Why Cats Sneeze (cont.)

Sneezing and Other Symptoms

Symptoms that may accompany sneezing in cats may be the result of a wide range of infections and other problems. These symptoms may include:

  • Eye discharge, swelling, or ulcers
  • Excessive nasal discharge, sometimes yellow or green in color (a sign of a bacterial infection)
  • Fatigue or depression
  • Fever
  • Drooling
  • Decreased appetite or weight loss
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Wheezing or coughing
  • Poor coat condition
  • Trouble breathing
  • Diarrhea

When to See the Vet

If your cat sneezes only once in a while, has no other symptoms, or has only mild symptoms, you may want to simply monitor him or her for a few days. Keep your cat indoors and watch for changes. But be sure to call the vet if your cat sneezes continuously or often, sneezes blood, or has other signs such as those listed above. They may be signs of an illness or condition that needs veterinary care.

Treatment depends on the cause of the sneezing. In mild cases, the vet may suggest taking steps to simply help your cat be more comfortable -- like using a humidifier. In other cases, antibiotics, nasal decongestants, or fluids may be needed. Rarely, cats that don’t respond to medical therapy may require surgery.


Merck Veterinary Manual: “Feline Respiratory Disease Complex,” “Feline Respiratory Disease Complex,” “Localized Anaphylactic Reactions,” and Rhinitis and Sinusitis.”

ASPCA: “Feline URI,” “Herpes” and “Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).”

Cornell University: “Treatment of Respiratory Infection in Cats,” Feline Infectious Peritonitis,” “Feline Leukemia Virus,” and “Treatment of Upper Respiratory Infection in Cats.”