cat sinus health.

Your cat has a runny nose, is sneezing, and just doesn’t seem like they are feeling well. It might be easy to assume that they are experiencing a sinus infection. While you might be right, these symptoms don’t always mean the same thing. Conrad Weiser Animal Hospital is here to clarify things from a veterinary perspective.

Cat Sinus Infection Symptoms

Our sinuses are air-filled spaces in our skulls that are interconnected. They are lined with mucous membrane tissue and help to clear debris like dust and pollen from the airways. 

When the mucous membranes inside the sinuses become irritated and inflamed, and infection can ensue. 

In cats, this can present with symptoms including:

  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased smell
  • Decreased appetite
  • Nasal congestion or snoring
  • Discharge from the nose or eyes

Cat sinus infection symptoms often occur as a result of an upper respiratory infection, but there are definitely other potential causes. 

Potential Problems

In our feline patients, upper respiratory symptoms can happen for a variety of reasons.

It seems that kittens and other pets that have less robust immune systems (like geriatric pets or those affected by FIV) are often prone to sinus infections as a result of other factors. 

These underlying causes can include:

  • Viral infections (feline herpesvirus is often to blame)
  • Bacterial or fungal infections
  • Allergic respiratory disease
  • Nasal mite infection
  • Dental disease
  • Nasopharyngeal polyps
  • Foreign objects in the sinus cavity
  • Neoplastic growths

Uncomplicated sinus infections often resolve with supportive care, but for feline patients with recurring or non-resolving symptoms, additional diagnostics are warranted. Usually if things aren’t improving as expected, there is an underlying reason for it. 

Identifying the actual cause of the problem can be vital in helping our feline patients feel better faster. In some cases we can eliminate the inciting factor, which results in resolution of the symptoms entirely.

Most of us have experienced a sinus infection at some time in our lives, and we can appreciate how awful they can make us feel. If you think that you are noticing cat sinus infection symptoms in your pet, don’t delay in contacting us. It is always our goal to makie sure our patients get well as soon as possible.