The Great Catnip Debate: Is it Behind Your Cat’s Sneezing Spree?

Picture this: Your fluffy friend sniffs a bit of catnip, and suddenly a sneeze echoes through the room. It's a curious sight, isn't it?

Is Catnip to blame for this feline sneeze fest? Before we dive headfirst into this intriguing topic, take a moment and ask yourself, does catnip really make cats sneeze?

If you've found yourself scratching your head over this question, you're in the right place.

The Relationship Between Catnip & Feline Sneezes

Smelling catnip can make your cats ecstatic and stress-free.

Your fur kid will indulge in its fragrance and will begin to roll around on this pleasant weed.

But as they sniff and lick the catnip, they wrinkle their nose and let out a sneeze three times in a row.

This might make you wonder if the catnip is the culprit. We've consulted the pet experts, and here's the answer.

Yes, catnip can make cats sneeze. Its aromatic scent and nepetalactone substance do not cause sneezing, though.

Potential triggers include a catnip tickle on your cat's nose or dried catnip particles that get stuck in their nasal passage.

Continue reading to learn more about how catnip and other factors make your cat sneeze. We'll also cover what to do with a sneezing cat and when to worry about this instinctive reflex of your feline pet.

sneezing cat close up photo. Does Catnip Make Cats Sneeze

Catnip And Cat Sneezes

Dried loose catnip can tickle the nostrils of your cat, thus causing a reflexive sneeze. This sneeze is like scratching a tickle or an itch in their nose.

They might sneeze for a few minutes as they try to get rid of the ticklish sensation in their nasal cavity.

On the other hand, a dried catnip particle stuck in their nasal passage could also make them sneeze.

Sneezing usually helps to remove the catnip piece, but if it remains stuck it could cause a nasal infection.

Does Catnip Make Cats Sneeze

To prevent any infection, gently clean your cat's nose with cotton swabs or a clean cloth.

But if your cat's sneezing is recurring, you should take a trip to your veterinarian.

Alternative Catnip Options: Exploring Fresh Catnip, Sprays, & Oils

Sometimes, dried catnip can feel like a messy hassle. But don't worry - there are plenty of alternatives to keep your feline friend happy.

Fresh catnip, for example, offers a strong and exciting scent for your cat. It's the perfect substitute for the dried variety. And guess what?

It's easy to grow at home, adding a touch of green to your decor while satisfying your kitty's love for catnip.

Catnip sprays offer another practical choice. Easy to use and mess-free, these sprays work wonders.

You can spritz it on your cat's toys, bedding, or scratching post, turning anything into a delightful catnip haven.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

For those seeking a concentrated, lasting aroma, catnip essential oil could be your best bet.

A small dab on a toy or a scratching post can stimulate hours of playful antics from your furry friend. Just remember, a little goes a long way.

Perhaps you'd like the ease of dried catnip without the cleanup. Consider getting a catnip-filled toy. Your cat gets the thrill of the scent, and you avoid the mess. It's a win-win!

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Whichever route you choose, your cat is sure to thank you with endless purrs and playful antics.

Beyond Catnip: Environmental Factors Triggering Cat Sneezes

Your cat's sneezing may not be directly related to catnip. Underlying factors like dust, mold, and scented products could also be the irritants to blame.

You should be able to tell if your cat's sneezing is not directly linked to catnip.

Just imagine, you sprinkled dried catnip on your floor and your furball suddenly sneezes.

You already cleaned up the catnip mess, but your kitty still randomly sneezes while playing around your house.

After a sneeze, in that case, check your cat's surrounding area. Could there be dusty surfaces or excess litter dust?

Or perhaps there are certain cat toys and areas that accumulated mold. Lastly, could fragrant candles be the source of irritation?

Is Catnip Allergy a Myth or Reality?

There is no definite answer to this question. Pet experts say that a low percentage of cats are allergic to catnip.

And so, they advise that you observe your feline pet's first interaction with catnip. If they don't have a negative reaction, then it's all good!

On the other hand, there are fur parents who claim that a cat's allergy has nothing to do with catnip.

One thing to be cautious of is catnip overdose, which can be harmful, especially if it leads to diarrhea and vomiting in your cats.

Helping Your Sneezing Cat: Remedies & Preventions

Poor sick kitten with an infection and discharge

To ease your cat's sneezing discomfort, here are home remedies for you to try:

  • Set up a steamy bathroom for your cat.
  • Add apple cider vinegar to your cat's diet.
  • Clean their nose with a cloth or some cotton soaked in lukewarm water.

