Sneezing in Cats

A sneezing cat might have a cold or allergy. See your veterinarian if your cat's nasal discharge is thick or colored.

By Arnold Plotnick, DVM

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Kitten With Vet
Sneezing in cats is most often associated with upper respiratory infections, or "kitty colds." These are usually viral, but bacterial or fungal causes also occur. A foreign object stuck in a cat's nose-such as a blade of grass-may also cause sneezing. Allergies may be responsible, but they are much less common in cats than they are in humans.

There is no specific treatment for cat sneezing. Take your sneezing cat to a vet if:

  • Your cat's nasal discharge is thick or colored.
  • Your cat sneezes continuously. Continuous bouts of sneezing could indicate something is lodged in the nasal passages.
  • Your cat stops eating. Loss of appetite and depression are also signs that your cat needs veterinary attention.
Your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics and a vaporizer or recommend other diagnostics and treatments.

See other causes of cat sneezing >>

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Reader Comments

Sheila    Boones Mill, VA

11/13/2011 11:00:28 AM

for Janet, Bethlehem, PA: I had a kitten and cat I adopted years ago that the sneezing/yellow snotty nose spray turned several areas of wall icky and I had to scrub the paint off... anyway, my vet gave me some antibiotic eye drops to put in the cat's nose (both sides) after about a month and 1/2 it finally disappeared and hasn't returned. Important note, she said she didn't know what it might be doing to the cat's liver by doing that so long but I told her I'd rather lose the cat than every piece of furniture and wall coated with yellow gunk. The kitten is now 10 yrs old and just fine. Ask your vet about it.

Janet    Bethlehem, PA

10/3/2010 2:14:07 PM

good article, thanks

Matt    Kent, WA

8/18/2010 9:19:01 PM

Hi, I have a male cat 4 1/2 yr old, domestic long hair mix; symptoms are: mostly sneezing with Nasal mucous discharge, runny nose and some whizzing, this is an ongoing problem for over 3 years now. The shelter had him on Clavamox back in 2007 the .75 ml of Azithromycin for 10 days in 2008, once I adopted him the vet tried Clavamox several times over about 1 1/2 years (on & off) and latest try a few months ago was Prednisolone 5 mg for a few weeks both only helped a little while he was on them, no cure. He is very healthy otherwise, mainly the sneezing, has good appetite and is very playful, he's kept in-doors.

alex    winfield, BC

2/8/2009 11:06:15 PM

oh and might i add, our other cat has none of the symptoms listed below...

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