Why is My Cat Constantly Sneezing?

Have you been noticing your cat sneezing often lately? Although sneezing is not uncommon in cats, it is less common than in dogs. If your cat is constantly sneezing, you may find yourself wondering what’s going on and whether or not you should be concerned.

Cat constantly sneezing

6 Causes of Constant Sneezing in Cats

In the article below, you’ll find a quick rundown of some of the most common causes of constant sneezing in cats. You’ll find information to let you know when this problem could be a serious one, and when it might be something as simple as seasonal allergies. Read on to learn more.

6 common causes that could lead to your cat’s constant sneezing include, but may not be limited to:

Airborne Contaminants

Some cats may sneeze a lot when they are exposed to airborne contaminants. These contaminants may include:

  • Smoke
  • Essential oils and fragrances
  • Incense
  • The smell of food cooking
  • Other animals in the area
  • And much more

Some cats are a lot more sensitive to airborne contaminants than others, too.

If your cat’s sneezing happens more frequently when they are exposed to an airborne contaminant and it eases up within a few hours of this exposure, then you may have found the underlying cause. However, it might be worthwhile to talk to the veterinarian for more information and to make sure that this is truly the cause of your cat’s behavior.

Seasonal Allergies

If your cat is constantly sneezing, it’s possible that they could be suffering from seasonal allergies. It is not uncommon for cats to have seasonal allergies. If your cat is allergic to pollen, plants, or anything else that grows or happens seasonally, you will notice their allergies flaring up more frequently when the contaminant is more prominent. For example, when the pollen count is high, your cat is more likely to have allergic responses to this pollen.

If your cat has seasonal allergies, they may need to take an allergy medication during the problem times of the year. George Melillo, Heart + Paw’s Chief Veterinary Officer and Founder, advises that, “You should NEVER medicate your cat without consulting your veterinarian.”

Some cats, however, do just fine without taking any medication, although a humidifier may help your cat’s sneezing ease up. It’s always best to consult with a veterinarian when determining the best way to help treat your cat’s allergies.


Asthma is surprisingly common in cats, although cat healthcare specialists are still working to fully understand this condition in felines. Cats with asthma may be prone to constant sneezing fits, coughing spells, or wheezing, and their symptoms are usually brought on by exposure to an allergen or contaminant in the environment.

If your cat is diagnosed with asthma, they may need to take steroids for bad flare-ups. They may also be given an inhaler or some other type of medication to help manage the symptoms.

Foreign Object

It’s not uncommon for constant sneezing in cats to be caused by foreign objects. Cats may sometimes inhale foreign objects that may become lodged in the nasal passageways. Although a foreign object in the nose may not totally obstruct your cat’s breathing—as they can still breathe through their mouth—it may cause them to sneeze a lot as they try to dislodge the problem.

Look inside your cat’s nose with a flashlight. If you can see the object, you will know that’s the cause of their sneezing; if not, they may still have something stuck in their nose, but it might be too far up to see. Take your cat to the emergency vet if you suspect they could be at risk of having a foreign object stuck in their nose.

Respiratory Infection

Cats are extremely prone to upper respiratory infections, and they can sometimes develop more serious lower respiratory infections as well. If you think your cat may have a respiratory infection, look for other signs aside from just sneezing. 

Additional signs of upper respiratory infections in cats are:

  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Fever

Take your cat to the vet to be diagnosed if you think they are sick with a respiratory problem. They will likely need a round of antibiotics, and they may also be prescribed steroids or a cough medication, depending on the severity and type of their condition.

Feline Leukemia

Although it is much less common than the other possibilities on this list, constant sneezing in cats can sometimes point to feline leukemia. If your cat spends time outdoors or has been around other cats lately, and especially if they are unvaccinated for this condition, have them checked as soon as possible.

Although feline leukemia is almost always fatal, many cats can live several years while managing the illness before it worsens. Your vet can give you more information and guidance if your pet is diagnosed with this disease.

Contact Heart + Paw for Your Cat’s Constant Sneezing

Most of the underlying causes of cat sneezes require veterinary care to help clear them up, but they are not life-threatening. However, a few causes of sneezing in cats can be dangerous or even potentially fatal if left untreated or unmanaged. For this reason, it’s important to take your cat to the vet when they have been sneezing a lot, or to the emergency vet if they seem to be in distress otherwise.

With the help of the information in the article above, you should be able to more easily determine when your cat’s sneezing is something serious. Be sure to speak to your vet for more assistance, too.

Our team at Heart + Paw cares about your pet’s health. If your cat is constantly sneezing, book an appointment at any of our locations today. We’ll find the underlying cause of your cat’s behavior and make sure they get the proper care they need. Even if it’s something as benign as seasonal allergies, it’s important to find out what the true cause is so your pet can get the appropriate treatment.

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Heart + Paw was founded in 2018 by Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. George Melillo, who currently serves the Mid-Atlantic area. Heart + Paw offers a combination of veterinary care, pet grooming, and dog daycare to help be a resource in your pet parenthood journey.

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