Has your cat suddenly started coughing, or has the frequency of your cat's coughing increased? Help your cat by exploring why it has respiratory issues. Here's what you need to do.
Assist Your Cat With Hair Control
Hairballs are common causes of hacking and coughing in cats. Cats groom themselves by licking their fur with their raspy tongues. The loose hairs end up in your cats throat and stomach, which can be irritating or cause stomach upset.
If your cat is coughing while arching its back repeatedly, watch for your cat to spit up a round mass of hair at the end of the coughing fit. But don't take the hairball lightly and think everything is fine. Hairballs can cause breathing difficulties, diarrhea, and other health problems.
Help your cat manage excess fur and hairball formation by grooming your pet daily with a de-shedding brush. Specialty cat brushes remove excess hair on the coat so your cat doesn't ingest as much hair during his or her grooming sessions.
Check Your Cat's Collar
Does your cat wear a collar? When a collar is too tight, it can restrict your cat's airways and cause your cat to wheeze, cough, and hack.
Be vigilant about checking the tightness of collars on kittens and young cats at least once a week. Since juvenile cats grow rapidly, neglected collars can actually fuse into their necks and cause severe, chronic pain. Unadjusted collars can also constrict the throat and make it harder for cats to eat.
To check if your cat's collar is too tight, slip two of your fingers under the collar next to your cat's neck. If you can easily insert your fingers into the collar, the collar is properly adjusted. If you can't even get one finger to fit under the collar, the collar is much too tight and must be loosened for your cat's safety.
Explore Your Cat's Environment
Is your cat's cough a recent development? Ask yourself what's changed in your cat's environment. Are you using new cleaning products, renovating your home, or smoking around your cat? Some cats are very sensitive to chemical fumes, building dust, and tobacco smoke.
Other sources of cat allergies include:
- Food ingredients
- Cat-litter dust
- Filthy bedding
If allergies are causing frequent coughs and wheezing, your cat may show other signs of allergic response. For example, cats with food allergies may throw up, scratch constantly, suffer hair loss, or have diarrhea. Allergic cats may also be noisy or act out.
Look for More Symptoms
Like humans, cats occasionally cough, wheeze, and sneeze to get rid of pollen or dust in their airways. Once the pollen or dust is expelled, your cat stops coughing. No other symptoms are present.
When coughing persists for days or weeks, it could be a sign of a serious infection or medical condition. Observe your cat to determine if there are any other symptoms of disease, such as:
- Runny nose and/or eyes
- Chronic vomiting
- Weight loss or gain
- Rapid breathing
- Coughing up blood
If your cat is showing any of the above symptoms along with the persistent cough, your cat may be suffering from an ailment such as fungal infection, parasite infestation, asthma, lung tumors, or heart disease. Bronchitis, or inflammation of the respiratory tract, will also cause cats to display additional symptoms with their cough.
When your cat is coughing and you don't know why, contact Family Vet Clinic right away to schedule a complete examination of your pet. Our caring and compassionate veterinarians diagnose respiratory issues in cats for pet owners in Germantown and Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.