Dear VetBabble: Is My Cat’s Excessive Sneezing and Odd Behavior a Sign of Illness?
My cat has been excessively sneezing for over a week, and she opens her mouth as if something is in her throat before sneezing. What does this mean? How can I tell if my cat is simply dealing with a minor issue or if there is something more serious going on that requires veterinary care?
Understanding Your Cat’s Sneezing and Behavior
Excessive sneezing in cats may be due to a variety of factors, ranging from minor irritations to more severe health issues. When accompanied by opening of the mouth as if something is in the throat, it is particularly important to carefully observe your pet and gather relevant information on their overall health.
Consider the following questions: How old is your cat? Is he/she up-to-date on vaccinations? Has she been diagnosed with other medical problems or shown any signs of allergies? Considering these factors will assist you in understanding the potential causes for your cat’s sneezing and whether or not a veterinary consultation is necessary.
Potential Causes and Concerns
There are various reasons that may explain your cat’s excessive sneezing and odd behavior. Let’s examine some of the most common possibilities:
- Cat flu or upper respiratory infection: Excessive sneezing may be a symptom of a respiratory issue, such as cat flu or an upper respiratory infection. In these cases, you may also notice nasal discharge and runny eyes along with your cat’s sneezing. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the cause and appropriate treatment for your cat’s respiratory issue.
- Foreign body inhalation: Your cat may have inhaled a foreign object, causing discomfort and sneezing. If you suspect that your cat has inhaled a foreign body, it is essential to contact your vet as soon as possible to avoid potential complications.
- Nasal polyps or other obstructions: Cats may also experience sneezing and difficulty breathing due to nasal polyps or other obstructions in their nasal passages. These issues may require medical intervention to provide your cat with relief from their symptoms.
- Allergies: Cats, like humans, can suffer from allergies. If your cat is sneezing excessively but isn’t showing any other significant symptoms, it may be due to an allergy. Your veterinarian can help to identify and manage your cat’s allergies through various treatment options.
- Digestive issues: While less common, excessive sneezing may be connected to digestive problems, such as an upset stomach or nausea. If your cat is also vomiting or showing signs of gastrointestinal distress, consult with your veterinarian to determine the cause and implement appropriate treatment.
Seeking Veterinary Care for Your Cat
It can be challenging to determine the exact cause of your cat’s excessive sneezing without a thorough examination by a veterinarian. We highly recommend consulting with your vet if your cat is exhibiting any concerning behaviors or symptoms. They will perform a proper assessment and recommend the best course of action based on your cat’s specific needs.
In the meantime, closely monitor your cat’s overall health and behavior to provide your veterinarian with as much information as possible. Remember, maintaining regular wellness check-ups and keeping your cat’s vaccinations up-to-date are key steps in ensuring your furry friend’s overall health and well-being.