Watching your fuzzy companion deal with a stuffy nose is heart wrenching. He'll mope around the house, snore in his sleep and clearly act like he's not feeling well. Getting to the root of the problem can be challenging, but making him feel as comfortable as possible helps him work through it.
A stuffy nose in your pint-size pal may stem from allergies. Those beautiful blooming flowers on the kitchen table send his immune system into a frenzy, leading to constant sneezing. Everyday environmental allergens, like pollen, mold and ragweed, can make his nose run if he's sensitive to them. Diagnosing allergies can be tricky, but you may be able to solve the problem all on your own. Put any potted plants or flowers outside for a few days. Stop using strong-smelling products, including perfume, carpet powders and scented cat litter, to name a few. If these harsh products are causing Rascal's stuffy nose, his symptoms should clear up rather quickly. However, if problems persist, pack him up in the carrier and take him to the vet for a checkup.
Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
Rascal's stuffy nose may also be a sign of an upper respiratory tract infection, which is similar to a seasonal cold in humans. Since his nose is congested, he may be abnormally breathing out of his mouth. Getting Rascal thoroughly checked out is important. He'll need special medications to help his system ward off the virus. In severe cases upper respiratory tract infections can lead to pneumonia without proper care, according to the ASPCA.
At Home Care
Ease Rascal's stuffy nose by letting him hang out in the bathroom for a few minutes after you take a hot shower or feed him his dinner in there. The steam opens up his nasal passages, making it easier for him to breath. Putting a humidifier in your bedroom and locking him in there with you at night can also help. As his nose clears and starts running, wipe away any discharge or crusty particles, which hinder his breathing.
As soon as you notice that Rascal has a stuffy nose, or if he sneezes, coughs or is draining fluid from his nostrils, separate him from the rest of the furry gang in your house until you get a diagnosis. Viral infections can be contagious and you don't want a house full of stuffed-up, snoring, cranky kitties. Ask your vet when it's safe to allow Rascal to go back to batting around his littermates.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.