You may have noticed that your cat gives you a funny look when you sneeze, or perhaps he just plain bolts when you, “achoo.” Maybe he meows or makes that sweet little chirpy noise. Any one of those reactions is possible, and all have been accounted for as a normal reaction to a human sneeze, among other types of reactions. The point is that cats do not like the sound of sneezing and they can react to the noise in a variety of ways, from a humorous response, to a more serious one, and this is why.
Cats are creatures of habit and routine. They like things the same, all the time, and if anything disturbs their little world, they react. Loud noises are definitely a reason for a cat to react. Their ears are very sensitive to noises and when they detect loud noises, tiny little muscles in the middle ear will contract to lessen the volume of the noise. It’s a protective measure for the inner ear, however, sudden noises happen too fast for the muscles to have time to react. Types of noises like, fire crackers, gunshots and sneezes are all sounds that happen to quick for inner ear protective measures for a cat.
Some cats are even more jumpy to the sound of a sneeze than others. This could be due to a lack of exposure to the noise in early years, or remind them of a bad experience. Some cats that have an extreme noise aversion or phobia may even suffer with anxiety disorders, according to Family Pet Animal Hospital in Chicago. The animal hospital suggests talking to a vet about the jumpiness if it seems to be related to a previous trauma to help learn ways to help your kitty cope with noises better.
Some cat owners have said that their cat will look right at them when they hear a sneeze and meow, which is a cats’ way of communicating. And some people have reported that they think their cat is asking them if they are ok, or even saying, “bless you.” The reply to your cat might be, “I’m fine,” or “thank you,” because cat owners know they love to talk to their cats.
The different types of reactions a cat can have to a sneeze, include:
There are cats that will totally freak out and take off running when they hear a sneeze. They can be laying anywhere close by, maybe even in your lap, and when the loud noise explodes, they bolt! If you have had the bolt off your lap from your cat, you might have even gotten a claw or two in the leg as he ran.
Cute chirpy sound
Cats make a cute little chirpy sound, and many times, it is when they are content watching birds or see a squirrel or chipmunk. They can also make this same adorable sound when they hear a sneeze, which many cat owners would prefer over a sudden freak out.
Cats who get agitated
Cats have a way of showing agitation and typically you might get the narrowing of the eyes and the flattening of the ears. Loud, unexpected, annoying noises are definitely a reason for your cat to appear agitated, which is what your sneeze is to a cat. When cats get annoyed or agitated, they tend to get a look of disgust on their face and may even hostily change positions or hop off the couch or bed, letting you know you annoyed them.
Cats who think sneezes are hisses
Yep, there are cats who perceive sneezes as hissing and might react the way they would if it were a hiss. When a cat is being hissed at, it may react by biting, scratching, lunging at you, hissing back or any other number or aggressive-type reactions. It’s good to be aware of this possible reaction, because you never know which sneeze may trigger your cat to react which way, so it’s good to be prepared.
While most cats will react to a human sneeze, not all cats are big reactors to a sneeze and may not even react at all. Like humans, every cat is an individual and has its own little quirks, likes, dislikes, personalities and toleration levels. We can’t always predict how our cats will react to a sneeze, since we can’t even predict how they really think about most things in their little feline minds. Cats have always been a little mysterious to us and might as well accept that there is a lot we just don’t understand about them.