Why Does My Cat Meow When I Sneeze? Know These Reasons

We all love a bewildering reaction from our cats as they can range from simple meowing to running away as fast they can.

These reactions can include origin from a wide range of activities as well. You may never know how a cat might react to a particular object or action.

You can startle the cat with absolutely anything, and the reaction is rewarding most of the time. If you have owned a cat, you must have seen the wide variety of reactions that the cats can have when you sneeze loudly.

The cat can meow in your direction, or it can come towards you to attack. So, in this article, we will explore one such particular reaction to your sneezing.

We will look for all the possible explanations for their meowing and take a short overview of some other reactions that the cats can show in a similar situation. Let us start by finding all the reasons behind the meowing.

Why Does My Cat Meow When I Sneeze?

It is next to impossible to know what is going on inside their mind. So, we cannot give a fundamental reason behind the meowing, but we can always speculate the possibilities.

Here, we will give you ten possible reasons why your cat meows when you sneeze. Let’s explore them one by one:

An Autonomous Response:

All animals have autonomous responses to protect themselves from any harm. For example, humans scream when they are scared from behind.

You can expect a similar reaction in cats as well.

When you sneeze loudly, cats get startled, and they can choose from a plethora of reactions—meowing is one such reaction. They can also jump or run to another room or away from you when you sneeze.


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A Sound Of Concern:

It is human nature to look out for the person who had a mighty sneeze and ask if they are alright. So, you can expect a similar reaction for the cats as well.

You have to understand the cats are intelligent creatures. So, they can pick up behavioral traits from other humans as well.

They may have seen someone react to your sneezes by saying something in return, and the cats want to do the same. It is probably their way of saying, “Are you alright, human?”

A Cute Act Of Mimicking:

Many cats can be more talkative than most of the humans around. Cats like Maine Coon, Siamese, Ragdoll belong to such a category of cats.

They need a reason to respond to you as they are naturally quite responsive as a cat. When you sneeze, it can just seem that you are trying to talk to the cat in some way.

So, the cat is probably responding to your tries at communicating by making sounds of its own. It is probably one of the cutest ways of looking at this particular situation.


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A Sweet Gesture:

It is a common practice to respond with a “bless you” when someone sneezes near you. You can always consider your cat to be a responsible human and think that they are saying “bless you” whenever you sneeze.

Experts think that it is incredibly natural to project one’s thoughts on their pets.

So, expecting such a sweet gesture from your cat to respond in such a fashion. They may be limited in their communication methods, but it does not restrict them from responding entirely.

A Gesture Of Annoyance:

Cats get startled when you make a loud sound in their vicinity. The annoying sound can result in several types of reactions from the cat.

If your cat is sleeping or taking a rest near you, and you sneeze loudly, they can get annoyed. The cat may be expressing its annoyance through a sound.

Meowing is the most common form of communication when they are interacting with humans. So, the cat can express their annoyed mood by meowing.

There’s a simple method to determine whether your sneezes are annoying them or not. You should already know by now how your cat responds to your usual sneezes.

Now, you can imitate your sneeze less loudly and observe how your cat is responding to it.

If the cat is not bothered by your suppressed sneeze, then that answers your curiosity. Loud noise can bother anyone, and your cat is not so different after all.

Misconstruing The Situation:

Sneezing is a common phenomenon for any animal, and cats and humans sneeze alike. However, some people can sneeze quite loudly, and cats can take it as a kind of hissing sound.

But this reasoning only applies to certain people with very peculiar sneezing habits. As cats also sneeze, they should know the sound of sneezing.

So, cats should not consider sneezing as a threat and react in this way. But, we should not leave any possible reasoning out of our consideration, and it can very well be the reason why your cat is meowing, “Why are you so rude, human?”

An Appropriate Scolding:

Your cat can also give you proper scolding when you startle them with your loud sneeze.

Although it might seem to be a far-fetched thought that the cat can chastise you for just sneezing, we cannot leave it out of our possible explanations as well.

