Why Does my Cat Keep Sneezing or Coughing? - PetFirst
Why is my cat sneezing or coughing so much? Cats can sneeze or cough due to many things, including allergies. If you are worried about your cat sneezing, talk to your vet.
Pet Care & Health

Why Does my Cat Keep Sneezing or Coughing?

by MetLife Pet Insurance
1 month ago

Is your cat sneezing a lot? As cute as that little “achoo” might be, it’s important to make sure there aren’t any underlying health issues causing these problems.  

Here are some reasons why your cat might be sneezing or coughing, and what you can do about it.  

Why Is My Cat Sneezing? 

Your cat could be sneezing for several different reasons. For example, one reason your cat might be sneezing is because he or she has some dust up their nose. Another reason could be a response to certain cleaning products or air fresheners.1 

There are also a few different viruses that can cause upper respiratory infections in cats, including Feline Herpesvirus Type-1 and Feline Calicivirus. Bacteria like Bordetella bronchiseptica and Chlamydophila felis can also lead to infections.2 Other than sneezing or coughing, other symptoms of an upper respiratory infection in your cat might include nasal congestion, conjunctivitis (inflamed eyes), and discharge from the nose or eyes.3 

An occasional cat sneeze likely isn’t cause for concern, but if your cat is sneezing frequently, sneezing blood, or exhibiting additional symptoms, it probably calls for a trip to the vet. (An upper respiratory infection can cost as much as $219 per visit.4 Worried about vet bills? Pet insurance can help.) 

Why Is My Cat Coughing? 

Coughing in cats can be caused by many things, including a lower respiratory infection (such as bronchitis,) or even hairballs.5  Coughing might also be caused by allergies, heartworms, or chest tumors. A few coughs here and there are likely no cause for worry, but if the cough is severe, or if it continues for several days, you may need to see your veterinarian.  

Does My Cat Have Allergies? 

Cats can have allergies just like humans. Some common symptoms of allergies in cats can include:6

  • Sneezing or coughing 
  • Vomiting or diarrhea 
  • Snoring 
  • Itchy eyes 
  • Ear infections 
  • Scratching 
  • Red or dry skin 
  • Excessive licking  

Cats can also be allergic to substances in their environment, such as pollen, mold, or dust.  Allergies to certain foods may also develop in cats, as well as allergic reactions to flea bites. Your vet may be able to figure out if your cat has allergies and, if so, what your cat is allergic to.  

What’s the Bottom Line? 

If you’re concerned about your cat sneezing or coughing, make an appointment with your veterinarian.  

Remember, pet insurance may be able to help offset the cost of any covered and approved medical expenses2. You can get a free quote for your pet today.   

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 


1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions. 

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.  

1. My Cat Is Coughing & Sneezing, What Could Be Wrong? , Old Farm Vet

2. Feline Upper Respiratory Infection, VCA Hospitals, Cheryl Yuill, DVM, MSc, CVH

3. Cat Upper Respiratory Infection Symptoms and Treatments, WebMD

4. Cat Insurance, MetLife Pet Insurance 

5. Coughing in Cats, VCA Hospitals, Malcolm Weir, DVM, MSC, MPH; Ernest Ward, DVM

 6. Cat Allergies: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, Diagnosis, WebMD

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