Why Does My Cat Meow When I Sneeze?

why does my cat meow when i sneeze

If you have a cat, when you sneeze, you might notice that it meows or chirps shortly afterwards. Cats do this quite often. So, why does my cat meow when I sneeze?

What needs to be said before anything else is that this is all pure speculation or educated guesses. There are no conclusive studies which prove why cats often meow when their owners sneeze, but there are some pretty solid theories nonetheless.

Simply Surprised and Annoyed

A very simple and reasonable explanation for cats meowing post sneeze is because they are surprised — you startled them. There are some people who let loose these massive sneezes that scare the living daylights out of anything within earshot.

We all know these people, and it can be annoying. When somebody lets loose a massive sneeze, just like us humans, a cat can get startled too.

On this same note, going even further, although it may be a bit of a stretch, your cat may be chastising you for sneezing. Cats have emotions and they can get angry or annoyed. If you scared them with a sneeze, it might be telling you to cut out the noise.

An Attempt at Communication

Some experts theorize that a cat meowing at you after you sneeze may be attempting to communicate with you. In other words, a cat may think that your sneeze is a way of talking to them.

Cats will often mimic their owners and make noises, kind of like a conversation. If your cat often chatters, chirps, and meows at you when you say something to it, it could be doing the same in response to a sneeze.

Some cats may assume that sneezes are forms of communication, and them chattering or meowing back at you is nothing more than them returning the message. No, this is of course not scientifically proven, but it’s a good a guess as any other.

Sneeze Interpreted as Hissing

Some people think that a cat may interpret a sneeze as a hiss or form of aggression. This might not be the case if you let a little sneeze go, but if you’re one of those obnoxious sneezers, a cat may think you are being aggressive.

Although a sneeze does not sound like a hiss, a cat may still interpret is as such, in which case it is returning your own perceived aggression with some attitude of its own.

They May Think You’re Mad

Some people theorize that a cat who meows at their owner after sneezing thinks that the owners is mad at them. They may perceive a really loud and obnoxious sneeze as you chastising or yelling at them. After all, a really loud sneeze does sound aggressive and may be interpreted as such.

In other words, a cat which meows or chirps after you sneeze might be pleading with you for mercy. They’re meowing in a submissive manner to apologize, kind of like a cat meowing at an angry mother. Your cat might think that you are yelling at it.

They’re Checking on You

This might be a little farfetched, but a cat that meows at you after you sneeze might just be checking up on you. They might think that you are injured or ill, in which case they want to make sure you are OK. Some people even think that cats might be telling you “bless you” with their meow, although this is about as farfetched as it gets, yet not totally impossible.


Once again, there’s no real evidence to prove any of this, but then again, there does have to be a reason why a cat meows after you sneeze, and the above reasons are as good as any others you might think of.

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