We have also listed below tips that can help you combat allergies and mitigate dust:

  • Establish cleaning routines like vacuum cleaning, changing your sheets often, getting rid of clutter, etc.
  • Stop using air fresheners, scented laundry detergents, and perfumes.
  • Stop smoking inside the house.
  • Be careful with any disinfectants you use at home.
  • Thoroughly rinse your kitty's litter box.
  • Check your kitty's litter. 

Using Benadryl for Feline Sneezes: Dosage and Precautions

Yes, you can give Benadryl to your cat. It's approved by animal health experts, and it can relieve your cat’s upper respiratory symptoms such as sneezing.

However, to prevent overdose, it’s important to adhere to the dosage carefully.

The preferred dose is 1 mg of Benadryl per pound of your cat’s weight every 8 to 12 hours. You can go the route of liquid (like the children’s liquid) or the liquid Benadryl recommended by your veterinarian.

Though this antihistamine is generally safe for felines, it could be harmful only to those with certain health conditions.

They should not be given Benadryl to avoid adverse reactions.

An overdose of Benadryl for cats is also as harmful—it can cause serious side effects or even death.

Thus, if you have concerns or doubts about giving your cat Benadryl, consulting your veterinarian is the best thing to do.

Deciphering Multiple Cat Sneezes: Is It Just A Quirk Or A Cause For Concern?

Sure, a cat's sneeze can tug at your heartstrings with its adorable sound. Yet, when it turns into a recurring event, it's time to take notice.

Continuous sneezing might point to more significant health issues.

Here are possible reasons for your cat’s repetitive sneezing:

Inflammation: More Than Just a Seasonal Sniffle?

Inflammation, often due to allergies or bacterial infections, can provoke your cat's sneezing.

Knowing the allergens that affect your cat is crucial in averting sneezing spells. Home remedies can provide temporary relief.

But, if the sneezing persists, visiting your vet can provide a comprehensive understanding and appropriate treatments.

Foreign Matter: An Uninvited Guest

Usually, small particles that are inhaled by your cat can be quickly removed by sneezing. However, larger objects may accidentally get stuck.

The cat will continue to sneeze and dislodge the foreign body. If there’s something still stuck in your cat’s nose, let a veterinarian take care of it.

Aside from inflammation and foreign materials, there are other reasons that may cause repetitive sneezing.

But these things are accompanied by different symptoms that may be far more alarming. Keep reading below to learn more about the details.

When Should You Seek a Vet? Sneezing and Associated Red Flags

A random sneeze from your cat is normal and is not a real cause for alarm.

But if your cat sneezes from time to time, or other symptoms are evident along with sneezing, you may need to consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Watch out for these potential health implications of sneezing and signs that it's time to make an appointment with your veterinarian:

1. Upper Respiratory Infections

Synonymous with "common cold" or "cat flu," though less common, URIs in cats can be bacterial, viral, or even fungal.

  • Symptoms: continuous sneezing for several hours or days, discharge from the nose or eyes, lethargy or fever, recurrent coughing or swallowing, dehydration, and/or decrease of appetite.

2. Nasal And Sinus Problems

These health concerns refer to inflammatory conditions like rhinitis and sinusitis. In cats, these two conditions often occur together, termed "rhinosinusitis," which is a common upper respiratory complication.

  • Symptoms: pawing at the face, discharge from the eyes, nasal discharge, difficulty in breathing, a lump on the bridge of the nose, and reverse sneezing.

3. Chronic Upper Respiratory Conditions

These conditions could also be the causes of continuous sneezing in cats, chronic rhinitis being the most common.

  • Symptoms: discharge from one or both eyes, sneezing fits, nasal congestion, runny nose, yellow nasal discharge, difficulty swallowing, drooling, and loss of appetite.

Aside from the health implications above, there remain a number of probable conditions that aren't discussed here in detail.

One is feline leukemia. Sneezing could also be an early sign of this fatal disease.

As such, it's critical to monitor your cat's health from time to time.

If you think their symptoms are alarming and difficult to diagnose, you should have them checked by a veterinarian as early as possible to keep away from more serious health problems.

Sneezing cat close-up. A cat's head with an open mouth and visible teeth. Does Catnip Make Cats Sneeze

Closing Remarks: Deciphering The Catnip & Sneezing Connection

Catnip, especially dried, can make your cat sneeze. It’s either a nose tickle or dried catnip stuck in the nasal passage that causes them to sneeze.

Other environmental factors like dust, mold, and scented products may also trigger your cat's innate sneezing reflex.

If you want to learn more about catnip and catnip alternatives, check out these posts:

3 Catnip Alternatives To Consider

Is Catnip Essential Oil Safe For Cats?

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