You may often see your cat sneeze or cough, which may make you wonder what’s the reason behind it and how to tackle it? Like humans, cats also have a natural process to clear out their respiratory tract, including sneezing and coughing. However, it may get pretty concerning if you observe it persistently that too with other associated symptoms.
The most common causes behind it may include Upper respiratory tract or sinus infections, allergies, or vaccination. Therefore, in this article, we shall discuss the most common diseases associated with sneezing and coughing, along with their symptoms. We shall also guide you on treating it or when to take your pet to the vet. So, read on to learn all about your cat sneezing and coughing in no time.
Why is my cat sneezing so much?
As already discussed, sneezing is a natural phenomenon in response to various agents and irritants. However, it’s always better to keep a check on your cats and notice what makes them do it, especially if it’s not occasional sneezing. To do so, you need to observe the patterns to rule out the leading cause, which may include any irritant in the air, infection, or any underlying condition.
For a keen observation, notice whether your cat sneezes all day long or at any particular time? Does it only happen in a specific room or during any activity at home? Further, do check whether it is due to an irritant such as home cleaner, perfume, or dust or not? So, just by observing all this, you may recognize the cause behind it. So, try to avoid it in front of your cat to protect it from further consequences.
However, suppose you notice associated symptoms such as discharge from the nose, eyes, or ear, loss of appetite, or laziness in your cat. In that case, this is something to worry about, and you definitely get a veterinary appointment for your cat.
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What if my cat keeps sneezing?
Persistent sneezing is quite concerning as there may be an underlying cause behind it that’s unknown to you. Therefore, it’s always essential to look for the reason. Such recurring sneezes are pretty often due to environmental factors.
However, if you observe other symptoms such as lethargy, fever, dehydration, labored breathing, snoring, nasal discharge, tearing or discharge from eyes, difficulty swallowing, then see a vet with no delay.
Let’s ride through some of the most common reasons behind your cat keeps sneezing:
1. Upper Respiratory Infections (URIs)
These infections are typically like a common cold for cats with associated symptoms such as sneezing fits, stuffy nose, loss of appetite, unusual thick discharge from nose that may appear green, yellow, or clear and may even contain blood, tearing from eyes, weakness, lethargy, poor energy and difficulty swallowing. In addition, they may have a viral, bacterial, or fungal origin, therefore requires proper treatment.
2. Nasal and Sinus inflammation
Cats may even suffer from inflammatory issues such as sinusitis and rhinitis. These conditions include inflammation of the sinus and mucous membranes of the nose, respectively. Moreover, it’s merely a stuffy nose with associated symptoms such as pawing at the face, nasal discharge, snoring, labored breathing, and tearing from the eyes.
Some cats may also have severe conditions such as rhinosinusitis, which combines both states with many painful symptoms.
3. Allergic reaction
Allergies are pretty common in cats, but sneezing may not be the primary symptom of it. Irritation, lesions, itchiness, and hair loss are somewhat due to allergic reactions. However, some cats may show coughing, sneezing, itchiness in the eyes, and watery discharge from the nose and eyes.
This condition, allergic rhinitis, is primarily known as hay fever in humans and is mainly due to allergens such as dust, pollens, chemicals, and mold.
4. Leukemia in cats
Feline leukemia is a rare condition in cats but is quite fatal. However, early diagnosis may help in better treatment.
Sneezing and infection are the most common sign in them due to poor immunity.
5. Dental problems
We know it’s pretty astonishing that cats suffer from dental diseases. However, as the roots of the upper jaw of the cats are located just next to the nasal passages, so infection in the dental root may transmit to the nose, so whenever your cat eats, food particles may trigger a sneezing reflex. Therefore, treatment of dental conditions is pretty necessary; otherwise, it may lead to chronic rhinitis.
6. Immunodeficiency virus in cats
Low immunity due to the immunodeficiency virus may cause several infections quite easily. In addition, this virus may trigger some inflammatory reactions, and you may observe symptoms such as sneezing and coughing.
Some vaccines, such as that of Upper respiratory infections, may trigger your nasal passages, which may cause sneezing. However, you don’t need to worry about it as it mainly resolves on its own without any treatment.
Check out our article where we have explained Symptoms of distemper in cats.
8. Nasal Tumors
Nasal tumors may be found in older cats which may trigger inflammatory reactions and irritation in nasal passages. This condition is pretty painful and needs proper treatment at the right time. However, the prognosis is poor for it.
Treatment for sneezing cat
Proper diagnosis for any underlying condition is pretty necessary before initiating any treatment for sneezing. Therefore, whenever you take your cat to the vet, he’ll always run some tests, mainly swab tests for the nose, eyes, or ear, to determine if there is an infection.
For treating mild respiratory infections, doctors would prescribe some antibiotics, anti-viral, or anti-fungal medicine depending upon the etiology of the illness. These are mainly in the form of drops for the nose or eye. Moreover, steroids are given to treat sinus issues such as sinusitis to clear all the air passages in no time. In the case of dehydration, subcutaneous fluid is necessary as well.
However, suppose there aren’t any associated symptoms along with sneezing. In that case, it’s known as occasional sneezing and doesn’t need any meds.
Additionally, it’s always better to take precautionary measures and observe your cat for other symptoms or changes in behavior to rule out any other cause. Also, do make sure to get them vaccinated at the right time to keep them healthy. Avoid giving them canned food without warming them.
Why is my cat coughing so much?
Below are some significant reasons which cause cat coughing:
1. Upper Respiratory Infection
Just like sneezing, coughing may be a sign of Upper Respiratory Infection. Excessive mucus in the airways may indicate such infections. It also may have viral, bacterial, or fungal etiology. Moreover, it may vary from mild to severe in range.
2. Parasitic infection
Parasitic infections are pretty dangerous and need proper treatment at the earliest time possible. For example, suppose you observe coughing and associated symptoms such as weight loss, lethargic condition, rapid fatigue, loss of appetite. In that case, the parasitic infection may be the cause behind it.
3. Asthmatic condition
Just like in humans, if cough is accompanied by wheezing, then your cat may have asthma. Take your cat to the vet for lab tests for proper diagnosis and treatment to prevent it from progressing further.
4. Cardiovascular conditions
Suppose you observe your cat coughing after exertion, such as play or exercise. In that case, this may direct to certain heart diseases. This condition is dangerous as it might sound, so the earliest treatment is essential at any cost.
5. Lung tumors
Lung tumors may also present in cats, especially in older ones with persistent and excessive coughing with or without blood, lethargic condition, poor appetite, and muscle wasting. So, if you notice any such symptoms, get an appointment for a vet as soon as possible.
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Cats also have a natural phenomenon to clear out their respiratory tract through sneezing and coughing. However, if you observe it with some associated symptoms then it’s pretty concerning.
Keeping all this in mind, we have listed some of the most common causes behind sneezing and coughing, along with their treatment to help you have a complete idea of recognizing any of the underlying diseases at the right time. Moreover, we have discussed some preventive measures to help you prevent your cat from contracting such harmful conditions.