Sure, it is common to see cats sneeze, but when do we start worrying? The answer to that question lies in this article. Here, we will discuss the possible causes of cats’ cough and what we can do to help them.
Why Is My Cat Coughing?
A cough is a common reflex that we do to clear our throats. It is an important strategy that would protect the air passages and the lungs from anything foreign and infectious that might harm the body. Just like humans, cats do it too. But what are the reasons behind their coughing?
One of the most common reasons why cats cough is hairballs. They do not intentionally eat hair, though. It is more of a natural phenomenon that cannot be avoided. Cats groom themselves with their tongues. They spend a considerable amount of time licking their furs clean. Because of that, they end up swallowing their hair. Their hair can be irritating to both their throat and stomach, so when they ingest too much of it, they will cough it up. However, it is not an actual coughing at all; it is more of vomiting. And if all that hairball has come out, there is nothing to worry anymore.
A tight collar can put pressure in your cat’s windpipe and might restrict its breathing, which can lead to coughing. If this occurs, be sure to loosen the collar, enough to slip a finger or two between the cat’s neck and the collar itself.
Living in areas with mosquitoes can be risky for your cat. This is because heartworms can be transmitted through a bite from an infected mosquito. There are also other parasites besides heartworms that can harm your cat. A preventive medicine might help, but you might misdiagnose your cat since the symptoms are very close to that of asthma. It is best to consult a vet for further help.
RELATED: Cat Worms: Can Humans Be Infected and What Is the Treatment?
Allergies are also common amongst cats. They can cause discomfort in the lungs and the airways, which may lead to sneezing and coughing. There are different types of cat allergies: food allergy, flea allergy, and environmental allergy. Figuring out which type of allergy your cat is suffering from may be difficult. It is best to let the experts perform extensive examination in order to classify the allergy and provide a proper medication.
This is the most common respiratory disorder for felines. Asthma takes place when an irritant enters into your cat’s airways, causing inflammation and shrinkage, making it difficult to breathe. Irritants include perfume, cat-litter dust, cigarette smoke, mould, and pollen. Obesity and stress can also cause asthma. If your cat is having trouble breathing or is coughing constantly, it would be best to take it to a vet. Asthma can be fatal if left untreated.
This is the most alarming reason for a cat to cough. This malignant lung cancer is called adenocarcinoma, which is commonly found in older cats, mostly around the age of ten. The cancer metastasises to the bones, kidney, liver, lymph nodes, eyes, and brain. Cats may cough up blood and may have difficulty in breathing, rapid breathing, fever, declining appetite, and weight loss. Common symptoms such as coughing fits and other indicators related to the respiratory system can be a symptom of lung cancer.
The cause of lung cancer in cats still remains unknown. However, it is believed that cats living in urban environments are more prone to getting one. Diagnosis of lung cancer should be done thoroughly. Treatment of cancer may vary; however, surgeries and therapies are good options.
What can I do to help?
Giving the veterinary surgeon a comprehensive idea about the cough would help him/her point out the cause quickly and recommend the best possible treatment. Here are ways you can help.
1. Tell the vet about the quality of the cough, whether it sounds more of:
- Dry cough
- Wet cough
2. Let the vet know if the cough is accompanied by:
3. Inform your vet when the coughing occurred and what prompted it. The time of the day and the activity beforehand will help with the diagnosis.
So, should you be worried about your cat coughing? Yes, you definitely should! Cat coughing is not a sign you should disregard! Know more about preventive measures for different cat health concerns here!