Why is my cat coughing or sneezing?  Possible symptoms and treatment

Why Is My Cat Coughing Or Sneezing? Possible Symptoms And Treatment

In cats, persistent coughing and sneezing beyond 72 hours justify a consultation with the veterinarian because they can be of various origins. Treatment should be tailored to the cause. In some cases, it can be serious for the animal. Symptoms associated with coughing or sneezing should therefore also be monitored and communicated to the practitioner. Sometimes a cough can even warrant emergency treatment. Let’s do a check in.

Coughs And Sneezes In Cats: The Causes

Coughing and sneezing are quite normal and necessary since they help evacuate unwanted particles as well as phlegm. On the other hand, when they appear several times a day, in an intense way, and that they extend beyond three days, we can no longer consider that they are normal. It is necessary to identify the cause which can be:

    • Of the hairballs ingested in large quantities: this is the case in long-haired cats or even during moulting in short-haired cats. The animal’s throat is completely irritated, and its cough is dry.
    • A pharyngitis : it is exactly the same as with his master. The cat has caught a cold and there he is coughing in fits and starts.
    • A laryngitis : the cat has coughing fits that are sometimes heavy, he seems completely flat, and his meows, for once, are completely inaudible. His vocal cords are definitely in the center of a good inflammation.
    • A rhinitis : the kitty has a runny nose and he sneezes constantly. His eyes are bright.
    • A allergy dust or pollen: this is relatively rare in cats, but it requires a short visit to the veterinarian.
    • THE Coryza : a particular virus of which the cat is undoubtedly carrying since its birth has just been reactivated. This is Coryza, a very contagious disease that is found more frequently in cat communities since they infect each other. But even if the kitty lives alone with his masters, he can also suffer from Coryza.
    • A chronic pathology : more common in older cats, certain diseases are the cause of a cough that has been raging for some time now and can sometimes be virulent. These pathologies are for example chronic bronchitis, asthma, cardiac insufficiency and respiratory insufficiency. We don’t wait any longer to consult the veterinarian!
    • A foreign body responsible :
        • sneezing: the cat may have nasal polyps, a flower petal or a blade of grass in a nostril.


        • a dry cough: a bone stuck in its throat, a small part of a toy swallowed askew are all foreign bodies that can obstruct the animal’s respiratory tract. In this case, he coughs and has difficulty swallowing. It’s a case of absolute urgency because it can be serious.


A rarer cause is sometimes the cause of coughing and sneezing in cats with congenital malformations. This is the case of cracking of the palate, which is called cleft palate.

Note Any Associated Symptoms And Consult A Veterinarian

It is very important to be attentive to your cat when he coughs or sneezes and to note the various associated symptoms, their intensity and their seniority. This makes it possible to draw up a fairly complete report to the veterinarian. Regurgitation or vomiting, nasal wheezing on breathing, tearing, shortness of breath, difficult breathing, weight loss, high fever, nosebleeds: the associated symptoms are very revealing, at least for the veterinarian.

How To Treat Coughing And Sneezing In Cats?

Since there are many causes for these manifestations, it is necessary that the cat be examined by the veterinarian. To make a diagnosis with certainty, the practitioner may find it useful to carry out additional examinations (blood test, X-ray, ultrasound, etc.). The treatment prescribed will therefore depend on the results obtained and the disease from which the little feline suffers.

We do not treat a viral or bacterial disease in the same way as an allergy or a cleft palate! In the first cases, antibiotic treatment or an antihistamine is sufficient, while in the latter case, surgery is required. Similarly, if the cat has a chronic pathology such as heart failure, the care protocol is long and the animal requires increased monitoring.

Cat Coughing Or Sneezing: No Self-Medication!

Even if one is sure that the coughing and/or sneezing is due to a severe cold snap, one should never use human medicine thinking that it will cure the cat. It’s an attitude totally irresponsible the consequences of which can be extremely serious. In the same way, we do not try to clean our nostrils with a cotton swab. You just have to rely on the veterinarian.

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