Why Does My Cat Keep Sneezing

cat on a couch

We love our pets and want them to play around the house in a healthy mood. But it is also understandable that all living beings fall ill, and it’s perfectly alright! The important thing is to diagnose the problem at its earliest stage so it does not prolong and intensify. Considering some diseases are quite harmful and may be fatal if neglected, the ideal practice is to take your pet to a qualified vet as soon as you observe any change in its mood or any other unusual behavior. 

While cats are delicate creatures, there’s a difference in the metabolism of a stray cat and a domestic cat. Stray cats are pretty immune to a lot of different diseases due to a process called natural vaccination. This happens when stray cats roam around and are vulnerable to weak bacteria and viruses. As a result, their body develops antibodies against those particular microbes, thus enhancing the immune system’s efficiency. On the other hand, a domestic cat is trained to live in a clean environment; therefore, these cats are more prone to illnesses. 

Although there are several cat diseases that we can discuss, let’s start with something basic and try to find out why your cat keeps sneezing.

Diagnosing a Cat Sneeze

We all know what sneezing is, but how do we know if it’s serious? It’s simple! If your cat is sneezing rapidly, there are a couple of checklists to be made before heading to the vet.

  • Is the cat spraying blood along with sneezing? 
    • The presence of blood in the spray caused by sneezing can indicate respiratory infections, nasal injuries, or allergens causing irritation in the nasal passage. 

  • Is the spray yellow or green in color? 
    • This could indicate that your cat is suffering from a bacterial or viral infection, which is accumulating pus in the cat’s respiratory tract. 

  • Do coughs and nasal discharge follow sneezing? 
    • Coughs and nasal discharge followed by sneezing could be a rather serious problem caused by viruses such as Feline Herpesvirus or Calicivirus. 

  • Is the cat feeling lethargic after sneezing too much? 
    • Lethargy may be due to allergy or other infections, but it is a sign that your cat’s immune system is fighting foreign objects and will need assistance. In this case, your cat would need a high-nutrient diet that is also easily digestible.

  • Has the cat lost its appetite? 
    • Cats rely heavily on their sense of smell, and respiratory issues like sneezing can affect their smell and taste buds, making your cat lose his appetite.

  • Are the other cats in your house facing the same problem? 
    • If you have other cats who are facing the same sneezing problem, this could mean that the infection was either viral or caused by an allergy. In both cases, consulting the vet is necessary.

Other Reasons Why Your Cat Keeps Sneezing

A few other factors can also affect the health of your cats. Concerning sneezing and similar respiratory problems, here are a few reasons why your cat keeps sneezing:

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors play a crucial role in your cat’s health. During pollen season, your cats can catch pollen allergies. But besides that, sometimes dust or other household cleaners can cause hypersensitivity to your cat, too. Also, if you introduced new household items such as new furniture, your curious furballs would not waste their chance to sniff the unknown object and catch an allergy if any chemical, such as termite spray, is applied to it. This would lead to rapid sneezing as well. 

Medical History

Bacterial or viral infections can be common if your cat’s vaccination is not up-to-date. Also, if your cat has a previous history of respiratory issues, especially sneezing, you should consult a vet instantly and let them know about the past experience. 

Presence of Other Cats

Cats can be allergy carriers as well. When cats play outdoors, their fur catches different allergic elements, including dust, pollen, or other chemical substances. While not every cat is equally hypersensitive, they may cause other cats around to catch an allergy, thus leading to constant sneezing.

Exposure to Irritants

Take a look around and see what potential causes might be the reason behind your cat’s sneezing problem. Often, smoke, furniture chemicals, insecticides, or pesticides can be irritating for cats. If you’re a smoker, try keeping your cats away from the smoke to check if they stop sneezing.

Diet Check

Your cat’s diet can have a huge impact on his/her health. Like humans, some cats are intolerant to a number of ingredients used to make the cat food. Most cats are lactose intolerant, and milk can cause them diarrhea, but others may be allergic to rice flour, gluten, or even something as common as beef. If nothing works out, you may want to switch your cat food and see if it works.


Sneezing in cats can be simple to understand, yet hard to diagnose. While sneezing does have multiple reasons, the two primary ones are allergic reactions or infections caused by bacteria or viruses. Check out our other article if you’re looking for medicinal treatments for your cat’s allergies. 

In general, the ideal practice is to take your cat to a vet for a better diagnosis. However, it is equally important that you are familiar with the reasons your cat is sneezing so much. Some homemade remedies can also work out, such as using an air purifier, keeping your cat indoors during pollen season, or avoiding the use of potential chemical substances around your cat.