Cat sneezes are adorable!
But have you ever wondered, why is my cat is sneezing?
Pets often imitate human behaviour. But when a behaviour can be related to a medical issue, it’s worth looking into.
Why Is My Cat Sneezing?
Sneezing is a natural reaction to internal or external factors. These factors are often minor issues, but they can sometimes be more serious.
While cat sneezes can be cute, it is important we be aware of the possible causes of sneezing in our kitties. Some cases call for medical intervention while other cases don’t.
External Sneezing Factors
External factors that can cause cats to sneeze include:
- strong fragrances
- chemical substances
Yup, allergies can be a cause of sneezing in cats. It is actually possible for cats to develop seasonal allergies. If this is the case, your cat will develop a habit of rubbing its nose and face. In other cases, a blockage in the sinuses is the reason why cats sneeze. Cats often inhale particles and tiny objects such as seeds which are identified by the body as foreign objects that need to be removed.
If a cat sneezes for an external reason, the case is less alarming than one that is caused by an internal problem. Infections are one of the common issues that lead to sneezing reactions in cats. The infection can either be fungal or in the upper respiratory area. A visit to the veterinarian will identify whether there is an infection. If there is an infection, the vet will tell you if it is bacterial or viral.
If the infection is bacterial, the tissues that line the nasal passage will swell and become irritated due to bacteria multiplying in that area. If the infection is viral, it can lead to secondary infections. It is important to keep the cat from interacting with other animals during the time of the infection.
Internal Sneezing Causes
Internal causes of cat sneezing include:
- feline calcivirus
- feline immunodeficiency virus
- tooth abscesses
- nasal cancer
The most common virus that causes sneezing is feline calcivirus. It is a minor flu virus and can be kept under control when treated the right way.
The other virus that can cause sneezing is feline immunodeficiency virus. It acts similar to the human virus, HIV. A blood count is the common diagnosis approach. The treatment that follows is consistent with HIV treatments. Fortunately, this is rarely the cause of sneezing fits.
There are some internal causes that are more serious than the ones just mentioned. Some of these causes call for immediate medical care. Tooth abscesses, nasal cancer, and polyps are the more serious.
Dental abscesses happen when an infected tooth becomes filled with pus. A bacterial infection forms and settles in the jaw bone where the tooth is located.
Polyps are growths which line the sinuses and cause the lining to become inflamed.
Nasal cancer needs immediate attention because symptoms often take long to appear. This is dangerous because the cancer can develop as time goes on.
Whenever infections happen, the diagnosis and treatment process plays a significant part in the cat’s condition afterward. A thorough physical examination ensures a correct diagnosis.
If discharge accompanies each sneeze, the veterinarian should be notified about it along with the color of the discharge. Discharge can come from either the nose or the eyes. In some cases, blood comes along with the discharge and this information should never be kept from the individual providing professional care and treatment.
And if your kitty has bahaviour such as pawing at its own nose or shaking its head during each sneezing fit, the professional should be informed of that too.
The internal causes of cat sneezing mentioned above are rare. They’re not intended to scare you. But to be safe, it’s a good idea to get your kitty looked at by a vet if sneezing persists for more than a day or two.
Some treatments come in the form of prescriptions, anti-fungal treatments, shots or even surgery if the problem is in the dental category. In the case of nasal cancer, the problem would be treated as other cancers are treated – with surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.
All of the possible causes mentioned above may not be the reason for a cat’s sneezing fit. Sneezing is a common reaction. However, it is better to know all of the factors that surround the symptom than to have no idea what could be causing the it.
Preventive actions can be taken to avoid many cat health problems that can lead to sneezing. These include limiting interaction between your cat and unfamiliar animals. Stray cats tend to carry bacteria. This bacteria can be passed on to your cat. Washing every object that comes into contact with such animals is another way to stop it from spreading.
As for fumes and irritants that travel by air, HEPA filters can be installed in vacuum products. Air purifiers can be used around the home. Keeping the home clean and with fresh air through open windows can also assist in preventing airborne irritants from affecting the cat.
There are also vaccinations available for cats specifically. The cat flu is a real term and there are shots available to prevent cats from being affected by the illness.
So the next time you hear a friend say, why is my cat sneezing, send them this article!