My Indoor Cat Sneezes

Indoor cats: Can they catch colds? Find out the reasons for cat sneezing.

By Julie Mignery | Posted: May 28, 2015, 9 a.m. EST

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Cat Sneezing
How is it that my indoor cat catches a cold? He’s sneezing and lethargic. Elizablest CatMom Moonrose

If your cat has more than an occasional sneeze and acts lethargic, too, he should be seen by his vet. Your cat could have an upper respiratory infection, caused by a virus or certain bacteria, which your vet will be able to combat with a course of medication.

If other cats live in the house, have a vet evaluate them as well; these infections are very contagious. You can take the visit as an opportunity to get your cat back on track with vaccinations, if he’s fallen behind. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), a condition that can be prevented by vaccine, can result in chronic respiratory infection.

Another possibility is that your cat’s tiny nose is being irritated by something environmental, like his litter (your vet might recommend experimenting with a different type), dust, pollen, the cleaning products you’re using or even scented candles.

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Reader Comments

Shannon    International

8/13/2015 12:27:23 PM

Note: I am a vet assistant. The FIV vaccine is extremely controversial. I don't know of any vet in my area who recommends it. I'm fact, it is usually not recommended because when testing for FIV, if a cat has been vaccinated against it, they will present a false positive for the disease. Since the disease itself is so poorly understood, many cats lose their lives because they are euthanized upon diagnosis. Please do not recommend this vaccine in your articles to the general public.

Diane    Austin, TX

5/30/2015 10:15:21 AM

Many of our cats have seasonal allergies. As soon as my nose starts running so do theirs.

Patricia Neal    PALM DESERT, CA

5/30/2015 8:38:11 AM

Good article. We live in the desert and my indoor cats just get dust in their noses and sneeze a bit. I always check for mucus ("snot") and would run to Vet if I saw any.

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