Cat Cough – Not Your Typical Cat Condition
22 January, 2013

It is pretty rare for a cat to cough.  I have heard my cat, Sammy, sneeze but not cough.  There are a few reasons why your cat might cough.  If the cause is not medical, than you have nothing to worry about.  However, if your cat has a persistent cough, it is important to have your cat examined by your vet.

Below are the non- medical reasons why your cat might cough:

Your cat has a hairball.

Cats with hairball issues will often cough a few times before eventually expelling the matted, yucky looking fur or hairball.  You can always tell by the lovely leftovers on your floor if this is the case.

Your cat ate something that didn’t digest well

Cats who like to eat leaves, grass, and other strange items might cough as the food makes its way down their throat.  You will know if you have one of those cats that likes to eat everything.  Usually your cat won’t keep it down and will throw up the item as well.

The following are possible medical conditions that could occur if your cat is coughing

Heartworm disease

This is a very prevalent disease in this area.  It is carried and transmitted by mosquitoes; however, even indoor cats are susceptible to heartworm disease.  Prevention is available for cats in topical products and/oral prevention.  Your veterinarian can recommend some different medications.

Asthma or Bronchial Disease:

This is the most common disorder usually triggered by allergies.  An inflammatory reaction in the bronchial tubes can cause a constriction of the airways and excess mucus causing a cough.  Have your veterinarian examine your cat if you think he or she has asthma.  As in humans, there are antihistamines that can be taken to minimize the asthma or medication for a bronchial illness.


Bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections can cause pneumonia which creates fluid excess in the lungs, causing a cough.  Again, a vet can test for this by taking blood work.

An object is stuck in your cat’s trachea

A cough can be caused by something stuck in the throat or trachea such as a ball or mouse.  This is very serious and hopefully you will know if your cat has swallowed a foreign object.  If you think this is the case, get your cat to the vet or emergency room as soon as possible.

Heart disease

Heart disease can cause fluid buildup around the heart and in the lungs creating a cough.  This is a very serious condition and should be evaluated by a veterinarian.

I hope that your cat never has a persistent cough.  But, if he or she does, the above can give you some guidance on what could be the source or cause.  

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