Why Do Cats Sneeze?

Cats, dogs and other animals sneeze for the same reasons that human beings do. This individual animal may have a lung, throat or nasal condition that leads to sneezing. Some object may cause the nose to itch or “tickle” just as it could with a human being.

But most veterinarians and pet experts have found that the reasons for sneezing in cats can be cut down to two. The cat may have a “cold” or other, more serious respiratory illness. This situation probably requires a visit to your trusted veterinarian. A medical professional will probably be able to get to the source of the sneezing and determine if it is something serious that needs to be treated.

Cats also sneeze because of irritation, itch or a similar sensation around the nose. This can be caused by smoke or by the odor of some household chemical. The cat nose is very sensitive (as is the nose of a dog). When the owner uses a hairspray, lotion or perfume that has a strong aroma, the cat may respond by sneezing. This is a response to an uncomfortable situation.

Cats may also respond by sneezing when chemicals are used to combat insects or small rodents around the home or property. Many of these products have strong odors that are not pleasant to a cat or dog.

Over the course of many years, veterinarians and scientists have also discovered that cats can be allergic to certain items, products or chemicals. In fact, some evidence in the scientific community shows that cats may have some of the same allergies as human beings. Cats could be allergic to some types of grass, tree leaf or plant. Veterinary schools have developed tests to determine of cats are allergic and may be able to isolate the specific cause.

Each individual cat is different, of course, so one cat may sneeze because of dust while another may have a more serious issue. Infections or even a malignant growth can trigger sneezing in a cat. This is a natural reaction to an uncomfortable condition that any living thing would find intolerable. Blood in the nasal area is not always a sign of serious illness, but this condition should never be taken lightly. A veterinarian should be consulted immediately to determine what the specific cause for bleeding is. The cat may even have some tooth or jaw problem that can affect breathing or the nose area.

With new technology in medicine now available even for small animals, vets may be able to diagnose a sneezing cause very accurately. Testing the blood for certain problems is a good place to start. A thorough examination of the cat is also called for when sneezing becomes a constant problem for the animal and its owner. While coughing up an occasional hairball is natural for many cats, the owner should be on the lookout for signs of something more serious. A continuous combination of coughing and sneezing may well be an indication of a serious health problem.

Written by Lucas Beaumont

Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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