Breathing diseases

Cat Sinus Infection: Home Remedies

Ameera Mills
By Ameera Mills. Updated: January 21, 2019
Cat Sinus Infection: Home Remedies

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Rhinitis in cats is a relatively common disorder in cats. Rhinitis in cats is often related to viruses that cause respiratory problems, such as herpes virus or feline calicivirus. Rhinitis or sinusitis in cats has several causes, which can make it difficult to diagnose. If you are wanting to know more about nose and sinus inflammation in cats, you’ve come to the right place.

If you observe that your cat is experiencing persistent nasal discharge, we recommend taking it to a veterinarian near you. For more about rhinitis and sinusitis in cats, keep reading here at AnimalWised. In addition, we will be uncovering the symptoms of rhinitis, its causes and rhinitis in cats treatment.

You may also be interested in: Home Remedies for a Cat Cold


  1. Cat sinus infection: symptoms
  2. Cat sinus infection: causes
  3. Cat sinus infection: diagnosis
  4. Acute rhinitis in cats: treatment
  5. Cat sinus infection: home remedies

Cat sinus infection: symptoms

Rhinitis in cats is caused by the inflammation of a cat’s nasal cavity. The nasal region begins in the nostrils and continues into the cat’s nasal cavity, which occupies what we see outside the snout. It then extends, connecting with the throat and chest. The inflammation of these areas is called sinusitis and commonly causes rhinitis in cats. Sinusitis in cats can also result in other respiratory tract or ear problems in cats. This is due to the fact that all of these systems are connected. For more we recommend taking a look at our article where we discuss common ear problems in cats.

Symptoms of rhinitis in cats

The prominent symptoms of rhinitis are nasal discharge and sneezing. You may also notice that your cat may have trouble breathing, expelling a wheezing sound when breathing. The characteristics of the secretion can help us establish the diagnosis of a cat’s sinus inflammation.

Cat sinus infection: bad breath

Bad breath in cats, as well as normally signifying dental problems, can also occur due to nasal infections and nasal tumors.

Cat sinus infection: blood

Nose bleeds in cats, also known as epistaxis, are also a common symptoms of sinus infection in cats. However, it is important to note that nose bleeds in cats can also be a symptom of other serious medical conditions, such as trauma. Therefore, if your cat experiences excessive nose bleeds, veterinary attention is required.

Cat sinus infection: causes

As we have already mentioned, viral infections are what usually cause rhinitis in cats. Viral infections in cats can cause rhinitis and present other symptoms, such as: ocular discharge, cough or anorexia. In addition, feline herpesvirus (FHV) and caliciviruses are both viruses that can manifest as acute respiratory illnesses in cats and can cause rhinitis and sinusitis in cats[1]. For more, we recommend reading our article where we look at feline calicivirus.

Feline immunodeficiency and feline leukemia can also be responsible for causing nasal infections in cats.

Another serious cause of rhinitis in cats are fungi, such as Cryptococcus. This such fungi are responsible for fungal rhinitis in cats and can also form granulomas in cats. In these cases the cat’s nasal discharge will only appear through one of the orifices, as in the case of polyps or tumors. Tumors are more common in cats over 10 years old, highlighting the possible presence of adenocarcinoma in cats. Symptoms of tumors in cats may also appear as unilateral secretion with blood.

Dental problems in cats or oronasal fistulas can also lead to feline rhinitis. It should be noted that when there is a growth, be that a polyp, tumor or abscess, you may notice that your cat’s face becomes deformed.

Other causes of rhinitis in cats include:

  • Allergies in cats.
  • Foreign bodies present in a cats nasal cavity causing irritation.
  • Trauma, such as falling or being run over.

In addition, bacterial infections can complicate these such cases of sinusitis or rhinitis, producing purulent discharge.

For more, take a look at our article where we look at possible reasons why my cat’s nose is bleeding.

Cat Sinus Infection: Home Remedies - Cat sinus infection: causes

Cat sinus infection: diagnosis

If you notice that your cat is experiencing nasal discharge that does not remit, you should take it to a veterinarian. This secretion can interfere with your cat's sense of smell, which may lead to loss of interest in food and can aggravate the situation.

Finding the cause of rhinitis is not always easy and tests have to be performed in order to find out which exact infection is causing the rhinitis. These such tests include x-rays or a rhinoscopy, to analyze the nasal cavity and detect whether or not polyps or tumors are present.

For more complicated cases, magnetic resonance or CT scans are performed, allowing for chest examinations. If the cat is experiencing additional symptoms such as anorexia or decay, a blood test will be necessary.

Cat sinus infection medication will depend on the severity of the infection.

Cat Sinus Infection: Home Remedies - Cat sinus infection: diagnosis

Acute rhinitis in cats: treatment

The treatment of rhinitis in cats depends on the cause:

  • If your cat is suffering from a bacterial infection, a veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics.
  • If the rhinitis is caused by fungi, your veterinarian will likely prescribe your cat with an antifungal.
  • Polyps may require surgery, like tumors, which can also be treated with chemo or radiotherapy.
  • If the rhinitis is cause by dental problems, the extraction of the affected area will be required.
  • In viral cases, immune system stimulators are often tested. Antibiotics are also often prescribed to control secondary bacterial infections.

Chronic rhinitis in cats

Rhinitis can become chronic. In this case, treatment will be aimed at treating the symptomatology. When it comes to rhinitis in cats, be that acute rhinitis or chronic rhinitis, self-medicating is not advised. The administration of an inappropriate drug can be very dangerous and complicate your cat’s case[2].

Cat sinus infection: home remedies

If your cat is suffering from a stuffy nose and you are waiting for an appointment from your vet, there are some steps you can take to ease your cat’s discomfort.

‘‘Can I put Vicks Vaporub on my cat?’’ NO! Vix contains Camphor, which can be toxic to your cat.

If your cat is congested, you can try steam therapy. Take your cat into your bathroom and put a hot shower on for about 10 minutes and close the door. We recommend staying with your cat in the bathroom so that he/she doesn’t become stressed. The heat should help clear your cat’s nasal passages.

In addition to booking an appointment with your veterinarian, you can clean your cat’s nose GENTLY with a warm wet paper towel.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Cat Sinus Infection: Home Remedies, we recommend you visit our Breathing diseases category.

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Cat Sinus Infection: Home Remedies