One of the funniest things you may ever see in your life is a cat sneezing. Unlike humans, a cat sneeze just seems to "happen". There's no long, drawn-out build up and when a cat sneezes, they'll look at you like "what was that??" like they can't believe they did something as disgraceful and disgusting as sneezing. So, why does a cat sneeze and what could that mean for the health of your pet?
Common Causes You Can Ignore
Cats, just like their human counterparts, will sneeze if an irritant gets into the nasal passage. Just like you, they blast through a sneeze to clear that irritant out, so hearing a sneeze out of a cat on occasion, such as every couple days or so (somewhat more, if they live in a dusty environment), is only to be expected.
Here are some common irritants that'll make cats sneeze (and some humans too!):
- - Dust
- - Perfume
- - Pollen
- - Mold
- - Pest sprays
- - Cleaning agents
- - Cat litter, especially those that create dust
- - Scented candles
These are situations that most humans will react to as well as cats and can usually be safely ignore. However, if your cat is sneezing multiple times per day, especially if there's mucus coming from their noses and possibly even their mouth or their eyes "matter up", become rheumy (conjunctivitis), this could be a sign of something much more serious. If your cat seems to be constantly sneezing, it is time to get him or her to the vet.
Here are things a vet will check for and hopefully treat:
- - Feline Herpesvirus
- - Feline Calcivirus
- - Upper respratory infections
- - Feline Leukemia
- - Feline Immuniodeficiency Virus (FIV)
- - Feline Peritonitis
- - Mycoplasma
- - Bordetella
- - Chlamydia
While some of these issues can be prevented with vaccinations which is a good reason to have your cat checked and vaccinated as a kitten, and throughout it's life. Some can be treated with antibiotics. However, some are very serious and may not be treatable at all.
Owning a cat can be one of the most rewarding, enjoyable and entertaining things you ever do in your life. Cats can be funny, silly and even accidently hilarious (laugh at a cat at your own risk though!), but there are times, especially with a cat who is sneezing that even as funny and as cute as they are when they do it, a sneeze may be more than a sneeze. Its up to us to be able to decide if they need to go to a vet, and a sneeze may be the deciding factor we need to take them.