Due to congenital issues with facial structure, called brachycephaly, Persian cats are more likely to sneeze than other cats. These cats have a significantly shortened nasal passage, elongated soft palate, and a bunched-up nose similar to the Pug dog breed.
Due to this condition, Persian cats are more susceptible to upper respiratory infections, which will increase sneezing. Symptoms of upper respiratory infections range from mild sneezing to severe health issues. However, this isn’t the only reason Persian cats may sneeze more than other cats. We’ll look at Brachycephalic Syndrome and several other things that may cause your Persian cat to sneeze.
What is Brachycephalic Syndrome?
Brachycephalic syndrome can involve several upper airway abnormalities. Cats with this health have elongated soft palates, stenotic nares, and everted laryngeal saccules. These cats can also have narrowed tracheas or hypoplastic tracheas. All of these obstruct normal airflow.
Persian cats that develop brachycephalic syndrome have shortened skull bones and short, pushed-in noses. Brachycephalic comes from brachy, meaning shortened, and cephalic, meaning head. It’s this appearance that leads to Persian cats’ health issues. With the shortened nasal passages, it develops breathing problems and other health issues. Himalayans and Burmese cats are also prone to the problem of having brachycephalic faces.
Treatment of Brachycephalic Syndrome in Cats
Treatment of brachycephalic airway syndrome should start immediately because of the detrimental effects on the cat’s health and life. If the cat is overweight, the vet may want to see if the cat can lose the unneeded weight. If the cat can lose extra weight, they can move and breathe more easily.
The vet may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS) medications to the Persian cat, giving them short-term relief from respiratory distress and airway inflammation. Corticosteroids can provide the cat with the same type of relief from its symptoms.
Surgery is the best option to help the cat get permanent relief. If your cat has surgery, the vet can widen the cat’s nostrils by removing a small wedge of tissue, shorten the soft palate for easier breathing, and remove any turned-out laryngeal sacs to open the cat’s airway. That may help with the issue of your Persian cat sneezing more than necessary.
Other Causes of Sneezing in Persian Cats
Your Persian cat may be more susceptible to the dust that can accumulate in your home. Even the most clean homes can have dust. If your Persian cat sneezes often, you may want to dust more thoroughly or often and vacuum regularly. Perhaps run an air purifier that will help keep dust in the home at a minimum. Cat boxes can also be a culprit of dust. Some cat litter is dusty. You may need to change cat litter to help your Persian.
Dust mites are tiny insects that can cause allergies in your Persian cat. Their feces and enzymes in their hard shells can cause many symptoms in your Persian cat, including sneezing. There are remedies for cats and humans to eliminate dust mites.
Along with dust, there can be pollen stirred up in the air. Just like humans, Persian cats can be allergic to this pollen. Plants bloom, and the blooms make pollen, which can blow around in the wind. If your Persian cat is sensitive to this, it can make them sneeze.
Upper Respiratory Infection
The feline herpesvirus and the feline calicivirus cause upper respiratory infections in Persian cats. There are other illnesses, including feline chlamydiosis, mycoplasma, and Bordetella. Some cats may get infected with more than one respiratory infection virus at a time.
Feline herpesvirus – The feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1) affects the upper respiratory tract and the eye’s structures. FHV-1 is cats’ most common viral cause of sneezing and nasal discharge. Changes to eye structure are also associated with feline herpes infection.
Feline calicivirus – Feline calicivirus is a viral pathogen. This infection resembles a cold, but severe infections involving the lungs, joints, and other organs can occur.
Feline chlamydiosis – Chlamydiosis is a chronic bacterial respiratory infection caused by the Chlamydia psittaci bacterium. Cats that develop this infection can exhibit watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. With treatment, the prognosis is favorable.
Mycoplasma – Mycoplasma, acholeplasma, t-mycoplasma, and ureaplasma are three types of anaerobic bacterial parasitic microorganisms that can infect the body.
Mycoplasmosis is the general medical name for a disease caused by one of these agents. These bacteria are capable of living and growing even without the presence of oxygen and can self-produce.
Mycoplasma lacks a proper cell wall, making it capable of assuming a variety of shapes and spreading into different systems throughout the body, from the respiratory tract, where they can cause pneumonia, to the urinary tract.
Bordetella – Bordetellosis is a contagious bacterial disease of cats that primarily causes upper respiratory tract abnormalities. Easily spread in kennels, bordetellosis is most severe in young kittens (less than six weeks old) and kittens living in dirty conditions. However, any cat with a pre-existing airway disease is susceptible to Bordetellosis, no matter how old.
These infections can all be treated by a veterinarian.
If dust, allergies, and infection have been ruled out, your vet may want to check your Persian cat for nasal polyps or tumors. If your Persian cat has either of these, your vet may want to remove them and have them biopsied to rule out nose cancer. Another name for nose cancer is nasal adenocarcinoma.
Common Symptoms of nose cancer in your Persian cat are excessive sneezing, nasal discharge, bloody discharge, increased tear production, swollen or deformed-looking nose, and poor appetite.
Your vet can diagnose nose cancer with X-rays of the skull, CT, rhinoscopy or endoscopic exam of the nose), MRI, and nasal biopsies.
Once nose cancer is diagnosed, the treatment options are surgical removal, if possible, radiation, chemotherapy, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications for palliative care.
Is it Bad if Your Cat Sneezes a Lot?
As mentioned above, your cat’s sneezing can often be a symptom of an upper respiratory infection. The occasional sneeze is not a concern, but if your cat is constantly sneezing and it seems to bother them or other symptoms like runny noses and eyes are present, it is worth seeking a veterinarian’s advice and help.
Persian cats can be more prone to sneezing due to their brachycephalic faces. Understanding this condition will allow Persian cat owners to seek the advice of a veterinarian if their Persian cat is sneezing more than usual. Upper respiratory infections and nose cancer are the most severe results of your Persian cat sneezing a lot. However, your cat can survive and live long, happy lives with veterinary care. Hopefully, we’ve covered some of the most prominent issues that cause sneezing in your Persian cat. Have you had to deal with excess sneezing in your Persian cat? What was the result of this? Was it something easy to remedy, or was it something more severe that needed more care? Please leave us a comment.