2.1 - Cat Behaviors

Why Is My Cat Sneezing? Should I Be Worried?

Do you often notice your cat sneezing? Is it normal for cats to sneeze? Here’s all you need to know about sneezing in cats!

Why Do Cats Sneeze?

Just like humans, cats sneeze by creating an explosive expulsion of air from the mouth and nose! This can often be accompanied by an adorable sneezing noise… And in some circumstances, you may see droplets of airborne particles being expelled at the same time.

Cat sneezing is a perfectly normal bodily response, designed to remove irritants or secretions from the upper airways. An occasional individual sneeze or cluster of sneezes is not normally anything to worry about! It is just the body’s way of clearing the airways.

However, sometimes cats will sneeze as a result of an underlying health problem. So, if you notice your cat sneezing more than normal, it may be due to one of the following issues:


One of the most common reasons for sneezing in cats is an allergic response. Very much like hay fever in humans! There are a range of different allergens that can trigger sneezing in cats, including:

  • Household dust and mold spores
  • Airborne pollens from plants and grasses
  • Chemicals contained in commonly used cleaning products
  • Dusty or scented cat litter

If your cat starts sneezing more for no apparent reason and seems otherwise fit and healthy, it can be worth investigating if a potential allergen could be the cause. Pollen allergies are normally seasonal, so your cat will sneeze more in the spring and summer. Household allergies can be triggered by a change in cleaning products, or you may just need to vacuum more frequently to remove dust!

Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

Upper respiratory tract infections in cats frequently cause excessive sneezing, and this will normally be accompanied by other symptoms such as discharge from the eyes and nose, congested breathing, and a dull demeanor. You may also see yellow-green mucus expelled from the nostrils when the cat sneezes.

Respiratory problems in cats can quickly turn into something more serious, so if your cat shows any of these symptoms it is important to seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.

Foreign Bodies

The nasal passages of a cat are narrow, but it’s not uncommon for cats to get foreign objects lodged inside them! One of the most common foreign bodies found in the respiratory tracts of cats is plant material, but they can also get dirt lodged up there too.

This can be a particular problem with outdoor cats, as they have far more opportunity to find objects that may become lodged in their nasal cavity or upper respiratory tract. But even indoor cats can suffer from foreign bodies, with blades of cat grass being a particular issue!

A cat with a foreign body in its nasal cavity will suffer from frequent and prolonged sneezing fits… Which will continue until the object in question has been removed. This may require the cat to be sedated or anesthetized, to allow your veterinarian to carefully extract the foreign body.


Unfortunately, tumors of the mouth and nasal cavity can occur, particularly in older cats. These can create a partial blockage of the respiratory tract… Leading to your cat sneezing in an attempt to open the airways. This may be accompanied by a blood-tinged nasal discharge, difficulty eating, and loss of body condition.

When To Be Concerned About Cat Sneezing

An occasional individual sneeze or small sneezing fit is nothing to worry about – it is just your cat’s way of keeping its airways clean and clear. But if your cat sneezes several times a day, or suffers from prolonged sneezing fits… It may be time to investigate further.

Take a close look at your cat – can you see any abnormalities around the face, such as discharge from the eyes, nose, or mouth? Can your cat eat and drink normally, and do they seem bright and active? Does your cat appear to retch or gag, or have you seen your cat vomiting?

If any of these areas give you cause for concern, it is a good idea to seek veterinary advice to rule out underlying health problems. Our Maven vets are always available to help you! It may be nothing at all to worry about, but when it comes to the health of our precious feline friends, it is always better to be safe than sorry!

Maven is all about proactive pet care. Be your best friend’s best friend by giving them 24/7, high-quality, industry-leading vet care to improve their mental health, physical health and more. No more frantic googling or unneeded stressful visits to the vet – Maven helps you save hundreds while also ensuring your pet lives the best life possible. Get your kit now!

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