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Why does my cat sneeze?

Like humans, irritants to your cat’s nose or throat may trigger the occasional sneeze. It is nothing to worry about if it only happens every so often but, should the sneezing persist or is excessive, then we would recommend contacting your vet as your cat may require medical attention.


There are a number of other reasons your cat may be sneezing, from the benign to more serious. Here are some of the most likely causes to prolonged or frequent sneezing:  

Bacterial or viral infections

  • Any sneezing is likely to be more aggravated and will usually be alongside other symptoms.
  • Common symptoms of infection, when sneezing may or may not be present, include coughing, fever, discharge from the eyes or nose and a loss of appetite or weight; symptoms depend greatly on the type of infection, so you should consult your vet at the earliest opportunity for an accurate assessment.
  • There are vaccinations available which will protect your cat against some of the more serious respiratory viruses but these vaccinations will not cure any pre-existing conditions.
  • Like humans, cats sometimes catch colds and will recover with rest, warmth and a healthy diet (like the grain-free dog food we provide here).


Environmental irritants

  • Perfumes, aerosols, smoke, dust, pollen or chemicals are just an example of environmental irritants which may cause your cat to sneeze. If you suspect your cat may have an allergy, consult your vet.
  • Fine, dry litter or food can also cause frequent sneezing as it enters your cat’s nasal passageway. Try swapping them out for less irritable alternatives.



  • Allergies are less in common in cats than humans but can be caused by any number of things which may trigger sneezing as a symptom.
  • Sneezing is rarely a symptom of allergies on its own and will likely be accompanied by other indicators, such as itchy skin or digestive trouble.


Foreign items entering the nasal passages

  • This could include items, such as grass seeds and blades of grass, which they have attempted to swallow but instead become caught in the nasal passage at the back of their mouth. Frequent sneezing can be a sign your cat is trying to dislodge the item.
  • If your cat isn’t showing any other symptoms but is sneezing persistent and harsh, a foreign object might be the cause.


Dental disease

  • Usually associated with other symptoms, such as bad breath, sore gums or an infected tooth.

These are just some of the reasons your cat may be sneezing and if you have concerns over your cat’s health or want to find out more about the causes behind sneezing, your vet will be able to further advise you and, if required, examine your cat.