My Cat Is Coughing & Sneezing What Could Be Wrong
If your cat suddenly starts sneezing and coughing more than normal, you may start to wonder if something is wrong. After all, cats are notoriously good at hiding illness until it has become severe. At what point should you start to worry?
Much like humans, the occasional cough or sneeze is completely harmless. Its likely something small like dust up the nose, fur in the throat, or some other foreign matter.
If, however, the symptoms are more frequent and last a while, there may be cause for concern.
So, how do you know when it is time to call the vet?
Cat Runny Nose When Purring And Mouth Drooling
A cat purring is an indication of contentment. In most cases, they will do this in instances of petting. This may also be accompanied by drooling and is not an indication that something is wrong. This is more so if the breathing appears okay and there is no other discharge and any nasal drainage is clear.
In some cases though, a cat runny nose may be indicative of anxiety. This is in instances where they know they are about to visit a vet or before being injected. If there are no other accompanying symptoms, your cat should be okay and there should be no cause of alarm.
Cat Sneezing: Causes And When Its A Concern
Have you noticed your cat sneezing often? If so, you might be concerned that theres a serious underlying problem causing this symptom. The good news is that most cat sneezing causes are not fatal ones, and that they can mostly be treated or managed with proper vet care.
Read through the article below to find out more about some of the most common causes of sneezing in cats and when these causes might require a visit to the vet.
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Cat Sneezing With Other Symptoms
Cat sneezing in conjunction with other signs is common but doesnt always help us narrow down the cause.
Cat sneezing along with wheezing can suggest concurrent lower respiratory disease.
If a cat is coughing and sneezing, it typically means that its primarily an upper respiratory process with postnasal drip irritating the throat.
If you see nasal discharge, especially with blood or pus-colored mucus, make a note or take a picture before cleaning your cats face, as this can help narrow down the causes. Be sure to clean your cats face, as it causes discomfort for your cat.
Chronic nosebleeds raise the concern for cancer, especially in older cats, but this association is not definitive.
When To See A Veterinarian About Sneezing
Sneezing here and there isnt a major cause for concern. If the sneezing becomes more frequent and you notice other symptoms of behavioral changes, it is best to err on the side of caution and take your cat for a visit to the vet.
- Yellow or green nasal discharge
- Trouble Breathing
- Poor Coat Conditions
Regardless, always trust your gut. A trip to the vet isnt ever going to do more harm than good. The vet will perform a physical exam and check out their nose, mouth, and eyes, and order tests if necessary.
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Why Is My Cat Sneezing And Snotty
Cat flu is one of the most common causes of a sneezing, snotty cat. So what can you do to help them at home and are there other treatments that will help?
This question is sent in from the owner of a cat who was attacked by a Pitbull a week previously. No seemingly bad injuries, they just had a toenail that was ripped, but then three days ago he started to sneeze, have a runny nose and had a bit of discharge in his eyes.
So What Can I Do At Home
Buy a humidifier.
If your cat sleeps with you, consider using a humidifier in the bedroom to help hydrate the nasal passages. This will make it easier to wipe away the nose crusts!
Bring your cat into the bathroom with you when you shower.
When you go to shower, let your cat lounge on the bathroom floor and skip the ceiling fan. The humidified, warm, steamy air will help keep your cat breathe better.
Yummy canned cat food, please!
When your cats nose is occluded with discharge or cat boogers, your cat cant smell food. If your cat cant smell their food, they wont eat their food. Youll need to tempt your cat to eat with something super palatable human meat-based baby food or INABA Churu cat food works in a pinch to tempt your cat to eat. Keep in mind that you should not feed human baby food to your cat long term, as its not balanced and can cause severe amino acid abnormalities. Alternatively, try microwaving a small amount of different types of cat food for a few seconds to make it more enticing for your cat . Also, try hand feeding your cat as it may help encourage them to eat just no force feeding as thats a huge no-no.
If you have more than one cat, its pet quarantine time. You want to keep your sick cat indoors only , and keep them away from other feline family housemates since URIs are so contagious.
Give them nursing care.
Go ahead skip the Lysine.
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About Dr Pete Wedderburn Dvm
Dr Pete Wedderburn qualified as a vet from Edinburgh in 1985 and has run his own 4-veterinarian companion animal practice in County Wicklow, Ireland, since 1991. Pete is well known as a media veterinarian with regular national tv, radio and newspaper slots, including a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph since 2007. Pete is known as “Pete the Vet” on his busy Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, regularly posting information on topical subjects and real-life cases from his clinic. He also write a regular blog at www.petethevet.com. His latest book: Pet Subjects, was published by Aurum Press in 2017.
When To See A Veterinarian
A sneeze every now and then is normal, but if it becomes frequent or other symptoms develop, your cat would benefit from a visit to the vet.
