Cat Sneezing: A Problem Worthy of Attention by Cat Owners


Cats and humans usually sneeze for two reasons: either the nasal mucosa is inflamed, or there is some kind of foreign body in the nostrils.

To sum up, the reasons are as follows:

  • Kittens sneeze usually because of several common upper respiratory pathogens.
  • Middle-aged cats sneeze, usually caused by herpes virus.
  • Older cats sneeze for a variety of reasons.
  • If an elderly cat has only one nostril with a runny nose, nasal polyps and intranasal tumors are more likely.

▎Infectious etiology

According to statistics, about 2/3 of the cases in which cats sneeze are caused by Herpesvirus.

Generally speaking, kittens or older cats are more likely to be infected because their immune systems are weaker.

The nasal mucosa of older cats may change with age, which may make the infection more serious.

Their immune systems may not be as active as they used to be.

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These chronic changes are more common in flat-faced cat breeds, such as Persian and Exotic Shorthair.

In addition to Herpesvirus, Calicivirus is also one of the most common causes of cat sneezing.

In addition, cats are also more vulnerable to upper respiratory tract infections caused by Pasteurella, Bordetella, Streptococcus, Chlamydia, Mycoplasma and Pseudomonas.

Some seemingly healthy cats, who are likely to be carriers of these viruses or bacteria, will get sick and detoxify when the conditions are ripe, and be contagious.

After many cats are infected, apart from sneezing, the most common symptom is that there is something wrong with the eyes at the same time, and most cats are accompanied by conjunctivitis.

▎Non-infectious etiology 

1. Irritants in the environment

If it makes you sneeze, so will the cat.

The most common thing that causes cats to sneeze is dusty cat litter containing silica crystals.

In addition: perfumes, cigarettes, detergents, fiberglass, detergents and deodorants all cause cats to sneeze.


At this point, I have to mention the importance of cleaning cat litter in time.

Cleaning cat litter is boring and troublesome, but if it is not cleaned in time, cats are likely to be infected with bacteria.

LIONPAPA shows you the most convenient and quick way to clean cat litter.

LIONPAPA cat litter refills with LITTER GENIE pails save time and effort to clean cat litter. A 4-pack costs only $19.99, and a cat can use it for two months.

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2. Allergies

Some cats may experience itching or difficulty breathing due to allergies.

But some cats may sneeze because of pollen or mold in the air.

If the problem is only seasonal, finding a vet to prescribe antihistamines will have a significant effect.

3. Foreign body

Sand or grass leaves in the nose can cause cats to sneeze.

In most cases, if you remove the foreign body, it will stop sneezing.

In older cats, it may be rhinitis, nasal polyps, tumors and even respiratory degeneration caused by chronic viruses.

4. Dental abscess

The cat has three premolars in the upper jaw, and the root penetrates the nasal cavity.

So if there is something wrong with the teeth or periodontal tissue, it will sneeze or even have a runny nose.

5. Specific variety

Due to the structure of the head, the nasal passages of some species of cats are relatively narrow. So it's easier to sneeze, such as Persian and Exotic Shorthair.

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