Cat Coughing – What Causes It And How To Help Your Cat

petsmotherland.com may engage in certain affiliate programs, or discontinue the Site’s participation in such affiliate programs without prior notice, and subject to Site’s sole discretion. Please read our affiliate disclosure.

Our content is informative and is not a substitute for professional vet help.

Table of Contents

Cat coughing is a common problem that many pet parents face. It can be alarming when your cat starts coughing, but it’s essential to understand the causes and how to help it. This blog post will discuss what causes cats to cough and what you can do about it. We’ll also cover when you should worry about your cat’s health and how to tell if your cat’s cough is normal or not.

What Does a Cat Cough Sound Like?

If you’re wondering what a cat’s cough sounds like, it is often described as a hacking or dry sound. It may be sporadic initially, but it can become more frequent over time. If your cat is having trouble breathing, you may notice that its chest is heaving or taking quick, shallow breaths.

Most people are familiar with the classic “hairball cough” that cats sometimes make, but there are several different types of coughs that cats can experience.

A cat with an upper respiratory infection may have a dry, hacking cough that sounds somewhat like a human cough. A cat with heart disease may have a wet, congested cough that sounds more like gagging or choking.

A cat with kennel cough may sound even more like a human with a cold, complete with sneezing and a runny nose. Regardless of the type of cough, you must take your cat to the vet if you notice any changes in its coughing patterns.

This is a must if the cough is accompanied by other symptoms like fever, lethargy, or appetite loss.

When should you be concerned about A cat’s cough?

If your cat is coughing up blood, has difficulty breathing, or seems to be in pain then you should sound off an alarm. These might be signs of a severe condition that needs treatment.

Concerned about a cat's cough

Otherwise, if your cat’s cough is occasional and not accompanied by other symptoms, it is likely nothing to worry about.

Is it normal for cats to cough occasionally?

Yes, it is normal for cats to cough occasionally. Like people, cats can cough for various reasons, such as allergies, hairballs, or respiratory infections. However, if your cat is frequently coughing or has other symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, it is vital to see a veterinarian to rule out any severe conditions.

Common Causes of Coughing in Cats

There are many reasons for coughing in cats, but some of the most common include:

Allergies

Cats can be allergic to various things, such as pollen, dust, or certain types of food. If your cat is coughing and has other allergy symptoms, such as sneezing or watery eyes, allergies are likely the cause.

Hairballs

Hairballs are a common cause of coughing in cats, especially those that groom themselves frequently. When your cat grooms, it can ingest hair, forming a hairball in its stomach. 

The hairball may be too large to pass through the intestines. It will come back up, and your cat will cough it up.

Respiratory infections

Respiratory infections such as pneumonia, colds, and flu can be symptoms of a cat’s cough. Also, your cat has other symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, or difficulty breathing, likely due to a respiratory infection.

Cat Coughing with Other Symptoms

Cat has other symptoms such as fever, runny nose, difficulty breathing, or chest pain. These could be signs of a severe condition that needs treatment.

Hairballs

Types of Cat Coughing

There are two main types of coughing in cats: dry and wet.

Dry coughing

It is the most common type of coughing in cats. It is often caused by allergies, hairballs, or respiratory infections.

Wet coughing

It is less common and is usually due to a more severe condition such as heart disease or cancer.

Cat coughing and wheezing

If your cat coughs and wheezes, it is likely due to a respiratory infection. The infections such as pneumonia, colds, or flu, can cause coughing and wheezing.

Cat Coughing and Sneezing

Cats can be allergic to various things, such as pollen, dust, or certain types of food. If your kitty is coughing and sneezing and has other allergy symptoms, such as watery eyes, allergies are likely the cause.

Cat coughing hairball

If your cat throws up hairballs, it is likely due to grooming. When your cat grooms, it can ingest hair, forming a hairball in its stomach.

Why is your cat cough, but there is no hairball?

If your cat coughs but not bringing up a hairball, it could be due to allergies, a respiratory infection, or heart disease.

What if My Cat Is Coughing Up Blood?

When your cat starts coughing up blood, it can be a frightening experience. Luckily, there are some potential causes, many of which are not severe.

For example, your cat may have swallowed something irritating its throat, such as a blade of grass. In this case, the blood is usually bright red and is mixed with saliva. If your cat is coughing up more substantial amounts of blood, it could be due to an infection or injury to the respiratory system.

Cat is coughing up blood

However, this is usually accompanied by other symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or lethargy. If your cat is coughing up blood, it’s essential to take it to the vet for a thorough examination. This will help rule out potentially life-threatening conditions and ensure that your cat receives the appropriate treatment.

Rare Causes of Coughing in Cats

A cough can signify many cat respiratory problems, ranging from simple allergies to more severe conditions such as feline asthma.

