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Something to sneeze at?Something to sneeze at?

Like humans, cats need to clear their nasal passages of irritants like dust or stray hair. So the occasional sneeze is to be expected. But cats that sneeze in fits—where one sneeze is followed by several more—or sneeze frequently over the course of several days may need to have the cause examined.

The culprit could be allergies, especially if the sneezes are accompanied by a running nose or watering eyes. If you suspect allergies, consult your veterinarian.

Your cat's sneezing could also be caused by an ongoing irritant in your home: cigarette smoke, some household cleansers, dust, roaches or rodents. Take note of when the sneezing occurs and work to eliminate your house of any suspected irritants.

If your cat is 3 years old or older and the sneeze is accompanied by smelly breath, there may be an underlying dental problem. The most common issues are infections and gum disease—consult your veterinarian about your cat’s dental health.

Sneezing paired with green mucous around the nose or eyes signals the presence of a virus or bacteria. Again, consult with your veterinarian, who can prescribe an antibiotic if needed.

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