Many Possible Causes For A Kitten Sneezing
A kitten sneezing can be cute when you first witness it. Many animals sneeze. Dogs do, horses do, and of course people do. A sneeze is usually normal, and performs a useful function, that of clearing out the nasal passages. A kitten sneezing is usually no cause for concern.
Where one might be concerned is if the sneezing is frequent, violent, or appears to be chronic. Whatever is causing frequent sneezing needs to be investigated, if for no other reason that the kitten may be experiencing some distress or discomfort. In rather rare cases, frequent sneezing may be a symptom of a serious underlying condition, which requires treatment, perhaps immediate treatment.
Cat Flu - Although cats and kittens don't have exactly the same diseases we humans have, they have some which are quite similar. If we have the flu, the virus causing it, will not normally affect a cat. They have their own flu viruses. Feline flu, or cat flu, can cause a good deal of sneezing, along with other symptoms, and while the cat may not be feeling well, cat flu is seldom fatal, and most cats recover completely in a short time. Cat flu, while very contagious among cats, does not affect humans. So if you have a kitten sneezing because it has cat flu, it's perfectly safe to pick it up and handle it. The sneezing isn't actually caused by the flu virus, but by damage and irritation done by the virus to the mucous membranes in the nasal passages.
Allergies usually Not An Issue - Very often when humans sneeze it is because of an allergy. Cats can have allergies, but that is quite rare. Cats can however have fits of sneezing because of dust or pollen in the air, or the presence of certain chemicals. This isn't an allergic reaction, but simply irritation of the cat's nose or throat due to presence of a foreign substance. A kitten for example may begin sneezing when in its litter box. It probably is not allergic to anything in the litter, but the smell or presence of dust may cause the kitten to sneeze. Changing the brand of litter often takes care of this situation. One may have to do this gradually, or the kitten may stop using the litter box altogether.
Sneezing Blood – Occasionally, when a kitten sneezes it may be accompanied by blood. As alarming as this may sound, in most cases there isn't anything seriously wrong with the kitten. When we sneeze violently, we can damage or break a blood vessel and get a nose bleed as a result. A kitten can do the same, and this is usually what has happened when blood accompanies the sneeze. Blood can also result from damage caused to the nasal passage from something other than the sneeze itself, such as an upper respiratory infection. If sneezing with blood continues for any length of time, a veterinarian should be consulted. There is the possibility that the bleeding could be the result of either a cancer in the sinus or nasal passages, or that the cat is suffering from cat leukemia.
Worst Case Conditions - Cat leukemia and feline herpes are two conditions which can cause kitten sneezing. Both are incurable diseases, but fortunately, both are treatable, at least to the extent that the affected kitten may still lead a long and quality life. Treatment can at least decrease the chance of secondary problems or infections.
Additional Reasons For Sneezing - Other reasons behind kitten sneezing have to do with the kitten’s natural behavior, because of its breed, or for a seemingly unrelated condition. Kittens, like beagles and other hounds, do a great deal of exploring with their noses. Consequently, they are forever drawing foreign particles into their nasal passages. When these substances cause irritation, they are often discharged through a sneeze or two, sometimes more. Some breeds, like Persians, have flat faces, and constrictive nasal passages. These breeds are more susceptible to sinus problems and to sneezing in general, Finally, if a cat or kitten has a dental problem, such as a tooth abscess, the infection can often work its way into the nasal passages, irritating them, and causing sneezing.
Summary - In summary, a single, or a few sneezes are usually quite normal. If there is persistent sneezing, the underlying cause is usually nothing too serious, but should be looked into for the comfort of the kitten if for no other reason. In rare cases, the cause behind a kitten sneezing could be something serious.