Kittens and cats, like people, sneeze for a number of reasons. Sneezing isn't a sign of a major feline health concern, and it's usually caused by environmental allergies or irritants that may be readily controlled. Constant sneezing, on the other hand, may suggest the presence of another sickness (particularly if it is accompanied by nasal discharge, fatigue, or a lack of appetite).
If your kitten sneezes, you might be concerned that anything is amiss. The good news is that a moderately sneezing kitten can have a variety of causes. Sneezing that is excessive, moderate, or severe should always be checked out by a veterinarian, since untreated respiratory disorders and other ailments can lead to infections.
What Is Sneezing?
Sneezing is the body's way of eliminating irritants from the sinuses, and depending on the consistency, it might signal several things for cats and kittens. If you see your cat sneezing every now and then, it's probably simply responding to some dust or fur tickling its nose. Because kittens' noses are only a few inches from the ground, you may notice a lot of sneezing if your floor is dusty. This problem has an easy solution: Increase the frequency with which you dust and vacuum your floors to see if the sneeze goes away.
Allergies, upper respiratory infections, and other factors might be to blame if your kitten gets more than a slight sneeze. Without your knowledge, foreign things might become lodged in your pet's nostrils. In either case, it's critical to see your veterinarian if your pet is sneezing excessively to see whether another issue is to blame.
Symptoms of Sneezing in Cats and Kittens
Sneezing is not a sickness in and of itself, but it can be a sign of other health problems. If your cat or kitten is sneezing excessively, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
Nasal Congestion and Discharge
A feline upper respiratory infection can cause excessive sneezing in addition to other symptoms such as and discharge (URI). These symptoms normally appear two to ten days after the cat has been exposed to an infectious pathogen.
Lethargy or Loss of Appetite
Your cat may get tired or lose its appetite in addition to sneezing excessively (often related to upper respiratory infections). This can cause anorexia or substantial weight loss in cats, so make an appointment with your veterinarian very once.
Excessive Blinking or Inflammation of the Eyes
It's possible that your cat has feline viral rhinotracheitis if it's sneezing a lot and blinking a lot or has (FVR). If all of these symptoms appear at the same time, your cat should be evaluated by a veterinarian to start the diagnosing process.
Causes of Sneezing
Many cats and kittens, like people and other pets, suffer from allergies. Sneezing can be triggered by mold, dust, fragrances, smoking, pesticides, and cleaning products. If your kitten appears to have an allergy, it is most likely responding to something in the air. You may strive to decrease potential allergens in your house, particularly in areas where the kitten spends a lot of time, but if your cat's sneezing is severe, you should take him to the doctor. Cats with allergies might benefit from a range of treatment choices.
Polyps, Tumors, or Foreign Objects in the Nasal Cavity
Sneezing can be caused by any item or tissue that is not ordinarily present in the nasal cavity. Foreign items can be checked for and securely removed by your veterinarian, which may include anesthesia, nasal flushing, and/or endoscopy. Your cat may have a nasal polyp or tumor, which should be treated by your veterinarian and examined to rule out other possible causes.
Feline Upper Respiratory Infections
Cats with upper respiratory infections (URIs) sneeze excessively and are typically very infectious to other cats. If you bring a new kitten home with symptoms of an upper respiratory infection or another sickness, you should keep them from interacting with the other cats in the house until the vet clears them and their symptoms disappear.
URIs are sometimes considered chronic and can last a lifetime in your cat. When the virus reactivates (often due to stress), symptoms normally last just a few weeks, and your cat may usually live a normal life despite the recurrence of symptoms from time to time.
Constant sneezing, particularly when accompanied by other symptoms (such as fatigue, loss of appetite, eye or nasal discharge, diarrhea, coughing, or breathing difficulties), might indicate viral, bacterial, or fungal upper respiratory infections. If you see these signs, your kitten may be suffering from a disease such as feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR)
Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), also known as feline herpes virus, affects the nose, throat, and eyes of cats. Sneezing, nasal congestion, frequent blinking, and discharge from the eyes or nose are all common symptoms in cats with FVR, therefore your cat's sneezing might be due to this illness (especially when seen with other symptoms).
Feline calicivirus (FCV) is a reasonably common and extremely infectious illness that can cause sneezing and respiratory problems. Most veterinarians vaccinate kittens to prevent them from contracting this disease, but if they do, the symptoms can range from mild to severe. However, because there are various deadly types of calicivirus that can infect your cat, it's critical to have your cat evaluated and treated if any symptoms appear.
Because the roots of their teeth are close to their nasal passages, cats with diseased teeth may sneeze when they eat. Your cat should see a veterinarian as soon as possible if this is the case. When left untreated for lengthy periods of time, dental infections can become life-threatening, as issues with the teeth can lead to septic infections.
Diagnosing Sneezing in Cats and Kittens
If your cat or kitten is sneezing a lot, your veterinarian will ask for a complete medical history as well as a physical examination. Learning about your cat's past at home may also aid them in determining probable reasons before undergoing additional testing, particularly if your cat has come into touch with individuals who may have illnesses that cause this symptom.
Your veterinarian can also employ diagnostic tests (such as nasal swabs, radiography, a nasal flush, or a rhinoscopy) to check your cat's overall health and rule out other probable reasons of sneezing.
Take your kitten to the veterinarian as soon as possible if the symptoms are more than moderate or if it sneezes blood. Depending on what's causing the sneeze, they may give an antiviral medication, a nasal decongestant, or antibiotics. A humidifier placed near your cat's sleeping area may also aid mild respiratory problems.
The veterinarian may recommend steroid therapy in some circumstances. A serious case, however, may require surgery to remove whatever is obstructing your cat's breathing after all other treatment choices have been explored.
Prognosis for Cats With Excessive Sneezing
Because there are a multitude of reasons why your cat may be sneezing frequently, your veterinarian's diagnosis will determine your cat's prognosis. The majority of disorders that cause cats to sneeze often are not life-threatening, but infection prevention and treatment are critical. Based on any other symptoms your cat is experiencing, your veterinarian will propose suitable treatment choices and provide a more complete prognosis.
How to Prevent Sneezing
If your cat is sneezing a lot and has no other symptoms, it's possible that irritants in your home are to cause. Sneezing can be reduced in cats by making a few easy modifications, such as the ones listed below:
Control Household Irritants
Inside, don't use air fresheners, scented laundry detergents, perfumes, or smoke (if applicable). All of these irritants can cause cats to sneeze more frequently than usual. Any disinfectants you use to clean the house should be used with caution, especially if the cat walks on the area you spray and then licks its paw pads. Many disinfectants include compounds that are toxic to cats.
Keep a Clean Litter Box
Following the use of bleach solutions or other cleaning chemicals, thoroughly and other cat-frequented surfaces with plain water. A safe disinfectant made from 3/4 cup basic bleach and a gallon of water may be used to clean your cat's litter box, as well as other surfaces like kitchen worktops and sinks. Because this cleaning solution has a pleasant aroma, it should reduce the need for extra air fresheners throughout the house.
Also, have a look at your cat's litter box. When a cat scratches inside the box, some litters (especially clay-based litters) produce more dust, which can aggravate allergy symptoms in both cats and people.
For a few days, keep an eye on your cat. A visit to the veterinarian is recommended if it exhibits any additional indications of an upper respiratory illness (such as wet eyes, sniffling, or coughing), or if it continues to sneeze after you've removed environmental factors.