Donate Sponsor

If your cat keeps sneezing a lot, there are several possible causes. Find out why cats sneeze and when you should worry about your cat sneezing  

Cats can sneeze just like humans do, and the occasional sneeze is nothing to worry about – it’s likely that something has just irritated the inside of their nose and the sneezing will resolve on its own. However, if your cat is sneezing a lot (for example, regularly for more than a couple of days) or the sneezing is accompanied by nasal discharge/snot that is thick and either green, brown, yellow or bloody, then you should speak with your vet to find a cause. 

brown tabby-and-white cat wearing red collar with their mouth open

Causes of sneezing in cats 

Do cats get colds?

Cats can’t catch human colds, but they can get cat flu which is a similar illness with similar symptoms (for example, sneezing, coughing, runny nose and eyes, drooling, fever, lethargic, loss of appetite). It’s spread by cats coughing and sneezing, and the cats most likely to be worse affected are young kittens, elderly cats and those with weakened immune systems. There is no cure for cat flu, but the symptoms can be treated by your vet and will often get better within one to two weeks. You can also get your cat vaccinated to prevent them from being severely affected by cat flu. Find out more about cat flu. 

Why is my cat sneezing blood?

There could be lots of different reasons why your cat is sneezing blood:

If you notice any blood in your cat’s snot, speak to your vet urgently to find out the cause and get it treated. 

light ginger tabby cat looking at camera with eyes wide and ears pricked up

How can you make a cat sneeze to clear their nose?

If you think your cat might have something stuck up their nose, don’t try removing it yourself or try making them sneeze to remove it, as this could cause more damage. Instead, take them to the vet who will be able to remove it safely. 

Is sneezing in cats contagious to humans?

The common causes of sneezing in cats, including cat flu, are not contagious to humans, so there is usually nothing to worry about if a cat sneezes on you. There are some cat illnesses that cause sneezing and can be caught by humans, but these are very rare. If a cat does sneeze on you, particularly an unknown cat, it’s best to wash the area with soap and water, and consult your doctor if you do start to feel unwell. 

Could my cat have COVID-19 if they are sneezing?

There is some evidence that cats can catch COVID-19 from an infected human, but it’s extremely rare. If they do catch the virus, sneezing can be a symptom but cats usually have no symptoms or very mild symptoms and recover quickly. The chances of cats spreading COVID-19 are very low, and humans are much more likely to catch it from other humans. If you have COVID-19, you can reduce the risk of giving it to your cat by limiting contact with them as much as possible while you’re sick. If you think your cat might have COVID-19, discuss this with your vet. 

What is reverse sneezing?

Reverse sneezing is when a dog rapidly sucks in air though their nose causing a loud snorting noise. It helps them to clear their nostrils of any irritants and is usually completely harmless. Reverse sneezing is not something that cats typically do. Cats are more likely to do a normal sneeze if they have irritants in their nose. 

Find a Cat
About us