Nasal Polyps In Cats: What Do You Need To Know About It?


Nasal polyps in cats refer to the bulging pink growths, which are benign, and are found to appear from the mucus membranes or the moist tissues that line the nose. Moreover, what causes this feline condition is not yet known. But it is suspected that various congenital processes might be the ones to blame. In this article, we will discuss some more interesting facts about nasal polyps in cats including its causes, symptoms, prognosis, and treatment. Read on to learn about these and more!

What is Nasal Polyps in Cats?

The pink growth in the nose or nasal polyps in cats are typically found in the younger cats, no more than 2 years of age. Additionally, a nasopharyngeal or nasal polyp, may be characterized by the difficulty in breathing during physical activity or snoring. As the masses progress, the cat shows developing the same symptom to cat respiratory disease and are frequently diagnosed falsely. The nasal polyps are found often after proving the antibiotic treatment for respiratory disease being ineffective.

In addition, the pink growths in the nose in cats are actually noncancerous masses, which may impact the respiratory system of the cat. Vets use two different terms in describing the pink growths in the cats’ nose –nasopharyngeal polyps and nasal polyps. The pink growths in cats’ nose, which arise from the moist mucus membranes inside of the nose and nowhere else are called the nasal polyps. Nonetheless, if the growth spreads from the nasal cavity through the soft palate, back of the throat or the middle ear, the growth is known as nasopharyngeal polyp.


Veterinarians disagree on what really causes the pink growth in the nose of cats. Moreover, some vets also think that both nasopharyngeal and nasal polyps are congenital, genetic mutation, which was passed down from the parent to its offspring, existent at the kitten’s time of birth. In the actual fact, this theory is based on the link between the polyp growth and the regular tumor. It’s also a well-known fact that the tumors, especially the cancerous ones, are frequently found in similar genetic makeup and bloodline.

Besides, other vets think that the nasopharyngeal and nasal polyps are a secondary response to a virus in the respiratory system, which causes inflammation to the cells of the cat. Common viruses, thought to be linked with these growths include the herpesvirus and calcivirus, as the cats, which recuperated from respiratory illnesses has a development of polyp rapidly after.


Common symptoms of the nasopharyngeal polyps may include the following:

  • Weight loss
  • Refusal to drink or eat
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Ear infection
  • Odor from the ear
  • Nystagmus
  • Ear scratching
  • Balance problems
  • Head shaking
  • Head tilt
  • Nasal discharge
  • Noisy breathing
  • Changes in meow, becoming more quiet or deeper
  • Difficulty in breathing

In austere cases, nasopharyngeal polyps may cause symptoms linked with Horner’s Syndrome. The pupil of the eyes may appear small, the 3rd eyelid might protrude, the eye might look sunken the socket, and the eyelid might drop down, covering a part of the eyeball.

The symptoms of nasal polyps include:

  • Breathing via the mouth
  • Disinterest in food because of lack of sense of smell
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Snoring
  • Breathing difficulties


The vet may start the diagnostic process with an exam of the cat’s mouth, ears, and nose via the use of otoscope. Nonetheless, the soft palate frequently hides the pink growths and a precise prognosis might need a way more innovative prognosis tool like CT scan or X-ray of the skill. Further, the cat might possibly be anesthetized for the whole examination, in order to keep it calm, reduce stress, as well as to allow for a comprehensive examination.

The vet may also request you to discuss the medical history of the cat, focusing mainly on the respiratory infections and formerly acquired viral infections. Complete blood count, biochemistry profile, as well as some other routine blood work might probably be taken, in order to make sure the organs of the cat are functional before administering any anesthesia.

Treatment for Nasal Polyps in Cats

The treatment option for nasal polyps in cats is surgery. Because of the location of the polyps, the whole mass can’t be detached, hence a process known as de-bulking occur. This surgical process might mean that the vet may remove as much mass as possible in a surgical manner, leaving the mass’ base. Vets use this kind of surgery in preventing possible nerves, openings, and auditory organs in the respiratory structures.

In the actual fact, the de-bulking surgery isn’t a treatment for the polyps, and some other surgery is frequently necessary. Also, the vet might recommend corticosteroids or some other anti-inflammatory medications, in order to slow the possible growth, thus giving the cat time halfway surgeries.

Even though reappearance of nasal polyps in cats is common, most cats do so well after the surgery and the quality of life they have is good.


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