We all cough from time to time, and cats are no exception. Coughing is only a reflex that aids in the removal of foreign matter from the respiratory tract.

When the “coughing receptors” that border the pharynx (the area behind the nose and mouth), larynx (the voice box), trachea (the windpipe), and smaller airways are irritated, Cat Is Coughing (bronchi).

In an otherwise healthy cat, occasional cat coughing is usually nothing to be concerned about. Pay special attention to coughs that are more chronic or severe, especially those that are accompanied by other symptoms.Make an appointment with your veterinarian if your cat develops a severe or chronic cough. Early detection and treatment are critical for a speedy recovery!

What’s the Deal With My Cat’s Coughing?

The list of potential causes for a cat’s cough is broad, but the problem is occasionally evident.

Have you recently purchased a new cat litter that is particularly dusty, and now your cat is coughing in the litter box? Irritants of any kind can cause coughing when breathed.

Long-term exposure to irritants like secondhand smoke may cause more persistent cat is coughing.

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Coughs in Cats Can Also Be Caused by the Following Things:

Respiratory infections: Coughing in cats is frequently caused by bacterial and viral respiratory infections. Fungal or parasitic organisms may be involved on occasion.

Asthma: Certain stimuli cause airway narrowing, edoema, and mucus collection in cats with asthma, all of which can lead to coughing.

Pleural effusion: A pleural effusion is an abnormal buildup of fluid around the lungs of a cat that can cause coughing.

Inhaled foreign objects: When a cat inhales foreign items such as food or grass, it coughs to expel them.

Cancer: When a cat develops cancer of the respiratory tract, cat is coughing may be one of the first symptoms that owners notice.

Trauma: Cat is coughing can be caused by physical, chemical, or thermal harm to the respiratory tract.

Heartworms: Coughing and other symptoms of heartworms in cats might be inconspicuous.

Coughing is a common symptom of heart disease in both humans and dogs, but not in cats. Coughing cats are virtually always suffering from a respiratory problem.

• Coughs of various types

A dry cough or a productive (wet) cough are the two forms of cat coughs. Cells that secrete mucus, or the thick sticky material you observe while blowing your nose, line the whole respiratory system. Some coughing causes enhance mucus production, resulting in a wet cough, while others do not, resulting in a dry cough.

Dry cough

Your cat does not swallow after a dry cough that sounds like a “honk” or “wheeze.”

Wet cough

A wet cough sounds like water or like something is stuck in the back of your cat’s throat (maybe crackles), and he will swallow it (an exaggerated movement seen in the throat)

When Do You Need to Be Concerned?

Your Cat Is Coughing but Doesn’t Have a Hairball

If your cat is coughing but not producing a hairball, pay attention to the other signs he or she is exhibiting.

Coughing that occurs seldom but persistently (a few times a week or every few weeks) can be an indication of asthma. Your cat may crouch low to the ground with their neck extended upwards, which allows them to get the most air possible in between coughs. Asthma that isn’t addressed can be fatal.

If your cat does not generate a hairball, keep an eye out for any of the other symptoms listed above.

Your Cat Is Constantly Coughing

Take your cat to the doctor if their cough is persistent, lasts more than a few days, or gets worse. A persistent cough could be a sign of a respiratory infection or asthma.

Your Cat’s Cough Is (Wet) Productive

If your cat develops a wet cough, phlegm or sputum will be produced. This type of cough will sound moist and could be a sign of a lower respiratory infection.

Wheezing Goes Along With Your Cat’s Cough

A wheezing sound between coughs could signal that your cat’s lungs aren’t getting enough oxygen. When air passageways constrict and/or inflammation produces edoema, wheezing is created in the lower airways. This can be a sign of feline asthma.

Your Cat Is Coughing & Sneezing

It could be an indication of a viral or respiratory infection if your cat is sneezing in addition to coughing.

Your Cat Is Shedding Pounds

In addition to the cough, if your cat starts to lose weight or has a decreased appetite, it could be a sign of a parasite or infection.

