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Home > Cats > How to Make a Cat Sneeze to Clear Their Nose: 3 Vet Approved Tips

How to Make a Cat Sneeze to Clear Their Nose: 3 Vet Approved Tips

Cat sneeze

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

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

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Sneezing is a bodily function that expels foreign materials from the nasal cavities of humans. However, it’s not just humans that sneeze. In fact, many animal species use sneezing to perform similar functions, including dogs, elephants, lizards, and cats.

Your cat sneezing is a normal part of life and an excellent way for the cat to clear his nose. However, if the sneezing is chronic or persistent, there could be an underlying problem, and you’ll need to consult your vet.

However, what if your cat’s nose is clogged, and you’re looking for a way to make the cat sneeze to clear it? Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll give you three of our tried-and-true methods for making your cat sneeze in the guide below, as well as a few causes of sneezing.


The 3 Methods to Make a Cat Sneeze to Clear Their Nose

1. Non-Medicated Nasal Spray

If your cat tolerates it, the non-medicated nasal spray you purchase over the counter will work wonders to help your cat sneeze. If your cat has a sinus infection, you can use the nasal spray twice a day to flush out any bacteria and mucus that have built up in your poor feline’s nose. Use only one pump at a time.

If the condition worsens or doesn’t get any better with using the nasal spray, it’s time to contact your vet for an appointment.

nasal spray for cats
Image By: Ais-92, Shutterstock

2. Steam Method

You’ve probably heard of and even used the steam method to clear your nose and make you sneeze when you have a cold, sinus infection, or seasonal allergies. You can do the same for your feline friend.

You can either turn on a hot shower for a few minutes and take your cat into the bathroom with you, or you can heat a pan of water on the stove, then put it on the table. However, you’ll have to be careful if your cat will not sit still near hot water. Either of these methods will work, but you have to make sure that your cat is calm. If you can, huddle in front of the steam with your cat and place a towel over both your heads to induce sneezing.

3. Tickle Their Nose

If you want your cat to clear its nose by sneezing, you can give this method a try. Tickle your kitty’s nostrils using a feathered toy. Your cat’s reflex will most likely be to sneeze. For better results, you could also try this method after the steam room or by carefully using a Q-tip dipped in saline solution just at the entrance of the nostrils.



What Causes Your Cat to Sneeze?

There are more than a few reasons that a cat sneezes.

Just a Tickle

A sudden tickle in the nose can lead to your cat sneezing. This is nothing to be concerned about unless your cat keeps sneezing and doesn’t stop.

Sneezing maine coon breed cat on brown background
Image By: DC Studio, Shutterstock

Chemical Irritants

Cats can also be sensitive to certain chemicals, just like humans can. It’s possible that the cat is sneezing because of carpet freshener or other chemicals that you’re using to clean the house or floors.

A Respiratory Infection

Another common cause of sneezing could be a respiratory infection. In most cases, it’s a viral infection. Some possible causes of a respiratory infection are listed below.

  • Herpes virus
  • Bacterial infections
  • Calicivirus
  • And more

Dental diseases, foreign bodies, allergies, and some vaccines can also cause sneezing. If you feel that your cat has one of the issues or the condition gets worse, it’s best to contact your vet and take your cat in for a checkup to see if there is an underlying cause for the illness.



Cats sneeze for various reasons. Sneezing is a natural way to clear the airway and may happen as a reflex response. Whether it’s a respiratory illness or just that your cat is sneezing from allergies, there are things you can do to help your cat feel better.

If your cat has a stuffy nose and can’t seem to sneeze on its own, you can try the methods above. If none of these techniques work, it’s time to get your cat in to see your vet so that they can treat your feline friend and have it back to being healthy and happy in no time.

Featured Image Credit: Sergio Huainigg, Pixabay

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