Can Cats Sneeze? The Feline Facts Revealed!

Cats are amazing creatures, with funny quirks and mysterious habits. One of the most common questions about cats is whether they can sneeze or not. The answer to this question might seem simple but there is more to it than meets the eye. In this article, we will explore some feline facts about cats sneezing.

What is a sneeze?

Before we dive into cats sneezing, let us first understand what a sneeze is. A sneeze is a sudden, forceful expulsion of air through the nose and mouth. It is an uncontrollable reflex action that helps to clear the nasal passages of irritants like dust, pollen, or other foreign particles. Sneezing also helps to prevent infections from spreading by expelling harmful bacteria and viruses from the body.

Do cats sneeze?

The short answer is, yes. Cats do sneeze just like humans and other animals. However, sneezing in cats is not as common or as frequent as it is in humans. Just like humans, cats sneeze to clear their nasal passages of irritants, or if they have an upper respiratory infection.

What causes cats to sneeze?

There are various causes of cats sneezing. Some of the common causes are:

  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Allergies
  • Inhaled irritants like dust, smoke or chemicals
  • Foreign objects in the nose
  • Dental problems

If your cat is sneezing excessively, it is important to take them to a vet to rule out any serious health issues.

What does a cat’s sneeze sound like?

A cat’s sneeze can sound different from a human’s sneeze. Unlike humans, cats usually sneeze silently or with a small, soft sound. It is not usually a loud or explosive sound like humans.

Can you tell if a cat is about to sneeze?

Unlike humans, cats do not show any signs that they are about to sneeze. They can sneeze suddenly without any warning signs.

Is sneezing a sign of illness in cats?

Sneezing is not always a sign of illness in cats, but it can be an indication of an underlying health issue. If your cat is sneezing more than usual or for an extended period, it is important to take them to a vet for a check-up. Some of the health issues that can cause sneezing in cats are:

  • Feline Herpes Virus (FHV-1)
  • Feline Calicivirus (FCV)
  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

It is important to note that not all cases of sneezing indicate a serious illness. Sometimes, cats may sneeze because of dust, pollen or other irritants in the air. In such cases, the sneezing should stop once the cat is removed from the source of the irritant.

How can you help your cat when they are sneezing?

If your cat is sneezing occasionally, there is usually no need for alarm. However, if your cat is sneezing excessively or has other symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes or loss of appetite, you should take them to a vet for a check-up.

Here are a few things you can do to help your cat when they are sneezing:

  • Keep your cat away from irritants like dust, cigarette smoke or chemicals
  • Place a humidifier in the room to moisten the air
  • Wipe your cat’s nose with a warm, damp towel to remove any discharge
  • Make sure your cat is eating and drinking enough water
  • If your cat has a respiratory infection, your vet may prescribe antibiotics or other medications to help treat the infection


Cats can sneeze just like humans, but it is not as common or as frequent. Sneezing in cats can be a sign of an underlying health issue, so it is important to take them to a vet if they are sneezing excessively or have other symptoms. By understanding the causes of sneezing in cats and knowing what to look out for, you can help keep your feline friend healthy and happy.

FAQs About Cats Sneezing

  • Can cats get colds that cause sneezing? Yes, cats can get upper respiratory infections that can cause sneezing, coughing, and other symptoms.
  • Do indoor cats sneeze less than outdoor cats? Not necessarily. Indoor cats can also be exposed to irritants like dust or allergens that can cause sneezing.
  • Is it normal for a kitten to sneeze? Occasional sneezing is normal for kittens, but excessive sneezing or other symptoms like runny nose or watery eyes should be checked by a vet.
  • Can cats sneeze due to stress? Yes, stress can weaken a cat’s immune system, making them more susceptible to infections, including those that cause sneezing.
  • Can a cat’s sneezing be cured? The treatment for a cat’s sneezing depends on the underlying cause. If it is due to an infection, medication may be prescribed to help clear the infection. If it is due to allergies or irritants, removing the source of the irritants may help reduce the sneezing.


1. Cornell Feline Health Center, (2019). Respiratory infections in cats. [online] Available at:
infections-cats [Accessed 10 Jul. 2021].

2. Your Cat, (2021). Why Do Cats Sneeze? – Your Cat. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Jul. 2021].

3. VCA Hospitals, (2021). Sneezing in Cats. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Jul. 2021].

4. Catster, (2020). Let’s Talk Cat Sneezing — Why Does It Happen and What Can I Do? [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Jul. 2021].

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