Upper respiratory infection, caused by several different “bugs,” often affects cats. Some of these are related to the common human cold virus, but people don’t catch colds from their pets (or vice versa). Cats catch URI from other infected cats, and the agents that cause kitty congestion usually aren’t lethal in adult cats. But Fluffy won’t eat unless she can smell her food, so sick felines potentially can starve if they get a stopped up nose.

Only your veterinarian can diagnose the cause of your pet’s discomfort, and prescribe the best treatment. Preventive vaccinations protect cats from these common illnesses.

But when your cat suffers from congestion, nursing care at home keeps Fluffy more comfortable during convalescence. Use these tips to relieve the “SNEEZE” in your Burmese

Use a vaporizer to help unclog the nose. Put the pet in a fairly small room with a cool mist humidifier and use it just the same as you would for a child a couple of times a day. That not only helps break up the congestion, it can moisten inflamed or tender eyes and nostrils and make them feel better.

If you don’t have a vaporizer or humidifier, a hot shower can work. Take the pet into the bathroom with you and run the hot shower so that the air becomes filled with steam. A 10-minute session several times a day works great. Don’t go for longer than that, though, because heated air for too long can be hard for some pets to breathe, especially short-faced Persians.

Use warm wet cloths or cotton balls to soak and soften eye or nose secretions and clean them off. Don’t peel dried matter off, because that can hurt or even form scabs. To soothe sore tissue after you’ve cleaned off the mucus, dab on a bit of plain saline solution, or some baby oil. That can also make it easier to clean away any more crusts that might form.

Refusing to eat can make a cat sicker or even threaten her life. Offer pungent and more tempting foods to spark the sick cat’s appetite. Warm the food for five seconds in the microwave to just below cat body temperature—about 95 to 98 degrees. That not only makes the treat more alluring, it also unlocks the aroma so the food smells more pungent and penetrates even a stopped up kitty nose.

Moisture also helps enhance aroma, so try adding a bit of warm water, chicken broth, or tuna juice from the can to the cat’s regular food. Run it through the blender to make a mush, and there’s a good chance that will tempt her appetite. Learn more about tempting kitty appetites in this article.

Amy’s Top Tip: For cats reluctant to eat due to stopped up noses, try adding a top dressing of a pungent healthy treat like Kitty Kaviar.