Prognosis For Cats With Excessive Sneezing
Since there are a variety of reasons that your cat could be sneezing excessively, the prognosis for your specific cat will depend on your veterinarian’s diagnosis. Thankfully, most issues that cause cats to sneeze consistently are not life-threatening, but preventing and treating any infections is key. Your veterinarian will recommend appropriate treatment options with a more detailed prognosis based on any other symptoms your cat is experiencing.
How Do Vets Determine The Cause Of Cat Sneezing
Although treatment for sneezing cats is typically not costly, achieving a diagnosis certainly can be expensive.
You would think that testing for bacteria or a virus would determine the cause. However, because the nasal cavity is not a sterile location, a culture that is positive for certain bacteria does not prove that the bacteria are the primary cause of the sneeze, or even that they are causing disease .
Nor does testing positive for viruses confirm this as the underlying cause, since even asymptomatic cats will often test positive for either herpesvirus or calicivirus.
Here are some ways your vet can determine the cause of cat sneezing:
Respiratory Infections In Cats
One of the common reasons for sneezing is an upper respiratory infection in your cat. Respiratory infections are similar to your cat having a common cold. Upper respiratory infections can be viral, bacterial, and fungal. These types of infections can last anywhere from 7 to 21 days, but on average last 7 to 10 days.
If you have multiple cats, you may be wondering why are all my cats sneezing? Keep in mind that just like the common cold, upper respiratory infections in cats are contagious and can easily spread to other cats in the home.
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What If My Cat Is Sneezing A Lot
Recurring sneezes in cats can be explained in several ways. The first one may be environmental. Does it seem like your cat only sneezes in one particular room or only when you perform certain activities? Your cat may be allergic to dust in one room or a perfume scent found in a bathroom, for example.
But consistent sneezing may also be a sign of upper respiratory infections in cats. If you suspect that your cat is dealing with an upper respiratory infection, you should take it to the vet to discuss treatment options.
Cat Sneezing: Allergy Respiratory Infection Or Something Else
Sneezing in cats is often mild and, in some cases, may resolve without treatment. Occasionally, sneezing can become a long-term issue, or have a more serious underlying cause. Examining a cats nose is difficult and several different tests may be needed to determine the cause of the sneezing.
Usually mild to moderate, occasionally severe.
Table of Content
- May require diagnosis by a veterinarian
- May be treatable at home, or may need veterinary treatment
- Transmission is possible between animals, and in rare cases from animals to people
- May resolve within days or weeks, or may be a lifelong condition
- Prevention is possible for some causes
- Diagnosis may require a physical examination, lab tests, x-rays, endoscopy, and a CT scan
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Causes Treatment And Prevention
Just like people, kittens and cats sneeze for a variety of reasons. An occasional sneeze isn’t a symptom of a serious feline health problem, and it often has to do with environmental allergens or irritants that can easily be managed. However, constant sneezing could indicate that another illness is present.
If your kitten is sneezing, you may worry that something is wrong. The good news is that there are many normal reasons for a mildly sneezing kitten. Excessive or moderate and severe sneezing should always be checked out by a veterinarian, as respiratory problems and other diseases can lead to infections when left untreated.
Addressing Your Cats Allergies
- Bath time: If you suffer from pet allergies or get irritated by seasonal factors like pollen, youâve probably learned the benefits of bathing cats. The process discourages excessive dander and helps remove allergens from a catâs coat and skin. When irritants are permitted to linger, they can spell trouble for both cats and their owners who are continually reexposed throughout the day. Your veterinarian may recommend paying particular attention to your catâs ears, which can accumulate harmful allergens.
- Wash your catâs bed and belongings: Pollen, dust, and other irritating particles can collect on anything your cat regularly interacts with. Make sure to keep their bed clean during allergy season and keep any of their favorite parts of the house free from risk factors.
- Keep the outside out: Even indoor cats can get exposed to pollen and other allergens thanks to open windows and doors. You may also be tracking these through the house on your hair and clothes. Make sure to eliminate as many of these sources as possible. It may even be best to restrict an outdoor catâs access to the outdoors during allergy season.
- Use dust-free litter: A cat who suffers from seasonal allergies may be especially vulnerable to other environmental risk factors like dust. Look for low or no-dust litter varieties to eliminate at least one potential source of allergy symptoms.
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What Is Inhalant Allergy Or Atopy
Inhalant allergy or atopy is not well understood in cats. In dogs and humans, atopic dermatitis generally refers to allergic reactions to environmental allergens such as pollens, grasses, molds, mildew, and house dust mites).
“Most cats that have an inhalant allergy are allergic to several allergens.”
Many of these allergies occur seasonally, such as ragweed, cedar, and grass pollens. However, others are with us all the time, such as molds, mildew, and house dust mites. When humans inhale these allergens, we express the allergy as a respiratory problem. In humans, atopy is also sometimes called ‘hay fever’. The cat’s primary reaction to atopy is severe, generalized itching.
