While you can expect your cat to cough if they drink or eat improperly but what about when they are showing advanced symptoms such as wheezing or persistent coughing? Here, our Lacey vets discuss the causes of coughing in cats and when it might be concerning.
Why is my cat coughing and when should I be concerned?
You may not even look over at your kitty if they cough once or twice but if you notice that they are consistently coughing or wheezing then you might become concerned. Often when cats are coughing they become agitated and apprehensive, making it appear as if each cough will be their final breath.
If their cough doesn't seem to be letting up then you should bring them to your vet in Lacey to have them examined. Your vet will be able to diagnose the cause of your cat's cough so that treatment can begin.
To determine the right treatment for your cat, the vet will need to determine the underlying cause. The nature of your cat's cough along with other findings can help your vet to diagnose the cause of your cat's cough and prescribe appropriate treatment.
What are the common causes of coughing in cats?
Here are some of the most frequently noted symptoms of coughing in cats:
Asthma is the most common feline respiratory disorder that our Lacey veterinarians see. Cats who spend at least part of their time outdoors are more likely to develop asthma and may experience a cough as a symptom of the condition.
Various Types of Allergies
Much like their people, cats often suffer from allergies that make them cough and sneeze or wheeze.
Fungal Lung Infections
If your feline friend spends time outdoors they face an increased risk for a fungal infection. Fungal infections can result in coughing and other symptoms. When caught early fungal infections are typically easy to treat.
Heartworm Disease in Cats
Heartworm disease is a deadly condition spread by mosquitos. Preventative medications are available from your vet that can help to protect your cat against this extremely serious disease.
Lung Cancer or Tumors
Coughing can also be a sign of lung cancer in cats. Some lung tumors can be controlled with medication. If not, surgery may be an option for some cats.
Coughing Caused By Pneumonia
Cat coughing can be a sign of pneumonia. Pneumonia in cats can be diagnosed with X-rays and may respond to antibiotics and other therapies.
Congestive Heart Failure
Signs of congestive heart failure in cats include shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing. If your cat is struggling to breathe it's time to see your vet. Heart failure can be diagnosed using ultrasound or electrocardiogram.
Pressure From Tight Collars
A tight collar can put pressure on your kitty’s windpipe causing damage and leading to a cough.
Worms or Other Internal Parasites
Worms are particularly common in felines. It’s one reason your kitty should have regular blood and fecal tests at the vet. Your vet will use these tests to help diagnosed parasite issues early on allowing for efficient treatment.
What are the treatment options for coughing in cats?
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. After your cat has been thoroughly examined, your vet will recommend appropriate treatment options. Your cat's treatment for coughing may include cough suppressants, antibiotics, steroids or other medications.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.