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Why is my cat sneezing excessively? Could it be a nasal issue or feline herpes?


Dear VetBabble,

I’ve noticed that my cat has been excessively sneezing lately, which is something he has never done before. He appears to be healthy otherwise and is eating just fine. Is there any reason I should be concerned about a nasal issue, possibly feline herpes? I know this is common in cats that come from pounds or shelters. Should I take him to a veterinarian to get examined and possibly receive some supplements for treatment?

Understanding Excessive Sneezing in Cats

It’s normal for our feline friends to sneeze occasionally, just like people do. However, excessive sneezing in cats can sometimes be a sign of an underlying health issue. In your specific scenario, there are a few potential causes for your cat’s increased sneezing, ranging from infections like cat flu to allergies. We’ll explore these possibilities and provide guidance on when you should be concerned enough to seek veterinary attention.

Is It a Cat Flu or Feline Herpes?

One possible reason for your cat’s excessive sneezing is feline upper respiratory infection, commonly known as cat flu. Feline herpesvirus (FHV-1) is a common cause of upper respiratory infections in cats, and it also happens to be prevalent among cats in shelters or pounds. Some symptoms of cat flu include sneezing, nasal discharge, coughing, and eye discharge. Another possible cause is the calicivirus, which can cause similar symptoms. It’s important to distinguish between the two viruses, as their treatments and prevention methods differ. You can learn more about cat flu and its treatment options in this article about Feline Upper Respiratory Infection and How to Treat. If you suspect that your cat’s excessive sneezing may be due to an upper respiratory infection, it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian. They can properly diagnose the issue and recommend appropriate treatment, which may include medications or supplements as needed.

Could It Be Allergies?

Another possible explanation for your cat’s excessive sneezing is allergies. Just like humans, cats can develop allergies to environmental factors such as pollen, dust, and even certain foods. In addition to sneezing, cats with allergies may exhibit other symptoms like itchy skin, watery eyes, or gastrointestinal issues. Managing allergies in cats can be a bit more complex than treating an upper respiratory infection. Your veterinarian will help you identify the specific allergens causing your cat’s symptoms and recommend strategies to minimize their exposure to these triggers. Learn more about Cat Allergies and how to recognize and manage them.

When to Seek Veterinary Assistance

As a loving pet owner, it’s natural to be concerned about your cat’s health when you observe unusual symptoms such as excessive sneezing. It’s always a good idea to monitor your cat’s overall health, including their appetite, energy level, and behavior, as these can provide clues about their well-being. If your cat’s excessive sneezing is accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as lack of appetite, lethargy, vomiting (learn more about Why is My Cat Vomiting?), or difficulty breathing, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible. They can perform a thorough examination, identify the exact cause of the symptoms, and provide appropriate treatment to help your beloved feline companion feel better. In conclusion, there are various potential causes of excessive sneezing in cats, including upper respiratory infections, allergies, and other health issues. By consulting with a veterinarian and taking appropriate action, you can ensure that your cat remains healthy and happy.

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