Chronic Sinusitis?


TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Jul 3, 2003
Hi Dr. Jean,

One of my cats will start sneezing seasonally, with the discharge gradually changing from clear to yellow to green. None of the other cats are affected by any similar symptoms at all - it's confined specifically to him, even though they regularly have close contact. This began when he was about 8 or 9years old; he's 12 now.

I've had him to 2 different vets for it; they both say it's probably sinusitis caused by irritation from seasonal allergies (easy for me to understand- I have the exact same problem myself, and we live in a climate where various allergens are high year-round).

An extended course of antibiotics and antihistamine (chlorpheniramine) will clear it up for a while, then it comes back again a few months later and we go through the cycle again. Our vet said we may need to keep him on the antihistamine long-term.

Health notes: At his most recent visit the vet noted that he needs his teeth cleaned again, but we're waiting until the infection has cleared to do his dental. He's on dry urinary s/o because of a history of urinary blockage (I've read from your other posts that we need to change that - if you have recommendations for a good canned option for him I'd love to know what you recommend). He also has a very sensitive stomach - s/o is the only urinary food we've found that doesn't give him diarrhea. He's an indoor cat, though he was allowed outdoors when he was younger. He weighs 15 pounds; he's about 1/2 to 1 pound overweight, according to the vet. He's been vaccinated regularly throughout his life, except for the last couple of years now that I've backed off from annual vaccinations.

Do you have any ideas or recommendations for him?


TCS Member
Apr 9, 2008
You betcha!
We've covered all of this in other threads this week, but what the heck, let's summarize!

1) Cats do not typically get hay fever or sinus problems from allergies. Usually inhalant allergies cause skin problems in cats (and dogs). Most likely this is a chronic recurring virus (most likely herpesvirus). Antibiotics and antihistamines are probably not doing much, since the virus comes and goes on its own, and if you give the drugs long enough, eventually they will coincide with a dormant period for the bug. Here's more about it:

2) The best way to prevent urinary tract problems is with canned food (or a similarly wet diet such as homemade or raw). I would rather see any cat be fed the world's worst canned food instead of the world's best dry food, that's how bad dry food is for cats.

3) Coincidentally, the best way to help a cat lose weight is also to switch to an all-wet diet. Dry food is concentrated calories and too many carbs for a cat's protein-oriented system. Are we seeing a pattern here?

4) As you already know because your cat needs a dental despite eating it, dry food does not clean the teeth, and has no benefits whatsoever to the cat. It is cheap and convenient, but that benefits *you*--not your cat!

5) Annual vaccinations are unnecessary and probably quite harmful. Even every 3 years is way more than they need. The diseases commonly vaccinated against are *kitten* diseases to which adults are normally resistant. The only vaccine I give to adult cats is rabies as required by law. Here's my article about it. Sorry it's so long, but it had to be to cover everything!

6) When you get ready to switch foods, read the following article first. Even tender tummies can handle an extended, gentle transition to just about anything!

I think that about covers it!