If you are monitoring your cat at home, Fetch by WebMD says to keep an eye out for these other symptoms:
- Wheezing or Coughing
- Yellow or Green Nasal Discharge
- Eye Discharge
- Poor Coat Condition
When in doubt, its always best to take your cat to the vet for an expert assessment. They will perform a physical exam that includes evaluating your cats nose, eyes and mouth, and from there they will determine if imaging or lab tests are necessary.
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What Does It Mean When Your Cats Eyes Are Red And Swollen
Conjunctivitis will cause your cats eyes to appear swollen and red. In such cases, your cat will commonly be sensitive to light, and the discharge can be clear and watery, or a thick mucus around the affected eye . Most cases of conjunctivitis can be resolved in a timely manner without permanent damage to the eyes.
Help Your Cat With Grooming
Cats are usually fastidious about grooming themselves, but cats with colds may need your help with hard-to-reach areas. Dr. Carol Osborne, an integrative veterinarian and authority in traditional and alternative veterinary medicine, suggests using a clean, warm, damp washcloth to clean their nasal passages and eyes.
Gently massage your kittys face with a washcloth to clean out his mouth and nose. You can also use an infants bulb syringe to wash mucus out of your cats nose, she says. If you use the syringe, be gentle and dont force it on your cat if hes uncomfortable.
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How To Treat Cat Sneezing
If your cat has more than a mild sneeze, you should seek treatment from the vet. Depending on what your vet determines to be the cause of the sneezing will dictate the treatment. Possible treatments include:
- Eye and/or nose drops
- Blood and urine tests to detect viruses and other infectious diseases
- Small biopsies from the nose
When Your Cat Keeps Sneezing
Today Im going share with you the three super-weird steps you can take to stop your poor cat from sneezing again and again.
Thousands of my clients and people who have read my Animal Lessons book have used these three spiritual steps to solve problems like this in the past. And now you can too, if you follow these steps below exactly!
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What Causes Cats To Sneeze
Diagnosing a cat sneezing issue is difficult to diagnose. First, your vet has to confirm that they are actually sneezing instead of coughing, hiccupping, gagging, or wheezing. Taking a quick video to show your vet is usually the easiest way for them to diagnose it. Second, there could be a plethora of causes that are leading to this issue. From minor inconveniences to severe diseases, it takes many tests and some trial-and-error to figure out the root cause. Here are some of the possible reasons why your cat has started sneezing:
How Do Vets Determine The Cause Of Cat Sneezing
Although treatment for sneezing cats is typically not costly, achieving a diagnosis certainly can be expensive.
You would think that testing for bacteria or a virus would determine the cause. However, because the nasal cavity is not a sterile location, a culture that is positive for certain bacteria does not prove that the bacteria are the primary cause of the sneeze, or even that they are causing disease .
Nor does testing positive for viruses confirm this as the underlying cause, since even asymptomatic cats will often test positive for either herpesvirus or calicivirus.
Here are some ways your vet can determine the cause of cat sneezing:
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Is There A Way To Treat A Sneezing Cat
How to Treat a Sneezing Cat With a Home Remedy Pay attention to when your cat sneezes the most. Where is she when shes sneezing? Clean your house thoroughly. If your pet is allergic to household dust, a little extra cleaning can help reduce the symptoms. Change the litter. Use a vaporizer to put moisture into the air.
Foreign Material And Inhaled Irritants
If a cat inhales a foreign material or irritant, their nasal tract may become severely irritated, leading to bloody sneezes.
Irritants or small objects that are inhaled through the nose and enter the nasal cavity can cause sneezing and even trauma to the sensitive tissue inside. The excessive sneezing and trauma can cause bleeding.
Some common foreign material that can be inhaled include dust, pollen, small pieces of grass or other plants, bugs, or other debris. These foreign objects must be retrieved through rhinoscopy, or video scoping up the nasal cavity.
Irritants that cats can be sensitive to when inhaling them include cigarette smoke, perfumes, sprays, cleaning agents, dust, mold, scented candles, and smoke from other sources.
Be cautious when using any of these materials around your cat.
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What It Means If A Cat Is Sneezing Blood
Cats will sneeze for a variety of reasons. Excess nasal discharge or fluid in the nasal passage can cause a tickle leading to a sneeze. Strong or new smells can make a cat sneeze, as can allergies, upper respiratory infections, or foreign material up the nose causing irritation. But what does it mean if your cat is sneezing blood?
A nosebleed, commonly termed epistaxis, is caused by the blood vessels in the nasal passage breaking, bleeding, and leaking out the nares, or nostril. The bleeding itself can cause some mild irritation leading to a bout of sneezing. If there is enough blood, it can cause a bit of a mess. There are many different diseases or disorders that can cause epistaxis leading to sneezing blood such as infections, inflammation, foreign bodies, or allergies.
