Is It Normal For Cats To Cough
Watching a catcough and wretch, regardless the cause, is disturbing. The cat becomes agitated and apprehensive each cough looks as though it will be the last. What could possibly be behind all of this drama? Well the truth is there are a number of causes for cats coughing some serious, all disturbing.Do you remember seeing the animated movie Shrek? One of the films greatest characters, for me, was Puss in Boots and one of the most hilarious scenes was watching him cough up a hairball. The visual impression of Puss coughing was spot on. Unfortunately, it left you with the impression that cats cough because of hairballs and that its the only reason. What causes coughing in cats?Coughing is a protective reflex intended to rid the respiratory tract of foreign particles, mucus, irritants and microbes. It is not a disease in itself but it is a sign of an underlying problem. Coughing in cats is induced primarily by irritation or inflammation in the bronchi or trachea and can be associated with a variety of conditions ranging from mild to severe. These conditions include1:
- A cough accompanied by sneezing may be caused by a viral, respiratory infection.
- A cough accompanied by wheezing might be bronchial in origin and associated with asthma.
- A cough accompanied by weight loss, lethargy and anorexia may be associated with parasitic diseases or cancer.
Home Remedies For Cats With A Cough
By: Shanna Freeman& Dr. H. Ellen Whiteley | Updated: Apr 5, 2021
Cats cough just like we do, and for many of the same reasons. Coughing is a reflex when something irritates the back of the throat, breathing passages or lungs, the body responds, expelling whatever is causing the irritation. It’s an important mechanism for protecting the lungs and air passages from foreign objects and expelling infectious matter from the body. Just like us, cats have different kinds of coughs: a dry, hacking cough a moist-sounding cough a single, gagging cough a wheezing cough and that half-cough, half clearing the throat thing.
The type of cough can tell you a lot about what’s causing it. It’s also important to note whether the cough is productive or non-productive. A cough can just be a simple throat irritation, but it can also be a symptom of a much bigger problem. If it gets to the point where you need to talk to your vet about your cat’s cough, being able to describe how it sounds and whether it’s productive can help him or her figure out what’s causing it.
Hairballs and upper respiratory infections are minor compared to what could actually be going on if your cat has a chronic cough. In the next section, we’ll look at some of the other potential causes of coughs in cats.
Treatment Of Coughing In Cats
How your vet treats your cat’s cough will be determined upon discovery of its cause.
If the tests have yielded positive for parasites, then your cat will be treated based on the particular worm. For heartworms, your vet may want to assist your cat’s breathing through the use of bronchodilators, and in severe cases, administer medication to kill the worms. The medication, however, poses risks and should only be a last resort consideration. Lungworms and roundworms are more easily treated with simple parasitic medication.
Your vet may prescribe antibiotics in the event of infections. They are often given for at least two weeks or more, but even if your cat begins to show signs of improvement, it is recommended to carry on the treatment for as long as your vet prescribed, as symptoms may return otherwise.
In the case of asthma or allergies, anti-inflammatory drugs or antihistamines may be administered. Also, if the cough has lasted long enough to cause permanent damage to the mucous membrane, then your vet may want to give your cat supplements to repair it or even immune stimulants to help the body fight off any recurrent infections.
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What To Do If Your Cat Is Wheezing
If your cat is wheezing after a hairball or an isolated incident of wheezing, this is a chance that they just might need some more water or a way to pass the irritation they are experiencing. If the wheezing persists, you will need to monitor it to see if it worsens over time. If you notice that your cat has been wheezing for an extended amount of time or stressed by it, they need to go to the vet.
What Is A Cough
Heres my learn something new every day useless fact, thanks to Medical News Today: a cough is also known as tussis. You can thank me for that at your next trivia night.
A cough is the bodys natural reflex to clear the throat and airways of irritants, which may include foreign particles, fluids and mucous. Its a rapid explosion of air from the lungs either involuntarily or on purpose. Most of the time a cough will do its job of clearing the irritant and go away, but sometimes it can be a sign of a more serious illness.
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How To Treat Respiratory Infection In Cats
You should contact your veterinarian at the first signs of a respiratory infection in your cat because feline viruses can lead to pneumonia and other serious problems. Early diagnosis and treatment are important.
The virus is also contagious to other cats in the house, which Ill get into more detail shortly. If you recognize that your cat is sick and begin treatment sooner, you can have a better chance of preventing it from spreading to other cats in the home.
As mentioned, viruses are the cause of most feline upper respiratory infections, and unfortunately, viruses dont respond to antibiotics. Antibiotics are only effective for treating bacterial infections, typically indicated by yellow or green discharge from your cats nose.
