Why Is My Cat Coughing and Sneezing

Why Is My Cat Coughing and Sneezing?

Cats are generally known for their grace and elegance, but when they start coughing and sneezing, it can be a cause for concern. Just like humans, cats can experience respiratory issues that manifest as coughing and sneezing. It’s important to understand the potential reasons behind these symptoms to ensure your feline friend receives the necessary care and treatment.

1. Allergies: Cats can develop allergies to various substances, such as pollen, dust mites, or certain foods. These allergies can trigger respiratory symptoms such as coughing and sneezing.

2. Upper Respiratory Infections: Cats are susceptible to upper respiratory infections, which are often caused by viruses or bacteria. These infections can lead to coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and even fever.

3. Asthma: Feline asthma is a chronic condition that causes inflammation and constriction of the airways. Cats with asthma may experience coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing, which can be triggered by allergens or stress.

4. Foreign Objects: Cats are naturally curious creatures, and they may occasionally inhale or ingest foreign objects. This can result in coughing and sneezing as their body tries to expel the object.

5. Dental Issues: Dental problems, such as tooth decay or gum disease, can cause cats to cough and sneeze. The proximity of the respiratory system to the oral cavity can result in these symptoms when there is an infection or inflammation.

6. Heartworm Disease: Though less common in cats compared to dogs, cats can still contract heartworm disease. Coughing is a common symptom of this potentially life-threatening condition.

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7. Nasal Tumors: While relatively rare, nasal tumors can affect cats and lead to coughing and sneezing. These tumors can obstruct the nasal passages, causing respiratory symptoms.


1. Should I be worried if my cat coughs or sneezes occasionally?
Occasional coughing or sneezing is usually harmless. However, if these symptoms persist for more than a few days or are accompanied by other concerning signs, it’s best to consult your veterinarian.

2. Can cats catch colds from humans?
Cats can contract certain respiratory infections from humans, such as the common cold. However, most upper respiratory infections in cats are caused by feline-specific viruses.

3. Can I give my cat over-the-counter cough medicine?
No, you should never give your cat over-the-counter cough medicine without consulting a veterinarian. Some human medications can be toxic to cats.

4. Will my cat’s allergies go away on their own?
It depends on the cause of the allergies. Some allergies may subside with time, while others may require ongoing management and treatment.

5. How can I prevent my cat from developing respiratory issues?
Keeping your cat’s environment clean, avoiding exposure to potential allergens, and ensuring regular veterinary check-ups can help reduce the risk of respiratory issues.

6. Can cats transmit respiratory infections to humans?
Most respiratory infections in cats are not zoonotic, meaning they cannot be transmitted to humans. However, some exceptions, such as certain strains of the flu, may pose a risk.

7. When should I seek veterinary care for my cat’s coughing and sneezing?
If your cat’s symptoms worsen, persist for more than a few days, or are accompanied by other concerning signs like fever, loss of appetite, or difficulty breathing, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care promptly.

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Remember, if your cat is coughing or sneezing, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and ensure appropriate care and treatment.