There are many reasons why cat sneezing occurs. Sneezing is the explosive release of air through the nose and mouth in response to something aggravating the upper respiratory tract, including the nasal passages. Sneezing and health problems are more common in young cats. There are many things that can cause sneezing in cats, including allergens, irritants, viruses, bacteria and fungus. We will take a quick look at many of these causes.
There are a number of viruses that cause diseases where sneezing is one of the symptoms. Often though, sneezing may not be a part of the disease, but rather a result. In other words, the cat comes down with the viral disease, which brings down the immune system. Compromised immunity results in secondary bacterial infections all over the animal’s body, including the upper respiratory tract.
Some viruses that cause sneezing include the Feline Herpes Virus, Feline Calicivirus, Feline Infectious Peritonitis, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline Leukemia. Most viral infections have general symptoms at least at first, such as fever, weight loss, appetite loss, depression, poor coat and temporarily enlarged lymph nodes.
Diseases that attack the respiratory tract cause sneezing, coughing, nasal and ocular discharge and salivation. Any disease that causes respiratory distress needs to be taken very seriously because of the life-threatening nature. A veterinarian should be consulted.
There are vaccinations available for many of the diseases above. Talk to your veterinarian for more information or to get your cat vaccinated.
Bacteria can also cause cat sneezing, in particular Chlamydia, Bordetella and Mycoplasma. These disease are treated with antibiotics. Bacteria is spread from cat to cat or a cat can contract the disease through contact with contaminated items.
Allergens and Irritants
There are a number of allergens and irritants that causes sneezing, including cigarette smoke, perfume, pest sprays, dusty cat litter, cleaning agents, candles, dust, pollen and mold. Pay attention to when your cat begins sneezing to determine if your cat is allergic to one of the above.
If your cat is allergic to dusty cat litter, you can try to purchase dust-free cat litter. For example, a twelve pound bag of
Healthy Pet Dust-Free Cat Litter
is offered on amazon.com for $10.98. It is a pure cellulose cat litter that absorbs twice its own weight in urine and liquid. Being made of cellulose instead of crystalline silica means that it doesn’t produce dust, which is helpful to allergic cats. Another option is the
Healthy Pet Dust Free Fiber Pellets Cat Litter
for $11.69. This one is made from short-fiber pulp, which is also capable of absorbing twice its weight in liquids. It is also completely free of crystalline silica dust.
Viruses are intracellular microorganisms. This means that they attack the cat from the inside of their cells. There is no cure for viral diseases. This does not mean that there is nothing that can be done. Quite the opposite, in fact, you should take your cat immediately to the vet if you suspect a viral disease so that the cat can be given support while its body fights off the disease. We also want to try to prevent secondary bacterial infections and the development of pneumonia with antibiotics. Remember to isolate cats with viral and bacterial diseases to prevent spread.
This support often includes intravenous fluids and possibly corticosteroids, especially if the cause is due to allergens and irritants. Allergens and irritants cause inflammatory responses, which can acerbate respiratory problems. Any nasal and ocular discharge is gently cleaned with physiologic saline solution and ointment is applied. This is important to keep the airways clear.
So, if your cat is sneezing a lot, make sure to consult a veterinarian. There are many causes of cat sneezing and your vet is the best person to find out this cause and treat your kitty.