Do cats sneeze?

Humans would explosively release air through the nose or through the mouth. This is called sneezing. Like humans, cats are known to occasionally sneeze too. It is normal for cats to sneeze thus pet parents must not be alarmed if the pet sneezes every now and then. However, there are instances where the sneezing of the cat is a symptom of a more serious health concern.

It is kind of cute to see the pet sneezing. There are times when the cat would be startled by the sound of its own sneezing. Sneezing is defined as a reflex action. Cat sneezing can be due to nasal irritation. Cats are curious and playful animals. A cat that plays or investigates its environment may sniff a grass seed or an object that can cause irritation on its nasal passage. The cat would simply sneeze to remove the offending foreign object. Cats have very sensitive scenting abilities. Kitty’s sneezing can be her response to the perfume the owner has sprayed. Some substances can cause allergic reactions in cats. Cigarette smoke, dust, pollen, pest sprays can be the reason for the cat’s sneezing bouts. Even scented candles can make the cat sneeze too. Like humans, cats can be sensitive to these substances. Sneezing is one of the symptoms of an allergic reaction. A cat’s nasal passage is sensitive to airborne toxins. Caring pet parents would not smoke in front of the cat as the pet that is bothered by second hand smoke can sneeze repeatedly.

Sneezing in cats is normal and should not be a cause for concern. However, repeated sneezing can already point to a health concern. This kind of sneezing must not be ignored especially if the sneezing is with nasal discharge. A nasal discharge can be clear, mucoid or bloody. The cat may also show other symptoms. The sneezing cat may run a temperature, may have eye discharge and may appear lethargic. Diarrhea, poor appetite, drooling and weight loss that accompanies sneezing is a clear indication that all is not well with the cat’s health.

What are the other reasons for the cat’s sneezing? A cat that has had nasal vaccination may repeatedly sneeze for a day or two. Respiratory illness caused by bacterial, viral and fungal infection is the most common reason why a cat would sneeze repeatedly. Not many pet owners would associate the cat’s sneezing to dental concerns. However, cats that are suffering from tooth abscesses are known to have sneezing bouts. Infection from the cat’s mouth would travel to the nasal cavity and cause the pet to sneeze. Ear infection is another possible reason for the cat’s sneezing. There is nothing extraordinary with a sneezing cat but one that is sneezing blood can have a serious health concern. Bloody nasal discharge can mean that the cat has a foreign object in its nasal passage. Bloody nasal discharge can point to nasal polyp or cancer. It is imperative for the cat owner to seek immediate medical attention for the pet that has this kind of health concern.

Treatment that will be given to the pet will depend on the reason why it is sneezing. Tooth extraction will be necessary if the cat has dental abscess. Antibiotics or antifungal medications are given if the pet is suffering from bacterial and fungal infection. A cat with a nasal polyp or a foreign object on the nasal passage may require a surgical procedure. Cats with cancer may need to undergo chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

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