8 Maine Coon Nasal Issues (Vet Approved)

Maine Coon nasal issues are quite common and some issues can cause major health complications for your cat, so make sure you keep reading to learn how to identify them.

Maine Coons, like other cats, have a sensitive nose and are susceptible to upper respiratory tract issues such as feline rhinitis, sinusitis, nasal polyps, and others. These nasal issues can cause a lot of discomfort for the Maine Coon, and their overall health can deteriorate as a result.

This article is approved by Dr. Abdul Basit Javed DVM, RVMP (small animal veterinarian)

We created this vet-approved guide because Maine Coons can suffer from a variety of nasal issues that many cat owners are either unaware of or overlook.

This article provides a detailed overview of Maine Coon nasal issues, including symptoms and treatments, so you can properly care for your furry pet.

We have listed all of the nasal issues that Maine Coons can suffer from, along with their symptoms and recommended treatments, so keep reading!

8 Maine Coon Nasal Issues

Maine Coons are very social cats with affectionate and friendly personalities.

They are also the world’s heaviest and largest domesticated cat breed, growing to be as tall as 16 inches and as heavy as 25 pounds!

Here are some record-breaking Maine Coon sizes that will surprise you!

The Maine Coon cat breed is thought to have originated in the US state of Maine, hence their name.

This large cat breed was once considered “working cats,” as they hunted prey such as mice and other small rodents to sustain themselves.

After the early 20th century, the Maine Coon’s popularity grew in the US.

However, despite being such resilient cats, Maine Coons can suffer from a range of nasal issues since their nasal passage and upper respiratory tract are sensitive.

Bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi are the most common causes of nose issues in Maine Coons. Some nose problems, however, can be caused by nasal polyps or tumors in the nasal canal of the Maine Coon.

Nasal issues can be extremely stressful for a Maine Coon cat and hurt the cat’s general health.

If your Maine Coon cat has a nasal disorder, this can cause respiratory problems for the cat, and the stress caused by these problems can induce appetite loss in cats, leading to (source 1,2,3):

  • Weight Loss
  • Suppressed Immunity
  • Dehydration

Below are some of the most prevalent Maine Coon nasal issues:

1. Feline Rhinitis

If you wondering what is rhinitis in cats, keep reading.

Put simply, all body openings, including the nose, are protected by a thin membrane known as the mucus membrane.

Feline rhinitis is one of the most common nasal issues in Maine Coons, and causes significant discomfort.

A cat suffering from this condition will likely become lethargic and less active.

Maine Coons suffering from feline rhinitis normally prefer to rest rather than play, and some of these cats may also show the following signs:

  • Loss Of Appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Weight-Loss

Weight loss usually occurs in Maine Coons due to chronic feline rhinitis because the course of this disease is in months.


Symptoms of feline rhinitis in Maine Coons, include:

  • Sneezing
  • Occasional cough
  • Watery eyes
  • Nasal discharge (watery)
  • Reverse sneezing (when the cats inhale air with force to ingest the nasal discharge)
  • Pawing on the mouth
  • Retching
  • Labored breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restlessness


The following are the causes of feline rhinitis in Maine Coons:

  • Viral infections like Feline Calicivirus
  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Parasites
  • Allergies
  • Neoplasia
  • Foreign bodies
  • Anatomical deformities (cleft palate)


Below are some of the treatments for feline rhinitis in Maine Coons:

  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics are usually administered to cats to treat bacterial infections, as well as anti-allergic medications to reduce rhinitis symptoms such as sneezing and, on occasion, IV fluids if the cat is dehydrated.
  • Nebulizing: Nebulizing can help provide comfort to Maine Coons with feline rhinitis. It is advised to add a few drops of drugs like aminophylline in the nebulizer to help provide a soothing effect to the cat’s nose (source 1).

2. Sinusitis

Sinusitis in cats is a very common nasal issue for Maine Coons. 

This is an inflammation of the lining of the sinuses, which are hollow spaces in the skull that are connected to the respiratory system and aid in breathing.

Sinusitis can seriously impair a Maine Coon’s regular breathing and cause distress.

There are plenty of causes of nose and sinus inflammation in cats, including infections and environmental factors. 

In Maine Coons, sinusitis and rhinitis can occur simultaneously, and this illness is referred to as rhinosinusitis.


Sinus infection in cats symptoms includes the following:

  • Sneezing
  • Dyspnea (difficult breathing)
  • Pawing at the face
  • Snoring
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Facial pain


The following are the causes of sinusitis in Maine Coons:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Viral infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Allergies
  • Anatomical defects in the sinuses
  • Suppressed immunity


Cats sinusitis treatment includes the following:

  • Antibiotics: Cat sinus infection antibiotics can be used to kill microorganisms that are the cause of the disease, particularly bacteria.
  • Painkillers And Anti-Inflammatories: In addition to antibiotics, painkillers, anti-inflammatories, and anti-allergic medications are given to the Maine Coon to help suppress the symptoms and provide comfort (source 1,2)

3. Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps are non-cancerous growths that typically develop in cats’ nasal passages, but they can also develop in the ear canal or on the soft palate.

