Reasons Why Your Cat have a Stuffy Nose

cute cat nose

Your cat’s stuffy nose might not seem like a very big deal, but it could be indicative of something serious.

There are actually lots of possible causes for this particular issue among felines. If you have noticed that your cat is all stuffed up, you’ll want to know what could be causing it.

Possible Causes of Your Cat’s Stuffy Nose

Bacterial Infection

If your cat has a bacterial infection, it is probably due to something else. This could anything from a polyp in their nasal passage to a virus. 

And while a stuffy nose is a common symptom, you might also notice a puss-like discharge. These infections can quickly become serious, they need to be addressed right away.


There is also a chance that your cat’s stuffy nose is due to parasites. The more time your cat spends outdoors, the more likely they are to get infected. Botfly eggs can get into the cat’s sinuses when it sniffs in the wrong place.

If your cat has a parasite infection, you might notice discharge that resembles puss. Your cat will also most likely keep rubbing their paws against their face.

These parasites require immediate treatment. Your vet can prescribe a medication to kill the parasites completely.

Foreign Body

Your cat could have a stuffy nose because it has something that is stuck inside its nasal passage. This could be the result of your cat taking something into its nose when sniffing, and it just got stuck.

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You should avoid trying to remove the foreign body yourself, but you can look up their nose with a flashlight to confirm this cause. It is important that you leave it up to your veterinarian, as they are trained to do this.

cat stuffy nose 1

Upper Respiratory Infection

An upper respiratory infection that is caused by a virus could also be the cause of your cat’s stuffy nose. Calciviruses are among the most common culprits of these infections among cats. It is fairly normal for cats that are still very young to get URIs.

Your cat’s upper respiratory infection should clear itself up within a seven to ten days, though sometimes it takes a bit longer. If this is the case, you will also likely notice sneezing, congestion, coughing, gagging, drooling, and lack of appetite.

Fungal Infection

Sometimes a cat’s nosed gets stuffed up when it has a fungal infection. You should also notice swelling of the nasal passage as well as yellow or white discharge. Some type of medication will likely be required to treat the infection. If you notice these symptoms, you should take your cat to the vet right away.


It’s always possible that your cat is suffering from allergies (it’s not just a human problem). If this is the case, you will need to identify what is triggering this reaction. Your cat could have seasonal allergies, which means they are just reacting to the change in the weather. Your vet can prescribe something to help with their allergies.

cat nose

Treating Your Cat’s Stuffy Nose

There are a few things that you can do to effectively treat your cat’s stuffy nose so it isn’t quite as uncomfortable.

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The Power of Steam

Sometimes putting your cat in a room that is filled up with steam can help to unclog their nasal passages. This is only the case if they do not have a foreign body stuck in their nose. Try running the shower with very hot water for several minutes. Sit in the bathroom with your cat ten minutes. This should be enough to provide your feline friend with at least some relief.

You also have the option of putting your cat in a room with a vaporizer. Consider putting some mentholated ointment in the device for extra effectiveness. This could clear up your cat’s clogged sinuses within a matter of minutes.

Clean Out Your Cat’s Nose

You should make a point of cleaning your cat’s nose each week to prevent stuffiness from becoming a problem. While this isn’t guaranteed to work, it is definitely worth doing. Just dab a cotton ball in some water and rub it over your cat’s nose. You don’t want to go deep inside their nose, as it is dangerous to do so.

See Your Veterinarian

If your cat’s stuffy nose doesn’t clear up within 3-4 days, you should make a point of seeing your vet. They will be able to come up with a definitive diagnosis. This might require taking a blood or urine sample for testing. 

It is important that you find out what exactly is the cause of this issue, as it could be quite serious. The sooner you take them in to get looked at, the better your chances will be of keeping them healthy.

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You should take your cat straight to the vet if you notice any signs of a bacterial or fungal infection. If the problem is a virus, it will most likely clear up on its own. Bacterial and fungal infections require medication from a vet.


  • If your cat has a stuffy nose, you don’t want to simply ignore it.
  • This could be a sign that your cat has a bacterial or fungal infection, which will require treatment.
  • Pay attention for any pus-like or bloody discharge coming from your cat’s nose, as this is a sign of a serious problem.
  • If your cat keeps rubbing their paws on their face, their stuffy nose could be due to parasites. This is much more common with outdoor cats.
  • Check to make sure that there isn’t some type of foreign body that is blocking your pet’s nasal passage.
  • If there is a foreign body in your cat’s nose, go to a vet to have it removed.
  • Some cats develop a stuffy nose as a result of an allergic reaction.
  • Make sure that you take your cat to the vet if you notice any signs of serious illness. This includes bloody discharge, vomiting, balance issues, and swelling of the face.
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