Your Cat’s Cough Is Recurring

If your cat’s cough is recurrent, take them to the veterinarian to find out what’s causing it. Coughing on a regular basis could be a sign of allergies or asthma. Asthma is a lifelong ailment, and if it is not treated on a regular basis, symptoms will reappear.

The Tongue And Gums Of Your Cat Have Turned Blue

When your cat coughs, his tongue and gums develop a shade of blue or grey, indicating that he is not getting enough oxygen7. Take them to the vet right away if this is the case.

Coughing Treatments for Cats

The treatment choices differ based on the cause of the coughing. If your cat gets a hairball, the coughing should stop once the hairball is gone.

Any cough that persists should be evaluated by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying issues. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian before attempting to treat your cat’s cough. Treatment without a diagnosis can hurt your cat or make their condition worse.

Asthma and Respiratory Infections in Cats

Asthma and respiratory infections in cats can be treated, thankfully. If your cat has been diagnosed with asthma, two types of drugs will be prescribed: corticosteroids for inflammation and bronchodilators for airway expansion. Inhaled, oral, and injectable medicines are available; however, inhaled treatment is the recommended technique.

Other Conditions’ Treatments


Antibiotics are usually administered to help the cat recuperate if the cough is caused by an infection.

Anti-Cough Medicines

To treat the cough symptomatically, cough suppressants may be administered.

Antiphrastic Medications

If the cat’s cough is caused by a parasite, antiphrastic medications are recommended to help the parasite be removed.

Staying Away From Triggers

When your cat has allergies, asthma, or other inflammatory disorders, removing irritants is critical to preventing coughing. Smoking, aerosol spraying, and harsh chemicals should be avoided around your pet, and low-dust cat litter should be used. 11

If your cat is on medication, it’s critical that you give it to him exactly as directed. If your cat’s cough goes away, don’t stop treating him.

What to Expect When Visiting a Veterinarian

Take note of any other indications or symptoms your cat has displayed in addition to the cough before consulting your veterinarian. If at all possible, record your cat coughing at home to show the vet. In order to effectively diagnose and treat your pet, your veterinarian will need as much information as possible.

Your veterinarian may ask you the following questions:

• Have the symptoms been prevalent for a long time?

• Do you have a wet or dry cough?

• Aside from the cough, have you experienced any other symptoms?

• Is your cat allowed to go outside?

• Is your cat being treated for parasitic worms as a preventative measure?

• Is your cat acting more sluggish than usual?

Coughing in cats, while frequent, can be an indication of a more serious problem that can be life-threatening in some situations. If you’re not sure whether your cat’s cough necessitates a trip to the vet, err on the side of caution and go anyway.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q) What can I do to help my coughing cat?

The best long-term treatment will be determined by the reason. If your cat only coughs once in a while and isn’t in pain, try cleaning or antihistamines at home. However, if your cat appears anxious, has pale gums, or is breathing through their lips, they should be checked straight away by a full-service veterinarian.

Q) Why is my cat coughing and gagging so much?

Gagging in cats is most commonly caused by hairballs. Hairballs are not the same as vomit, but they can occasionally be seen in it. Food allergies, digestive disorders, hormone concerns, and other conditions can all cause frequent hairballs.

Q) What could be causing the coughing in cats?

Parasites. In cats, heartworms, tapeworms, and lungworms are frequent and have been linked to coughing. Coughing is caused by a parasitic infection in which the parasite travels through the bloodstream and colonizes in and around the lungs.

Q) Is it usual for a cat to cough?

Coughing is a natural reaction to discomfort in the airways or throat of your cat. Even while coughing is a natural response, cats should not cough frequently or on a daily basis. The majority of pet parents have never heard a cat cough!

Q) My cat only coughs at night, so what’s up with that?

Some coughs are more common at night, when the animal (and human family members) are attempting to sleep. Coughing is more common at night in animals with heart failure, collapsing trachea, and lung edoema than during the day.


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