Most cats that have an inhalant allergy are allergic to several allergens. If the number of allergens is small and they are seasonal, itching may last for just a few weeks at a time during one or two periods of the year. If the number of allergens is large or they are present year-round, the cat may itch constantly.
Keep A Clean Litter Box
Thoroughly clean your cat’s litter box and other cat-frequented surfaces with plain water following the use of bleach solutions or other cleaning products. About 3/4 cup of plain bleach mixed with a gallon of water makes a safe disinfectant for cleaning your cat’s litter box, and it works well for other surfaces including kitchen counters and sinks. Since this cleaning solution leaves a fresh scent, it should also help eliminate the need for any additional air fresheners in the house.
Check your cat’s litter as well. Some litters create larger amounts of dust when the cat scratches inside the box, which can exacerbate allergy problems in both cats and humans.
Keep an eye on your cat for a few days. If it shows any other symptoms of an upper respiratory infection , or if it continues sneezing after you’ve eliminated environmental problems, a visit to the veterinarian is best.
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What To Do If My Cat Is Sneezing Uncontrollably
As we stated earlier, there are several reasons why a cat might sneeze constantly. Some of them might be more serious than others, but if you see an unusual pattern in your cat, be safe and have them checked with your nearest vet. As cats lovers, we can always hope that our felines sneezes are only those funny, cute reactions to something and nothing serious. But it is better to be on the lookout and make sure your cat is healthy as a rock.
Prevention is the best medicine, so while we are at the vet, ask for advice on the best diet, vaccines, types of food, dos and donts, and any other healthy options for your cat. And as always, lets give our furry little bundles of joy lots of love.
If you have any further questions or concerns, visit or call us, we are here to provide you ease and health and well-being for your pets.
When Is It Time To See A Vet
Since many of these conditions are uncomfortable or painful, its never a bad idea to take your cat to the vet as soon as you notice a problem, even if sneezing is the only symptom.
However, these signs are more serious and require a vet visit sooner rather than later:
Loss of appetite
Persistence of symptoms beyond a few days
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When To See The Vet
If your cat sneezes only once in a while, has no other symptoms, or has only mild symptoms, you may want to simply monitor them for a few days. Keep your cat indoors and watch for changes. But be sure to call the vet if your cat sneezes continuously or often, sneezes blood, or has other signs such as those listed above. They may be signs of an illness or condition that needs veterinary care.
Treatment depends on the cause of the sneezing. In mild cases, the vet may suggest taking steps to simply help your cat be more comfortable — like using a humidifier. In other cases, antibiotics, antihistamines, steroids, or fluids may be needed. Rarely, cats that donât respond to medical therapy may require surgery.
Merck Veterinary Manual: âFeline Respiratory Disease Complex,â âFeline Respiratory Disease Complex,â âLocalized Anaphylactic Reactions,â and âRhinitis and Sinusitis.â
ASPCA: âFeline URI,â âHerpesâ and âFeline Immunodeficiency Virus .â
Cornell University: âTreatment of Respiratory Infection in Cats,â Feline Infectious Peritonitis,â âFeline Leukemia Virus,â and âTreatment of Upper Respiratory Infection in Cats.â
What About A Cat Sneezing Blood
Seeing blood coming out of your cats nose can be a shocking experience. If your pet has been consistently sneezing before you saw the blood, take that and any other discharges from your cats eyes or mouth as a very serious sign of a health problem. It can also be something as simple as a foreign object or infection, but it may also be the sign of accidentally ingesting poison, tumors or high blood pressure. Immediately schedule an appointment with your veterinary clinic to have your pet examined.
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How Is Atopy Treated
Treatment depends largely on the length of the cat’s allergy season. It involves one of two approaches:
- The first approach involves the use of corticosteroids , as well as improving the health of the hair and skin coat using spot-ons, sprays and/or shampoos. Steroids will dramatically block the allergic reaction in most cases and bring about rapid improvement in the cat’s clinical signs. Steroids may be given orally or by injection, depending on the cat’s condition. If steroids are appropriate for your cat, you will be instructed in their proper use.
- Treatment with antihistamines and essential fatty acids is variable. Some cats respond well to a particular antihistamine , while others are ineffective. It is important to understand that it can take up to 7-10 days before antihistamines become effective, therefore they are often infective in sudden flare-ups. Likewise, essential fatty acids are similarly ineffective during sudden episodes because they require several weeks to take effect. Cats predisposed to atopic dermatitis should be tried on fatty acid supplements to see if they help lessen future flare-ups and clinical signs.
Any cat suspected of having atopic dermatitis should also be considered for a hypoallergenic food trial. Many cats with atopic dermatitis are also allergic to an ingredient in their food, making diagnosis and treatment more challenging. As previously mentioned, this food trial should last 8 to 12 weeks in most cases.
Cat Sneezing In Santa Clarita Ca Can Be Caused By Many Things
Your cats sneezing can be caused by a wide range of different problems. Its important to take your cat to the vet as soon as you notice she has a sneeze that wont go away. Sneezing that comes and goes, especially in conjunction with seasonal changes, is probably nothing to worry about. However, any other chronic sneezing should be diagnosed and treated with the help of a trusted vet.