Few rarer causes of coughing in cats:

Heartworm disease

Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal condition affecting dogs and cats. The disease is caused by a parasitic worm that grows in the heart and lungs of infected animals. Left untreated, it can cause severe damage to the heart and lungs, ultimately leading to death.

While it is more commonly associated with dogs, it is essential to remember that cats can also be affected. Cats are more susceptible to the disease than dogs. The parasites that cause heartworm disease can survive in lower temperatures than their canine counterparts.

As a result, cats living in cooler climates are at an increased risk of infection. It can be prevented through regular testing and prevention treatments. However, if your cat becomes infected, prompt veterinarian treatment is essential. With early diagnosis and treatment, most cats can recover from heartworm disease and live long healthy lives.

Bronchiectasis

Cat’s bronchiectasis is a severe condition that can lead to pneumonia and other respiratory problems. The disease is caused by a build-up of mucus in the lungs, which can eventually lead to the lungs being unable to function correctly.

Symptoms of bronchiectasis include coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. If your cat shows any of these signs, it is essential to take them to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.

There is no cure for bronchiectasis, but with early diagnosis and treatment, the disease can be managed, and your cat can live a long and happy life.

Laryngeal paralysis

Cat’s Laryngeal paralysis is a medical condition that affects a cat’s vocal cords. The larynx contains the vocal cords, two bands of elastic tissue vibrating when air passes through them. The vocal cords are located in the larynx, also known as the voice box.

The vibration of the vocal cords produces the sound of the cat’s voice. Laryngeal paralysis occurs when the muscles that control the movement of the vocal cords are paralyzed. This paralysis can be partial or complete. In some cases, both sides of the larynx may be affected.

Laryngeal paralysis can have different causes, including injuries to the neck or head, tumors, and neurological disorders. Some cats may be born with defects in the muscles that control the larynx. Laryngeal paralysis can also be caused by other medical conditions, such as respiratory infections, allergies, and endocrine disorders.

Laryngeal paralysis

Symptoms of laryngeal paralysis include difficulty breathing, wheezing, and coughing. In severe cases, the cat may have trouble swallowing and regurgitating food or water. The cat may also have a hoarse voice or make higher-pitched noises. Laryngeal paralysis can lead to respiratory failure and death if not treated promptly.

Laryngeal paralysis is diagnosed based on a physical examination and medical history. A veterinarian may also order tests, such as X-rays or CT scans, to rule out other causes of the symptoms.

Treatment for laryngeal paralysis depends on the underlying cause but may include medication, surgery, or a combination of both. In some cases, a tracheostomy may be necessary to ensure that the cat can breathe adequately.

With proper treatment, most cats with laryngeal paralysis can live everyday lives.

What should I do if my cat is coughing?

If your cat occasionally coughs and has no other symptoms, it is likely nothing to worry about. However, if your cat frequently coughs or has other symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, it is crucial to see a veterinarian to rule out any severe conditions.

Cat Coughing Treatment

There is no specific treatment for coughing in cats, as the treatment will depend on the underlying cause.

So, what causes cats to cough in the first place? There are a few things that can cause this problem, and we’ll go over them below. But don’t worry – we also have some solutions for you! If your cat is coughing, here are five things you can do to help:

1. Check the environment. Are there any fumes or dust particles in the air that could be causing your cat to cough? Try cleaning the house and getting rid of any potential irritants.

2. Adjust the humidity levels. Dry air can also aggravate a cat’s respiratory system and trigger a cough. Try using a humidifier to add some moisture back into the air.

3. Provide plenty of fresh water. Dehydration can also lead to a dry throat and subsequent coughing spells. Make sure your kitty always has access to clean drinking water.

4. Give them something soft to chew on. Rawhide or another soft chew toy can help soothe an irritated throat and stop the coughing fits from happening as often.

5. Consult the vet if it persists. In some cases, persistent coughing may indicate a more serious health issue, such as asthma, bronchitis, or heart disease. If your cat’s coughing doesn’t improve after trying these tips, take her for a checkup with your veterinarian. There is no sure way to prevent coughing in cats, but there are some things you can do to reduce your cat’s risk.

Treatment

Preventing Cat Coughing

For example, if your cat is prone to hairballs, you can groom it regularly to help remove excess hair. It would help if you also kept your cat up-to-date on vaccinations to help prevent respiratory infections.

Conclusion

Cat coughing can be caused by various things, from environmental irritants to underlying health problems.

It’s essential to determine the cause and take steps to address it. In most cases, simple measures such as changing the cat’s diet or environment can help clear up the cough.

Thanks for reading! However, there are times when you should worry about your cat’s health and seek veterinary care. If you’re not sure whether your cat’s cough is normal or not, always consult with your veterinarian.

Protected by Copyscape

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!

Let's be friends

pets motherland eyes

Subscribe to our newsletter and get all the updates from the blog sent directly to your mail.