What is Coughing in Cats
What is it?
How is it Treated?
Siamese Himalayan Persian Burmese Devon Rex
As Lisa snuggled up on the couch with her beloved Siamese cat, Luna, she suddenly heard a peculiar sound coming from her furry friend – a cough. Concerned and unfamiliar with this symptom in cats, she quickly started researching and booked an appointment with her veterinarian.
Coughing in cats is one of the most common health problems seen in cats. Coughing is a reflexive act of breathing through the mouth, which produces air from the lungs. It is usually accompanied by a sound called coughing. The cough reflex is one of the most primitive responses of the body and is triggered when something irritates the lining of the throat.
It may seem strange that coughing in cats is considered a problem, but it is an issue that affects millions of pets every year. Cats usually don’t cough, although they might sneeze. When cats do cough, it’s generally because of an upper respiratory tract problem.
Cats often develop chronic respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and asthma. This makes it difficult for them to breathe correctly and leads to coughing. It affects about 800,000 American cats or 1% of all household cats in the United States.
Dry coughing occurs without mucus production, while wet coughing produces thick mucous. Both types of coughs can co-occur.
There are many types of coughing, including dry and wet, and some cough differently based on season, weather, and age.
- Wet coughing is typically associated with upper airway problems. The cat may sneeze excessively, snort, or even vomit. Cats with these conditions tend to cough excessively, sometimes producing frothy saliva. In addition, the cat may have a runny nose, nasal discharge, or eye discharge.
- Dry coughing is typically associated with lower airway problems.
Common Causes of Coughing in Cats
Cats are prone to allergies, just like people. And while we know that dust can trigger itchy eyes and noses, many other things could be causing your feline companion to cough up phlegm. Here are five possibilities.
- Asthma is an inflammatory lung disease that causes wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, and vomiting. It affects both young and adult felines. In addition, approximately 1 percent of ill cats are diagnosed with chronic bronchitis (or feline asthma), a disease similar to asthma in people. This respiratory disorder is triggered by allergens such as dust mites, pollen, mold spores, and pet dander.
- Bronchitis is a disease caused by airways (bronchi) inflammation due to infection, allergy, or irritation. It is characterized by coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and sometimes fever. Bronchitis is often accompanied by upper respiratory infections such as sinusitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. In some cases, bronchitis may be associated with pneumonia.
- Pneumonia is a disease caused by bacteria or viruses that attack the lungs. It causes air sac (alveoli) inflammation, leading to difficulty breathing.
- Respiratory infections cats are susceptible to respiratory illnesses just like humans. These include upper respiratory tract infections such as conjunctivitis, rhinitis, tracheobronchitis, and bronchiolitis. They can also suffer from lower respiratory tract infections, including pneumonia, bronchopneumonia, bronchitis, and otitis media.
- Foreign objects cats are notorious for swallowing things. From sticks and toys to coins and string, many different items can make it into the stomach of a feline. Unfortunately, some foreign objects don’t pass through the digestive system and end up lodged somewhere else in the body.
Symptoms of Cat Cough
Cats are very susceptible to upper respiratory infections because they do not have the same immune system as humans. As a result, they cannot fight off bacteria as we can. Instead, cats rely on their sense of smell to recognize illness. Therefore, if a cat begins to cough, it is likely to suffer from one of several different types of respiratory infection.
The symptoms of drycoughing include:
Other symptoms of wet coughing include:
- thick mucus
An infected cat will usually have high body temperatures. Fever is a common symptom of many illnesses, including some respiratory diseases.
Diagnosis of Feline Dry Cough
Diagnosing feline coughing is often challenging because cats rarely cough when examined by a veterinarian. As a result, it is hard to determine whether the cat suffers from a bacterial or a viral infection.
To diagnose the cause of feline coughing, veterinarians use several methods, including laboratory cultures of a wash specimen taken from the lower respiratory tract, endoscopy, and radiographs. Laboratory cultures are the most common method used today. Endoscopy allows the veterinarian to examine the trachea and bronchi directly, whereas radiographs enable them to view internal structures.
- Laboratory cultures are usually performed after the patient receives antibiotics. They involve taking a small amount of fluid from the lower respiratory tract through a syringe. Then, bacteria are cultured and identified.
- Endoscopy involves inserting a flexible tube called an endoscope into the cat’s mouth and down its throat. The endoscope contains a camera at the tip, allowing the veterinarian to examine different parts of the cat’s airway.
- Radiographs are x-rayed pictures of the lungs. These pictures show the inside of the cat’s chest and help identify abnormalities. For example, radiographs may help identify pneumonia or foreign bodies lodged in the lung.
Treatment for Coughing Cat
One option is to administer antihistamines; medications used to relieve allergy symptoms. These drugs are safe for cats and can be administered orally or via injection. Another treatment involves giving antibiotics, which kill bacteria that may be causing the cough.
While both options are effective, they are only sometimes appropriate. For example, antihistamine medication may cause drowsiness in cats, while antibiotic therapy may lead to diarrhea or vomiting. Therefore, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian before administering either treatment.
If none of these options seem to work, your vet may require your cat to have surgery. Surgery is typically recommended when a cat suffers from chronic coughing. During the procedure, a vet will remove the source of the problem, such as a foreign bodies in the throat.
After the procedure, your feline friend will likely recover pretty quickly. However, they may experience temporary side effects, including increased thirst, drooling, and loss of appetite. If your pet recovers soon after surgery, you shouldn’t expect any lasting consequences.
Prevention of Kennel Cough in Felines
Cats are susceptible animals, and they get sick quickly. They are prone to diseases like upper respiratory problems, ear infections, skin allergies, etc. To keep your cat healthy, you should take care of its health. Some tips help us to maintain our pets’ health.
- Feed them well – It is essential to feed your pet correctly. It would be best to give them a proper diet so they don’t face any disease.
- Keep their environment clean – Cleanliness is vital in maintaining your pet’s health. So make sure that there is no dirt around your house.
- Give them enough exercise – Exercise helps your pet stay fit and healthy. So make sure that your pet gets a sufficient amount of activity daily.
- Give them plenty of water – Water is essential for every living creature. So your pet should drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
- Vaccinate regularly – Vaccination is one of the best ways to protect your pet from diseases.
- Don’t let them sleep on dirty bedding – Dirty bedding can cause several diseases. So don’t allow your pet to sleep on contaminated bedding.
Frequently Asked Questions
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