close up of cat nose

Cats are fastidious groomers. On average, they spend 30% to 50% of their day grooming themselves. Because of this, cats often don’t need or want our help cleaning themselves and may get upset when we try to help.

However, certain situations may arise where your cat could use some help. For example, if they have too much nasal discharge, they may not be able to handle it themselves.

In this article, we’ll explain how to clean your cat’s nose should the situation call for it.

How to Clean Your Cat’s Nose in 5 Simple Steps

1. Inspect Your Cat’s Nose

pink cat nose closeup
Image Credit: Annashou, Shutterstock

Do a quick visual inspection of your feline friend’s nose and see if you can determine the problem. Look for what may be causing the blockage and keep an eye out for any blood.

Blood could mean an injury, and you cleaning it could make things worse. Small amounts of blood aren’t a problem, but large amounts could point to a more significant problem, and you should take your cat to a vet as soon as possible.

2. Prepare

Some preparations have to be made before you begin the cleaning process if you want to get it done efficiently. Your materials are going to need to be gathered first.

You’ll need some unscented baby wipes, cotton balls, lukewarm water, a dry cloth, a large towel and treats.

3. Immobilize Your Cat

man holding himalayan cat
Image Credit: Suthin _Saenontad, Shutterstock

Your cat is not going to enjoy you cleaning their nose, and because of this, you’re going to have to find a way to keep them still. Holding your cat still with one hand while you clean with the other can be a challenge—depending on how tolerant your cat is of you. Wrapping them in a towel in a “Kitty Burrito” can help with this.

If your cat fights when you try to hold them still, you can always resort to bribing them with treats, but you’ll likely need some help from a friend or family member either way.

4. Clean

Now it’s time to actually clean your cat’s nose. Use cotton balls with lukewarm water or a baby wipe to wipe their nose and get any mucus off. Make sure to be gentle and not pull on anything stuck to the cat’s nose. If you’re struggling to clean your cat’s nose, dampen it with a cloth to loosen anything that’s stuck. Try to avoid touching the whiskers when cleaning the nose as cats are very sensitive to this. Use a clean cotton ball each time.

Work as quickly as you can to avoid your cat losing its patience. The longer it takes, the harder your cat will resist not only now, but anytime you try in the future. Don’t clean the inside of your cat’s nose, as this could cause damage to the cat’s nasal passages. If the inside of your cat’s nose needs cleaning, take them to a vet to get it done.

5. Dry

person cleaning cat's nose
Image Credit: NONGASIMO, Shutterstock

Use the dry cloth to gently pat your cat’s nose dry. Drying your cat’s nose removes any moisture that may have been left behind from cleaning, reducing the environment for bacterial growth.


Now that your furry friend’s nose is clean, it’s important to praise them for being so brave! Hopefully, our guide has helped you quickly and easily clean your feline’s nose, and you walked away from the process without too many scratches!

Featured Image Credit: Photographerivanova, Shutterstock