Nasal polyps are basically inflammatory cells that are encapsulated by epithelial cells (skin cells).

Infections and inflammations cause nasal polyps to occur in Maine Coons.

Although the symptoms of nasal polyps are similar to those of an upper respiratory tract infection, they may not respond to the medications used to treat upper respiratory tract infections in cats.

Nasal polyps can sometimes extend into the throat of Maine Coons, resulting in nasopharyngeal polyps, which can cause major breathing difficulties for the cat.

It may also hinder food ingestion.


The following are symptoms of nasal polyps in Maine Coons:

  • Sneezing
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Nasal congestion
  • Increased respiratory sounds
  • Dyspnea (difficult breathing)
  • Nasal congestion
  • Snoring
  • Open mouth breathing (if nasal passages get blocked)


The following are the causes of nasal polyps in Maine Coons:

  • Infections
  • Allergies
  • Immune disorders
  • Drug sensitivities
  • Asthma


Treatment protocols for nasal polyps in Maine Coons include the following methods:

  • Traction or Avulsion: In Maine Coons, medications are rarely used to treat nasal polyps; instead, traction or avulsion (pulling or tearing) is performed. The veterinarian will first sedate the cat before delicately grabbing the nasal polyp with forceps, gently twisting it, and then pulling it out of its attachment.
  • Laser Ablation: The laser ablation approach, which uses a laser beam, can also be used to remove nasal polyps in Maine Coons, although it is an expensive and uncommon procedure (source 1).

4. Nasal Parasites

Parasites can cause nasal issues in Maine Coons, but they are rare.

A Maine Coons nasal passages can be infected by two species of parasites (nematodes) of the Mammomonogamus genus.

Infection from these parasites is usually asymptomatic (without symptoms), but the cat may exhibit mild symptoms on occasion.

Nasal Bots or Bot fly larvae (Warble fly larvae) can also migrate into the nasal cavity of the Maine Coon, but this is extremely rare because Maine Coons are not the actual hosts of these parasites.

These parasites usually reside in the loose skin of the neck, but cases of them being found in the nasal canal of cats have been reported.


Symptoms of nasal parasites in Maine Coons include:

  • Nasal discharge
  • Nasal irritation
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • You might see red worms up to 1-2 cm long in the nasal discharge of your Maine Coon


The following are the causes of nasal parasites in Maine Coons:

  • Nematodes of the family Syngamidae
  • Warble fly larvae (Nasal Bots)


Below are the treatment strategies for nasal parasites in Maine Coons:

  • For nematodes usually, antiparasitic drugs are prescribed by the vets to get rid of the parasites.
  • If your Maine Coon has nasal bots, vets will typically sedate the cat and use tweezers to remove the parasite. If the parasite is lodged and not coming out, minor surgery may be required (source 1,2).

5. Nasal Aspergillosis

Nasal aspergillosis is a fungal ailment that infects the nasal passage of Maine Coons.

In cats, there are two types of nasal aspergillosis, but the most prevalent type that can infect Maine Coons is sino-nasal aspergillosis (SNA).

The cat’s delicate bony structure of the sinuses is damaged by this fungal infection.

A “fungal ball or aspergilloma” can form in the nasal passage as a result of mucus and fungus accumulation.

If the fungus enters the circulation via the respiratory tract, the infection can spread throughout the Maine Coon’s body.


Symptoms of nasal aspergillosis in Maine Coons include the following:

  • Inflamed, dry, and ulcerated nostrils
  • Nasal discharge
  • Occasional nose bleeds 
  • Sneezing
  • Pawing at the face
  • Rapid breathing
  • Coughing


Causes of nasal aspergillosis in Maine Coons include the following:

  • Aspergillus spores, called conidia
  • Mold spores


Treatment of nasal aspergillosis in Maine Coons includes the following:

  • Sino-nasal aspergillosis is often treated with systemic antifungal agents, such as itraconazole, posaconazole, and amphotericin B.
  • In a few cases, topical intranasal 1% clotrimazole has proven successful (source 1).

6. Nasal Tumors

In Maine Coons, the paranasal sinuses and nasal cavities are where most nasal tumors develop.

Nasal tumors differ from nasal polyps in that they are cancerous.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), lymphoma, and carcinoma are the most common types of nasal tumors in Maine Coons.


Common symptoms of nasal tumors in Maine Coons include the following:

  • Nasal discharge
  • Loud snoring
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Facial deformity (nose bump or asymmetrical face)
  • Nasal discomfort and pain
  • Seizures


Nasal tumors can occur in Maine Coons due to the following causes:

  • Genetic mutations
  • Viral diseases
  • Drug reactions
  • Exposure to radiations


Below is the treatment strategy for nasal tumors in Maine Coons:

  • Radiation Therapy: This is the standard treatment for nasal tumors in Maine Coons. Radiation therapy is preferable to surgery because nasal tumors usually develop in tight locations. Sadly, radiation therapy has a minor drawback in that it damages both healthy and cancerous cells during the procedure (source 1).

