Ways to help your cat’s stuffy nose during the cold months

Hello, all you lovely nocturnals and diurnals! If, by any chance, you were not aware – it’s fall already!

And, with fall, comes cold, cold, weather – ideal for cozying up next to a fire place, hot cocoa in hand, and spooky movies playing on our screens.

However, there are some not-so-good aspects of these colder seasons. Some of these being:

  • Our skin gets drier
  • Our lips get chapped
  • Our noses get stuffy

And, much like us, our furry companions can also experience some of these things – the most common being stuffy noses.

Now, I personally have my fur baby – Hiccup – who already has certain respiratory issues that, unfortunately, worsen during the cold months.

In fact, he was especially stuffy this morning, which is the reason I got the idea to write about it in my blog so that other pet owners can have these helpful tips on hand.

Disclaimer: The statements on my blog are methods that I do regularly during the week to help my cat with his nasal congestion that have, personally, worked well for him. Nonetheless, it is always best to take your pet to a licensed veterinarian to get their professional, medical advice, for your pet’s specific ailments.

Signs of a Stuffy Nose

Our cats display numerous indications of a stuffy nose. It is good to be familiarized with them so you can act proactively and help make it more comfortable for them.

These signs are:

  • Frequent Sneezing [my cat displays this sign the most]
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Audible “Stuffy” Breathing [instead of being a quiet, smooth breathing pattern, it clearly sounds stuffy]

The main cause of a stuffy nose

In Hiccup’s case, his stuffy nose tends to worsen during colder/drier months, but it is not the main cause for his stuffy nose.

Stuffy noses are symptoms of other ailments, some of them being:

  • An Upper Respiratory Infection
  • An obstruction in the nasal passages [usually identified by seeing one of their nostrils presenting discharge, while the other shows no discharge]
  • Bacterial Infection
  • Calicivirus

Note: If the nasal discharge is of an unusual color, [any color besides clear], your pet may likely need to be administered antibiotics – all the more reason to take them to a vet.

For an upper respiratory infection, it usually goes away on its own [it should not last more than 10 days]. However, we can make the process ten times easier for our little fur babies by following these steps:

1. Use Steam Therapy

Photo by: Patrick Hendry

This is my most used method to help my cat with his stuffy nose. I feel like it is the most effective one [though I use it in conjunction with other steps to help even further].

Using a Humidifier

If you have one of those small humidifiers, you can place them near where your cat likes to spend time the most. That way, while they sit/lie down there, they can breathe in the soft steam from the humidifier.

IMPORTANT: Do NOT use essential oils when turning on a humidifier for them – most are toxic to our cats and can be fatal to them. Only use water for this.

Shower Steam

I always bring Hiccup into the bathroom with me whenever I am going to take a hot shower. He usually lies down on the small bathroom rug and waits for me to be done. This is something you can do with yours as well.

While you are taking your shower, your cat will be breathing the warm steam circulating in your bathroom. This will help clear their nasal passages and feel much better.

I honestly do both of these methods – I bring the humidifier in the bathroom with me and leave it running on the floor for him.

2. Regularly Clean Their Nose

This is a good step to do right after the Steam Therapy.


Because, whatever has been stuffing your cat’s nose has now become softer, or runnier, so it is the best time to wipe their nose.

How to do this:

It is recommended to grab a cotton ball [or very soft toilet paper if you don’t have a cotton ball], and dab a little bit of warm water on it.

Afterwards, carefully wipe their nose to help clean it.

3. Provide Them With Plenty of Water

This should be something you do on a regular basis.

However, while your cat is having a stuffy nose, it is even more important to provide a fresh, clean water supply.

This way, it prompts them to be more likely to drink water which will, in turn, help with their ailment.

Thank you very much for reading! I hope this helps other pet owners out there.

Be sure to leave a comment or just drop by and say hi!

~Nocturnal Blogger ♥

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