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Coughing in Cats

 by ben on  |
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Last night I heard a cough coming from the couch. I thought my daughter Bethany had already woke up from her nap, but when I looked over it was my cat Ralph. He was doing that thing again with his throat. The last time I took him in the vet said that he was battling some sort of irritation. At the time it didn't seem like too much of a bother, however, the vet did warn me about certain conditions that could contribute to coughing such as asthma, fungal lung infection, allergies, worms, lung cancer, heartworms, tight collars, and system diseases. Let's take a closer look at these conditions in case you sense something is irritating your cat's airways, lungs, or throat.


This is the most common respiratory disorder you will find in felines. At least 1 percent of the domestic U.S, cats are dealing with it on some level. If you have an indoor and outdoor cat they are more susceptible to it. Asthma in cats means they have shrunken and inflamed airways. Breathing becomes a bit of a struggle, and that's where the cough comes from. Things that could be causing the asthma include obesity, perfume, stress, cigarette smoke, cat litter dust, pollen, and mold. Asthma can get worse, so it's best to get your cat looked at if he has an ongoing cough.

Fungal Lung Infection

There could be fungus in the soil your kitty is exposed to. Coughing is a common symptom from that type of exposure. The type of fungus can vary depending on where you're located in the country.


This condition gives off the same symptoms as asthma, but your vet can ge to the bottom of which one it is.


This is a common condition for cats. Your vet always checks for worms during routine blood and fecal tests.

Lung Cancer

This condition is treatable, sometimes with medication depending on the tumor, if not, surgery could be a potential option for your furry friend.

Heart Worms

This disease is usually spread by mosquitos. There is a preventative medication you can request from your vet. It's good to note that symptoms of disease are similar to those of asthma so you might want to ask your vet to run a test to rule it out.

Tight Collars

Be careful with how tight you set the collar around your kitty's neck. too much pressure can be damaging to the windpipe, resulting in a cough.

System Diseases

Congestive heart failure or pneumonia can also give off coughing as a symptom. Speak with your vet about getting an X-ray, MRI, ultrasound or electrocardiogram.

Help Your Vet Pinpoint The Cause

You can be wuite helpful by giving the vet as many details as possible about the cough. Let your vet know if the cough sounds wet or dry. Also note when you tend to hear the cough. Is it during the day or at night? A nighttime cough might signify heart failure or fluid in the lungs. Lastly, note what your kitty was doing right before the cough started. Was it after strenuous play or a meal? Coughing after activity coul mean heart disease. Coughing after eating could signify issues with the esophagus or larynx. It's worth it to take good notes and then get to a vet as soon as possible to find the best disgnosis and solutions for your kitty.


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