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Why Is My Cat Coughing?

Why Is My Cat Coughing?

If your cat isn't feeling well then they might experience a variety of symptoms. One of the noticeable symptoms of various conditions is coughing or wheezing. Here, our Mandeville vets discuss some of the common reasons why your cat is coughing and what you can do to help relieve the symptoms.

Why is Your Cat Coughing All of a Sudden?

When a cat begins to cough persistently it can cause you both to be frightened. When cats cough, they become agitated and apprehensive, making it appear as if each cough will be their final breath.

It's important to have your cat examined by a vet right away if your cat has an ongoing or severe cough. Your vet will accurately diagnose your cat and recommended the appropriate treatment for them.

To determine the proper 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.

The Common Causes of Coughing & Sneezing in Cats

There are a number of different reasons why your cat may be wheezing, coughing or sneezing. Below are a few of the most common: 


Asthma is the most common feline respiratory disorder that our Mandeville 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.

Allergies Causing Wheezing

Much like their people, cats often suffer from allergies that make them cough and sneeze or wheeze. 

Fungal Lung Infection

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 Infection

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 severe disease.

Lung Cancer in Cats

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.

Pneumonia Affecting Oxygen Intake

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.

Worm Infestation

Worms are particularly common in felines. It’s one reason your kitty should have regular blood and fecal tests at the vet. These tests can help to detect parasites early when they are most easily treated.

Treatment for Cat Coughing

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.

If you notice that your cat is coughing, wheezing or sneezing then you should bring them in to be examined as soon as possible. Contact our Mandeville veterinarians today to schedule an appointment.

New Patients Welcome

At Riverside Veterinary Hospital, we are always accepting new patients. Our veterinary team is passionate about the health and well-being of companion animals in Mandeville. Book your first appointment today.

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(985) 626-7297