The sooner your cat visits the vet for her sneezing, the more likely you will be able to help her recover fully from whatever the underlying cause might be. Call Stevenson Ranch Veterinary Center at or book an appointment online!
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What Are Some Symptoms Of Cat Dental Disease
Besides the constant sneezing, some other symptoms include:
- Visibly swollen and bleeding gums
- Reduced appetite
If you think your cat may have dental disease, consult your emergency pet hospital immediately. The extraction of the affected tooth, plus the medication, will alleviate right away the symptoms and discomfort that your cat had.
Is Your Kitty Sneezing From Allergies Or Something More Serious
Around this time of year, spring blooms are in full swing, windows are open, and more people are enjoying the fresh air. Unfortunately, this also means seasonal allergies are more common, in both people and their pets.
During this time, your cat may begin sneezing more than usual. While the occasional sneeze is nothing to fret about, consistent sneezing is usually indicative of some sort of health issue.
In many cases, springtime sneezing is due to seasonal allergies. However, this isnt always the case, so its important to be able to tell the difference.
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Symptoms Of Allergies In Cats
Allergic cats most often exhibit symptoms of skin irritation, showing scabbing, itchiness, and over-grooming.
Cats with allergies often have a skin reaction called miliary dermatitis. This causes hundreds of little rash-like, scabby lesions on your cats skin, especially along the back and neck.
They are also itchy- you may see them itching with their paws or grooming more often. Overgrooming their itchy skin can also lead to patches of hair loss. Some cats will be more prone to ear infections.
Cats that are allergic to airborne allergens such as pollen might also show allergy symptoms such as runny eyes, itchy eyes, sneezing, or even coughing and fast breathing.
Lastly, cats with allergies to their diet may have some gastrointestinal symptoms as well, such as loose stools, excessive gas, and occasional vomiting.
What Is Food Allergy And How Is It Treated
Food allergies in cats are caused by an immune reaction to a food or food additive. The allergy most frequently develops in response to the protein component of the food for example, beef, pork, chicken, or turkey. Vegetable proteins such as those found in corn or wheat, as well as food additives and preservatives, may cause food allergies in some cases. Food allergy may produce any of the clinical signs previously discussed, including itching, digestive disorders, and respiratory distress.
Food allergy testing is recommended when the clinical signs have been present for several months, when the cat has a poor response to steroids, or when a very young cat itches without other apparent causes of allergy. Testing is conducted by feeding an elimination or hypoallergenic diet. This means a diet in which the ingredients have not previously been fed to the cat . Because it takes at least eight weeks for all other food products to be removed from the body, the cat must eat the special diet exclusively for a minimum of eight to twelve weeks. If a positive response occurs, you will be instructed on how to proceed.
If the diet is not fed exclusively, it will not be a meaningful test. This means absolutely no treats, other foods, people foods, or flavored medications during this period. This cannot be overemphasized. Even accidentally providing a tiny amount of the offending protein can result in invalidating the test.
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When Should I Worry About My Cat Sneezing
If your cat sneezes a couple of times here and there, its probably just them trying to clear out their nasal passage. But if your cat sneezes constantly, or if the sneezing is accompanied by other symptoms, thats when you should consider next steps. If your cat stops eating or develops a cough, wheezing, or other more serious symptoms, bring them to the vet as soon as possible.
How Do You Treat A Sneezing Cat
Treatment for cat sneezing is typically targeted at the underlying cause where possible.
While a wide variety of treatments are available, owners should be aware that the goal in most cases, especially chronic cases, is to reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms, not to cure them.
More research is needed to fully understand the role that infections play in cat sneezing, but repeated or prolonged courses of antibiotics have proved to be effective in controlling clinical signs.
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When To See A Veterinarian
A sneeze every now and then is normal, but if it becomes frequent or other symptoms develop, your cat would benefit from a visit to the vet.
If you are monitoring your cat at home, Fetch by WebMD says to keep an eye out for these other symptoms:
- Wheezing or Coughing
- Yellow or Green Nasal Discharge
- Eye Discharge
- Poor Coat Condition
When in doubt, its always best to take your cat to the vet for an expert assessment. They will perform a physical exam that includes evaluating your cats nose, eyes and mouth, and from there they will determine if imaging or lab tests are necessary.
My Cat Is Sneezing: When To Be Concerned
Your cat hops up beside you on the couch, nuzzling your hand in an attempt to get pet. Once he takes a seat, he sneezes three times in a row. After saying bless you to your little feline friend, you cant help but wonder what caused the sneezing. Although sneezing in cats isnt always a cause for alarm, it is important to monitor it and pay attention to any other symptoms that may be present.
At Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic, we know it can be stressful not knowing the cause of your cats discomfort. This is why we strive to educate the Colorado Springs community about the causes that may be behind your cats sneezing. Even though sneezing is not always tied to a serious health concern, you should be sure to understand what causes it and when you need to take your cat to the vet.
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