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How to Make a Cat Sneeze to Clear its Nose – 4 Tips & Tricks

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 7, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

tabby cat sneezing

How to Make a Cat Sneeze to Clear its Nose – 4 Tips & Tricks


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If you’ve ever had a sneezing fit, you know exactly how uncomfortable it can be. Your cat can suffer from a stuffy nose and sneeze like we can. So, how do we help them? Your cat’s congested nose can cause discomfort, and identifying the source can be the first step in providing them with the help they need.

Sneezing can help your cat, and clearing their nose can relieve their nasal congestion. However, at the end of the day, if your cat is acting unusual, it is best to consult your veterinarian before taking any action at home. Getting your cat to sneeze to clear their sinuses is possible, but check out our tips and tricks to do it safely.

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Important Considerations

Your vet should always be your first stop for your cat’s health questions. They can assess your cat’s health and give you the best course of action. Some of these signs may be a clue that your cat needs a vet visit:

  • Your cat has noisy or raspy breathing
  • You can see nasal discharge
  • Your cat has teary eyes
  • Your cat does not show their usual interest in food
  • Your cat is showing signs of a lower energy pattern
Cat sneezes
Image Credit: ZlataMarka, Shutterstock

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Step-by-step Instructions to Help Your Cat Sneeze

The following methods can help your cat sneeze if they have sinus trouble. We recommend discussing with your vet if you intend to clear your cat’s nose. The first step in getting your cat to sneeze is making sure they are comfortable with being handled and held.

Most methods will only work if your cat is used to being held or confined. If your furry friend is a bit wiggly, following some of the steps below can be difficult.

1. Consult Your Vet

When intentionally trying to make your cat sneeze, you must always follow the safety precautions your vet recommends. Please consult your vet first in any attempt to make your cat sneeze since they are the best source of information on how to help your furry friend.

Taking your cat in for regular checkups and ensuring all vaccinations are up to date is essential to their overall health and well-being. If you need to induce sneezing in your cat, your vet will be the one to help you.

2. The Steam Method

As with humans, steam can clear your cat’s sinuses. The goal is for your cat to inhale the steam. The easiest way to accomplish this is to bring your cat inside the bathroom with a closed door while you enjoy a long, steamy shower. Steam will help clear out the mucus stuck in your cat’s nose, as it loosens anything trapped in the sinuses.

a ginger cat sneezes
Image Credit By: Ihtar, Pixabay

3. Non-Medicated Nasal Spray

If your cat is okay with nasal sprays, using them can help trigger a sneeze to clear out bacteria and mucus trapped in their sinuses. This should only be used on an as-needed basis after veterinarian approval.

For cats that don’t have a prescription nasal spray, an over-the-counter, non-medicated saline solution will work for this method, too.

4. Tickle Its Nose

If none of the previous methods worked, you can use a cat toy with feathers to gently tickle your cat’s nose. This method is almost guaranteed to trigger your cat to sneeze. If you use this method after placing your cat inside a steamy bathroom or using saline solution spray, the chances of clearing their nose are even higher since both methods can loosen the mucus.

cat and feather toy_Pixabay
Image Credit By: Pixabay

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Causing your cat to sneeze should only be done with approval from your veterinarian. If you need to induce sneezing, you can try steam, use a nasal spray, or get them excited with their favorite toy. However, you must avoid exposing your cat to toxic chemicals or treatments designed for humans.


Featured Image Credit By: Jupiter_79, Pixabay

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