Cats sneeze due to bacterial, viral and fungal infections and also due to environmental pollutants and allergens, explains WebMD. Most feline sneezing is harmless, but frequent and prolonged sneezing warrants veterinary attention.
The feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus are common viral infections that cause feline sneezing, reports WebMD. While the viruses themselves do not cause sneezing, they lead to a weakened immune system and secondary bacterial infections. Secondary infections are typically responsive to antibiotics. Feline immunodeficiency virus, or FIV, is a serious viral infection in cats that weakens the immune system. Medical attention is essential in treating FIV.
Bordetella is a common bacterial infection in cats and other animals that causes sneezing and coughing, according to International Cat Care. It is most common in shelter cats or in situations in which animals live in close proximity to one another. Bordetella responds well to antibiotics but can lead to pneumonia.
Infrequent sneezing often results from environmental factors. Many of the same allergens that affect humans affect cats as well, such as mold, pollen, dust, smoke and perfumes. Dust from cat litter is a common cause of feline sneezing, according to WebMD. Nasal medications and drainage from an infected tooth are other potential causes for sneezing in cats.