It is important that, if the sneezing is persistent, if there is a large amount of blood, or if the cat is acting sick, that you bring the cat to your veterinarian for treatment right away.
When To Contact Your Vet
Sneezing from time to time is nothing to worry about, but you should contact your vet if your cat starts sneezing often.
Contact your vet for an urgent appointment if your cat cant stop sneezing, sneezes blood or seems painful.
Consider insuring your cat as soon as you get them, before any signs of illness start. This will ensure you have all the support you need to care for them.
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Inhalation Of A Foreign Object
Although it is less common in cats than in dogs, it is still possible for a cat to inhale a foreign object that could get stuck in her nose. This can block a cats airways and nasal passages. Even if the cat can still breathe normally through her mouth, her nose could be blocked by the object, and this could cause distress.
If this happens to your cat, she is likely to start sneezing to try to get rid of the object that is lodged in her nose. Try to look into her nose to see if you see the object. If so, take her to the vet right away.
Why Is My Cat Sneezing So Much
As already discussed, sneezing is a natural phenomenon in response to various agents and irritants. However, its always better to keep a check on your cats and notice what makes them do it, especially if its not occasional sneezing. To do so, you need to observe the patterns to rule out the leading cause, which may include any irritant in the air, infection, or any underlying condition.
For a keen observation, notice whether your cat sneezes all day long or at any particular time? Does it only happen in a specific room or during any activity at home? Further, do check whether it is due to an irritant such as home cleaner, perfume, or dust or not? So, just by observing all this, you may recognize the cause behind it. So, try to avoid it in front of your cat to protect it from further consequences.
However, suppose you notice associated symptoms such as discharge from the nose, eyes, or ear, loss of appetite, or laziness in your cat. In that case, this is something to worry about, and you definitely get a veterinary appointment for your cat.
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Chronic Upper Respiratory Conditions
Frequent and recurring sneezing in cats can also be due to chronic respiratory conditions. Chronic rhinitis is the most common and is usually the result of permanent damage to the immune system and nasal passages.
The symptoms of chronic upper respiratory conditions in cats are similar to upper respiratory infections and inflammation, but persist over weeks or months or in intervals of a few weeks. Conditions like chronic rhinitis can also lead to recurring bacterial infections, which can worsen the symptoms.
These symptoms may include:
Why Does My Cat Cough
Coughing can occur because of the overproduction of mucous, which drains down the throat. However, just because your cat coughs, does not mean they have an upper respiratory infection.
Like people, cats can cough for other reasons besides an infection, such as allergies or clearing something from the throat. If youre concerned about your cats cough, see your veterinarian who can help diagnose the problem and recommend appropriate treatment.
On a side note, you should know that cats dont cough because of hairballs. Hairballs develop in the digestive tract, not the respiratory system, and are vomited up. Both vomiting and coughing can cause cats to heave and make similar sounds, so it can be hard for cat parents to tell the difference.
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Why Do Cats Sneeze 6 Common Causes And When To See A Vet
Sneezing is as common in pets as it is in humans. But when does a simple sneeze that happens every once in a while, turn into a more significant problem? Sneezing is a part of life, and it is a way for our body to expel different types of irritants. While it isnt something that most cat owners are concerned about, there could be many different problems taking place inside your cat.
Why Is My Cat Bleeding From His Nose
There are many causes for a cats nosebleed ranging from mild to severe. Your cat might have a viral or fungal infection, an injury, cancer, allergies, or a clotting disorder. To find out why your cat is bleeding from its nose or sneezing blood, take your cat to see your veterinarian. Your vet will perform and exam and the necessary tests to find out the cause of the nosebleed and start the most appropriate treatment.
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When To Take A Stuffy Nose In Cats To The Vet
Since cat stuffy nose mostly results from feline colds, they tend to clear up within 14 days. Sneezing, sinus discharge and watery eyes especially from allergies are some likely accompanying symptoms. In some cases especially where the cause is a viral infection, the virus will wear off with time although the cat may keep getting recurring symptoms for months.
While the home remedy options discussed above are great treatment resources, they may not always work. This makes it important to learn when to see a vet over a cat blocked nose. Below are such instances:
- Where nothing seems to help revive the cats appetite
- In case the pet appears lethargic
- Severe breathing problems
- Open eye and mouth sores.
- Colored and blood tinged discharge
Be most observant when dealing with kittens as these tend to be most vulnerable to further complications such as pneumonia. Where you are not certain if the cat is okay, always have it checked by the vet so that the appropriate medicine can be prescribed to stop the cat runny nose.