You’re welcome, Angie. It’s definitely a good idea to get rid of those chemical sprayers, for the sake of everybody in your house!

  13. Omgoodness How Cute!!!

    I honestly had no ideal cats could have asthma, makes sense though. Both my old cats have never had any of these issues. I agree a balanced diet and pollutant free home keeps a healthy kitty.

    Also I love the site! Very informative making it a pleasure to navigate and read. I appreciate the clean lines, very elegantly done.

    Thank you for sharing this cute but serious issue, as it is good information to know.

    Have a fantastic day!

  14. I’m actually wondering now if those synthetic air fresheners are bugging my human kid! Love your posts! Thanks for the parenting advice!

  15. Great article, I now know what to watch out for.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Also, that cat video is the cutest 🙂

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