What Causes My Cat to Cough?

There are a number of cat health problems that present with the symptom of a cat cough. This symptom may signal a serious cat health condition in which diagnostic testing and treatment is deemed necessary in order to preserve your cats health.

What Causes My Cat to Cough

Coughing is a reflex reaction to bronchial or tracheal irritation. Stimulating irritants include inhaled substances such as smoke, dust particles or household cleaning agents. Feline viral respiratory disease encompasses cat health problems that present with coughing, sneezing and discharge from the eyes and/or nose. Other causes of cat cough include ingested foreign material, parasites and pressure against the tracheal airway.

3 Common Causes of Coughing In Cats

  • Symptoms of hairballs in cats
    Hairballs
    are one of the most common cat health problems to elicit a cat cough. When your kitty grooms, she inadvertently ingests some of her own fur. As this hair accumulates, your cat may cough in her attempt to expel the furry culprit. Most cats are able to pass these hairballs. However, hairballs that remain within their digestive tract can eventually lead to intestinal blockage, requiring immediate medical attention. Help your kitty by supplementing her diet with a palatable and lubricating hairball remedy.
  • Feline asthma
    Asthma is another cat condition that results in coughing spells. These sudden spurts are often accompanied by wheezing. You will also notice a typical stance of crouching with the neck extended forward in your cat’s attempt to inhale oxygen. Once your veterinarian diagnoses your cat, proactive treatment will be implemented through the use of bronchodilators, steroids or inhalers. Read more about Asthma here.
  • Heartworm Disease in pets
    Feline heartworm disease 
    is a cat health problem evidenced by sporadic coughing and lethargy. Decreased appetite and subsequent weight loss may also be apparent. Heartworms are parasites that are transmitted by mosquitoes. Immature stages of heartworms travel through the cat’s bloodstream into the lungs. Adult worms grow in the cat’s heart, rapidly degenerating your cats health. There is no effective treatment for heartworm disease in cats, unlike dogs. Have your cat tested for heartworm disease. If the result is negative, begin your cat on a heartworm preventative to prevent this devastating disease.

What to do when your cat is coughing?

If your coughing cat takes on a bluish cast to her gums or tongue, she is unable to breathe in an adequate amount of oxygen. This is a life-threatening emergency and urgent veterinary care must be sought immediately. During any coughing episode, keep the cat as calm as possible. Any coughing spell should be addressed to your veterinarian. A chest Xray will be the first step in diagnosing the cat condition and in indicating the best treatment for optimizing your cat’s health, enabling your beloved feline companion to live a longer, happier and healthier life. Cat insurance can help to protect your beloved pet.

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