Although viruses cant be cured with antibiotics, your veterinarian can still help when your cat has a viral infection by treating the symptoms. For instance, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to reduce fever or administer fluids to treat dehydration. They can also make sure there arent any other conditions that could prevent or delay recovery from the virus.
In some cases, a cat’s upper respiratory infection will run its course in about two to three weeks. During that time, you should follow your veterinarians recommendations and do your best to keep your cat comfortable. Here are some suggestions that can help:
How To Use The Aerokat* Chamber
Cat asthma is treated like asthma in humans with corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and often bronchodilators to open the airways up during an asthma attack.
Since cats cant use a puffer or metered dose inhaler the same way humans do, they need a chamber, also called a spacer, with a mask.
There are many ways to help your cat get used to using their inhaler and AeroKat* Chamber, including playing, hugs and treats. The AeroKat* Chamber also allows you to puff the inhaler medication into the chamber away from your cat to avoid making a sound your cat may not understand or like.
Once youve followed our tips and tricks to get your cat used to the inhaler, dont be surprised if your cat comes running when its time to give them their medication. With a little practice and love, this becomes an easy part of helping your cat lead a healthy and happy life.
Easier for Pet Parents
- More than 80% of pet parents find the AeroKat* Chamber easier to use than pilling for cat asthma and other cat breathing problems1
- No force-feeding or hiding pills in food
- Simply puff the medication into the chamber and allow your cat to breathe normally through the mask
- As the pet inhales, the Flow-Vu* indicator moves to give pet parents feedback and confidence that your pet is getting the right dose
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Help My Cat Won’t Stop Coughing What’s Wrong
Has your cats purr has turned into a cough? Coughing is a sign that something is irritating your kitty’s lungs, airway or throat. Some causes of cat coughing or wheezing are easy to treat while others are much more serious. Today, our Cordova emergency vets explain some of the reasons why your cat may be coughing.
Why Does My Cat Cough
Coughing can occur because of the overproduction of mucous, which drains down the throat. However, just because your cat coughs does not mean they have an upper respiratory infection.
Like people, cats can cough for other reasons besides an infection, such as allergies or clearing something from the throat. If youre concerned about your cats cough, see your veterinarian, who can help diagnose the problem and recommend the appropriate treatment.
On a side note, you should know that cats dont cough because of hairballs. Hairballs develop in the digestive tract, not the respiratory system, and are vomited up. Both vomiting and coughing can cause cats to heave and make similar sounds, so it can be challenging for cat parents to tell the difference.
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Treatment For Cat Wheezing
The treatment for wheezing in cats will vary depending on the conditions that they may have. Most of the time, for minor throat irritation, a cat will just need to pass a hairball or have more hydration to pass the wheezing moment. A cat might need to take medications to control conditions like allergies or asthma in more serious cases.
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Why Do Cats Cough
Probably the most common cause of coughing in cats is hairballs and all we can do is stand by and witness the drama, then clean up the hairy little yuck when its over. If its a case of cat coughing but no hairball, there could be any number of causes, including:
- Feline asthma probably the most common. Usually youll see your cat crouched down close to the ground, neck extended and hacking away as if his life depends on it because it does. This kind of coughing is serious business your cat literally can not breathe and needs to be seen by a vet as soon as possible.
- Tight collar by far the easiest to treat and should be the first thing you check if your cat is coughing a lot. A collar should be tight enough to not get caught on anything but loose enough that you can slip two fingers between the collar and the cat.
- Fungal lung infection commonly picked up from soil, and usually not good news.
- Lung cancer scary business. This is usually treated with medications or failing that, surgery.
- Allergies very closely resembles asthma in symptoms and causes, so youll need to work with your vet to figure out which is which.
- Heartworms also resembles the symptoms of asthma, but this one is spread by mosquitoes. Your vet will likely test for this to rule out one or the other.
- Worms quite common in cats and can be prevented easily with regular over-the-counter medications, but this should be done only in consultation with your vet.
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What Is Kennel Cough
Kennel cough is a fairly common contagious infection of the upper respiratory tract. It is aptly called kennel cough because it often occurs when dogs or cats are crowded together in kennels and shelters, especially if such places are poorly ventilated. Dogs that spend a lot of time enjoying frolicks with other dogs in dog parks may also pick up the infection. Other risk factors include dust, cigarette smoke, cold temperatures, and stressful events such as travel.
Can I Give My Cat Robitussin Answer: Only In Specific Cases
Robitussin contains an active ingredient called dextromethorphan, the only cough suppressant safe for cats. This means that yes, it is safe to give your cat Robitussin. This does not mean, though, that this is automatically the best medication every time your cat experiences cough. It is still best to consult with your cats veterinarian because they know exactly what your pet is going through and what treatment must be given.
