Is your cat sneezing a lot? While it may be adorably cute, there could be a sign that something more serious could be wrong. Like humans, cats respond by sneezing when there is a tickle in the nostril. The occasional cat sneeze probably isn’t cause for concern, but when it becomes a recurring stint of sneezing, you really should take your cat to the vet because their health could be compromised from some of the causes. Here are a few reasons why your cat may be sneezing a lot.
Frequent sneezing accompanied by wheezing may signal allergies. The cause could be pollen, dust mites, household cleaners or cigarette smoke, so pay attention to what’s in the air. Another sign of allergies can be a runny nose or eyes, and skin irritation. If you think that your cat may have allergies, it would be smart to so check with your veterinarian to see if they can prescribe an antihistamine medication for itch relief.
The most common causes of sneezing and upper respiratory infections in cats are the feline herpes virus. Discovering your cat has feline herpes may sound very alarming, but don’t worry because they cannot spread this virus to humans. The feline herpes virus is passed from cat to cat through direct contact, most often through mutual grooming, sharing of food and water, or through the airborne mucous expelled from the sneeze of an infected cat. Certain breeds such as Persians or Himalayans, are more prone to the herpes virus than other types of cats due to their flattened face and more exposed airways. A more serious virus that can cause sneezing in cats is the feline immunodeficiency virus. The feline immunodeficiency virus is more commonly seen in outdoor cats and is transmitted via deep bite wounds as a result from cat fights. The disease has no cure and can be detrimental to your cat’s health and immune system. Both of these viruses should be diagnosed and treated by your veterinarian.
If your cat is age 3 or older and has frequent sneezing with stinky breath. Aside from being painful, dental disease may be the culprit for the sneezes. Aside from being painful, dental disease can pose a serious risk to your cat’s health and should be looked at immediately. While upper respiratory infections are usually caused by viral infections, certain bacterial infections like chlamydia or bodetella can cause sneezing in cats. Both of these bacterial infections are very contagious and can be transmitted via physical contact or shared food and water dishes. If your cat has a bacterial infection, the veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics to treat the illness. If left untreated, a respiratory infection could turn into pneumonia, which can be life threatening to a cat, so see a veterinarian if you suspect something could be wrong. If your cat does have a bacterial infection and you have other cats, it’s important to isolate your sick cat to prevent him from infecting other cats until he shows no more signs and symptoms of being ill.
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