After all, it is not at all alright to disturb their slumber with a loud sneeze. It is within our capability to modulate our sneeze’s sound and not disturb the cat at all.

Another Reason To Talk:


We all can agree that some cats are more talkative than other cats. If you have one of those cats in your home, you should know very well how much they can talk to you.

While some of the cats respond to you in a startled manner, some can be natural about their talking. These cats think that you are trying to communicate with the cat when you are sneezing.

Although they know the sound of sneezing quite well, they can think that you are trying to talk because of the wide variety of sneezes possible. All you can do in this situation is to respond to their meows by acknowledging them.

Please Be Quiet:

You can disturb or startle your cat with a loud sneeze. Cats can get annoyed or disturbed because of it. The cat may be asking you to be quiet and let it go back to its slumber.

Cats speed as much as 20 hours by sleeping every day, and they stay in deep sleep most of the time.

So, any loud noise can startle them, and the meowing may seem to be a demand to you asking to be quiet.

A Little Inquisition:

Cats can differentiate between low and loud noises, and they often regard loud noise as some form of alert signal.

When you are sneezing loudly, it may seem to the cat that you are sending some distress signal. So, the cat can become curious about your situation and ask you about your condition.

You can easily understand whether it is the case with you by the sound of their meowing. Cats generally have an unusual submissive meow when they are concerned about your well-being.

While it may seem to be a far-fetched thought for a cat to have, but it can be the case they show similar behavior with other cats.

They lick or smell other cats to understand the cats’ mental condition, and meowing may be a similar attitude towards you as well.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why Does My Cat Run Away When I Sneeze?

The primary reason why your cat runs away when you sneeze because you have disturbed the cat with a loud sneezing sound.

Cats are peaceful creatures when they are asleep, and they feel the most vulnerable in that condition. So, when you make a loud noise around them, they do not have the slightest idea why the sound came.

It seems to be just a loud foreign noise on their part. So, cats show a fight-or-flight attitude when you sneeze around them.

If you have a loud sneezing sound, your cat can even attack you in fear. But most of the time, they can flee the scene entirely.

For example, consider yourself having a pleasant sleep, and someone makes a loud sneezing sound. With exceptional hearing abilities, the sound of sneezing becomes even more daunting, and you would have probably fled too in this situation.

So, we can say that the cat may run away when you sneeze because you have startled it to an extreme extent.

Why Does My Cat React When I Sneeze?

Reacting to a sneezing sound is entirely justifiable for a cat.

They mostly react as a response to the sudden loud noise in their vicinity. So, startling them can result in a variety of reactions. The reactions can be one or more of the following:

  • They can run away from the source of the sound, which is you. It is one of the most common reactions in this scenario.
  • If they find you hostile due to the sneeze, they can hiss at you.
  • In more extreme cases, the cat can even attack you for your hostility.
  • Loud noise can also make them agitated because they might feel disturbed by it.
  • Annoyance towards you is also one common reaction when you sneeze in front of the cat.
  • In some cases, the cat can also make submissive meow sounds to show their concern.
  • If you have a stoic cat, it may not react to you at all.

If you observe these reactions, it is pretty clear that the loud and sudden noise is the reason.

Is It Bad For Cats To Sneeze?

Occasional sneezing is not a matter of alarm for a cat. It can generally sneeze like humans, and it may not mean anything at all.

However, if your cat is sneezing a lot, it can be a symptom of several diseases. Some of those concerning diseases are:

  1. Feline Herpes Virus
  2. Feline Calicivirus
  3. Other Viral infections
  4. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
  5. Feline Leukemia
  6. Bordetella
  7. Mycoplasma.

So, if your cat is sneezing above its usual level, it is best if you take the cat to a veterinarian for a complete check-up.


Sneezing is a widespread activity for humans and cats alike. However, if you have a loud sneezing sound, you can startle the cat into reacting.

By now, you should be able to decipher why your cat is meowing when you sneeze. We would recommend that you modulate the sound as much as possible when you are around the cat.

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