How to Treat a Congested Cat

Treat your cat's congestion at home.

Treat your cat's congestion at home.

Congestion, common in cats, is usually caused by an upper respiratory infection. Such an infection may be brought on by a virus, though it's possible to be the result of bacteria or allergies. Common symptoms your cat may display she is congested are coughing, sneezing, runny nose and runny eyes. Most of the time congestion will go away on its own after a few days, but if you begin to notice your cat has trouble breathing contact your veterinarian immediately. If you think your cat is suffering from mild congestion, you have many means of treating her at your disposal.

Give your cat wet food to stimulate her appetite. Cats that are congested usually have small appetites because their sense of smell is impaired. Wet food has a strong smell that will entice your cat to eat. Make sure there is fresh clean water available for your pet at all times so she stays hydrated. This will help her recover sooner.

Put a humidifier in the room where your cat sleeps. This will increase the moisture level in the room. helping to relieve your cat’s congested nasal passages. You can bring your cat into the bathroom with you while taking a shower; this might allow her to breathe in steam to help break up mucus and congestion.

Keep your cat as warm and dry as possible. Dampness and cold can aggravate congestion and make it worse. Keep your house around 70 degrees F, and put comfortable blankets in your cat’s bed and in places where she likes to nap so she can stay warm and cozy.

Wipe away any mucus discharge from your cat’s eyes and nose with a soft, wet cloth or cotton ball. Consult your vet to see if he can prescribe some pet eye and nose drops to help alleviate some of your cat’s discomfort and stuffy nose.

Schedule an appointment with your vet to make sure your cat’s vaccinations and boosters are up to date. Vaccinations can help protect your cat against many feline diseases that result from upper respiratory problems.

Items you will need

  • Wet cat food
  • Water
  • Humidifier
  • Blankets
  • Soft cloth or cotton ball


  • Keep your cat away from neighborhood cats that show signs of congestion or upper respiratory infection. This will help prevent your healthy cat from catching the virus and getting sick.

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About the Author

Based in Statesboro, Ga., Emily Jones has been writing professionally since 2009. Her articles appear on various websites, specializing in the diverse topics of cleaning and insects. Jones is a graduate student studying education at Georgia Southern University.

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