Seeing your small kitten sneezing for the first time is an adorable sight to spectate, especially how daintily it does it, scrunching its face upwards and all. However, when this happens way too many times not to cause worry, maybe it’s time to put all cuteness to the side and contact your local vet.
Possible reasons why your Kitten is Sneezing
Sneezing in animals, like human beings, is commonly related to issues with the respiratory system. It is important to take your cat to the vet once the sneezing becomes a regular occurrence but before that, here are some possible reasons why your kitten has got the sneeze as well as ways you can fix it.
Your cat may be sneezing because she picked up an unfamiliar smell from the air, given that cats have one of the most sensitive senses of smell even at a young age. Cats get irritated by smells like citrus, spices. Strong perfume and certain plants. Some scents may make them sneeze if they interfere with their nasal passages or if they are toxic.
Asthma and allergies
Feline asthma is more common in adult cats than in kittens, but this does not mean your small kitten is not susceptible to it. Symptoms to look out for include persistent coughs and/or sneezes as well as difficulty in breathing. The symptoms are more severe during cold seasons and tend to be milder when your kitten goes outdoors more frequently. Just like humans, asthma in cats can be triggered in the air such as pollen, dust mites, or certain plants.
Upper Respiratory Infections
URIs are sometimes referred to as “cat flu” or “common cold” and could be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or a mix of pathogens. Kittens are more prone to URIs if they were taken from a high-density area like a shelter or if they came from outside. Take note that these infections are very contagious.
Apart from sneezes, to know if your kitten is suffering from a URI, look out for the following symptoms:
- Nasal discharge that could be clear or yellow/greenish/bloody in severe cases
- Appetite loss
- Mouth or tongue ulcers
- Runny eyes
- Large lymph nodes
- Difficulty in breathing
Symptoms of URIs usually last a week and go away on their own but for more severe cases, they could last longer, even going on and off for the rest of your cat’s nine lives. If you see these symptoms,
URIs can cause loss of sense of smell and taste in cats, which in turn cause appetite loss. You can encourage your kitten to eat by warming meaty foods in the microwave to enhance the aroma. Soothe your cat’s nasal passages by using a humidifier. Alternatively, you could
This refers to inflammation of the sinuses and can either be caused by URIs or happen on their own. Things like cigarette smoke, pollen, cleaning products, perfume, and mold can irritate the delicate lining of the nasal passages. Symptoms of Rhinitis resemble those of URIs, with the most common ones being nasal discharge and sneezing. Your veterinarian will take a swab for testing if Rhinitis is suspect in your kitten’s system.
Note that sinus inflammation can lead to permanent damage of the nasal passages if prolonged, which is why you need to call your vet promptly after you notice these symptoms. Chronic rhinitis in cats is usually accompanied by a persistent sniffle and gives way to secondary respiratory illnesses.
Although rare, cancer of the nose and sinuses can cause sneezing in animals. However, cats are more prone to this than dogs. The symptoms are quite similar to those of URIs and only become severe when the cancer is at a late stage. It is important to seek medical attention once you notice any symptoms of an infection before it becomes serious. However, sure symptoms that are a sign of cancer include:
- Collapse or painting
- Vision loss
- Difficulty walking
- Bulging eyes
A cat is more likely to suffer from nose or sinus cancer if they are male and if they are older. Other risk factors include age, pollutant and chemical exposure, and living with a smoker. Moreover, cancer can move to the sinuses or nose if it was already present in other parts of the body.
Your cat may be having problems with her teeth, which sometimes causes inflammation and swelling that affects the sinuses. The explanation for this is that the roots are located close to the sinuses. In the event of a tooth infection or inflammation, drainage into the sinuses can occur and cause your kitten to sneeze. If you might be suspecting that your cat has a dental problem, look out for symptoms such as:
- Bad breath
- Tooth discoloration,
- Swollen or bleeding gums,
- Loose or missing teeth
- Difficulty eating
- Weight loss
Contact your family vet if you notice such symptoms so that your kitten’s dental health can be restored.
Foreign bodies and airborne irritants
Just like humans, dust and foreign particles in the air can cause your kitten to sneeze because they irritate the nasal passages. Cats who are pre-disposed to asthma and dust allergies Dust could be lodged inside the fabric of your carpet and this is why you should vacuum it and dry-clean it regularly, even for the sake of your respiratory system.
Second-hand smoke from cigarettes, tobacco, or marijuana may not be good for your kitten’s lungs and may cause her to sneeze. If you do smoke and have a pet kitten, I would suggest doing so in an open area like your balcony or any other place where your kitten cannot inhale second-hand smoke.
Some vaccines, especially those used to prevent URIs, may cause your kitten to sneeze after administration. The good thing is that sneezing will go away on its own after a few days.
In conclusion, there is a variety of reasons why your kitten has got the sneeze, some more complicated than others. If you have tried all home remedies but your kitten just cannot stop sneezing, you should take her to your local vet, who will conduct further tests and diagnose the problem.
If you want to know more about cats, you can find more content here: What are the Smells That Cats Hate?, What cat breeds have long hair?, How Big Does a Bengal Cat get?, What to Do if Your Cat Has Bloody Stools, What are the Symptoms of Worms in Cats?, Names For Persian Cats, Can cats eat chocolate mousse?, Gray Cat Names, Unique Names For Girl Cats, Can Cats Eat Eggs?