How to Clear a Cat's Stuffy Nose

Most often when a cat has a stuffy nose, the animal has an upper respiratory infection or allergy. In most instances, it is safe to treat the condition at home. If your cat doesn't respond to home care, however, or the symptoms of the illness worsen, take your pet to a veterinarian. In addition to some extra TLC, there are quite a few ways to safely alleviate your cat's stuffy nose at home.

Using a warm, wet washcloth, gently wipe any mucus and crust from your cat's nose.

Apply a dab of petroleum jelly to the end of your cat's nose if the nose becomes cracked or dry from the cold.

Set up a humidifier in the room where the cat sleeps or place the cat in the bathroom after running a hot shower. The steam may help to break up some of the mucus.

Heat your cat's canned food slightly, or feed your cat canned fish. Cats don't eat if they can't smell and warming food will release the aroma and make it more likely that your cat will eat.

Offer your cat chicken broth and put a bit of oral electrolyte solution in the cat's water. This will help to ensure your cat doesn't become dehydrated.

Provide your cat with a warm bed. You might add a heating pad to provide some extra warmth. Put the heating pad on its lowest setting and cover it with a towel. Ensure your cat get off the heating pad if the cat gets too warm.

Keep your cat indoors, warm and dry, until symptoms of the upper respiratory infection and the stuffy nose are gone.


If you have a kitten with symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, you should take your pet to a veterinarian. While adult cats will usually recover within a few days, the illness can quickly cause pneumonia and death in a kitten. If your cat is wheezing, you should take the pet to the veterinarian. It is likely the illness has progressed to pneumonia.

Things You'll Need

  • Washcloth
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Humidifier (optional)
  • Microwave
  • Canned cat food or canned fish
  • Cat bed
  • Heating pad (optional)
  • Chicken broth
  • Oral electrolyte solution
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About the Author

Bethney Foster is social justice coordinator for Mercy Junction ministry, where she edits the monthly publication "Holy Heretic." She is also an adoption coordinator with a pet rescue agency. Foster spent nearly two decades as a newspaper reporter/editor. She graduated from Campbellsville University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English, journalism and political science.