As in humans, a cat’s sneeze is a natural reflex characterized by a sudden exhalation of air through the mouth and nose, most commonly in response to irritation of the nasal cavities. While in most cases a cat’s sneeze is normal and harmless to the animal, in some cases it may reveal more serious pathologies, such as cat colds, a cancerous tumor, or an allergy to dust, mites, pollens, or chemicals.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF PATHOLOGICAL SNEEZING?
In some underlying conditions, sneezing may be the first clinical sign to occur. In the majority of cases, mild sneezing is limited to a simple expulsion of air, which may be associated with clear nasal secretions.
In case of obvious infection, the coloring of the nasal mucus becomes more yellow or green. It is also possible to detect slight traces of bleeding, a sign that the nasal mucosa is particularly inflamed.
However, other symptoms can complete the picture, such as eye discharge, loss of appetite, a marked cough, or even difficulty breathing.
THE MAIN CAUSES OF A CAT SNEEZING
Your Cat Has a Blocked Nose
Like many animals, cats love to explore their surroundings and sniff anything that comes under their nose. It is therefore not uncommon for small debris to get lodged in Its nasal cavities, inevitably triggering sneezes in order to expel them.
In addition, inflammation of a tooth implanted in the upper jaw can also lead to this type of obstruction. In this specific case, a medical consultation is essential to set up an appropriate medical treatment.
Your Cat Caught The Coryza
Particularly contagious, coryza is a complex viral pathology that causes inflammation of the nasal mucosa. Sneezing is the main symptom of this disease and as such is an important part of the diagnosis.
These are generally characterized by their high intensity and high frequency. They are accompanied by purulent, even bloody, nasal and ocular secretions. In cases of severe infection, the general state of health of the cat deteriorates. It is strongly recommended to consult a veterinarian quickly.
Your Cat Might Be Allergic
It is not just humans who suffer from allergies. Cats, too! The allergens present in the cat’s environment are numerous: dust, mites, pollens, chemicals, or maintenance products… In general, allergic respiratory reactions occur in spring and early summer.
This is called allergic rhinitis. This is difficult to differentiate from coryza as the symptoms of these two diseases are so similar. Only a veterinarian has the appropriate diagnostic tools to define the offending allergen. At the end of his/her investigations, the vet can then implement an antihistamine-based treatment or, if he/she deems it necessary, initiate a desensitization process.
Your Cat Might Have a Tumor
Relatively rare, cancer of the nasal cavity can also explain sneezing in cats, which are often the first clinical manifestations of the pathology. The greatest difficulty, in fact, in the face of this type of disease, remains to detect it early, because it can remain asymptomatic for a very long time.
In many cases, the diagnosis is not established until an advanced stage or even metastasis. Surgical management, which is the first-line therapy, is not always possible.
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR SNEEZING CAT?
The first step to take is obviously to ensure that the animal has all its vaccines up to date. There is, in fact, a vaccine capable of protecting it against coryza. If your cat suffers from unwanted sneezing, it is best to check that nothing is visibly blocking its nose.
If this is the case, use a sterile compress soaked in water or physiological saline to clean it, taking care not to introduce anything into the nasal cavity. If despite everything, the sneezing persists beyond two or three days, it is recommended that you contact your veterinary clinic.