7. Epistaxis (Nosebleeds)

Epistaxis, commonly known as nosebleeds, is a nasal issue that can occur in Maine Coons.

This condition is frequently caused by bleeding from the nostrils, nasal cavity, nasopharynx (the area of the throat behind the nose), or soft palate.


Symptoms of epistaxis in Maine Coons include the following:

  • Bleeding from the nose (continuous or intermittent)
  • Nasal pain


Causes of epistaxis in Maine Coons include:

  • Toxicity or poisoning
  • Nasal tumors
  • Fungal infections
  • Bacterial and viral infections
  • Trauma or injury to the nasal cavity


Below are some treatment methods for epistaxis in Maine Coons (source 1):

  • Apply ice packs to the nose of your Maine Coon to control bleeding.
  • Remove the cause of nosebleeds.
  • Blood clotting drugs can be administered to control bleeding in severe situations.

8. Cryptococcosis

Cryptococcosis is a fungal disease that affects the Maine Coons nasal cavity when they inhale spores of a fungus that grows in soil or organic materials such as rotting plant waste, bird feces, and so on.

Maine Coons can also become infected with this fungus if spores reach the bloodstream through open wounds on their bodies.


Symptoms of Cryptococcosis in Maine Coons include the following:

  • Sneezing
  • Firm swelling over the bridge of the nose
  • Polyps in the nasal passages, which may cause difficulty breathing
  • Nasal discharge (can be clear, mucoid, bloody, or may contain puss)


Causes of Cryptococcosis in Maine Coons include the following:

  • Spores of Cryptococcus neoformans 
  • Spores of Cryptococcus gattii


Treatment of Cryptococcosis in Maine Coons includes the following (source 1):

  • Mild infections can be treated with the help of fluconazole.
  • Severe infection in which the nervous system of the Maine Coon also gets affected – amphotericin B (AMB) is the drug of choice.

Maine Coon Cat Nasal Congestion Home Treatment

If your Maine Coon is suffering from Nasal Congestion, we can help.

We have compiled a list of home treatments that may be beneficial for treating nasal congestion in Maine Coons.

Increase Humidity

Place a humidifier or vaporizer near your Maine Coon since higher humidity relieves nasal membrane irritation and reduces congestion.

If you don’t have a humidifier or vaporizer, you can keep the cat in the bathroom while you take a hot shower so it can inhale the steam.

However, you need to ensure that the cat does not get wet.

Nebulize The Cat

Nebulizers can be used at home to help Maine Coons with nasal congestion.

You can also add a few drops of aminophylline to the nebulizer to help soothe the cat’s nasal membranes.

Consult with your vet before doing this though, to ensure it is suitable for your cat and its unique health condition.

Cat Sinus Massage

A cat sinus massage may be beneficial if you are wondering how to help a cat with sinus problems.

Gently massaging certain spots on a Maine Coon’s face might assist clear sinuses and nasal passages.

One spot is exactly next to each nostril, while the other is on the inner edge of the eye. Apply light pressure to these spots with your fingers for 5 to 10 seconds, then repeat 2-3 times.

Do this on both sides of your cat’s face.

Provide Plenty Of Water

Make sure your Maine Coon has constant access to fresh water because good hydration levels can significantly reduce nasal congestion in cats (source 1,2).

Maine Coon Cat Runny Nose Home Treatment

A runny nose is a common health concern in cats including Maine Coons, and so we have listed several simple home treatments for it below:

Plenty Of Rest

The best home treatment for a runny nose in Maine Coon cats is plenty of rest.

Make certain that your cat does not leave the house and does not engage in prolonged play sessions since physical activity causes increased breathing, in turn causing nasal cavity irritation.


Nebulizing opens up the airways and softens the nasal membranes in Maine Coons.

This reduces nasal discomfort and prevents nasal discharges.

Saline Nasal Spray

Maine Coons with runny noses can benefit from an over-the-counter saline nasal spray.

Do not directly spray into the nostrils of the cat but do it from a minor distance so the spray particles do not end up in the lungs of the cat.

Spraying once or twice daily can help.

It is important to check with your vet before doing this (source 1).


Maine Coon nasal issues are a very prevalent and serious health problem.

Nasal issues in Maine Coons include nasal polyps, rhinitis, sinusitis, nasal tumors, nasal aspergillosis, and a few others.

Sneezing, coughing, dyspnea (difficulty breathing), tachypnea (increased respiratory rate), and a few others are general symptoms of nasal issues in Maine Coons. Treatments for these nasal issues usually depend on their cause.

However, some home treatments for a Maine Coons runny nose and nasal congestion include improving humidity, giving your cat plenty of water, and nebulizing your cat.

Related Questions

Cryptococcus Cat Swollen Nose Bridge

Cryptococcus is a fungus that infects the nasal passage of cats. A swollen nose bridge is a common sign of this illness and occurs as a result of nasal tract inflammation and nasal polyps.

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