In minor cases such as a dry cough, Robitussin will most likely be the veterinarians prescription for your cat because it has been formulated for this purpose. In cases where your cat is having a moist and productive cough, a cough suppressant such as Robitussin wont help at all.
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My Cat Is Coughing Heres Why And What You Can Do
My cat is coughing, but this aint no hairball. Sound familiar? There are a number of reasons why cats cough, but unfortunately we humans tend to think its nothing but a furry throat and we just ignore it and get on with our lives.
Its not a pretty sight, watching poor little kitty hacking away like theres no tomorrow. I can tell you from experience, it looks like the end of the world for the coughing cat and this is seriously freaking disturbing for everyone involved. See what I mean?
My Cat Has A Cough And Runny Nose
If our cat has a constant cough accompanied by sneezing and sometimes of mucus or phlegm, it is more than likely that it is a viral or bacterial infection. Eye, we should not be alarmed if you cough a couple of times but be more attentive to it in case the cough is chronic.
In these cases the ideal is to go to a veterinarian to check our cat and diagnose it, it can be a simple cold or a cold too strong which can lead to pneumonia. It can also be a seasonal virus or bacterial disease like cat diarrhea may occur but only by performing certain veterinary tests can you know exactly what happens to you and therefore give an appropriate medical treatment.
The main symptoms of a viral or bacterial infection in cats are:
- Cough continued.
- Tearful eyes or appearance of greenish or dark aspect.
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My Cat Is Coughing What Do I Do
Cats can cough for many reasons, and they tend to cough a bit differently than dogs. It often looks like they are trying to hack up a hairball, with their little necks stretched out in front of them. While they may ultimately need some veterinary testing performed, there are a few things you can do at home to help your kitty cats cough.
Treatment For Cat Coughing
Treatment for breathing problems and coughing in cats will depend upon the underlying cause. Do not try to treat your cat without the guidance of your vet. Following a thorough examination your vet may prescribe cough suppressants, antibiotics, steroids or other drugs to treat your cat’s health issue.
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How Is The Cause Of A Cat’s Cough Diagnosed
Because coughing is often associated with other signs of respiratory infection, an extensive initial work up may not be required. However, if the cough is severe, or if it has been present for some time, then further investigation may be needed. A thorough medical history documenting the onset of the problem and its progression, any changes in the cat’s home environment, or any other signs of illness in the cat, will be important.
The diagnostic work-up may include several types of blood tests, including heartworm antigen tests, laboratory cultures of a wash sample from the lower respiratory tract, endoscopic examination and radiography . Ultrasound evaluation of the heart may be necessary in some cases. Your cat may require a sedative for some of these procedures. Many of these tests will also help distinguish coughing from feline asthma.
Foreign Body In Throat Or Stomach
If you have a toddler in the house, you will understand the fact better. Cats and toddlers are the same when it comes to trying to eat every single thing they get to contact with. Your cat will always eat things that it shouldnt eat. It can be foam, plastic, bugs, string, bags, and whatnot.
Cats put pretty much everything in the mouth to see what the thing actually is. Due to this, the intestinal tract, throat, and esophagus get blocked, which makes cats vomit and dry heave, followed by abdominal swelling and pain. If it happens, your cat will not eat or drink for a day or two.
You need to take the cat to your vet as soon as possible in this case. It must be checked to prevent complete blockage and dehydration.
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How To Treat Coughing In Cats
How a coughing cat is treated depends on the cause of the coughing, so a diagnosis by a veterinarian is important.
Some of the more common treatments for coughing in cats include:
- Antibiotics for respiratory infections or pneumonia such as doxycycline or enrofloxacin.
- Steroids for chronic bronchitis, polyps or other inflammatory conditions such as prednisolone by mouth or a cat inhaler containing fluticasone.
- Antiparasitics for lungworms such as fenbendazole by mouth or imidacloprid/moxidectin applied to the skin.
Cats that have more serious conditions such as pleural effusion, trauma, or severe pneumonia may need to stay in the veterinary hospital and be treated with oxygen, medications, and special procedures like the removal of fluid from the chest. This is done through a needlea minor procedure called thoracocentesis.
If a foreign body or polyp is present, your veterinarian may recommend anesthetizing your cat at the hospital and examining his mouth, throat, and nasal cavity while sleeping. If a polyp is found, the veterinarian may be able to remove it. Flushing the nasal cavity may help if a foreign body is stuck near the back of the throat, or if there is a large amount of mucus production.